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Dogs can self-regulate their body temperature during climate changes. But, for those especially harsh winter days, a warm boost is necessary to ensure they’re comfortable and safe.
There are numerous products on the market that help keep pets cozy, from microwaveable pads to self-rigged solar powered heaters. But, what if your dog spends the majority of her time outdoors?
If that’s the case, then a heated dog house is an efficient choice for pet owners. In this post, we’ll explain how an insulated model works and leave you with a list of our top picks for the best heated dog houses.
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What is a Heated Dog House?
If you live in a region that gets downright nippy, you should invest in a dog house that includes features that keep your dog warm. That’s where a heated dog house comes in handy.
They are built using special heat-retaining materials and proven design techniques that will withstand extreme weather.
There is a multitude of dog houses available on the market. You can also find products to heat a dog house that wasn’t built for the cold. The hard part is sifting through them all to find one suited to your particular needs.
How to Insulate a Dog House for Winter
Perhaps you already have a dog house or you live in a region that doesn’t get terribly cold, but some extra warmth is still necessary. There are a few products to boost a regular, non-insulated structure so it’s ready to take on the cold.
It’s up to you to determine how much heat you think your dog will need to be comfortable and how you want that heat to be produced. You’d want to keep your dog warm and cozy at all times, whether you purchase a pre-made dog house or even build your own.
One way to crank up the warmth is by adding a dog house heater. Here are 3 different heating apparatus’ that offer varying features that focus on safety, energy conservation, and convenience.
Perhaps you already have a dog house and want to add a heating system. An electric heat box can be installed on the wall of the structure and connected to an outlet in your garage or home. This powers a mini ac/heat unit that warms the entire dog house.
Be wary of the amount of energy consumed with these as well as keeping any cords or hot surfaces safeguarded from curious dogs.
This won’t provide as much heat as a heater box, but it will take your dog’s plush bed to the next level of comfort and warmth.
Heating pads can be microwavable and stay hot for more than 8 hours or there are electric pads that can be plugged into a wall to attain the desired temperature. These specialized pads come as an insert to place within your dog’s bed or there are beds that heat up on their own.
The heating lamp comes in the form of a ceramic bulb that gives off heat, but no light or it can be a heat producing light bulb.
This type of heating method is popular for reptiles or chicken coops, but can also be used for dog houses as well. The heat isn’t enough to cover an entire room, but will warm a small area.
How to Choose a Heated Dog House for the Cold Weather
Are you ready to invest in a new dog house that’s specially built for harsh climates? Insulated dog houses stay at a moderate temperature through cold winters and hot summers.
The materials, shape of the house and heating features that are already incorporated when you purchase it are what set this type of dog house apart from the norm.
You can still always add your own insulation, such as straw bedding or a doggie door flap, if you feel it’s necessary. Some houses will even come with a heated pad to fit the floor or an access point to run a heater box cord through to keep it away from chewing.
These are the top 3 designs on the market.
1. Insulated dog house
Insulated dog houses are built to regulate the interior temperature, especially in hot or cold weather. Look for houses that come with sealed walls and roof, as well as a raised floor to keep out any water.
They are built using wood or plastic that can be further insulated with another material, such as foam.
2. Igloo dog house
The Eskimo people were masters at keeping warm in frigid climates. The dome-shaped architecture of their igloo homes wasn’t just an eclectic home design, it helped foster insulation.
That same design has been introduced for dog houses. A raised floor and an off-set tunnel entrance keeps out cold drafts and water, while vents at the top keep air flowing.
3. Solar powered dog house
Currently, there aren’t any solar-powered dog houses on the market. Instead, you’ll have to break out the toolkit and DIY.
You need a solar panel, such as the Renogy 100 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline Solar Panel
an inverter, such as the Renogy Lycan Powerbox and a battery to get set up. Then, attach the system to a heater box and BOOM- you’re heating your dog house the environmentally friendly way.
You can find our favorite reviewed dog heaters and learn how to make your own solar heater here.
How to Set Up Your Heated Dog House
Even if you purchase heating products or an insulated house to crank up the coziness, there are still certain tricks you can utilize to further cut down on the chill factor. Consider these tips when setting up a heated dog house.
- Choose the right size: In this case, bigger is not better. You want the size of your dog house to be able to allow your pet to stand, lay and sit comfortably, as well as turn around. If the house is too big, the more heating power you’ll need to keep the space warm. It should be large enough to hold in the heat emitted from your dog’s own body.
- Position carefully: It’s imperative to position the home in a sheltered position away from low-lying, open areas where cold wind and rainwater can impact it. Look for a spot with a barrier, such as against the garage wall, to keep out cold streams. To avoid seeping water, add elevation and avoid areas of the yard where water pools.
- Add insulation: Wood retains heat better than plastic, but plastic seals out drafts since the walls are solid. You can add EPS foam to the walls of a wood or plastic house for extra padding as well.
- Do opt for raised flooring: Look for dog houses that have raised flooring to avoid wetness that can seep in and chillify your dog’s abode. Layer the floor with wood shavings, dry straw or a pet bed.
Interested in adding your own insulation or building a winter proof dog house? Watch this video for some helpful tips.
Is a Heated Dog House Safe?
With electricity and heat conductors being introduced into your dog’s sweet abode, it may get you thinking about safety. What if an appliance overheats? What about these extra cords? Can a heater burn my dog?
Dog house heaters are generally safe, but there are always precautions to take to avoid careless accidents.
As well, top-quality heater manufacturers make safety a priority, adding special features that protect your dog from harm.
Take these considerations when setting up your heated dog house and look for these safety features when you shop around.
- Cords can be tempting for dogs to chew. Opt for a metal or spring wrapped cord, and conceal it from your dog. You can drill a hole in the dog house to run the cord out.
- If you want to use a heating device, read the label to ensure it is rated for outside use.
- Quality products meant for outdoors should be waterproof and include a thermostat.
- Talk to the professionals first. Have an electrician inspect your heated dog house to ensure it meets electrical standards in your area. Your vet can give you sound advice on healthy heating practices for your dog.
- Choose a heating unit that comes with a heat protector or burn shield.
- Refrain from heating up the walls of the dog house by installing your heating unit away from where the walls meet and the ceiling.
- Speaking of installation, keep it away from the entrance of the dog house where your dog can brush against it.
Here Are Our Top 6 Favorite Heated Dog Houses
It can be exhausting trying to navigate all of those dog houses, so we’ve done the dirty work for you!
These are the best rated heated dog houses on the market. They offer a variety of house designs, materials and heating features that are guaranteed to keep your dog safe and happy when the cold winter months grow long. We’ve even thrown in a couple of dog heater options as a bonus!
When an Insulated Dog House is not enough…
If your dog house is not well insulated or your insulated model needs an extra layer of heat, these two products deliver doggie satisfaction on the coldest of days.
Conclusion: This is Our Top Rated Heated Dog House
With the number of considerations to take when it comes to protecting your dog from the cold, the ASL Solutions Dog Palace covers all of the bases.
They designed this insulated dog house for harsh climates, with tightly sealed walls, EPS foam and a raised floor that has cord access for a heated dog bed.
If you live in a region that gets exceptionally bitter, this dog house is top-quality for providing warmth and is suitable for XL dogs, which can be hard to find with most dog houses.