Keep Your Frenchie Active: How to Choose the Right Dog Exercise Pen

Daily exercise for your French bulldog comes with countless benefits, including a lowered risk of joint problems, obesity, and diabetes. That’s why you should consider a dog exercise pen. 

After all, many factors can stand in the way of a regular exercise routine outdoors. For one, if you live in an urban area without ready access to green spaces, getting outside can feel like a chore.

Or if you’re in an area that sees extreme winter weather, going outside can leave you and your Frenchie frigid. The same goes for hot summer temperatures, too.

Even if you enjoy basking in the sun, don’t assume your Frenchie does. After all, Frenchies are a brachycephalic breed, which means they can become easily overheated.

So, how do you fit in quality exercise time, even when conditions prove less than ideal? With a puppy playpen. Keep reading to find out how to choose the right one for your active dog.

How Much Exercise Does Your Frenchie Need?

Frenchies are a lively breed with tons of energy. The smallest of the bulldog breeds, they require a minimum of one hour of exercise each day. Vets recommend breaking this hour up into short walks throughout the day.

Why? To prevent them from becoming overheated during warmer weather. These quick bursts of activity will also keep them from having trouble breathing as a result of overexertion. 

Paying attention to your dog’s daily exercise needs can feel overwhelming, especially during the summer, when you have to resort to plenty of time spent inside. 

Nonetheless, Frenchies are a vivacious, gregarious breed who are highly loyal and attentive to their owners. So, the breaks you do take together will prove highly engaging and entertaining. 

That said, you can ease the burden of keeping your dog active by investing in one of the many puppy exercise pens on the market. It is especially great if you have a French Bulldog puppy in your house.  Not sure where to start? Let’s dive into the benefits of an exercise pen and some of the best options on the market.

Exercise Pens for Puppies and Dogs 101

Finding the right exercise pen for your pooch comes with many excellent benefits, and I suggest purchasing one when they’re a puppy to get them started right. Like a dog crate, a pen will contain your puppy in one space. 

Unlike a crate, however, pens provide expansive areas for pets to play and explore without getting into trouble. Although playpens expand to contain an ample space, they also easily fold up to make storage a breeze.

You can find dog pens in a variety of sizes created to match the needs of different dog breeds. You’ll also find them manufactured in a variety of materials, including:

  • Nylon and mesh
  • Plastic
  • Metal

Some pens even come with mats on the bottom. So, they never sit directly on the ground. A mat comes in handy if you’ve got a floor prone to scratching or one that’s difficult to clean up after messes such as a carpet.  We used some of those disposable pee mats for training our Frenchie.   

For dogs who have perfected the art of the escape, you can even find pens with a top covering. However, if you train your dog from a young age to play in their enclosure, you shouldn’t have to deal with Houdini-like escapades.

The Benefits of Investing in Exercise Pens for Dogs

An exercise pen gives your dog the chance to roam without getting into trouble. They’ll love this safe play exploration. Pens are also big enough for you to place their food and water bowls inside as well as your pup’s favorite toys. 

Once you’ve trained your puppy to feel happy and safe in their pen, they make a great travel accessory. Highly portable, you can put the pen up wherever the road takes you, and the enclosure’s presence will make your dog feel at home. 

If you have a dog who’s a digger, using a pen outdoors also comes with many advantages. It allows you to spend time with them outside without having to worry continually about flower beds or lawns getting destroyed.  

Simply set up the pen in an area where they can’t do damage, and you’re free to relax. Just make sure to find a space in the shade. Remember, Frenchies can quickly overheat, especially in direct sunlight.

When you put your dog outside in a pen, remember to use dry kibble as it will last longer than the wet stuff while attracting fewer flies and insects. Make sure your pup also has plenty of water.

Finally, remember to bring water and food bowls inside at the end of the day. Why? To avoid unwanted visits from opportunistic animals. 

Pens also prove an excellent way to separate your dog from house guests, kids, or other pets. Instead of placing them in an isolated crate, they can still move around with ease and comfort yet avoid interaction problems.

What to Look For in the Right Dog Pen

There are a wide variety of dog pens on the market, which can make it feel daunting to find the best one for your best friend. That said, depending on your lifestyle and needs, some prove better than others.

Heavy-Duty Plastic Exercise Pens for Dogs

For example, if you live in an area with lots of humidity, you may wish to opt for a heavy-duty molded plastic pen. That way, you never have to worry about rust. Consider the IRIS plastic dog playpen

This four-panel pet playpen is perfect for extra small to medium-sized dogs. It provides pets with eight square feet of space and measures 33.6″ wide x 24″ high. It comes with non-skid rubber feet to protect your floor and is highly durable. 

Metal Exercise Pens for Dogs

Or consider a metal exercise pen covered in a durable black E coating to help inhibit rust. The folks at Midwest Homes for Pets make an affordable model that encloses 16 square feet of space. They recommend it for pooches up to 25 pounds.

It comes with eight 24″ wide x 24″ high panels, eight ground anchors, and four thumb snaps for easy assembly. The pen features a secure, double-latched door. 

A one year manufacturer’s warranty ensures you love the product. Because of its heavy-duty metal design, this enclosure works well indoors and out, and it travels conveniently, too. 

Indoor/Outdoor Doggy Playpen with Removable Top

Another option worth exploring is the Parkland pet portable foldable exercise kennel for dogs. Not only does this playpen prove affordable, but it is lightweight and a cinch to fold up for travel. (It even comes with a carrying case.) 

The playpen is crafted from nylon and mesh, and its top can be zippered off. It also has a front door zipper. That way, your dog can easily access their play area. 

It works well in a variety of circumstances, from indoor and outdoor use to camping and more. It requires no assembly and can be folded flat in a matter of seconds for storage and transportation. 

Heavy-Duty Metal Playpens

While a heavy-duty metal pen may not prove best for traveling due to its cumbersome weight and hefty size, it’s a great permanent alternative for your home and backyard. 

It provides a large puppy play area and can be connected with more playpen panels to increase its size. Expanding it is simple and doesn’t require any additional tools. It works well for indoor/outdoor use and camping.

What’s more, because of its sturdy build and taller panels, you can rest assured your pet stays in one spot. It also performs well in the wind, and you can even purchase metal stakes separately to enhance the security of the enclosure further. 

Despite the more substantial structure of this playpen, setup is simple and straightforward. 

The Right Dog Exercise Pen for Your Frenchie

A doggy playpen can help you take great care of your dog by allowing them a space for active play, both indoors and out. Pens are also a great travel companion to make sure your pet always feels at home, no matter where you go. 

Before you opt for a dog exercise pen made of plastic, metal, or nylon and mesh, consider the types of activities you’d like your dog to enjoy while using it. If you’re looking for the perfect accessory for travel, go lightweight.

For around the house, consider a heavy-duty plastic or metal enclosure. While more substantial than nylon and lightweight metal pens, heavy-duty ones perform well indoors and outdoors, especially in the wind.

You should also consider whether or not you’d like the capability of adding more panels to the doggy corral to enlarge it. Making a list of the factors most important to you will help you make the final decision when it comes to the right pooch pen.

Caring for Your Frenchie

French bulldogs are lovable, outgoing companions who like to stay busy. While they come in small packages, their energy is boundless.

Of course, you’ve got to watch out for overheating and overexertion, and that’s where a dog exercise pen comes in handy. 

Ready to learn more about the ins and outs of life with a French bulldog? Find out more about my story and as a proud bulldog owner since 2006. 

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