How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Now that autumn’s crisp days and chilly nights have begun in earnest, homeowners all over the country are turning up their thermostats at night and lighting fires in their wood stoves and fireplaces. Soon, winter days and nights will require bundling up before going outdoors and sipping hot beverages once you come in from the cold. It may even cross your mind that your canine companion is lucky to have a built-in fur coat to keep it warm when winter temperatures plunge.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

However, your furry friend may suffer from the cold weather more than you think, particularly if it is a senior dog, a breed that is sensitive to the cold, or a mother with pups that are still nursing. However, all dogs can do with a bit of protection from the elements, and proper pet house heating will help keep yours happy and healthy during the course of the winter.

Dog House Basics
Your dog house should be large enough so that the dog can easily sit, stand, turn around, and lie down, but not so big that it can’t hold your dog’s body heat inside. It should be off the ground with a sturdy roof that doesn’t leak and a well-insulated floor. Insulating materials include straw, wood shavings, or a small mattress lined in plastic for easy cleanup. The structure should be solidly built with no exterior cracks or holes that cold air could seep through and should also be built with pet safety in mind, with no sharp edges, splinters, or loose nails.

However, your dog may require more than what’s listed above if you live in a region where temperatures dip below freezing on a regular basis.

How to Heat a Dog House During Winter

Dog House Heating Elements
You can take pet house heating to the next level with certain heating elements designed for use in dog houses, including:

Heating pads. These reinforced rubber pads are the easiest way to add an extra layer of heat to your furry friend’s abode, but make sure you get the type that’s made for use in kennels.
Small furnaces. These are simply heat-producing light bulbs encased in metal.
Electric heaters. These units fit easily into small spaces, but be sure that the cord is situated so that it doesn’t pose a pet safety risk for dogs that like to chew.
The heating element you select will depend on several factors, including the size of the dog house, the individual needs of your pet, and climate conditions specific to your location.