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How Can I Make A Dog House Warm In The Winter

↯ Key takeaway points

  • Dogs have a unique circulatory adaptation that protects their paws from freezing, but they still need protection from the cold.
  • Tips for keeping a dog house warm include choosing the right location, trapping heat with a vinyl flap door, elevating the house, insulating it with products like fiberglass or aluminum foil, providing high-quality bedding, using heating pads or DIY solutions, minimizing extra space, clothing the dog, adding a furnace, painting the house dark, plumbing warm water to the house, or placing it beside a featureless wall.
  • Monitoring the temperature inside the dog house is important, and using an indoor thermometer with a remote temperature probe can help.
  • Pet owners should take steps to ensure their dogs are warm and cozy outdoors during winter.
A pet lover passionate about educating readers about animal health and care. Love reading studies and recent research.
Veterinarian and veterinary microbiologist working as a veterinary science lecturer at the UVAS, Lahore.
Published on
Wednesday 29 November 2023
Last updated on
Monday 30 October 2023
How Can I Make A Dog House Warm In The Winter
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During the coldest season of the year, it doesn’t matter what breed your dog is — no amount of fur can keep your pet warm, safe, and comfortable from winter’s harsh elements. When the temperature and weather plummet, keeping your dog cozy is relatively easy if they live indoors. Unfortunately, you can’t say the same for dogs that mostly spend time outdoors.

How can I make a dog house warm in the winter? This is a common concern for pet owners with canines living outside their homes. Continue reading to know the best ways you can keep your pets safe from harsh weather conditions!

How to Keep a Dog House Warm in the Winter

Research funded by Yamazaki Gakuen University tested the theory of whether or not a dog’s feet or paw can withstand freezing by reading up on previous studies about the topic. The researchers discovered that dogs have a unique circulatory adaptation that shields and protects their pads from freezing

Though a dog’s paw wouldn’t freeze naturally, they still need protection from the cold. Keep in mind that all dogs can still develop hypothermia and frostbite if the temperature gets too cold.  

The perfect solution to keep them warm in the winter? An outdoor heated dog house! Unfortunately, most people don’t know how to keep a dog house warm, and that is what we’ll focus on in the next sections.

Here are a few tips you can try to keep your pet’s shelter warm and cozy!

Get the Right Location

One of the most practical ways how to make a dog house warm is by finding the perfect location and placement! Place the dog house in a sunny spot in your yard to benefit from solar gain.

Trap Heat

Make sure that the dog house is proportional to the size of your dog. If you have a small breed of dog, don’t give them a large dog house. That much-unoccupied space would only be able to trap the heat for a short time. 

If you’re looking for what to put in a dog house for warmth, add a heavy-duty vinyl flap door to help keep the warm trapped.

Elevate the House

Aside from thinking of what to put outside the dog’s house for warmth, consider if the ground is colder than the wind or air. If so, it will be best to elevate the dog house. If the land under the dog house stays warmer, you can leave the house flush against the soil, as it can provide your dog with more warmth.

Insulate the House

One of the ways on how to make the dog kennel warm is to add insulation. If your dog loves to bite and chew on things, you can insulate the dog house from the outside.

You can use traditional home insulation products, such as rolls of fiberglass insulation or aluminum foil bubble insulation. To ensure your dog’s safety, install plywood or another surface over the insulation product to keep it safe.

Choose High-Quality Bedding

Giving your dog comfortable and thick bedding is another way to keep a dog house warm. Since the ground beneath the dog house can get cold, insulating your dog from below is essential. While an outdoor bed is your best choice, cedar and pine can serve as good alternatives.

Heating Pad

Consider using a warmer for your dog! You can try making a low-tech DIY dog house heater from scratch — fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie the opening in a knot or use a zip tie, and microwave it for a few minutes. Place it inside the dog house to help your pet cozy.

Granted that it’s a quick and temporary solution or fix, it’s still something that works wonders!

Fill in Extra Spaces

The smaller the space, the warmer it is for your pets. Smaller dog houses with little to no excess space can retain more heat. While a roomy dog house can be more useful during hot seasons, all that extra and unoccupied space can sap the warmth out of the air during winter days.

Clothe Your Dog

Clothes are one of the most effective solutions to keeping your dog warm during the winter. However, you need to know that not all dogs like wearing clothes. Some dogs can’t exactly be trusted when it comes to wearing clothing.

They could chew them up, rip them off, and leave the leftovers at your feet. Dog winter jackets can serve as a good solution. Some dogs don’t mind wearing them, so it might be worth a shot.

Add a Furnace

If you’re wondering what to put in the dog house for winter, a furnace is always worth a shot. If you have a heater in your home, you can tell how effectively it keeps you warm.

Heaters and furnaces for dog houses have built-in safety features to protect your pups from getting burned. Moreover, most have chew-proof cord covers to keep the pet and equipment safe.

Paint the House Dark

Painting the dog house in a dark color is an excellent DIY warm dog house project to do before winter. Dark colors proved they could absorb more heat than lighter colors or shades. Most dog houses come in lighter colors, like khaki green and shades of beige, so slapping a few coats of darker paint will heat the dog house a few degrees.


For a heat dog house winter project, you can make a little warm cottage for your dog through plumbing work. Simply put, you must tap into your home’s warm water and run the pipes to your dog’s house. If you don’t know how to do plumbing work, you can contact a local plumber for help.

Place the Dog House Beside Your Home

If you have a featureless outside wall, you can place the dog house against it to help warm up its insides. Doing so can help insulate the dog house and shield it from the cold wind on one side. While it won’t drastically raise the temperature, it can still provide comfort.

Monitor Your Dog’s House Temperature

All fur parents would want to ensure that their dogs have heated dog houses during the year’s colder months. So, you might be one of those wondering how to keep your dog’s house warm. Several ways and methods exist — installing a heater, purchasing a heated dog bed, or repainting the dog house black.

If you’ve finally managed to find a way how to heat a dog house in the winterwhat’s left for you to do is to monitor it. You can keep track of the dog house’s temperature by installing an indoor thermometer with a remote temperature probe.

To successfully use one of these thermometers, install the display unit in an accessible and easy-to-see part of your house. Then, place the remote temperature probe inside the dog house. Doing this will allow you to see the temperature in the dog house without the need to walk over to it to check physically.

Keeping A Dog House Warm: FAQs

Keeping your pups’ living quarters habitable should be your topmost priority before the cold days arrive. With that said, here are some common concerns pet parents face when keeping dog houses warm.

Can dogs survive in the cold in a dog house?

Yes. As long as you keep the dog house warm and insulated, a dog can survive there during the colder days of the year. You can always follow the above-mentioned tips on how to make a warm dog house for winter.

Is it safe to put a heat lamp in a dog house?

You can place a heat lamp inside a dog house if installed correctly. Adding a heat lamp serves as an effective method how to keep a dog’s house warm in winter. Heat lamps can provide safe, low heat levels, keeping your dog from freezing in the cold.

What is the best insulation for a dog house?

Fiberglass insulation is the best insulation method or product for a dog house. It is reasonably priced and easy to install. Since it can irritate the skin, ensure that this insulation is covered to prevent your pet from making any contact with it.

What temperature is too cold for dogs in a doghouse?

The cold should not be much of a problem unless the temperature drops below 45°F. At this temperature, most cold-averse dogs will start to feel uncomfortable. When it drops to 32°F, dogs that are small, sick, old, or with thin coats could be in danger. At 20°F and below, beware that your dog is at risk of getting hypothermia or frostbite if they’re outside.

What kind of heater can you put in a dog house?

There are various types of heaters you can place inside a dog house, like heating pads, panel heaters, and kennel heaters. You can use any of those, but make sure to read up about their purpose so you can buy the best fit for your dog.

All pet parents get stressed out during winter days. While the chilly air temperature and the cold wind drive humans to lock themselves indoors, their dogs would stop at nothing to ensure they can still play outside. 

The only thing pet owners can do at this point is to ensure they are warm and cozy outdoors. Fortunately, there are now many simple ways on how to keep a dog house warm in the winter!

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