How to Build a Dog Pen out of Pallets

Building a dog pen is a win-win situation. Your dog will have a safe yet enjoyable space where it can roam, play, and have fun, and you can relax a little, knowing that your dog is safe without your continuous supervision.

Learning how to build a dog pen out of pallets is easy and can be done as a family project. Read this article to learn how to create the perfect playpen for your furry baby.

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Should You Provide your Dog with a Crate or Pen?

Getting a dog enclosure will allow you to rest assured, as your dog plays, sleeps, or simply enjoys its time. A dog crate has a roof and a bottom and is generally smaller than a pen. A dog crate will be your best choice when you want to keep your dog away for a small amount of time if you’re going to house train your dog.

However, a pen is more comfortable because it’s larger. Multiple dogs can share the same pen, depending on their size and number. Unlike a crate, mainly used for sleeping, a pen can be used for playing or sleeping, especially for more extended periods.

A pen can be safely used for active and curious puppies because they can move comfortably without your constant supervision, so you can work, sleep, or cook. A pen can restrict access inside and outside the house without making your dog feel too confined.

Why Should You Build a Dog Pen?

Although there are multiple dog pens available on the market, building your own comes with various benefits.

  • You can customize the size of the pen, depending on the number and size of your pets. Most pens are designed for unique breeds, but the one you build can be shared by multiple small, medium, and large-breed dogs.
  • You can have total control over the materials used to build the pen. Using pallets, you can fix, customize, or expand the pen’s size, depending on your needs.
  • Building a pen is more affordable than fencing your backyard.
  • This can be an exciting family project that you and your kids or partner can do together.

How to Build a Dog Pen Out of Pallets

Here are some simple steps that you can follow.

Step 1: Pick the Location

If you choose to build a dog pen inside the house, you will be limited by the space available in your room. An outdoor pen might be more practical because you can build a larger one.

A dog pen that is located far away from the house will have different features from another one connected to your garage. You can choose to place it further away if you’re worried that your neighbors will complain if your dogs start to get too excited.

Step 2: Choose the Correct Design

There are multiple designs available, so you can pick the right one for your dog. The narrow fenced design is the simplest one. It’s not large enough to allow your dog to run in any direction, but it will enable it to run at top speed back and forth.

If you need something bigger, you can pick a square enclosure that allows your dog to run, play, sleep, and eat. With enough space, you can add separators, doors, or ramps to customize the space.

Step 3: Choose the Materials

Wooden pallets are either made of soft or hardwood. Softwood is more affordable, but hardwood is more durable.

You should also pay attention to the pallets’ style, as they will affect how durable your construction will be. Stringer pallets are 2-way pallets where parallel pieces of wood that make the frame. Block pallets feature a 4-way construction and are more durable.

Chain-link fencing is easy to install and can be used inside the pen to create separators. It’s quite affordable and durable, so it can withstand the heavy-duty use. If you need something more durable, you can opt for the powder-coated welded wire. These are dog-proof and are resistant to the teeth and urine of dogs.

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Concrete is probably the most suitable option for flooring. Building concrete with a slope will prevent the collection of water and will make the pen easier to clean. It might crack after a while, but it’s still one of the least costly options.

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However, some dogs might not be fond of concrete because it can cause worn pads and calluses. Large pea gravel and flagstone are more appropriate as they will allow your furry baby to enjoy its time to the maximum. Nevertheless, cleaning gravel from feces isn’t an easy task.

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Step 4: Consider Protection from the Elements

If your dog is going to spend a lot of time outside, you need to consider taking some protective measures to protect it from the elements. Dogs can withstand cold, but they can’t withstand pouring rain or wind. If you’re not home and won’t be able to get them inside, the playpen should provide the needed protection.

A small roof, a windbreak, and elevated cot are several options that you should consider. If you choose concrete for flooring, an elevated cot will protect your dog from burns if the weather gets too hot.

Step 5: Get Your Tools Ready

In addition to the previously mentioned materials, you need to make sure that you have all the necessary tools to execute your project.

  • Work gloves.
  • Shovel.
  • Spade.
  • Tape measure.
  • 6 wooden posts each measuring 2 inches wide.
  • Lineman’s pliers.
  • Fence ties.
  • Screws and a drill.

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IRWIN VISE-GRIP Lineman's Pliers, 9-1/2-Inch (2078209)

6-1/2 in. 9-Gauge Aluminum Chain Link Fence Ties (100-Pack) BLACK+DECKER 20V MAX Cordless Drill / Driver with 30-Piece Accessories (LD120VA)

Fiskars 397900-1001 PRO Shovel, Digging, 60 Inch, Silver

Step 6: Start Building

  • Mark the desired location where you’ve decided to set up the pen. Mark the corners and the gate.
  • Dig 4 holes for the corners and 2 for the gate. Holes can be 2 feet deep and about 3 inches by 3 inches in diameter.
  • Pour mixed cement in these holes and install the wooden posts. These will determine the height of the dog pen.
  • Use the concrete or the gravel to create the flooring.
  • Use the pallets to form the walls of the dog pen using the screws and a drill. Attaching the nails using a hammer is time-consuming.
  • Use the chain link to create separators inside the pen. Make sure that they’re adequately tied using fence ties and pliers.


Building a special pen for your dog is more affordable than buying one. It also allows you to customize the structure to suit the number and size of your dogs. This DIY project can be a fun summer project to finish your friends and family. The result will bring so much joy to you and your furry babies.