How To Heat A Dog House With A Light Bulb & Heat Lamp


We already put a guide together where we mentioned 22 potential ways you might look at for heating or insulating 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.

In this instance 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 most commonly used.

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?

We’ve previously written about the best heat lamps for dog houses here.

The Zoo Med Ceramic Heat Emitter (on Amazon) is a popular heat lamp used to heat a dog house.

This is a ceramic type heater that emits infrared light as the heat source.

They can be left on 24 hours a day and each lamp has about 25,000 hours of run time in them.

There are 60, 100 and 150 Watt heat lamp sizes available, and the 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.

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.

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.

This brings us to our next section …


How Do You Install and Use The Light Bulb/Heat Lamp To Heat The Dog House?

What You Will Need

First things first – 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.

Some people also like to get a thermometer with their setup.

You can view the clamp lamp and thermometer here:


Installation And Use

As we mentioned above, you will have to completely devise your own plan to heat the dog house, because unlike a dog house heater furnace which comes with an installation template and instructions, the heat lamp isn’t designed for a dog house.

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.

For safety reasons, it’s worth consulting an electrician or vet’s opinion.

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.

You can read more about the Zoo Med in this guide.


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 ceramic heater or an infrared bulb/lamp/light in a lamp clasp

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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