Both will work equally well, but quite frankly – so does a large, sturdy cardboard box. I simply prefer the puppy playpen as the initial training home for a tiny pup, as it can be set up in the middle of the home/room without looking “cagey” or tacky, while a metal crate always looks a bit like “doggy boot camp”.
If you already have a metal or plastic crate on hand – by all means use it. Please continue reading through all of the playpen pages though, and consider adding a second-hand play pen in addition to your crate. You will love the easy access, convenience and easy mobility of it! For my teacup babies, I simply prefer raising them in a toddler or puppy playpen. It’s not only more practical on a day to day basis – it also looks nicer ;o).
I recommend a playpen because…
- it’s easily accessible from the top – no doors to wrestle with.
- it’s quieter than a metal crate, no rattling trays, jangling or sticking doors, simple and easy access to your teacup at all times.
- it’s easier to check on sleeping or resting teacups and tiny puppies without disturbing them, waking them up or getting them all worked up and exited.
- it helps with housebreaking [and spot clean ups] – you have easy access, and don’t need to crawl into the crate with the pup bouncing all over your face with poopy paws, LOL.
- you can play with your wee pup in a low key way, without it being underfoot or it wearing itself out bouncing all over the house trying to keep up with you “remember in order to avoid hypoglycemic episodes, it is important that your pup does not exhaust itself playing or following you around all day long.”
- you can feed tidbits and supplements or encourage it to eat, as the need arises – monitoring food intake and restricting excess exercise is much easier when you have ready access to the pup, without getting it all exited or hyped up.
- the puppy playpen used as the initial training home, allows the pup to be safely contained and still be with you, while you are otherwise busy, working or sleeping.
- the pup can be safely contained and protected from the kids, their friends and your other pets, that may feel that it is an adorable squeaky toy that you got especially for them to play with :o)
- as your tiny pup gets older [and matures beyond potential hypoglycemic episodes] as well becomes more reliable in potty training, one side can be let down in some playpens while you are at home and it can freely come and go. Simply put up the side when you need to leave or can’t supervise the pup.
- the pup is raised slightly off the floor, less likely to get chilled on cold floors or during the colder seasons.
Playpen + ExPen Varieties…
There are a number of playpen and exercise pen varieties available for your use to choose from. Starting with actual baby or puppy playpens with mesh or fabric siding, collapsible types w. mesh siding, more or less flexible wire and plastic side panel configurations such as play yards and exercise pens, and much more…
Where to buy…
PoodlePleasure Puppies in a Playpen
Actual puppy or baby playpens used for younger or tiny puppies can be found at large box stores [Walmart, Kmart, Target, etc], Baby Stores [Babys’R US, Toys’R US, etc], some larger Pet Stores may carry them as well. And of course there are countless online sources for them as well.
Play yards and Exercise pens may be found in some children’s stores, pet stores – but the best variety and selection can usually be found online.
You also may be able to find used ones on fleamarkets, yard a+ garage sales and in second hand baby stores. If you are buying a used playpen, be sure to properly clean and disinfect it prior to using it for your new pup!
I would like to recommend Amazon.com to you, as you can price shop from a number of different vendors at the same location, and purchase other needed puppy supplies at the same time and get often combined [and sometimes during special promotions – free] shipping in most cases.
I’m doing this in hopes that it will help paying for the upkeep, maintenance and webhosting renewal fees for this free to you Teacup & Tiny Puppy Care Website, whose expenses during the last two years have been solely coming out of my own pocket. Any extra funds earned allows me to purchase new dog items I haven’t tried before, and do hands on [and paws on] testing and reviewing of them, for you to recommend to [or not if it is a waste of money] as the case may be, for your own future use…
When I discuss the playpen for a young teacup or tiny puppy – the following types are what I have in mind. They are either soft sided – with cloth, plastic fabric sides or mesh siding [or a combination of both], collapsible and easy to transport or move around the home. Most are very sturdy and will stay looking nice until your pup is housebroken and of a safe size to freely roam in your home. Many have wheels on one side – you can simply lift them up on one side [pup and all] and move around the house as you go through your day…
For toy puppies that mature in the 7-12# range, I would recommend something a bit sturdier, like the second row of examples below. These playpens have either plastic or plastic-coated wire panels, some models are flexible and can be adjusted to be used as gates as well. These will hold up better to the activity level of a slightly larger pup, that may chew or try to climb out of a baby playpen as it gets older and more adventurous…