Published by Angela Sanchez on December 15, 2020

The Benefits of Owning An Exercise Pen

Understanding the dynamic pilates manly will help you achieve your goal for losing weight. What do you do to potty your Lhasa when the temps are down, when the snow is deep, when the blizzard is howling, when the sleet sends icy needles into your skin, or when the rain comes down in buckets? What do you do when the last thing you want to do is put on your heavy snow gear and the dog’s lead and head down the street to potty the dog? What do you do when you know your dog has to “go” but she puts on the brakes the minute you open the door to your back yard and she feels the rain, the wind, or the cold? What do you do when your dog doesn’t care if he gets huge snowballs in his hair, but you certainly care about having to thaw them out and get him dry multiple times a day?

Or what do you do if you have a show dog and there is absolutely no way you are going to put your dog with her long coat outside in the rain or snow, not after spending hours grooming, bathing, and drying. There has to be an alternative.

To the rescue…the exercise pen! Whether you show dogs or not, an exercise pen is a great thing to have!

An exercise pen generally has 8 wire panels, each 2 feet wide. Depending on your needs, the panels can be as low as 18 inches or as high as 48 inches. The taller pens come with doors in them. The shorter ones don’t need doors, as it is very easy to reach over the top and to put the dog into the pen or take him out. If you have a jumper or a climber, you need a taller pen or one that has a top.

The pens can be configured as squares with each side 2 panels (4 feet) wide, as rectangles with 3 panels on the long sides (6 feet) and each end one panel (2 feet) wide, or as an octagon. If you are somewhere where the space is tight, you can overlap a couple of panels to make the pen size smaller. If you need a larger pen, buy two and hook them together.

The nice thing about exercise pens is that they are portable. They fold up for easy travel and storage. An 8-panel, 24 inch tall exercise pen folds up into a compact 2′ x 2′ x 3″ size that is easily packed in the car’s trunk.

For travelers, exercise pens come in handy at the hotel. If the weather is not conducive for taking your dog outside, or if you want to give the dog a chance to stretch out a bit, or if you are just too tired to snap on a leash after a long day’s travel, take a heavy flannel-backed vinyl table cloth, spread it on the floor with the flannel side up and vinyl side down to protect the flooring, and set the exercise pen on top of it. Cover the flannel with piddle pads and put the dog in the pen. It’s that easy.

When you travel and need to stop at a rest area, especially at night, set up the exercise pen in the parking space next to your car. When you take the dog with you to a picnic, you cannot let her run loose in the park and probably don’t want to confine her on a lead all day. Put her and her blanket and toy in the exercise pen. If you have an RV and do a lot of camping, take along an exercise pen. You’ll find it comes in handy.

When you use the pen outside, you can put your dog on the grass if you want to, but another handy thing to have is an exercise pen mat, which is a mat made of woven polypropylene. The weave is loose enough to allow urine to seep through the mat and into the ground. These mats come in all kinds of sizes and colors and patterns and really offer some protective ground cover, if that is what you need for a particular situation. They are easy to clean with a hose, and they are easy to fold up or roll up for travel (just take a large garbage bag along to put one in after it’s been used). If you don’t want to use the mat, pack a vinyl tablecloth which can be used for the same purpose. You can get nice heavy ones at reasonable prices if you shop for them after holidays. They may have Easter Bunnies, Santas, turkeys, or firecrackers on them, but who cares…that side is face down anyway!

You may opt for a permanent exercise pen set up in the garage for use in inclement weather. You can make the garage exercise pen a more permanent fixture by securing small PVC pipes along each side with zip ties. Since the exercise pen is designed to fold up for portability, the pvc pipes keep the sides of the pen rigid. To take it down, cut the zip ties, remove the pipe, and fold the pen up.

For a fairly small investment, the benefits of owning an exercise pen are many! You will find exercise pens in the familiar dog supply stores, as well as in any dog supply catalog. If you are an online shopper, search for “exercise pen,” and you’ll find all kinds of places from which to buy one.

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