We have our dog’s main crate in our bedroom and have since we got her. She’s got no problem going in it while we’re away but it’s one of those bulky metal cages that don’t transport all that easily. We wanted a backup for 2 reasons. One was to give us something downstairs so my wife could use it while cooking and what not, Peach likes to run around legs when cooking/cleaning is going on (though she’s gotten quite a bit better as she’s gotten older). The second reason was to have something for travel when we take Peach with us.
This appeared to meet our needs based on reviews, measurements and look. Once we got it, everything we thought this would be, it is. It comes in a carry case and folds flat (in theory, more on that later) for easy transport. It isn’t very heavy and sets up really easily. My wife, who has back issues and a weight limit for lifting can easily move this around as needed.
The pen has a mesh top that is see through that can be zippered on or off and the bottom is made of a canvas-type material which velcros to the bottom of the pen. This does pose a potential issue in that the velcro edges only connect at a few points around the pen. This means there is a chance (though I find it to be very slight unless your pup is just an escape artist) for a dog to get through the bottom but I would think they’d have to REALLY want to get out of it. If a dog get his or her nose through the opening on the bottom where velcro stops and leaves a gap, I would think a dog could possibly get out. Not sure why Zampa didn’t just make the velcro connect to the entire base of the pen, but they didn’t so I have to mention it.
Mesh “windows” surround the pen so a dog can see out of it at all angles. There are 2 flaps/doors made of mesh on opposite sides of the pen. They use zippers to open/close them and when they are open you can roll up the mesh and there is velcro to hold the flaps up so your dog can walk in and out freely. I like this feature because we just leave the pen out all the time with Peach’s bed in it. She does like to enter/exit from one end to the other occasionally, so she appears to appreciate the two flaps.
The pen also comes with some metal spikes for when you are using this outdoors. I haven’t used these and I’m not sure that I will, but they are there to hold the pen in place so your dog can’t become the dog-in-the-moving-exercise-pen. While that might be entertaining and kind of funny to see the pen move around as if it were haunted, having your dog run off or tipping over the pen would be far less entertaining.
While this is called an exercise pen, I think exercise is a bit misleading. This is a crate. Unless your dog enjoys running endless circles, there isn’t really room for any kind of real exercise to take place. That’s the other knock on this, its size. This will fit a smaller dog just fine, I’d think getting above 25 – 35 pounds would really be pushing it for a comfortable fit. Peach currently weighs in at almost 23 pounds and she’s got plenty of room to stretch out.
If you need something portable or for travel or to take your dog somewhere outdoors, but you want them contained, I think this is a well made holding cell that does what it’s supposed to do. It does have it’s drawbacks. it doesn’t fold down anywhere near as easily as it folds open, so that carrying case becomes kind of superfluous. It does fold down enough to get it in the trunk of a car, it’s just that getting it perfectly flat again can be difficult. The other drawback is the (slim) possibility that a dog could get out of the bottom if they were motivated enough, thanks to the way the bottom velcros to the pen.
Those negatives aside, I’d recommend this to anyone who need something like this. It’s not overly expensive, it’s light, appears to be well made and really just does what you’d expect it to. I think this is much better for a small dog than the portable metal exercise pens that are available.
UPDATE: I was a victim of suggestion and thinking I saw something that I did not. The bottom of this pen is solid canvas with some sort of coating (I assume that’s in place so moisture doesn’t seep through) and does NOT have the bottom attached via velcro.
I think the Amazon review I read prior to purchasing (a few of which mention the bottom on this) led me to believe that’s what I had and in my head, I even remember seeing this.
Well, I was wrong, so ignore that part of the original review and sorry for the confusion.