The Best Portable Dog Fence - Temporary Fencing Options
Travelling and moving around with your dog is great, but every new pet parent soon discovers that there are many issues that need to be taken care of while on the road. For example, how can you let your dog roam around when your backyard fence is not there? Well, a portable dog fence can help solve the issue.
Not just when travelling, temporary dog fencing is great for all kinds of situations, and can be suitable alternative to an electric dog fence. Whenever you need to keep your dog contained (or away from something), a portable fence can solve the issue.
By how do you choose the best one for your specific needs? Well, we're here to help. We teamed up with veterinarians and dog parents to form an expert panel to test the most popular portable dog fence options. After months of research and nearly 50 fences tested, we were able to compile this list. In this guide, we’ll show you some easy solutions for all the times when you need a fence for your dog but don’t plan on building a permanent one.
Quick Picks - The Top 3
Our Number 1 Pick -
Paw Mate Pet Playpen 8 Panel Foldable
- Suitable for indoor and outdoor use
- Good value for money
- Flexible configuration
- Easy to set up
Runner Up -
Dreambaby Royale 3-in-1 Converta Play-Pen
- Flexible design
- Easy to set up
- Well-built and stable
Third Choice -
ATI Foldable Puppy Playpen
- Modular design
- Easy to set up and fold down
- Comes with a 1 year warranty
How to Choose a Temporary Dog Fence?
For many pet parents, putting up a permanent physical fence is not an option. This is why many consider invisible dog fences, but there are quite a few downsides to this approach (1).
“A physical fence is usually the safest option for allowing dogs to safely explore the outdoors. There are many options ranging from large, imposing and expensive full-yard fences to smaller enclosures that are more inconspicuous and cost less.” - Jenifer Coates, DVM for PetMD
Temporary dog fences come in all shapes and sizes. Some of those solutions can be quite pretty, but it’s important to also consider the needs of your dog in order to not regret your purchase. Our expert panel has some suggestions to help you out. Here is what to consider before settling on a portable dog fence:
If you have a Pomeranian or a Chihuahua, height will not be an issue for you. Go ahead and choose any fence, as almost anything can keep those tiny furbabies from escaping. However, if your dog is on the larger side, you should always make sure the fence is high enough.
But how high should it be? It all depends on your dog. Some dogs tend to respect fences and not try to jump them at all. Others, well, sometimes it seems like they try to jump over the fence just for the sake of doing it. If you have a very large and agile dog, you should look for a fence as high as possible.
How portable do you want your fence to be? Are you happy with panels that fold over each other, or do you need something you can fold down and pack in your car? Both options are possible, but the first one definitely gives you a higher quality fence.
Also, consider whether you want a fence that creates a freestanding enclosure, like a playpen, or you need something more flexible in shape. Many portable fences are modular and you can set them in any shape you like. That’s always a plus since it increases versatility.
When it comes to temporary fencing, what you are looking for is a balance between portability and stability. Thick metal fencing is the most durable, but we quickly noticed that these pieces are also quite heavy. If you want to be able to take the fence with you when on the road, you might not want a steel fence. However, if you want your fence to just be movable so you can store it away when not in use, then it is a completely viable option.
Other options include fencing made of wood. Wood is lighter than metal, but still bulky. However, it does make for a stable fence (if you don’t have a power chewer on your hands). Finally, there are some really portable options that look somewhat like a tent. This kind of enclosure is lightweight and easy to carry around, but also not very sturdy.
Does your fence need a gate? Some fencing options made of panels come with one of the panels with a built-in gate. This might not be necessary, but sometimes it is nice to be able to walk through the gate as needed.
While testing temporary dog fences, I noticed that with some fences, the gate is large so people can walk through it. Others come with a small doggie door. The choice is yours, just keep that in mind before you make the wrong decision.
Temporary Dog Fence 2023: Our Top Picks
Finding a good fence for your dog might seem easy, but there are many factors to consider. Luckily, we did the hard work for you, so all you have to do is read this guide! After weeks of testing out every type of temporary dog fence available, we constructed this list. Below, you’ll find some of the best options available along with detailed reviews.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
This portable playpen from Paw Mate is a flexible and easy solution for keeping your dog contained anywhere and everywhere. Our research panel quickly noted that this fence is easy to set up, it’s quite sturdy and has a good height, so it will work well for most breeds, big or small.
The fence consists of 8 panels. Each panel is 61 cm high and 91 cm wide. You can set the panels any way you like to fit in the space you are working with - 3x1 rectangle 2x2 square; octagon shape; or open it up and close off a corner… I was even able to combine two sets of 8 panels when I needed a larger fence for my doggos.
The panels are made from powder-coated steel wire, making them suitable both for indoor and outdoor use. Since it’s made from steel, the fence is very strong, but it’s also on the heavier side. The whole set of 8 panels weighs about 10 kg. That’s not unmanageable, and actually, our number two choice is a bit heavier as you'll soon see, but it's something to take into consideration if you need the fence to be portable.
What sets this product apart from the rest?
What is it about a fence that makes it good specifically for dogs? The answer is nothing. A good fence is a good fence, no matter who or what it was made for. This is why we choose the Dreambaby Royale Play-Pen as our second best pick.
Even though it’s called a playpen, this is actually a flexible fence you can arrange any way you like, similar to our number one choice. And in case you wondered - the manufacturers also recommend using this product for pets too - our fur babies!
This fence from Dreambaby consists of 6 modular panels. The panels can be arranged any way you like. You can create a closed rectangle or a hexagon, or you can open the fence and use it to close off a section in your home or outdoors. One of the panels features a convenient walk-through gate which you can open or close instead of moving a panel. The panels are made of metal and connected with secure corner attachments.
The Dreambaby Royale 3-in-1 Converta Play-Pen being tested by our independent expert team.
Due to the heavy metal construction, this fence is stable and durable, but also rather heavy. Each panel weighs a bit more than 1 kilogram. Therefore, the portability of this fence is limited. Overall, our expert testers summarise that it is easy to fold down and set up, but it is quite heavy, so you will surely need a car if you want to take it with you.
The fence is 74 cm high and the 6 panels are 3.8 metres long together. In case you need a longer fence, it is possible to combine two of these 6 panel fences. In addition, you can buy a two-panel extension separately.
If you want a secure dog fence that is portable and easy to set up, but also not looking to invest a fortune in your new fence - this is the choice for you. This simple fence is amazingly affordable, but works just as well as some other options that are much more expensive.
Again, this product is called a playpen, but I love how it also works as a fence when you need it. The playpen consists of 8 modular panels that can be arranged any way you like, like our first choice. Create a freestanding playpen or section off a portion of your yard - it’s all easy to do with this fence. Due to this feature, this product works great also as dog fencing for caravans.
The panels can be attached with secure metal latches, so you can rest assured your pup will not get out. One of the panels also has a small latched door for the dog built in. All of our researchers appreciated this feature since you don't need to break down the fence every time you want your dog to walk through.
The panes are made of powder-coated steel wire which provides the right combination of weight and stability. The fence is 76 cm high, slightly edging out our number two choice in the height department. Each panel is 62 cm wide, so with 8 panels you have almost 5 metres worth of fencing (4.96 m to be exact)
If you’re looking for a portable play zone for your mischievous and energetic puppy, then this playpen from Zampa is the perfect product for you. Whether you’re sitting in your backyard, park or a camping zone, you can have peace of mind while your pooch is playing safely inside this playpen.
This playpen comes in four colours - blue, brown, red and pink. There are four sizes available, ranging from 70 cm to 150 cm in diameter, so even the largest of puppies can enjoy playing in it without feeling squished and anxious. The playpen is octagonal, it has two mesh doors and six mesh windows, as well as a removable mesh roof. This allows excellent airflow and you don’t have to worry about your pooch feeling claustrophobic.
The Zampa Portable Playpen being tested by our independent expert team.
Each corner is reinforced and all seams are protected, which decreases the chance your dog will find them convenient to chew on. Furthermore, the playpen has an attached floor. This means that even the greatest of diggers, like my pooch, won’t make their great escape underneath the pen.
The playpen features a water-dispensing hole, a water bottle holder as well as exterior side pockets which are handy for storing toys or treats. You also get a carrying case for storing a folded pen. These features alone set it apart from the other choices on this list.
Just like us humans, our pooches have sinful pleasures. In some cases, it’s digging through a rubbish bin. They know it’s bad, but they can’t help it. But we can. There’s no reason to lock our pooch in a crate when we’re not home, when we can use an indoor dog fence like this one from Zoogamo.
This three-panel white wooden fence with hearts design is a stylish solution for keeping our dog away from restricted areas, whether it’s the kitchen, nursery room, stairway or flower garden. Our independent team also loved that the fence arrives fully assembled and is freestanding. I simply unfolded it into a semi-oval shape and placed it where I needed it. The ends are shorter and adjustable, which makes the fence suitable for most standard doors and stairways.
The fence is 120 cm wide and 50 cm long, so it’s suitable for small to medium dogs. However, keep in mind that medium-sized dogs like Australian Shepherd and Border Collie are great jumpers, and for them, this fence might not work well as an obstruction. Chewing, on the other hand, shouldn’t be a worrying. The fence is made of high-quality, sustainable wood and even the most stubborn chewers won’t make their way through it.
This solution from Bundaloo is surely the cutest dog fence you will find. The fence consists of rectangular panels made of steel. What is special about it is that it doesn’t look like a cage. The panels are filled with steel wire adorned with cute little leaves and is similar in style and design as our number five choice.
The cute design makes this fence perfect to use inside the home, it will fit right into your interior, and it will not make your pet’s area look like a prison. Thanks to the sturdy steel construction, it can be used outdoors too.
Now, this fence does have its downside. It’s a perfect solution for well-behaved small to medium-sized dogs. Considering that the fence is 63 cm high and not the thickest, it will not keep a large and/or a very energetic dog inside. On the other hand, the thin profile makes this fence quite lightweight. This is definitely a plus if you're like me and want the fence to be portable.
Our expert testers also noticed another issue in that this fence is not very long. You will receive 3 panels which are 114 cm wide altogether. The panels are foldable and easy to set up but the length might not be enough for your needs. However, the fence is quite affordable and it is possible to connect multiple pieces together.
This fence from Unipaws is made of a high-quality wood. If you are looking for a movable dog barrier you can keep inside your home, this is definitely a great option.
Our research team loved how easy this fence is to use. It consists of foldable panels that are made of wood with a thick frame and thick vertical bars to fill it. Durable metal hinges connect the panels. They are set up in such a way that you can fold the panels over each other and set them up at any angle you like. No assembly required.
The Unipaws Free Standing Walk Over Dog Gate being tested by our independent expert team.
The Unipaws fence is available in 2 heights. The smaller version is 61 cm high and the bigger one is 91 cm high. This is higher than most other products on this list, so if your pup is on the larger side you might find that helpful. On both versions, each panel is 51 cm wide. That means that when you buy a 4-panel fence, you will have 2 metres covered.
The Final Verdict
Which is the best portable fence for dogs? The answer depends on what you plan to use it for. Our expert team of researchers concluded that the Dreambaby Royale 3-in-1 Converta Play-Pen is a very stable, quality fence that is also very versatile. Plus, you can be sure it will last for years.
However, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, then we think that the ATI Foldable Puppy Playpen will perform the purpose just as well.
This question is really difficult to answer. For smaller dogs, a fence that is 1 metre high will be more than enough. For large dogs, and those who love escaping, something like 2 metres would be better. However, it also depends on how you use the fence. If the dog will be under your supervision, a lower fence that simply signals to the dog where they should not go could be enough.
If your dog keeps jumping the fence, the first thing to do is make sure there are not any underlying causes to this. The dog might be suffering from separation anxiety or not getting enough exercise. Make sure all of the needs of your pet are met.  However, some dogs simply keep jumping the fence anyway, either to be escape confinement or just for entertainment! In this case, you have to get creative. One strategy is to place PVC piping on top of the fence. Take a simple PVC pipe and cut it lengthwise. When you place this on top of a fence it will create a slippery surface and make it harder for the dog to get over the fence.
All temporary fencing is relatively easy to install. Foldable panel fencing is definitely the easiest. Basically, all you need to do is put the fence in the desired place. No special assembly is required.
- Coates, J. May 16, 2018. “Why Invisible Fences Don’t Work”. PetMD. May 14, 2023. https://www.petmd.com/dog/training/why-invisible-fences-dont-work
- Diaz, A. March 20, 2017. “How to stop your dog from jumping the fence”. RSPCA. Retrieved May 14, 2023. https://www.rspca.org.au/blog/2017/how-stop-your-dog-jumping-fence