A lot of people don’t want to keep their dogs outdoors but the fact of the matter is that some breeds fare better if they are left mostly outside of the home. Not to mention that this might be exactly what you want a dog in the first place – as a guard animal. This does present a certain set of challenges, however, especially in the winter. This means that knowing how to heat a dog house in the winter is essential for the wellbeing of your dog.
This is a tricky question, of course, as there are lots of ways to go about it, some of which aren’t necessarily safe and others require a great deal of work to be done properly. Electrical heating, for example, is quite tricky because a lot of dogs like to chew which can lead to accidents. To avoid this you might want to know how to heat a dog house without electricity. So, how to heat a dog house safely? Here are our 10 suggestions and dog house insulation ideas.
Place the dog house against your house
Location is key when it comes to heating your dog’s house. Placing it with its back pressed against your own house is an easy way to insulate it, to better protect it against the elements, and to transfer some of the warmth of your own home into it.
Make sure the dog house gets enough sun
Don’t underestimate the effects of the sun even in the dead of winter. The more hours of direct sunlight the dog house gets throughout the day, the more warmth it will receive. Finding the right spot on your home’s outside walls where you get the most sunlight is half the battle already won.
Paint the dog house in a dark color
The darker the better – as you likely know, darker colors absorb more sunlight and through, more heat. It doesn’t need to be pitch black but anything such as dark green or dark blue will ensure that your dog’s house gets the most out of the sun.
Consider raising the floor
This isn’t always the right thing to do but it’s worth considering – if the ground beneath the dog house removes heat from it faster than the surrounding air, it’s smart to raise the floor with several inches. If it’s the other way around – keeping the floor on the ground will retain more heat. If you’re not sure which of the two is the case in your particular area, property, and climate, consult with your electricity or gas providers as they should know.
Fill the dog house with stuff
The less space there’s in the dog house, the warmer it will be. This is a little counterintuitive as you’d usually want a more spacious dog house for your pooch – it’s both more pleasant for the dog and cooler in the summer. However, the opposite is true in the winter where the less room there’s in the dog house, the warmer it will be. So, the best solution is to have a spacious dog house for the hot summer days but to stuff it with dog blankets, pillows, stones, water jugs, and other things so that the average temperature remains higher.
Add heated objects inside the house every night
The stones and water jugs we mentioned above are an excellent way to add extra heat to your dog house – just heat them up before sunset and put them inside the dog house for the night. Microwaving socks filled with uncooked rice is also a good solution albeit it a short-term one. Microwavable dog cushions are also a good idea. These items will not only make the dog house less specious and cozier but it will also add extra heat in it that will take a while to dissipate.
Placing a dog bed inside the dog house is pretty much a must. Not only will it make the place cozier and insulate the cold floor, but it will also keep the dog safer from the cold air around it. That, together with thick dog blankets can make a huge difference even just on its own.
Insulate the entire dog house
Of course, before you start insulating the interior of the dog house, it’s smart to insulate the house itself. Patch any holes it might have on its walls and roof, put foil-foam boards on the walls, insulate the edges and corners too as that’s where most of the air passes. And, to make sure the dog doesn’t chew on the insulation, it’s also smart to add a second “false wall” on top of it.
Add a door
Dogs are smart enough to use doors so don’t just leave a huge gaping hole in the front of your dog’s house. It can be a simple dog flap like the one you’d put on your own front door if you want your dog to have access to the house – even such a flap would still help maintain the temperature inside the dog house.
Pipe in warmth
The last, hardest, and most effective solution is to do some plumbing and find a way to pipe in either hot air or hot water inside the dog house.
For air, you simply need to find a safe place inside your home to withdraw air from a fan and lead a pipe into the dog house. The pipe will be open-ended and simply fan warm air into the dog house.
For a hot water solution, you obviously don’t want to flood your dog’s house so we’re talking about simply running a closed hot-water pipe through your dog’s house. The excess warmth coming from the pipe can make all the difference in a cold winter night.
Of course, either of these solutions is rather complicated and difficult so you might want to get some help to get them done. Still, considering that you likely want this to be a good long-term solution for at least a decade or so, it’s worth the effort.
Hopefully, at least a few of these ideas have caught your eye. Now that you know how to heat a dog house more easily and effectively, both you and your pooch should sleep better.