How To Build A DIY Dog Pen – 8 Ideas You Can Try

how to build a diy dog pen

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Do you find yourself worrying about leaving your furry friend unattended while you’re in and out of the house running errands?. A simple solution could be a Dog pen. In this article, we would be showing you details of how to build a DIY dog pen.

What is a dog pen?

A dog pen- likened to a children’s playpen- is a fenced-off area that allows your dog to play, exercise, and stay out of trouble. A space where Cooper can call his own.

A dog pen could be situated indoors or outdoor.

In choosing a dog pen, you might want to consider the cost (what’s my budget?), Size ( How big is my dog and space available?) and Suitability for your dog (Would this suit my dog’s needs?).

To answer these questions, you should consider making a pen yourself.

8 Best DIY Dog Pens

People opt for a DIY dog pen because it is cost-effective and helps channel your inner creativity.
In building a dog pen, some key features to note include;

Fencing: Which could be made of wood to keep the dog in and enemies out.

Post: Supporting structures to the fence.

Door: You’d need a way in and out.

Floor: Floor or ground covers are needed, if indoor you wouldn’t have to worry, but outside, make use of materials such as grass, interlocking tiles, or pea gravels.

Space: Take a pen as the dog’s room, he needs just enough space to run around and play with bumping into any structure.

Below are some of the best DIY dog pens to get you started. Don’t be afraid to make adjustments and changes.

a. DIY Dog Pen From DakotaBusy

This cost-effective, pocket-friendly indoor pen from DakotaBusy is made from scrap wood and is just as easy to make. The link below gives a detailed guide on how to make it including a hinge lock to keep your dogs in and out of your way.

Difficulty: Moderate


  1.  3⁄4 inch plywood
  2. Scrap wood
  3. Sand paper
  4. Wood glue
  5. Hinge.
  6. Saw
  7. Drill
  8. Screws


b. Shaded Outdoor Dog Playpen From DIY Network

Have no space for a playpen indoor? This would give Bruno the feeling of being indoors- outside. This shaded Outdoor playpen keeps him protected from the rain or the sun.

Difficulty: Moderate


  1. Lumber
  2. Landscaping fabric
  3. Gravel
  4. Rubber floor mat
  5. Plastic-coated wire fencing
  6. Corrugated vinyl
  7. Screws
  8. Hinges and latch Tools:
  9. Sledgehammer
  10. Dril Instructions:

C. Playpen With Built-in Dog House

Rather than having a playpen and a dog house in different locations, DIY Network offers the option of having a playpen and a dog house in one! Out in the yard! with high fences to keep the energetic dogs in.
Although this is an advanced activity, the link provided gives a well-detailed guide on how to make a Playpen with a Built-in Dog House. Difficulty: Advanced. Materials:

  1. Lumber
  2. Wire fencing
  3. Screws
  4. Hinges and latch
  5. Door handle
  6. Staples
  7. Nails
  8. Wood glue
  9. Roofing felt
  10. Shingles
  11. Silicone caulk
  12. Paint/stains Tools:
  13. Jigsaw
  14. Miter saw
  15. Drill
  16. Table saw
  17. Hammer
  18. Pliers
  19. Staple gun
  20. Pocket hole jig
  21. Wire cutters
  22. Right angle
  23. Clamp Get instructions here: d-doghouse

D. PVC Puppy Pen from Dreamy Doodles

Need a durable and portable lightweight pen that can be taken apart easily when need be? Try this.

  1. Ten or eleven 10-foot-long PVC pipes
  2. Twenty 90-degree corner connectors
  3. 32 four-way connectors
  4. 8 T-connectors
  5. 8 end caps
  6. Duct tape or masking tape Tools:
  7. PVC pipe cutters
  8. Tape measure
  9. PVC glue (optional)
  10. Rubber mallet Get Instructions here:

e. Custom, Indoor Dog Pen From Instructables

This indoor pen is made from chicken wire and plywood. A few screws here and there and the pen is ready, shouldn’t be difficult.

Difficulty: Moderate


  1. Screws
  2. Staples
  3. 2 sheets of 4-by-8 plywood
  4. Seven 2-by-3’s
  5. 2ft tall chicken wire
  6. 12-foot-by-4-foot roll of linoleum Tools:
  7. Chop saw
  8. Circular saw
  9. Cordless drill
  10. Staple gun
  11. Box cutter
  12. Other miscellaneous small hand tools. Get instructions here:

f. Chain Link Outdoor Pen from Family Handyman

Need something more sophisticated? With an attached dog house?. The Family Handyman got you covered with a detailed guide to building a next-level pen for your dog.

  1. Chain link fencing and gate
  2. Concrete
  3. Landscape fabric
  4. Pea gravel
  5. Privacy slats
  6. Sand
  7. Sunscreen and/or dog house
  8. Treated 2-by-12s Tools:
  9. Shovel
  10. Gloves
  11. Adjustable wrench
  12. Circular saw
  13. Hacksaw
  14. Level
  15. Lineman’s pliers
  16.  Posthole digger
  17. Spade
  18. Tape measure
  19. Wheelbarrow

g. Cheap and Easy Dog Pen From Instructables

This dog pen from Instructables should be made with enough room for large dogs. Although called “cheap”, it would cost more than the other options.

  1. Heavy gage wire livestock panels (20 feet long by 48 inches tall)
  2. Aluminum wire
  3. Standard chain link fence gate hinges (optional)
  4. Old metal gate (optional)
  5. Metal T fence post
  6. 9 Safety latches or clamps Tools:
  7. Sledge Hammer
  8. Pliers
  9. Tape measure
  10. Reciprocating saw
  11. Saw blade oil Get Instructions here:

h. PVC Puppy Pen from Making It Work

This pocket-friendly dog pen can be made using a PVC pipe, making it easy to pull apart and store.

  1. 3/4-inch PVC “T”s
  2. 3/4-inch PVC 90-degree elbows
  3. 3/4-inch Schedule 40 PVC pipe
  4. 3/4-inch PVC 90-degree elbow with outlet
  5. 1-inch PVC “T”s
  6. 3/4-inch PVC couplings
  7. A vinyl remnant
  8. Non-treated 2-by-4s
  9. Drywall screws
  10. Galvanized “L” brackets

What Do I Put In My Dog’s Pen?

Done building your dog’s pen, what next?
Now, imagine your home without furniture and appliances, that’s how bare the pen is. You’d need to set up some items for your furry friend.

Think Safety, Heath, and Fun when picking these items.
Here are a few things that should be picked;

A Water Dish: Indoor or outdoor, this is a must-have in a pen. The water should have water in it at all times, if outdoor,it should be kept under a shade to keep it cool.

A Food Bowl: Food is just as important as water. Although the food bowl should be provided on a temporal basis, at intervals.

Laying surface: A blanket or dog bed should be made available for resting periods in the playpen.

Safe Dog Toy: The toys are to keep your dog occupied and happy. SAFE toys, which are durable and without detachable parts that could cause hazards.

What Kind Of Ground Cover Should I Use In My Dog Pen?

For indoor pens, nothing or anything available can be used – tiles, carpets, blankets. In deciding on what ground cover to be used, your budget, the location, the environment as well as weather conditions should be properly considered. Outdoor pens require more specific materials that could range from grass to interlocking tiles.

Grass, is usually the best choice for outdoor pens, dog-friendly grass. In using grass, spots should be changed regularly to save them from getting ruined.

Artificial Turf (Astroturf): While this is considerably neat and affordable, you’d put in effort in cleaning it.

Pea gravels: These could last for a considerable long time, you’d have to worry about your dog munching on little rocks though. Other materials that could be used as ground cover include; Clover, Pine straw, and interlocking tiles.

The Benefits of Dog Pens

Dog pens,both indoor and outdoor offer lots of benefits, some of them are;

1. Safe potty training- With dogs around the house, there’s bound to be dogs on the couch, shoes, or your curtains, the pen restricts this keeping the dog confined to a place.

2. They can have their own space – Dog pens keep the dogs occupied while allowing you some time to yourself without being distracted. With a pen, the dog can sleep peacefully as it is separated from the children.

3. A dog pen can contain more than one dog – You wouldn’t have to worry about all 5 puppies running around the house, they can be put together in a pen, this also provides them the opportunity to bond.

4. Pens provide mental stimulation – Outdoor pens expose the dogs to new scents and new sights thereby keeping them active.

5. Pens allow your furry friend to be contained after his bath – This would save your furniture and belongings from water splashes (especially if outdoor).

Dog Pen FAQs

Can you leave a dog in a pen unattended?

This depends on the pen, how secure it is, the safety of the environment, how high the fencing is, how long you’d be away, and the availability of only harmless objects in the pen. In an outdoor pen, particular consideration should be given to the weather conditions, the neighborhood safety as well as that of the pen. If indoor, consider the space available, ensure the space is not too packed and stuffy. Make provision for food and water, ensure the availability of a toy to keep the dog occupied while you’re away.

Does a pen need a roof?

An indoor pen doesn’t necessarily need a roof. An outdoor pen needing a roof depends on your preference. The fence should be made high if you don’t want a roof, to keep predators out and keep the dog from jumping out.
Considering weather conditions, the roof may be needed, to keep the pen cool and dry.

What size should a pen be?

This basically depends on the size of your dog, notwithstanding, it should have enough space for a play area, a bed, water bowl, and food plate.

What can I use for a dog pen floor?

A dog pen floor should be made comfortable for the dog. If indoor, the existing hard floor is fine or an old blanket can be placed on the floor. For outdoor pens, floor materials vary based on preference, grass is said to be the best, other materials include; Pea gravel, interlocking tiles, clover, artificial turf, and pine straw.

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