You’ll need some good DIY ideas on how to keep dog house warm this winter. Winter is coming, and this means your four-legged friend will need some help staying warm. But what if he keeps on pulling the heating blankets or, or if he gets wet all the time?
While some owners prefer keeping their dogs indoors during winter, this isn’t always possible. In fact, for some larger breeds, experts recommend keeping them outside most of the time, despite the weather.
Of course, you’ll have to provide them with some good isolation, or their health might be at risk. Even if the winter is mild, you’ll need to know how to keep dog house warm.
Can It Be Too Cold for Your Dog?
Many people don’t realize that, even though dogs have fur, they can be cold. While playing outside in the snow is a fun activity, sometimes the weather is too freezing. When is it too cold for your dog?
Despite their fur, dogs will get cold outside when the temperature is too low. Dogs who don’t have the thickest coat will get cold faster than others.
Opposite of them, some breeds can withstand freezing temperatures. This includes:
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Siberian Huskies
- American Eskimo Dogs
- Bernese Mountain Dogs
And several other breeds. Most dogs will do just fine with temperatures above 45oF. Only when the temperature falls below 32oF, you should think about dressing your short-haired dogs in jackets and sweaters.
If the temperature drops below 20oF, you need to consider how to keep dog house warm, no matter the breed.
Of course, this is just an estimation. Just like humans, some dogs get cold faster than others. If your dog is shaking even though the temperature outside is 55oF, find a way to warm his house up.
Don’t ever risk the health of your dog when the signs are there. You will know your dog is cold if he exhibits some of these behaviors:
- Slower movements
- Looking for a warm place to lie on
How to Keep Dog House Warm – 9 Useful Tricks
There are several ways to keep your dog house warm during winter. While you may think the best way is to just add electric heaters, we would never recommend that.
Using electricity in a dog’s house is never a good idea. Your canine friend cannot be responsible towards electric devices, and serious hazards might happen.
Some dogs have bad chewing habits, and they might shock themselves. Others might damage the wires, which could result in fire. It’s better not to risk it.
Instead, there are many electricity-free ways to ensure your dog is warm and comfortable. Below are some of the popular methods.
Monitor the Temperature
If you are worried the dog house’s temperature is dropping below a certain level, be sure to monitor it. The best way to do so is to buy a thermometer that has a remote temperature probe.
One of the suitable thermometers for this is the ThermoPro TP65A. Devices such as this one are very useful, as you can see how cold it is without going outside.
Simply install the display inside your house, and place the temperature sensing probe inside the dog house. This way, you’ll be able to monitor the temperature from the comfort of your home easily.
Some devices, such as the one we’ve mentioned, also monitor the humidity levels. At the same time, they’ll save the temperature for up to 24 hours.
This way, you can know how cold it gets during the night. ThermoPro TP65A also comes with three sensing probes. If you have several dog houses, you can monitor them all with just one device.
Move the House to a Sheltered Position
If you have a moveable dog house, place it somewhere where it will be sheltered from the weather, especially wind. Good places to consider are the garage and a sheltered side of your home.
In fact, placing a dog house right next to your house is an excellent idea for one more reason. As you’ll be using heaters inside of your home, its walls will be warm.
This way, the heat will pass onto your dog house without any cost or modifications. Sure, this won’t make a huge difference, but it’s a good start, especially combined with other strategies.
Retain the Present Heat
Dog’s body temperature is, on average, 101oF, a bit higher than human’s. This means they’re better at warming up the environment than us.
The best way how to keep dog house warm is to retain the heat already radiating from his body. This is a good tactic if the winter isn’t too cold, and there isn’t the need to bring in the ‘heavy artillery.’
To do so, the first thing you should do is patch any holes that don’t have a purpose. For example, ventilation grates aren’t too necessary during the winter, and they’ll only cool the inside of the house.
The choice of material is up to you, but most experts suggest non-toxic plastic sheeting or wood.
Another good tactic is to insulate the house. You can use foam boards backed with foil for this task, as they are practical and easy to install.
Just make sure you cover everything with some panels so your dog doesn’t chew it up.
The next step would be to raise the dog house’s floor to prevent the heat from leaving it. However, this isn’t always a good idea, as sometimes the ground can provide the internal heat.
If the dog house stands on the concrete, you should consider raising it. Opposite of that, if it stands on the ground, perhaps it’s better to let it be.
Stuff the House
To ensure the insides are warm, you should add a bedding. A good bedding will insulate your companion from below, providing additional heat. Beddings don’t have to be expensive.
In fact, some of the best materials or items you could use are:
- Wood Chips
Getting a warm dog bed, such as Big Barker or My Pillow, is also a good choice. Just make sure you can fit them inside a dog house. Pillow dog beds are a great and comfortable option when it comes to keeping your dog warm.
Keep in mind that you should never use livestock beddings, such as hay or sawdust, for your dogs. Flees and mites love to nest in hay, and this can cause serious health issues.
On the other hand, sawdust is messy, and it can get inside your dog’s eyes and nose.
If your dog house is rather large, make sure you stuff it with dog toys and pillows. Excess space will reduce heat, so you want to have as little of it as possible during the winter.
This can also make your dog feel more at home. The stuffed house reminds some canines of a natural den.
There is only one problem with this method. Some canines will love removing everything from their house. They’ll take out any blanket or toy they find, either as a part of a play or to bury it outside.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do about it, especially if you have an adult dog. This is a part of his behavior, and you’ll have to think about some other methods.
Use the Sun to Your Advantage
Even though you might think the sun isn’t warm in the winter, it can make a difference. Move your dog house to a place where it has a lot of sun. This can drastically increase the temperature inside it.
Also, paint the house in some dark color so it can warm up faster. This doesn’t mean you should paint it black. Just use some color that leans toward darker shades, such as green or navy.
Of course, if you live in area where winters are cold but summers are hot, paint isn’t a good option. If you use permanent paint, you’ll have to repaint it with every change of seasons.
This is too much trouble, so try thinking about some temporary methods.
Use a Rice-Filled Sock
This is one of the short-term but rather effective tactics on how to keep dog house warm. Fill an old sock with uncooked rice and tie it off completely.
Then, heat it inside a microwave for several minutes until it’s warm but not too hot. You have to be able to hold it inside your hand without discomfort. Place the warm sock inside the house to keep it warm for a few hours.
Rice can hold up the heat for a fairly long time, so it will serve as a temporary heater. Something similar can be done with bottles and warm water, but the rice will usually last longer. Also, in case your dog bites it, there will be less damage.
If he pokes a hole inside a water bottle, everything will quickly become freezingly cold.
Buy a Microwaveable Cushion
If you want something that is a bit more convenient to use than a rice-filled sock, buy a microwaveable cushion. K&H Microwavable Pet Bed Warmer is one of the best products on the market currently.
These cushions work just like the previous method. You take the cushion, heat it inside a microwave, and place it inside a dog house. As they are designed to keep your companion warm, they will provide heat longer than a rice-filled sock.
Pipe Warm Air Inside
A very effective method is to use warm air from your house. This method is rather tricky, but it will be worth it. Find a way to use a flexible dryer duct or some similar item to pipe the warm air from inside.
You can use a fan to help you push the air through the pipe. Even if you don’t use anything similar, the air will still come through on its own.
Create a Plumbing Heater
The final trick that demands some work is to create a plumbing system that will use warm water. This works similarly to plumbing heating systems some houses have.
Of course, this is a massive project, and not all dog owners will be capable of doing it. Still, if you have a possibility, you should try to do it.
Essentially, you’ll need to use the hot water from your lines and, with pipes, run it to your dog’s house.
The water should be able to run to the dog house and back, so it can remain heated always. Just make sure your dog can’t come in contact with the pipes to prevent burns or damages to the system.
There are many electronic devices you can use to heat a house for your dog. Still, it is better to find some safer methods. If you know how to keep dog house warm, you will ensure your dog has happy and safe wintertime.
Using any – or all – of the methods above can help your dog be more comfortable during cold.
Of course, not all dogs are the same, and some methods aren’t right for everyone. You know your dog’s temperament the best, so we are sure you’ll make a good choice in keeping him warm.