If you’re a dog owner, you want to make sure that your furry friend sleeps warm and remains as comfortable as possible even in cold weather. It is quite easy to offer your dog the comfort your dog needs when your dog hangs out indoors. However, it is not that easy for dogs that spend most of their lives in a dog house. That said, there is no excuse for people that are not trying to keep their dog’s pooch cozier.
The best way you could help your animal friend stay comfortable is by warming up the dog house. For instance, you could upgrade the crib into a warmer dog house or install a heat bed or heater to the house. There are a couple of ways you could make the house warmer, especially during chilly weather. However, when it comes to dogs, electricity is not always the best option. As we all know, some dogs have nasty chewing habits, and if they find themselves chewing through high-current wire insulation, they might get them electrocuted.
Cold Weather-Proof Dog Houses
For those of us that live in parts of the world that experience extremely cold weather, it is only natural to want a cold-resistant dog house. Summer is now behind us, and your pet needs to be able to keep warm and enjoy the outdoors. While insulating your dog’s house may be the best way to make it cold-proof, it is not the only solution. However, it does help in retaining heat, which is an essential first step when striving to give your furry friend the proper living conditions in the cold weather.
Insulate the dog house
When insulating your dog house, you could use the same insulation in your attic, house, or garage. It is essential to insulate both walls of the dog house and the roof too for the best conditions. You could also add a carpet to the house from wall to wall to make sure the heat is retained from below, which is particularly effective as the dog mostly lies on the floor of its house.
Patch all holes in your dog’s house that are not in use, such as the latch mechanisms, ventilation grates, or any cord ports. Also make sure that all the materials you use are not toxic since, as stated earlier, dogs love to chew.
Fill out excess Room
You could also make the dog house cold-proof by filling out the excess room. I know most of us want to offer their dogs a spacious area to live, but spacious rooms are relatively colder than smaller ones. Now that summer is gone, a large dog house will only mean that your dog gets colder in fall. You could use big pillows or dog blankets to reduce open space inside the dog house. The reduction in space will also make the dog house feel more like a den, which he is bound to appreciate.
Add a door
Most dog houses do not feature a door. That’s because dogs are quite restless animals and a door would only restrict his movement into and out of his house. However, during the cold winter months, it is imperative that you try and install one for your dog. When trying to warm up the dog house, a big hole at the front only works against all your efforts.
If money is a restriction, consider installing something really simple, such as a carpet piece or a vinyl flap; it will make all the difference. The door should be easy enough for a dog to operate but thick enough to block off cold currents from entering the house.
Use Heat from Your Own Home
Placing the dog house against the main house
Most of us have heaters installed in our home for the cold months. Our houses are almost always warmer than the dog houses we build for man’s best friend. If your exterior wall is featureless, it would be a great idea to slide the dog house up against the wall to acquire some of the heat your house is expelling. This will not only insulate the dog house from one side and protect it from cold winds, but also conduct heat from the main house through the walls of the dog house.
While putting the dog house next to yours will not raise the temperatures drastically, it doesn’t cost a thing, it is pretty easy to do, and it will allow you to implement most of the strategies described in this article. If you want to improve the efficiency of this method, you can point a small fan into an opening on the wall adjacent to the kennel to push warm air into the dog’s house. Use duct flaps to stop pests from entering the house through the opening.
Pipe in Warm Air
Heating your dog’s house is really all about heating the air inside the kennel. So if you can, why not siphon some of the warm air from the main house and pipe it into the dog house? To do so successfully, you will have to be creative. However, it is not rocket science; you only need to find the safest place to tap the warm air from your house and use a flexible duct pipe or something similar to corral it into your dog’s house.
Using a fan, you can force the warm air through the pipe. This method will not drastically improve the temperatures of your dog’s house like the heating mat, but if done correctly there will be no need for more advanced temperature-control measures.
While this is often a short-term solution, it is stunningly simple, cheap and it works. If interested, just fill an old sock with uncooked rice, tie it up and put it in a microwave for a couple of minutes. Once the surface of the sock is warm (not hot), it is ready for the dog house. You should be able to hold the sock in your hand indefinitely without getting burnt.
Put the warm sock in your dog’s kennel and let the dog play around with it or just lie on it. While it will not heat up the kennel for days, it is capable of keeping your pooch warm for a few hours as rice retains heat very effectively. Water bottles work pretty much the same: simply heat it up and move it into your dog’s house in a suitable vessel. This method is suitable for heating the dog up during the night since it is often coldest during night hours.
If you are looking to warm up your dog’s house without installing any electrical appliances, you could plumb warm water into your dog’s house. Except maybe for the ardent plumber, this project can be very involved. However, it is still one of the most effective methods of heating up your dog’s cottage.
The specific directions as to performing the project are dependent on a horde of factors. Generally though, you will need to tap hot water from your home and run it in pipes to your dog’s house and back. The heat from the water will heat the pipes and in turn warm up your dog’s kennel. Be sure to keep the pipes at a safe distance from the dog to protect him from burns.
This procedure often calls for an experienced plumber, so if you are not one, it might end up costing a bit of money. While this is true, it is one of the most effective methods to warm up your dog’s house. What’s more, it can drastically change the temperature of the kennel saving him from any cold before the room warms up.
Use a Heater Box or Heated Kennel Mat/ Pad
Heater boxes are specifically designed for warming up dog houses, and they come with the necessary safety measures to protect your dog from harm. They are particularly efficient in raising the temperature of the dog house but can be a bit expensive. However, if money is a non-issue, purchase a box heater and install it on the roof and out of the dog’s way. They can get heat from a heating light bulb or ceramic element inside and are quite straightforward to install and maintain.
Recommended Dog House Heaters
The Akoma is a simple kennel heater that boasts a superior, long-lasting heating element that is capable of heating up to 32 cubic square feet according to the manufacturer. Its exterior is created from powder-coated steel to guard the dog from any mischievous activities that may damage the heater or hurt the dog.
For added protection for your dog, this heater features a stainless steel cord cover that is chew-proof and extends over the entire cord length. The Akoma Furnace Deluxe also features a built-in tension relief that is designed to prevent the dog from accidentally pulling out the cord from the plug.
Yet another dog house heater from Akoma, the Hound Heater Dog Furnace Deluxe features a glossy black appearance. Its exterior is made from thick steel to make sure your pooch does not acquire any burns from the element, while still making sure heat is evenly distributed in the dog house.
This heater features no sharp edges. Instead, it features a curved shape for its unit to make sure the hound doesn’t hurt himself while trying to chew on the hard exterior. The heater additionally features an internal heat shield with a grounded cord that has steel spiral protection. While the steel spiral protection is not as effective as a stainless steel cover, it works exceptionally well in deterring the dog from chewing on its cord. The heater also has a mounting bracket that makes it very easy to install.
Heated Kennel Mat/ Pad
Also known as a heating pad, a kennel heating mat delivers heat to your dog’s house much like a heater box. The large pad contains built-in heating elements that, when plugged in, build up heat and spreads it throughout the kennel to raise the overall temperature of the dog house.
Heating pads can be very versatile, enabling the user to place them under the dog’s bed, on the kennel’s walls, or even underneath the kennel.
Recommended Kennel Heating Pad
Built for outdoor use, this heating mat features heavy-duty and very durable components. For precision, the heater is thermostatically controlled. Moreover, the mat comes in a variety of sizes, with the largest measuring up to 22.5 inches by 28.5 inches.
The pads are made out of ABS plastic for durability and because it is usually chew proof. It can also hold up pretty comfortably in tough conditions. It comes with a 5-foot cord, which is more than sufficient for most dog houses. The cord is also wrapped in a stainless steel sheath to prevent the dog from chewing on it.
Monitoring the Temperature of Your Dog’s House
Keeping track of the temperatures in your dog’s kennel is very essential. That’s because most people often assume it is not that cold. However, if you have concerns about the kennel’s temperature, consider placing an indoor-outdoor thermometer such as ThermoPro TP65. They can be quite expensive but they will offer you some peace of mind.
Install the thermometer’s display unit on an easy-to-see location in your house (maybe over the kitchen sink or next to the back door). That way, you can easily monitor the kennel’s temperatures without having to walk out and physically check. Some thermometers will also allow you to monitor the humidity of your dog’s house and offer a 24 hour maximum/minimum function that will allow you to see how much the temperatures dropped during the night. The Thermo Pro TP65 offers these features and additionally allows you to work with up to three temperature sensors at a go, which is an excellent feature for homes with multiple dog houses.
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Hi there! My name is Alex Landy, one of the co-founders here at Our Pets HQ and a parent to a small-breed Yorkie. I am a published author of two books on dog breeding and currently write on various pet-related blogs about caring for dogs. I am a parent of two daughters and live outside Boston where I spend a lot of time with family and serve in different breeding clubs. You can reach me at email@example.com