We already put a guide of potential ways to heat or insulate a dog house.
Heating a dog house with a light bulb or heat lamp is one of those ways.
Unlike a dog house heater/furnace, heat lamps aren’t designed for heating dog houses but rather reptile terrariums.
With this being the case, other options may be better suited, and you need to know what you’re doing from an installation and safety perspective.
We discuss the things you might consider when installing a heat lamp in your dog house, along with which heat lamps are might be some of the more popular ones on the market.
Let’s take a look!
(NOTE: this is a general informational and educational guide only. It is not professional advice. See a vet or qualified expert for professional advice)
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How To Heat A Dog House With A Light Bulb & Heat Lamp
What Is The Best Heat Lamp To Heat A Dog House?
The Zoo Med Ceramic Heat Emitter (on Amazon) is a popular heat lamp used to heat a dog house.
A summary of that heat emitter is:
This is a ceramic type heater that emits infrared light as the heat source
Can run the lamp 24/7 – each lamp has about 25,000 hours of run time in them
There are 60, 100 and 150 Watt heat lamp sizes available
The 100 Watt lamp for example is designed to heat a 4 to 5 cubic foot area – most dog houses are 2 to 4 times to size of this though.
The 150 Watt lamp is estimated to raise the heat in a well insulated dog house by anywhere from 5 to 30 degrees farenheit – although this is not a solid figure – it depends on your dog house and conditions/installation)
The Zoo Med is UL/cUL classified when used in conjunction with Zoo Meds Wire Cage Clamp Lamp (LF-10), and it also needs a standard porcelain incandescent socket, which the clamp lamp has.
Even with having to buy a clamp lamp and thermometer separate, this might be a cheap heating option
Will fit into a standard porcelain incandescent socket
Might be economic to run – each size shouldn’t cost you much money in electricity bills
Flat face design for increased efficiency and durability
Emitter is not designed for dog houses – it’s designed for reptile terariums
Owners that choose to go down this route of using a heat lamp usually use 2 or more of them due to their relatively weak heat output. May need several 100 Watt lamps for one dog house for example
You will have to fit the emitter and the lamp clamp to your dog house yourself without a template or installation instructions
Can only use this with heat lamp with a porcelain socket – not a bad thing but a bit limiting
Have to buy a lamp clamp separate
Have to buy a thermometer separate
The clamp lamp has only an on/off switch – you manually have to turn the lamp on and off when you want or need to
Some people also like to get a thermometer with their setup.
You can view the clamp lamp and thermometer here:
How Do You Install and Use The Light Bulb/Heat Lamp To Heat The Dog House?
Follow the manufacturers instructions for the heat lamp or light bulb.
But in general …
What You Will Need
You will need a power source close to the dog house as light bulbs and heat lamps are usually corded/electric.
Secondly, as we mentioned above, a heat lamp like the Zoo Med will need a clamp lamp, for UL/cUL classification, and for the porcelain incandescent socket.
The clamp lamp also has an on/off switch and a cord to run back to the power socket.
Consider whether you’ll get additional accessories too.
Installation And Use
Unlike a dog house heater furnace which comes with an installation template and instructions, the heat lamp isn’t designed for a dog house.
So, it’s your discretion as to whether you use one (check the legality first, and then assess safety risks and other risks – don’t do it if it’s illegal or could be unsafe)
You may follow the installation guidelines for most heaters/furnaces which is to install on the back wall near the corner, but a few inches from the wall itself so there’s no risk of a fire hazard.
You may need to build out a bracket for the clamp to clamp to.
The clamp lamp comes with a porcelain socket, and and on/off switch with an electrical cord.
You will need to run the cord back to an electrical socket and conceal them to prevent chewing.
You may have two or more lamps so it’s up to you to figure out how to best position and install them.
Note that a heat lamp only heat it’s immediate area – it doesn’t heat the full space or all around an enclosed space usually.
Safety With A Heat Lamp
With a dog house lamp, you need to ensure it will be safe to install and use.
You may pay particular attention to:
If you’re unsure what you’re doing from a technical or electrical perspective, or you’re unqualified – consult an electrician or qualified professional
Read all instructions, warnings and product information for the lamp carefully
Fire hazards that the lamp may come in contact with (wood/straw and other flammable material)
Electrocution hazards that the lamp may present (water, chewing through the wire, coming into contact with metal etc.). It’s worth checking the outdoor rating and waterproofing level of the lamp
Consult a vet if you are unsure as to what temperatures are safe for your dog (both hot and cold)
Test the dog house for a few nights with the lamp/s in it before letting your dog sleep in it to test the temperature isn’t too hot, and to make sure there are no fire hazards or melting hazards
In regards to the positioning of any lamp, definitely read the installation instructions and follow them. But, in general:
You generally want to mount this a lamp on the back wall with a little distance between the side walls and the ceiling, and the lamp and the wall it is mounted on itself
Mount the lamp up higher where your dog won’t roll on it or reach and touch it
The lamp is electric and needs to be plugged in. Make sure the dog house is near a power source, the cords are out of the way and not in the constant weather, and are covered so they don’t present a chewing hazard for your dog
What Are Some Other Ways To Heat A Dog House?
Other than buying a dog house designed for colder weather, and making sure a dog house is properly insulated and in a warm place or out of the cold weather, other ways to heat a dog house might include:
Use a dog house heater/furnace (in our opinion, a better option than a light bulb or lamp. A heated dog pad or heated dog bed are also better options)
Using a heated dog mat/pad
Use a heated dog bed
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