As pet parents, it’s important to prioritize the well-being of your furry friends, especially when it comes to extreme weather conditions. While dogs may have fur coats, most cannot endure extended exposure to frigid temperatures, except for breeds that are specifically adapted for cold climates.
Just as dogs benefit from air conditioning during the summer, they also require heated dog houses, especially when spending time outdoors in the cold weather. These houses not only provide the necessary warmth your dog needs to stay cozy but also give them the freedom to play outside without the risk of developing cold-related health issues.
This blog explores the top heated dog houses available for your furry friend. In addition, it shares some essential tips to keep the dogs warm and toasty as they dig around tunnels in the snow and play with snowflakes.
Does Your Pet Need a Heated Dog House?
Dogs with thick or double-layer coats may also be well-suited to colder temperatures. For example, Huskies, Saint Bernards, and Malamutes are specifically bred to thrive in cold, harsh climates. However, if your dog has a thin or single-layer coat or short legs that keep them close to the ground, they are more susceptible to the cold. These include Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Greyhounds, and French Bulldogs.
It is important to understand your dog’s comfort level with cold weather and provide them with a warm, sheltered place to stay. While nothing can replace the comfort and safety of your own home, a heated dog house can be a great option if your dog likes to spend time outside or you can’t bring them inside for any reason. Certain types of dogs are more likely to benefit from heated accommodations during the winter season. These include:
- Small or short-haired breeds: Dogs with short hair or little body fat have less insulation against the cold and may struggle to stay warm in low temperatures.
- Older dogs: Older dogs may have a harder time regulating their body temperature due to age-related factors, such as reduced metabolism and decreased ability to generate body heat.
- Puppies: Puppies have less body fat and are still developing their ability to regulate body temperature, making them more susceptible to the cold.
- Dogs with health conditions: Dogs suffering from arthritis or certain hormonal imbalances can benefit from heated accommodations.
Daniel Caughill, co-founder of The Dog Tale, adds, “Where you live is also a big factor. A heated dog house might not be necessary in South Carolina, but it’s a great idea if you live in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Furthermore, if you live in a cold climate and expect your dog to spend hours in the yard, a heated dog house will allow them to have a place of refuge if temperatures drop or the wind picks up.”
In extremely cold climates, even breeds that tolerate the cold may benefit from additional heating. If your schedule requires you to leave your furry family member outdoors during the winter, a heated dog house becomes an excellent way to ensure their safety, warmth, and overall well-being.
What Is a Comfortable Winter Temperature for Your Dog?
The ideal temperature for a dog depends on various factors like breed, age, health, coat type, and weight. For larger dogs with thicker coats, a temperature range of 69F-70F is ideal. This temperature will keep them cool and comfortable without causing any discomfort or risk of overheating. The smaller dogs or those with thinner coats prefer a slightly warmer environment, ranging from 73F to 75F.
When the temperature falls to 45F or lower, you may notice your dog whining, moving slowly, seeming lethargic, and shivering; these are all telltale symptoms that your dog is feeling the chill. If your dog is left outside when temperatures are below 20F, it can suffer from frostbite or hypothermia.
12 Best Dog House Heating Options
Some dog houses are equipped with in-built heating devices to add warmth, while some are insulated and designed to keep the cold out. You can also opt for a separate dog house heater if you already have a dog house.
1. Window Heat Pump
Window heat pumps are a great option if your dog house doesn’t have much floor space. They can efficiently heat and cool your dog house, so you can use them all year round. They are super affordable and have a simple installation process. Here’s a complete guide on window unit installation.
You can make your window heat pump smart by pairing it with a window AC thermostat, also known as a smart AC controller. Whether you are away at work or engaged in other activities, the smart AC controller empowers you to monitor and adjust the temperature within the dog house from anywhere using your phone. Cielo Breez smart AC controllers feature a specialized Comfy Mode, allowing you to set a dog-friendly temperature range. If the temperature goes above or below this range, the Comfy Mode will automatically trigger to maintain your desired environment.
Your best choice to make any mini-split, window,
or portable AC smart. Enhance your comfort and savings.
2. Portable Heat Pump
A portable heat pump provides an excellent option for heating small spaces such as dog houses. Similar to the window heat pump, it also provides both heating and cooling. You can easily install it in the dog house; you just have to route the exhaust hose out of the window or a small hole in the wall.
These units often come with adjustable settings for temperature and fan speed, allowing you to customize the climate to your pet’s comfort. You can also pair them with a smart AC controller for smart functionality.
3. Kiroto Dog House Heater
The Kiroto dog house heater stands out as a pioneering and innovative solution in the market. It features a 6.5FT external temperature probe for precise monitoring of the dog house temperature. This ensures optimal performance, as the heater operates based on the actual conditions inside, delivering a consistently warm environment.
With the added convenience of WiFi capability, users can easily adjust temperature and time settings remotely, eliminating the need to be physically present near the dog house. Boasting a powerful 500W heating capacity, this device excels in colder climates, preventing temperature drops effectively and ensuring even heat distribution to eliminate potential cold spots.
4. K&H Heated Dog Bed
If your dog is primarily an indoor pet and only occasionally lounges outside, a dog house heated pad may be a better alternative to a heated dog house. Heated pads are also perfect for pets who don’t like getting inside a dog house.
The K&H dog house heated pad is a safe and reliable solution. It provides a soft and cozy surface area for your pup to rest on, with a foam base and fleece cover that can easily be washed in your machine. Pet owners can use a thermostat to regulate the temperature and prevent overheating. Made with a fully waterproof steel-wrapped power cord, this pad has been thoroughly tested by electronic inspection professionals at the Mechanical and Environmental Testing Laboratory (METLab) and meets all safety standards.
5. Dog Palace Insulated Dog House with Central Heater
This insulated, heated dog house is built from thick plastic and fortified with industrial-grade thick insulation to keep your pooch warm. It has a central heater installed inside, which comes with a digital thermostat and a remote so you can easily adjust the temperature.
It has a slanted floor design to make drainage easy in case the water is spilled inside, or you want to clean it using a garden hose. This heated dog house features an easy pass-through, self-closing door that makes movement easy for your dog while also keeping the insects and pests out.
6. K&H Kennel Igloo-Style Heated Pad
This K&H heated pad makes a great dog house heater. With three different sizes available, it can accommodate whatever size igloo you have at home.
In addition to a dog house, you can also place it in sheds, garages, barns, or any other area where your dog hangs out. It boasts a 66-inch power cord that allows for easy placement in any desired location.
This heated pad only turns on when your pup is sitting on it, so you don’t have to worry about overheating or excessive energy consumption. One of the standout features of this pad is its automated on-and-off ability, which saves you time in manually adjusting the settings.
7. Pets Imperial Extra Large Insulated Dog Kennel
If you want to keep your large dogs comfortable in the chilly weather, consider investing in this Pet Imperial insulated wooden kennel. Constructed with three layers of insulation, including timber, Styrofoam, and plywood, this kennel is designed to keep your pet warm in winter and cool in summer. The asphalt roof provides further insulation and protection from the elements, ensuring that your pooch stays dry and cozy. To reduce drafts and keep out pesky bugs, a PVC strip curtain is attached to the entrance. And with its durable construction, you can rest assured that this dog house will last for years to come.
8. K&H Pet Thermo Tent Outdoor Heated Pet Shelter
If you want a tent-style dog house that’s lightweight and easy to assemble, you can’t go wrong with this K&H thermo tent. Made of durable nylon and featuring a removable heating pad, this outdoor heated dog house is both comfortable and low-maintenance. It is easy to assemble and move around without requiring any tools.
This heated tent is certified by MET Labs and exceeds all North American safety standards, making it a safe option for your pet.
9. Hound Heater by Akoma Pet Products
If you are looking to install a heater for your dog house, this Akoma Hound Heater is an excellent option. This dog house heater provides the flexibility to adjust between a wide range of temperatures, between 30F and 80F. To prevent overheating, it runs only when required, and the temperature can be controlled using a smartphone.
This dog house heater is designed with the safety of your pet in mind, featuring a stainless steel spring and chew-proof cord. Plus, it incorporates lower heat shields, which allow your dog to get close to the heater without any danger.
10. Giantex Dog House
The Giantex dog house offers a durable and weatherproof shelter for small dogs. This insulated dog house is built to withstand rain, sun, and moisture. It has an elevated floor design that promotes ventilation and helps keep the interior dry in case of rain. With a detachable roof, it’s super easy to clean.
11. K&H Pet Products Outdoor Heated House
The K&H outdoor heated cat house, available in an extra-wide Olive/Black design, is a meticulously crafted and well-insulated shelter that serves as a snug retreat for your pet. This house not only provides generous space for feline comfort but is also versatile enough to accommodate small-breed dogs and puppies.
It comes with a heating pad that covers half of the area, which helps your dog to move around in case they feel uncomfortable due to excessive heat. This bed has undergone rigorous testing by MET labs and is super safe for your pets. It is well-protected against water damage and other hazards. However, it’s important to note that in extreme conditions, keep the house in a covered area, as the exterior is not fully waterproof.
12. K&H Thermo-Snuggly Heated Bolster Pet Bed
The K&H thermo-snuggly heated bed presents a luxurious and cozy haven for your dog. This medium-sized heating pad for your dog house offers ample space for pets to rest and relax.
With its thermostat-controlled electric heating system, this bed will automatically warm to your dog’s normal body temperature when they are in it. It only emits a small amount of heat when not in use. It reaches its maximum temperature when your dog is using it. With its low-wattage heater that consumes only 6 watts, you can rest assured knowing that you are not wasting electricity.
What to Look For When Buying a Heated Dog House
Choosing the right heated dog house is crucial to ensure your pet’s comfort and safety during the cold months. Several criteria should be considered when making this decision:
When considering a dog house, it is crucial to ensure that the interior offers enough space for your furry friend. The cubic footage is an important factor to take into account, and there are many dog house designs available in various sizes to suit different breeds. If you are thinking of adding a separate heater in the dog house, ensure that the heater provides adequate coverage without causing overheating.
It is important to consider adequate insulation to retain heat and keep your dog warm. The highest-quality dog houses are built with a layer of heavy-duty insulation to keep the cold out and the heat in.
Climate and Location
Before purchasing a heated dog house, consider your climatic conditions. If you live in an extremely cold area, you may need an additional heater.
Ensure the dog house is sheltered from harsh winds and positioned in an area that does not get flooded or exposed to extreme weather conditions.
Safety should always be the highest priority when it comes to heating a dog house. Fortunately, many heated dog houses on the market are certified by regulatory compliance experts at MET Labs. However, it’s important to do your own due diligence. Make sure that the power supply and wires are protected against the weather and any potential dog teething and chewing. If you are looking to buy a heating pad, go for chew-resistant materials.
Choose a dog house heater that has safety features like automatic shut-off in case of overheating, well-protected electrical components, and secure mounting options to prevent accidental contact with the heating element.
Heating Pad Size
A heating pad is a popular solution for keeping dogs warm and comfortable. One of the benefits of using a heating pad is that it allows dogs to use their houses year-round, as the pad can be easily moved in or out of the house as needed. However, it is important to ensure that it does not cover the entire floor space of the dog house. This is crucial to allow your furry friend to adjust its position and move around, especially if the pad becomes too hot. By providing a suitable pad size, you can keep your dog cozy and snug while also ensuring their safety and well-being.
Additional Tips to Keep Your Dog Warm in Winter
If buying a heated dog house isn’t an option, you can opt for alternative methods to heat a dog house that focuses on insulation, warmth retention, and efficient use of heat sources such as sunlight.
Opt for a Sunny Spot to Place Your Dog House
Placing your dog house in a spot where it gets direct sunlight can provide valuable solar gain to keep them warm. Additionally, painting the house a dark color can enhance its ability to absorb warmth from the sun. However, even the warmest house can be rendered uncomfortable by strong, chilly winds. To guarantee your furry companion’s comfort, make sure the door of their house is protected from or turned away from gusts of wind.
Insulate Your Dog House
It is important to ensure that your furry companion is comfortable and warm during the cold months. Insulating your dog house is the first step to achieving this goal.
You can use traditional home insulation products like pet-safe caulk, foam board, aluminum foil, or fiberglass rolls to line the floor, walls, and ceiling. It’s important to keep in mind the safety of your dog while using insulation products, as ingesting or chewing on them can cause harm. Installing plywood or any other thick board over the insulation can prevent this.
Create A Solar Heated Dog House
By harnessing the power of the sun, you can provide your furry friend with a warm living space. With just an inexpensive set-up that includes solar panels and an inverter, you can power your dog house heater.
Opt for Hot Water Bottles
Fill hot water bottles with warm (not hot) water and place them in your dog’s bed or under their blanket. This provides localized warmth that can last for several hours.
Use Warming Lamps
Ceiling-mounted heat lamps for dog houses can be installed to provide radiant warmth. Ensure they are securely mounted and out of your dog’s reach to prevent accidents.
DIY Dog house Heater
If you don’t want to invest in a dog house heater, there are simpler solutions out there that won’t put a strain on your wallet. One such solution is a DIY heater which you can make using uncooked rice and a sock. You can heat it in the microwave before placing it in your dog house to keep them toasty. While this may only be a short-term solution, it’s an effective one that doesn’t require any electricity.
FAQs About Heated Dog Houses
Here is a list of the most frequently asked questions about keeping your dog warm in winter.
Can Your Pet Stay in a Heated Dog House in Winter?
While an outdoor heated dog house can offer a cozy retreat, it should be considered an addition to, not a substitute for, the comfort and security of your home. It should only be a secondary hang-out place in sheltered areas like garages, porches, and sheds. It’s crucial for your dog’s well-being to stay indoors when the outside temperature falls. Indoor living provides warmth, safety from the harsh cold, and the necessary social interaction that contributes to their overall happiness and health.
Are Heated Dog Houses Safe?
Heated dog houses and dog house heaters are safe if used responsibly and in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines. Opt for products from reputable sources with proper certifications to ensure the quality and safety of the home. It is essential to monitor the heating elements, cords, and overall condition of the dog house regularly. You should address any signs of malfunctioning promptly. Never leave your pet unsupervised in the heated dog house for a long period of time.
Consider the option that offers temperature control through a thermostat to prevent the house from overheating. Also, provide enough space in the dog house for your pet to escape the heat source if they feel uncomfortable.
How to Keep Your Dogs Warm Outside
As the colder months approach, it’s important to ensure your dog has a warm and comfortable space to retreat to when playing outside. This is where heated dog houses come in. They come in various types: some are electrically heated houses, while others are insulated dog houses without any heater. Regardless of the style, proper installation and maintenance are key to ensuring your pet’s safety and security. Make sure to place the dog house in an ideal location, free from weather exposure or hazards. For those utilizing electrical heating, always ensure your outlets are up to code and regularly check that the components are functioning properly and comfortable for your pet. Ultimately, selecting the right dog house for your pet depends on their specific needs and preferences, so take the time to shop around and make an informed decision.