Home » Blog » Products » Carlson Portable Pet Pen Review: First Look At Our New Puppy Playpen

Carlson Portable Pet Pen Review: First Look At Our New Puppy Playpen

This post may contain affiliate links. We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post.

Having a litter of 6 Golden Retriever puppies can be tough…who am I kidding!?  Four weeks into raising these little guys and it’s been nothing short of amazing!

Raven feeds and cleans up after the puppies while I get to cuddle with the cutest little teddy bears in the world!

However, I have raised litters of puppies in the past and I can tell you it actually does get more difficult and containing these little guys will soon be a challenge.

Carlson Portable Pet Pen Review
Our new puppy playpen.  The Carlson Portable Pet Pen review.

Ali’s Dad built us a whelping box.  Thanks Mr. K!  But as the puppies get bigger and outgrow their little environment we’re hoping to find something larger, portable, and easy to clean.

Enter: the Carlson Portable Pet Pen!

Carlson Portable Pet Pen Review

Carlson Portable Pet Pen + Puppies = Fun!
Carlson Portable Pet Pen + Puppies = Fun!

You can check out the full product description on the Carlson Pet Product website.  Here are a few of my notes:

  • Color: Black with Green Accents.  This pet pen is also available in black with red accents.
  • Dimensions: 62” W x 26” H.  There is also a 6 panel version of the pet pen that measures 48″ W 26″ H.
  • Fits a variety of breeds.   I tested our Carlson Portable Pet Pen with a litter of 6 Golden Retriever puppies.
  • Sets up and folds down in seconds.  Quick and easy.  Our pet pen setup literally in seconds.
  • Compactly folds.  It is compact and fits neatly in the trunk of our car.
  • Includes a small pet door for easy access.  See pic below.
  • Easy carrying bag included.  One of my few qualms is the bag is a snug fit.  It takes me longer to get our pet pen back in the bag then it does to setup or fold down.
  • Reinforced mesh walls for durability and easy cleaning.  I’ve only used ours for a week, but I’m impressed with the sturdy build of the mesh walls. 
  • Water resistant for indoor and outdoor use.  When I’m done using our portable pet pen I spray off and clean with a hose.
  • Sturdy, all metal frame.  Through the first week I’m impressed with the sturdy build.

A New Playpen For Our Puppies!

Checking out the pet door...is it safe?
Checking out the pet door on his new puppy playpen…is it safe to come out and play?

This is my first look at the Carlson Portable Pet Pen and I’ve been poking and prodding it for a little over a week.  The puppies have piddled and pooped, clawed, and chewed at the zippers, mesh, and most things they could clamp down on.  Guess what?  Our new puppy playpen has passed with flying colors!

I used the Carlson Portable Pet Pen for our Golden puppies first venture out into the atrium and I’ve used it several times since throughout our backyard to let the puppies have a little outdoor fun in a controlled environment.

Before we got our pen out of the box I was a little worried about the durability of the mesh.  My assumption was that it might be something like my screen door, but it’s much heavier, feels very solid, and after a few days use I’m quite satisfied with the durability of the material.

I’d also like to point out that puppies being puppies we’ve already had several poops and pee accidents in our new puppy playpen and as advertised it has been easy to wash.

I’m 5′ 7″ and lucky for me the height is just enough for me to easily step inside to play with the pups.  At 5′ 2″ it’s more difficult for Ali to step over the top of the play pen walls.

 “Quick” is the appropriate word for installation.  Expand and push the single metal bar down with your foot and your good to go!

It’s Amazing Because…

  1. Okay I said it once already, but until it proves otherwise the mesh liner feels much more durable then I expected.  While 4 week old puppies don’t quite have the bite power of a 6 month old.  This puppy playpen has past our one week durability test!
  2. Simple, simple, simple!  Quick and easy to setup and break down…nuff said…
  3. Weight is just right.  I’ve had travel pet products (popup kennels) in the past and I’ve learned there needs to be a balance between heavy and light.  These types of products need to be heavy enough that they are sturdy, don’t get knocked over easily, and light enough that they’re easily transported.  For my needs this portable pet pen is as Goldilocks would say not too heavy, not too light, just right!
  4. Easy to clean.  Puppies poop.  Puppies pee.  The mesh is easy to clean and sanitize.  Pick up poop, wipe off any residue, spray with hose.  Simple, easy, and clean in a jiffy!

I Wish It Had…

  1. I would love if I could use this as my backup whelping box, but there’s no way for Raven to get in to see her puppies.  She’s too big for the puppy door and too small to hop the 26″ walls.  I know litters of puppies is not on the top of everyone’s list, but right here, right now (are we back in the 90’s…a little Jesus Jones, please?) it is for me.
  2. Great for small to medium sized dogs and puppies, but what about Linus, Stetson, Raven and  Archer?  If you have a larger dog then this product is probably not for you.  First of all getting one of my 70 pound dogs inside the playpen would probably kill my back.  There’s no door so you’d have to lift your dog over the side wall.  Second, if I actually did pick up my dogs and put them inside the playpen I know at least one would hop right out (I’m talking about you Linus).
  3. This is nitpicking, but I wish our portable pet pen was easier to get back into the travel bag.  UPDATE: After using the Carlson Portable Pet Pen for a couple months it has become much easier to slip into the bag.  If you want to see us putting our pet pen back in it’s bag then check out our video review.

After my first look I’m very impressed with the quality, ease of use, and durability of our Carlson Portable Pet Pen.  If you’re looking for a portable pet pen for your small to medium sized dogs or puppies you should check out the Carlson Portable Pet Pen.

Puppy playpen or not. Photo shoots are tiring!
Puppy playpen or not. Photo shoots are tiring!

This post is sponsored by Carlson™ Pet Products. I am being compensated to help share the Carlson Portable Pet Pen, but we only share information we feel is relevant to our readers.  Carlson™ Pet Products is not responsible for the content of this article.

Top Picks For Our Puppies

    We Like: Beef Collagen Sticks - All of our pups love to bite, nip, and chew. We love using Collagen Sticks to help divert these unwanted behaviors.
    We Like: Calmeroos Puppy Toy w/ Heartbeat and Heat Packs - Perfect for new puppies. Helps ease anxiety in their new home.
    We Like: Crazy Dog Train-Me Treats - We use these as our high-value treats for our guide dog puppies.
    We Like: The Farmer's Dog - A couple months ago we started feeding Raven fresh dog food and she loves it! Get 50% off your first order of The Farmer's Dog.

Check out more of our favorites on our New Puppy Checklist.

Similar Posts


  1. It worked great for my puppies. Bear is now 14 weeks old and around 30 pounds. He’s getting a little too big to carry over the side rail, but it worked great for the smaller pups.

  2. So the first 4 weeks were awesome. Raven took care of all the messes and the puppies were relatively quiet as they mostly made squeaky noises and hadn’t learned to bark yet. We’re just entering week 6 and the pups are eating solid food, do lots of poop, and they found their voice. I’ll let you know at the end of week 8 how it all goes. By the way, we’ve fostered litters in the past so I already know it gets more difficult as the puppies become more mobile, poop more, and bark more. I saw one of the pups trying to jump today. Cute, but it’s a lot easier raising 1 compared to raising 6. Tell Remy and Ace I said hello and Happy Holidays!

  3. I would like to foster a mother dog and pups at some point but not until we move to a house. I can only imagine all the messes! Seems like it’s going well for you guys, and I hope you’re able to get some sleep. Haha!

  4. We did the same thing with a cardboard barricade when we brought home Linus nearly 12 years ago! This is our first litter of puppies in many years. Before we started raising guide dog puppies we fostered litters of puppies for a local rescue. Yep, the poops. I remember we had 7 German Shepherd puppies and when one went they all went at the same time and it was just one poop per puppy it was usually 2-3 poops!

    You can remove the entire mesh insert (I assume for cleaning or replacing), but then you just have the frame without any walls. So unfortunately, no you cannot remove just the bottom so the pups can hang out on the grass.

  5. I wish I had this when raising Cow’s puppies, I had to keep them in a restroom with a cardboard barricade – as they got bigger they were always escaping. I miss them, but I don’t think I’ll be raising another litter for a looong time. The poops… oh, the poops.

    I think it’s really interesting how it has a “floor” – I suppose without it, they’d be able to squirm under and out, can the floor be removed so if you use it outdoors, they could just hang out in the grass?

  6. Taking care of puppies is a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. Yes, cuddling and playing with puppies all day is as fun as it seems and our new puppy playpen makes it easy to keep track of all these little guys.

  7. I didn’t think about being able to see them through the mesh from a distance. That is an added bonus as you can’t see the puppies that well in the whelping box even when only a couple feet away. The next rendition of the whelping box is going to have plexi-glass walls so we can see the puppies at all times!

  8. The timing was perfect! I needed a smaller dog to test out the pet pen. I guess 6 Golden Retriever puppies qualifies as “smaller” dogs. 🙂

  9. We can only imagine how busy you are with handling this many puppies! But we also bet you love it. They are so precious and the pen looks perfect for keeping them in one area!

  10. The portable pet pen looks like it will be perfect for your puppies. You keep them safe, secure and can still see them through the mesh from a distance.

  11. The play pen looks fancy and big. The puppies are the perfect model for it!!

  12. I thought raising this litter was going to be difficult for all 8 weeks, but the first 4 weeks have been so much fun and Raven does all the work. That being said I’m pretty sure the last 4 weeks will be a lot of work. I just started them on solid food and I’m starting to see a lot more poop. I’ll let you know how it goes 4 weeks from now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.