How To Heat A Dog House Without Electricity: 11 Options


We’ve already written about 22 ways to warm up, heat or insulate a dog house for cold weather.

Some of those heating or insulating methods require no electricity.

In this guide, we’ve identified some of those methods and options.

The pros of non electric options are that you don’t have to worry about the electricity bill, and there can be additional safety benefits for your dog (in the case that you don’t have to worry about a dog house heater/furnace, or similar device)

Whatever the reason you want to go electricity free, you’ll definitely find the following 11 options to keep a dog house warm without electricity useful or interesting.

Let’s check them out!


(NOTE: this is a general informational and educational guide only. It is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. See a vet or qualified expert for professional advice)

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How To Heat A Dog House Without Electricity: 11 Options


Firstly, Identify Commonly Used Electrical Items That You Can’t Use

If you don’t want to or can’t use electricity, you won’t be able to use the following items because they use electricity:

Electric Heated Dog Mats

Electric Heated Dog Bed/Mattress

Electric Heater Bulbs

Electric Dog House Furnace/Heater

Electric Dog House Furnace/Heater with Ventilation Fan

Electric Small Infrared Heat Emitter/Lamp Bulb

Electric Underfloor Heating System


So, What Non-Electric Options Are We Left With?

A lot of these options are about preventing the cold from getting in the dog house in the first place.

If you want to read our full guide to heating and keeping a dog house warm in cold weather, you can do so here.

You’ll of course want to check with your vet as to what minimum temperature your dog can be exposed to outside and follow that.

But, here are your non electric dog house cold prevention options…


1. Patch Up, Modify and/or Insulate The Existing Dog House

Basically you want to make the existing dog house is water, wind and weather proof so the dog house is warm, and stays warm.

Make sure the floor, walls and roof have no gaps or holes.

If you do find holes, you can patch over them with polyfil glue or another water proof type caulk.

Poly foam insulation in the wall frames, floor joists and roof frame can keep warmth in and the cold out.

Usually 1 inch of foam does the trick.

You can even use soy foam to be environmentally friendly.

A good waterproof roof might be made of water resistant felt paper, a drip edge and asphalt shingles on the roof can keep rain out and keep the inside dry.

On top of this, a solid wood or hard plastic outer shell helps protect the insulation and the inside of the dog house.


2. Buy A New Thermal Dog House

If your current dog house is looking a bit old and worn down, or it just doesn’t look very weather proof, you might look for a new one.

Two dog houses on the market that are made especially with insulation, warmth and ventilation in mind are:

For Small Dogs


For Medium To Large Dogs 


For Extra Large Dogs


Another option is this igloo dog house:


If you are looking for a new dog house, these guide may also be useful:

Best Overall Dog Houses

How To Choose The Right Dog House, & What Kind To Buy


Other than the dog houses listed above, some dog owners may find the following popular dog houses suitable, depending on whether they are able to make sure the dog house is placed in a location where the dog’s cooling is adequate enough:

– Plastic Dog Houses


– Wooden Dog Houses


(Note that you should measure you dog’s dimensions, and check the inner dimensions of the dog house prior to buying to confirm there will be enough room for your dog. Some of the the above dog houses may or may not be suitable for your individual dog, depending on their size.)


3. Raise The Floor Of The Dog House Off The Ground

A concrete floor gets ice cold in the winter. Grass can get soaking wet.

And if you live somewhere were it rains a lot, or there’s snow and ice, the ground is going to be both cold and wet.

A good dog house will have a raised floor (or be highly insulated).

If your current dog house needs to be raised off the ground, you can simple place a wooden crate or pallet under it.


4. Install A Dog Flap

Does the current dog house have an entry/exit flap?

Flaps are great for keeping out a chilly wind.

Buy, or cut to size a vinyl or plastic dog flap yourself.


5. Put The Dog House Undercover

A fairly simple one, but maybe one of the most important.

If the dog house is in the open, it is exposed to rain, wind, snow and the chilly elements.

Moving the dog house to an undercover area like the patio or the garage where there are both walls and a roof to act as wind and weather breaks, can help with heating and keeping the temperature steady tremendously.


6. Line The Floor Of The Dog House

Even with a raised floor that is naturally insulated, you can still do more to provide your dog with a warmer dog house floor. 

You can put a straw base down under a rug – straw doesn’t wet or freeze so it makes a good insulator.

You can also put a dog mattress over the rug and straw for comfort.

If laying down straw, make sure it isn’t anything irritating like hay that might contain seeds or small parasites that can get into your dog’s fur and skin.

Rugs, and especially thermal blankets inside the house make for even more warmth and comfort.

You might already have warm blankets for your dog, but in case you don’t, you might look at getting some polar fleece thermal blankets like the Utopia Bedding polar fleece thermal blanket (on Amazon) which are very warm.


7. Hot Water Bottle Or Microwaveable Cushion

More of a solution for only a few hours.

You can put a hot water bottle under a blanket on the mattress, or do the same with a microwavable cushion.

Both provide heat, but have them under a rug so they don’t burn your dog.


8. Self Warming Dog Bed/Thermal Dog Pad

You can get self warming crate pads that you can find the right size for for your dog house.

These self warming pads have a reflective layer on the inside that radiates your dog’s heat back to them – at least more so than a regular mattress or pad does.

A popular self warming bed is the Mocha K&H Manufacturing Crate Pad for Pets (on Amazon)

It also comes in a tan color.


9. Buy Dog Boots For Cold Weather

Dogs regulate their temperature through their paws so dog boots, so dog boots like the My Busy Dog Water Resistant and Warm Anti Slip Dog Boots (on Amazon) may help.


10. Buy A Dog Sweater or Winter Coat

Winter coats can be very warm for dogs.

They are soft, comfortable, durable and water resistant. Zack and Zoey has a popular Blanket Coat (on Amazon)


11. Dog Snood 

Zoo Snoods or Dogs Snoods (on Amazon) are simple knitted headpieces that are designed to keep your dog’s head and ears warm


What Are Some Non Electrical Heat Generating Methods That Might Be A Bad Idea, Or Not Effective?

Non-electric options that might be a bad idea or non effective might include: 

– Gas Heaters

They are a hazard with propane, and usually don’t come in small enough sizes to be used safely or logistically next to or within a dog house.


– 12 Volt Battery Heaters

Most 12 volt battery heaters are not powerful, or they are junk and stop working soon after you get them.

They also mostly come with car cigarette lighter adapter, so you’d have to get an electrician or a suitably qualified professional to wire something up for you that works.


– Ceramic Heaters

People have done something similar with small ceramic heaters and retro fitted them to a dog house.


– Battery Operated Infrared Light Bulb

The same goes for a Battery Operated Infrared Light Bulb.


– 12 Volt Electric Blankets

Same goes for these blankets.


– DC Supply Devices & Systems

Even if you manage to get a DC supply heater of any type going, it’s questionable how much heat they can provide because of how low power they are (there’s a reason most heaters are electric – they use usually at least 100 to 150 Watts i.e. lots of power).

You also then have to worry about retrofitting them which can take skill, time, money, effort and be downright dangerous and a big hazard if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You can also compromise the insulation and weather proofing of the dog house if you don’t seal it up properly after penetration.



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