When to Stop Using a Puppy Pen: Everything You Need to Know
You love your furry little friend, which is why you want the best for your pup. But how do you know when it's time to make a big change? One major hurdle to clear is the playpen. Is your little four-legged buddy still in a playpen? Are you uncertain about the proper age at which your dog can leave the space? Is there a stage of puppy training where you feel unsure?
As a dog parent, all you wish is to do the right thing. At Shop Hiddin, we understand this crystal clear. This is why we believe our line of dog playpens makes it easy for both you and your puppy. Dog owners find our clean, acrylic designs to be not only functional and attractive, but also provide the level of connection and safety pups and their parents deserve.
After all, love is a four-legged word.
If you're wondering when to stop using a puppy pen, or how long to keep a puppy in a playpen, you're not alone.
Let's take a look at what animal behavior experts have to say about the playpen.
At What Age Can Dogs Leave Puppy Playpens?
All breeds are different. Some pups are incredibly innocent and well-behaved, not causing much of a fuss. Other pups can be little devils, ravaging furniture, peeing, pooping, and just being a whirling dervish of trouble!
If you're wondering when to stop using a playpen for your pups, there is an expert consensus.
Generally, the 6-month mark is when you may start to notice a difference in your puppy, from less bad habits to more good habits. It's important to consult your veterinarian about any abnormal behavioral patterns before you're done with the playpen.
What Time of Day Should You Put Your Puppy in a Playpen?
According to animal experts, putting a new puppy in a playpen is a surefire way to keep the puppy safe, protect other pets, and teach proper house training. Whenever you go out during the day - and especially for nighttime sleeping - you should secure your puppy's crate or playpen.
As always, keep your eyes peeled for any bad behaviors when letting your puppy roam outside the playpen, even if the little one has reached an appropriate age. As dog trainers will note, some aggressive breeds may still lack good behavior at 2 or 3 years of age.
As puppy training progresses, and your furry friend matures, you will learn when to stop using a playpen.
Can You Leave Your Puppy in a Playpen for Longer Hours?
As animal behaviorists note, there is an actual rule of thumb for the duration of time spent in a playpen. What's your puppy's age in months? Simply add one to that and that's how many hours you can keep your doggie in a playpen. So, if the dog is 2 months old, you can keep him or her in the playpen for 3 hours.
If this feels like torture, there are always ways to make your animal (and you) feel better about playpen time. With clear, spacious dog playpens, you and your favorite friend will be able to look at one another throughout those long hours in the playpen.
Not to mention, you can provide enough space for your puppy inside the playpen to play safely for those long periods.
So, What Is the Purpose of Puppy Playpens, Anyway?
While we don't push playpens on anyone, our customers often report the many benefits of using these comfortable, easily blended spaces. From helping with potty training to offering safety during both short periods and longer periods, many dog owners believe in the usefulness of playpens.
There are two main reasons a puppy's playpen may be beneficial.
(1) A Puppy Playpen Can Instill Good Habits and Behaviors
According to canine behaviorists, your puppy's playpen is a good way to condition your dog to maintain good habits. Your animal can learn to play safely, wait patiently, sleep and eat appropriately, and generally control impulses in its playpen.
As experts explain, the playpen is not a punishment space. Rather, the playpen is all about safety, maturity, and protection.
(2) Playpens Can Prevent Puppies from Damaging Interiors
If you haven't learned this the hard way, consider yourself lucky (or a good trainer)! Whether you have family members or live by yourself, you have certain items, furniture, amenities, and so on, that need to be protected.
Playpens not only leave your puppy a safe place to have fun, but also prevent pups from running around and damaging things. After a long day at work, the last thing you want is to have to clean up a home full of puppy pee and poop!
At the very least, you can train your puppy to stay in the same room.
Making the Puppy Playpen Fun and Safe
You obviously want to make your puppy's playpen as comfortable as possible, which is why experts recommend that you always provide certain playpen necessities. Whether you leave your puppy for short periods or for enough time to make your doggie cry, it's a good idea to be aware of the following.
More Space Equals More Freedom
A portable playpen may be smaller, but fixed playpens should offer additional space. Compared to a crate for sleeping or transport, a playpen encourages your little one to have some fun and entertainment. If your puppy can walk around and get a little exercise, the size is probably right.
Puppies Need Toys for Fun and Training
Are you wondering when to stop using a puppy pen? A good indication, animal specialists agree, is when your little canine can play effectively with certain puppy-safe toys. But first, you have to teach the little mongrel!
Be sure to provide a variety of safe chew toys that the puppy won't choke on or (heaven forbid) get cut or bruised by. If need be, you can even make some DIY toys. There are many great ideas online.
Always Have Ample Water and Food for Your Puppy
This one is a no-brainer, but as some veterinarians note, puppy diets can be fickle. They may not eat when stressed or anxious or may overeat. They're also curious, so if they're hungry and see something that seems edible, they might try to swallow it. This is why we believe it's a good idea to have nearby water and food, preferably within the playpen.
If you're looking for dog feeders that are sleek, fashionable, and sturdy for your little one, Shop Hiddin can provide them. Customers love our no-mess, no-cleanup removable bowls. So, if you have to leave your puppy for a while, you can rest assured that our feeders won't tip over.
When Is a Puppy Ready to Leave the Playpen for Good?
If you search how long to keep a puppy in playpen on Google, the answers will vary. Although 6-months of age is the experts' rule of thumb. But that will depend on your puppy's training level and behavior.
We all know dogs can be extremely obedient and faithful creatures, but depending on the breed, this may require significant obedience training.
Fortunately, training your puppy doesn't have to be a knuckle-dragging ordeal. It can be fun, natural, and of course, cute! As animal trainers will tell you, proper conditioning will teach your puppy to understand, show respect, and behave appropriately in your home and everywhere else. Before you know it, the crate and playpen can be a thing of the past!
Start by Introducing Your Pup to a House-Proof and Potty-Training Proof Area
Experts advise that you start to slowly introduce your four-legged friend to a safe area outside the playpen where bad decisions do not lead to harm. There shouldn't be valuable items or furniture, sharp objects, or anything else that could hurt the puppy or be damaged by the puppy.
Animal behaviorists recommend testing the puppy with a chewy toy to determine the level of interest. Whatever you do, you're advised not to let your little doggie roam far outside the playpen. Puppies like to do this and can get themselves in trouble!
Foster Independence by Distancing Yourself from the Puppy
Now that your puppy is out of the crate or playpen and in a new 'world' of the house, you can let maturing puppies do what maturing puppies need to do: make decisions. As experts explain, it's best to 'hide' from your puppy, so that the little one acts independently.
If you're worried, cordon off your puppy with acrylic dog gates. Customers love these baby gates. This way your puppy won't feel confined, and you can sneak a peek to see how the little one is adapting!
Based on your puppy's independent choices outside the crate and playpen, you may be able to abandon the crate and playpen entirely.
Provide Training to Strengthen Obedience Outside the Playpen
As you slowly introduce new elements to your puppy outside the playpen, take note of your puppy's behaviors. The measure of a puppy's response to commands is largely linked to a puppy's maturation beyond the playpen.
Training Can Help Your Puppy Behave Appropriately Outside the Playpen
Puppies love to roam and discover new things - this is nothing new. The real question is, do puppies show obedience when you call upon them? If your puppy ignores you, you might have to take a step back and continue the crate and playpen use for a while longer.
Puppies may become especially problematic when around other puppies. Nothing like puppy mischief!
Animal experts recommend that you take your time getting your puppy acclimated to life outside the playpen and crate. If your puppy is slow to move beyond the playpen, that's completely okay. All puppies mature and adapt at different rates.
Finally... What About Adult Dogs? Can You Put Them in a Playpen?
If you're unsure about when to stop using a puppy pen, remember it's not one-size-fits-all. In fact, experts indicate that a playpen may even be appropriate for your older furry friend. The playpen may be relaxing for older animals and can serve as a 'safe space' when bad behavior arises.
The playpen can also signal different times, like time to eat, time to rest when sick, and time to cool off when agitated or excited.
If you have any questions about your puppy or puppy training, always consult an animal expert. If you have questions about top-tier playpens, send us an email at email@example.com.
At Shop Hiddin, we have clear, functional, sophisticated modern pet products we think you and your pup will love.