Dogs heat themselves up quite well but during wintertime, it is not enough especially when your dogs are left in outdoor kennels. This is why I decided to list the absolute best dog house heaters so your dogs can actually be happy during winter, too!
(Yes, it is definitely possible, I promise…)
The issue with most of the best dog house heaters for winter is that they are either unsafe for daily use, or they just don't do the job well enough. Dogs, especially at a young age, are very fragile beings. When kept outside, dogs do need a little help to keep their body temperature high enough to operate normally.
We've compiled a list of the top 5 best dog house heaters for winter and reviewed each of them below:
|Dog House Heater||Type||Rating||Price|
|1. K&H Manufacturing Lectro-Soft Outdoor Heated Bed||Heating Pad||$$|
|2. K&H Manufacturing Lectro-Kennel Heated Pad||Heating Pad||$|
|3. Akoma Heat-N-Breeze Dog House Heater||Kennel Heater||$$$|
|4. Vornado AVH2 Whole Room Vortex Heater||Indoor Fanned Heater||$$|
|5. DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater||Indoor Panel Heater||$|
When Should I Heat a Dog House?
The weakest dogs are the ones that require warmth throughout the coldest days of winter, especially at night. The weakest include older dogs because of their slower metabolism that doesn't produce as much heat as young and adult dogs.
Pregnant and whelping bitches also need constant warmth before, during and after the actual delivery, far from any cold air (it can be lethal for the bitch and the puppies.) Invest in a dog heater to save a lot of money on vet bills, especially if you have not invested in one of the best insulated dog houses.
Short-haired dogs are creating a debate among veterinarians and specialists. On one hand, some argue that shorter hair means reduced insulation so they should be offered some extra heat using some of the items we're recommending below. On the other hand, some vets are explaining that dog breeds such as Doberman Pinschers, Greyhounds, Dachshunds, Boxers, and the likes have hair differently structured than other longer haired dog breeds so they do not require extra heating since their insulation is as good as all other breeds.
The consensus seems to be in between. Short-hair dogs tend to have hairs that are hollow inside with air pockets that help improve insulation. However, it would not reach the level of protection against the cold that other breeds can get.
How to Choose the Best Kennel Heater?
Not all kennel heaters have been engineered the same. Some heaters should only be used indoors, while others provide sustained heat but require some manual installation and some safety measures to be taken by the dog owner. We've also written a separate guide on kennel heat lamps which are left out on this blog post purposefully.
Here are the most important features to consider when choosing a dog house heater for winter.
A dog owner in Alaska will have different needs than one in Florida. Whether a dog stays outdoors or indoors will influence your choice, too. Remember that you do want to warm up the dog house but not set it on fire. You should go for a gentle heater instead of being too aggressive. Go ahead and make the kennel a properly insulated dog house, too so the heat doesn't dissipate but stays within.
A dog house is rarely huge. Therefore, a heater should embed a thermostat that would measure the current ambient temperature at all times to avoid overheating. Remember that dogs cannot sweat so they find it hard to get rid of excess body heat. While right now, you are focusing on warming your dog up, make sure whatever appliance you buy stops the heating when it gets too warm.
The second safety measure to consider with any heater for kennels is how close the dog can be while remaining totally safe. If the dog gets centimeters away from the heater, it may burn their coat and skin. Some heavy-duty kennel heaters come with such distance protection already taken care of. Other off-the-shelves products may not provide such reassurance.
Any dog house heater should be used in an environment where its usage is totally safe as per the manufacturer's instructions. Using a heater outdoors when it's only meant to be used in a garage or at home is hazardous.
Harsh weather elements can become problematic due to the need for a source of electrical power to run the heater. Rain, snow, and storms can create huge risks so make sure you have the systems in place for keeping your dog and home safe and secure.
The Best Dog House Heaters & Dog Heating Pads
Once you are done with the basics, it is time to get yourself a proper dog house heater and you have to choose between a few options: a dog-only heater, a dog heating pad or mat, and a regular heater that is safe to use around dogs.
Here are our buying recommendations in these categories!
1. K&H Lectro Kennel Heated Padded Bed
In my eyes, the best dog heating mat since it is built to work indoor and outdoor, and in case anything happens you can redeem their 1-year guarantee.
Thermostatically controlled to warm pet's normal body temperature, the K&H Lectro Kennel Heated Pad warms due to the insulation your dog's body provides when lying on the pad. It keeps a constant warm temperature while your pet is snuggled on the mat. The heater can emit heat if the insulation isn't sufficient to maintain a comfortable temperature for your dog.
This is why this dog heating pad uses very little energy and won't cost you or the environment much in the long run. A cheaper dog heated mat should cost you more after a few weeks of use with the electric bills.
Made using very soft materials, the K&H Lectro Kennel Heated Pad is orthopedic, and even works in sub-zero freezing temperatures. It is the perfect mat for senior dogs and puppies who need a perfectly warm and snuggly dog bedding.
2. K&H Manufacturing Lectro-Kennel Heated Pad
Delivered with a free fleece cover for extra warmth, this best dog house heater for winter will keep your puppy or dog warm at a very reasonable cost. Designed for outdoor use, it has been safely designed to ensure your dog remains comfortable in his kennel or dog house, even during the coldest days of this winter.
Only using 80 watts for its electrical supply, this dog house heater is planet-friendly while being one of the best kennel heaters to use in your barn, garage, or covered kennel. Simply place it on the floor and let the magic happen! Within minutes of turning it on, your dog(s) will feel the warmth.
Not just efficient, it is smart too! This heating pad for dogs is thermostatically controlled to never go beyond your dog's body temperature. That way, it will automatically stop or decrease heating when your dog has reached its normal temperature. Obviously, it automatically resumes as soon as there is a small drop of temperature from your dog.
3. Akoma Heat-N-Breeze Dog House Heater
Sure, it is not a cheap product but it is well-built: when I received the product, I noted its sturdy construction. After opening the box, just place it on your table plug it in. Make sure the thermostat is set to the off position and begin to turn it on. The thermostat will click and the unit will quickly start heating up. This is followed by two-three minutes of that new oily-type smell but it quickly dissipates.
The heating unit does get warm to the touch and I mean warm, not burning. The top and front are warm and the bottom is cool to the touch. I ran it for about 1 hour on my counter with the thermostat on high. By the way, the thermostat basically controls just the on or off settings. When it is on, it is on, there is no half heating or 25%. On or off. Heat shields protect your pet from getting burned, and it does work very well so no need to get stressed or worried about it.
One thing everybody who buys a dog house heater is to insulate the walls, floor, and ceiling of the dog house. That way, you can turn your heater on a lot less and even set the thermostat to the lowest setting if applicable. Insulation works with special foams, or by thickening the walls using wood for example.
4. Vornado AVH2 Whole Room Vortex Heater
Not built for dogs specifically, this heater has been built for nurseries and kid-friendly environments. So yes, it is even safer and better.
A great feature is that the Vornado AVH2 Heater will run on lower power and only uses as much wattage as is needed to heat up the room. My other heaters would run full blast until it hit the desired temperature, then turn off, repeat over and over. With this one, you'll save a lot of money on your electricity bills.
The Vornado AVH2 Room Heater has three rocker switches for the power switch, heat level, and fan speed; it has a dial for temperature. There are no toggles or random digital settings. That means you can cut power to it, then restore power, and it's right back to where you left it — same settings, everything.
Very sturdy construction meaning that you are offered a heater that can be trusted when left with dogs and other pets around. Its solid construction is completed with advanced safety features to prevent it from tipping over. It has an automatic safety shut-off system for worry-free use, especially when you are leaving the heater out of your sight.
5. DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater
A lightweight and sleek way to heat your room or kennels, the DeLonghi Mica Panel Heater uses micathermic technology for efficient, safe, consistent, and discreet heating. No more noise, no more danger, no more shame. This is a stylish heater for dog breeders who have their dogs indoors or in a garage, away from the elements.
Mica technology also provides multidirectional warmth to ensure a consistent temperature in every corner of the garage or room. To prevent overheating, the DeLonghi Heater has a thermal cut-off feature that turns off the heater automatically if it becomes too hot. Power and caution lights ensure safe operation, while an internal switch triggers automatic shut-off if the unit tips over or becomes unstable.
Wow, I'm very surprised at this new technology for heating up my dog's home.
It provides all of the great radiation and the type of heat which maintain the temperature of the room quite well, without having to wait forever to feel comfortable. The low profile gives many options on where to put the heater.
Lastly, the device is EXTREMELY safe. There is a cage around the heater ensuring an enormous level of safety for the dog — preventing him from getting burnt! Additionally, the front panel can be touched comfortably without ever hurting you or the dog. However, upon checking the temperature of heat output with an IR thermometer, it provided 300-400 degrees F of heat. It's quite surprising to see such high numbers and still be able to touch the front panel without feeling much burn.
The heater also has an auto-off feature if it tips over.
Overall, it is a wonderful heater for an enclosed room, however, be sure that the room is around 150 sq. feet or less. Any larger, and this heater will not provide enough heat to be very much noticeable. For larger spaces, take a look at the Lasco Space Heater.
Eric K.'s review — read more reviews here
For our UK-based readers, the best substitute to the DeLonghi Mica Panel Heater would be the Futura 2000W Electric Heater.
The Basics of Heating a Dog House
Before investing in a top-of-the-line dog house heater, you should start by checking and setting up the basics. There are a few things that everybody can do, that cost nothing or very little and that can make you save some money then when it comes down to picking the best heater for your dog house.
- Dog House Flooring — ideally you want to have an elevated dog house floor, away from the actual ground. That way, your dog house floor will not be influenced by the ground temperature. Insulated wood is your best choice but if you don't have that available, get a wooden pallet somewhere and place the dog house on top of it!
- Size of the Dog House — we all want the biggest, tallest and largest dog house for our dogs but when it is winter, you want it to be large enough so your pooch can turn around and stretch, but small enough so your dog's body temperature manage to heat the dog house up overall. Using insulated walls will help to keep the heat within.
- Cold Air Streams — it is common sense to never place your kennels in the middle of a cold air stream or next to a door if you keep your dog house indoors.
- Dog Heating Pads — probably not enough for dogs spending a lot of time outside the house, dog heating pads are usually enough for dogs sleeping indoors or in a conservatory. They will provide enough heat to have your dog feel comfortable during very cold days. Most of them are adjustable so you can adapt to the weather. However, and it is understandable, many owners do not want their dogs to be sleeping on an electric device even if it advertises a high level of safety.
These are what you should do right now after you read this post. Everybody can do it and everybody should do it. Your dogs will thank you later…