22 Ways To Heat, Warm or Insulate A Dog House For Cold Weather



Further to our guide on how to make and keep a dog house warm in the winter, we thought we would list and further dive into 22 options for you to heat, warm or insulate the dog house.

Some ways involve modifying the dog house itself, some involve installing a heating system or product, and some involve simple things like dog boots to keep your dog’s paws warm.

Without further ado, let’s check them out!

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


22 Ways To Heat, Warm or Insulate A Dog House For Cold Weather

1. Insulate and Patch Up The Floor, Walls and Roof

Basically you want to make the dog house water, wind and weather proof.

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 Specially Designed Insulated 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:


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.

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 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.


7. Hot Water Bottle Or Microwavable 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. Heated Dog Mat

A electrical heated dog mat can be placed on the surface of a dog bed or dog mattress. It warms up to surface of the dog bed.

Something like the K&H Manufacturing Lectro-Kennel Heated Pad (on Amazon) is popular.

It’s both an indoor and outdoor use mat.


9. Heated Dog Bed/Mattress

A heated dog bed is attached to an electrical cord, and when turned on provides a heated surface for your dog to lay and sleep on.

The actual bed heats up instead of using a heated dog mat to warm the surface.

Something like the K&H Manufacturing Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Bed (on Amazon) is popular.


10. 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.


11. Heater Bulb In Metal Unit

You can get light bulbs in metal units that radiate some heat, but not a massive amount.

The metal unit is so your dog doesn’t touch the light bulb and get burnt.

Dog house heaters and infrared light bulbs are better ideas in our opinion.


12. Dog House Furnace/Heater

One of the most popular options to heat a dog house.

A popular option is the Deluxe Akoma Hound Heater Dog House Furnace With Cord Protector and Mounting Template (on Amazon). It features

  • A thermostatically controlled heater so you can set a max and min temp of operation
  • Can heat up to a 32 cubic feet dog house
  • A heat shield that protects your pet from getting burned
  • A spring-protected cord that’s safe for your pet
  • Long-lasting, 150-watt heating element

Includes an installation bracket and easy to follow installation instructions.


13. Dog House Furnace/Heater and Vent Fan (for summer and winter)

The same as a dog house heater except you can get two in one heaters that also have a ventilation fan.

In the summer you switch the switch over and the unit blows air instead of heat.


14. Small Infrared Heat Emitter/Lamp Bulb

A very small 100 or 150 Watt infrared heat emitter brooder.

They are non light emitting lamp bulbs, designed for reptile terariums to heat up the body and encourage blood flow and circulation. 

They can’t be touched directly though as they get hot – so you do have to figure out a bracket and protection system for them to put them in the dog house.

Be very careful with a lamp bulb – they aren’t designed for dog houses or small spaces and you often can’t regulate their temperature. Only go this option if you know what you’re doing from a safety and installation perspective.

You can get a Lamp Bulb like the BYB – 150W 110V Ceramic Infrared Lamp Bulb (on Amazon).


15. Big Dog Kennel Infrared Heater

There are big infrared dog kennel heaters as well.

Although these are not for dog houses. They are for bigger kennel runs.


16. Underfloor Heating System

An underfloor heating system is essentially heating strips or heating pads (similar to an underfloor heating system you get put in your house) that are put under the dog house floor.

They are completely concealed along with the cords, which is good for chewers, and heat the floor of the dog house so it is warmer.

Here is a good explanation of how underfloor dog house heating works and is installed.


17. Dryer Hose

A DIY option. 

For this, you have to position your dog’s house next to the house.

It essentially involves using the dryer hose and a fan to blow warm air from inside into the dog’s house.

You have to take care to make this installation safe and waterproof and bug proof it.


18. Use Ceramic Heater

Some people have hooked up a small 12v ceramic heater to a gel cell battery – and installed it in the roof of the dog house.

It takes some know how, but it can be done.


19. Try other DIY Dog House Heating Solutions

You may have other DIY solutions you think might work to heat the dog house.

We personally don’t support DIY solutions unless you’re a professional, or you seek professional advice.

When the risk is an electrical fire or harming your dog, it’s just much easier and safer to buy a heating unit that usually only requires mounting and is designed to heat.

Undertake DIY options at your own risk.


20. 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.


21. Buy A Dog Sweater

You can also check out an array of dog sweaters on Amazon, such as the Zack and Zoey Blanket Coat (on Amazon)


22. 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 Is The Most Common, Easiest and Cost Effective Way Of Heating A Dog House?

Most owners usually choose to do one or several of the following:

  • Make sure the dog house is properly insulated, or purchase a specially insulated dog house 
  • Install a Dog House Furnace/Heater like the Akoma brand mentioned above
  • Install a Dog House Heated Mat like the K&H Manufacturing heated bed mentioned above

When picking a heating method or methods, consider:

  • If there is enough room in the house for the heater to be installed safely
  • If your dog is a chewer, select an option where the cords are protected or concealed
  • Make sure you can run electricity to the dog house if picking an electric heater

Refer back to this dog house heating guide to get an overall picture of the things you might look for when heating a dog house.


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