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How to Keep a Dog Warm in a Crate?

↯ Key takeaway points

  • It is important to keep dogs warm in their crate during the winter to avoid health problems.
  • There are different types of dog crates available in the market, each requiring distinct heating methods.
  • Insulating or elevating the crate, investing in an indoor heater, buying a heated mat or pad, ensuring it's always dry, and staying indoors are effective ways to keep a dog warm in a crate.
  • Signs that a dog is too cold include avoiding contact with the floor, shivering, and tucking its tail underneath.
  • Dogs with a single coat of fur and smaller breeds tend to feel the cold more than others, while some breeds feel fine even in frosty weather.
Written by Khalil
Khalil is passionate about all sorts of domesticated pets. They have written dozens of articles across the web.
Zoo and wildlife doctor in veterinary medicine passionate about animal welfare and preventive medicine.
Published on
Wednesday 14 July 2021
Last updated on
Wednesday 31 May 2023
how to keep a dog warm in a crate
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If you’re wondering how to keep your furry friend warm and cozy in their crate during the chilly winter months, you’ve come to the right place. It’s always heartwarming to curl up with a hot cup of cocoa around the fire with loved ones, but it’s important to remember that some family members, like our furry friends, may need extra care and protection.

Dogs, in particular, are loyal and devoted family members who deserve our utmost attention and care. While crates can provide some warmth during the winter, it’s not always enough to keep our furry friends healthy and comfortable.

As responsible pet owners, it’s crucial to find ways to keep our dogs warm and protected in their crates. Exposure to cold weather can lead to a variety of serious health problems for our beloved pets. So, whether you’re looking for tips on how to choose the right bedding, blankets, or heating options for your dog’s crate, we’re here to help. Let’s make sure our furry friends stay warm and cozy all winter long

Different Types of Dog Crates

Many believe that throwing a few blankets into a dog crate will suffice in keeping a dog crate warm. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. But, fret not, for there are many ways you can keep your canines warm and toasty in their crate, we’ll be discussing them in this article.

There are several different types of dog crates available in the market. And, each type of dog cage requires distinct heating methods. So, let’s go through the list of different dog crates.

Wire Crates

As inexpensive as a wire crate is, it provides the least resistance against the weather. Wired crates are perfect for Summers. They provide ample space for your pets to move around while also giving your beloved canine an unobstructed view of its surroundings.

But, when the weather turns cold, your dog will be open to suffering from the severity of it. The easiest way to ensure warmth is to provide a dog bed. Extra blankets and a thick fabric cover around the crate will also help make the dog’s crate warmer.

Plastic Crates

Plastic crates are a great way to transport your small to medium-sized dog. A front-facing swinging door and top handle make it convenient for carrying. These crates are nonpareil as these crates provide the most protection against the cold when you are on the go.

But, these crates aren’t a replacement for a nice warm bed. And, you know your dog deserves that in any season.

There isn’t much room in a crate to place in a dog bed. Often, plastic carriers are too small to hold even a heating pad for your pet.

Fabric and Soft Crates

Every doggy possesses a different personality. Some love to bite and chew. And, some love to cuddle and relax. If you happen to be the proud parent of a pup who is calm in general, then go ahead and get a fabric crate.

You can add beds, blankets, and heating mats for dogs to soft crates. These crates come in different sizes, from small to extra large. Made from thick material, these carriers provide decent protection from harsh weather. But, if you have a feisty little furball on your hands, don’t even think of fabric carriers made from nylon or canvas. It’ll last only a few minutes.

Heavy-Duty Crates

In most cases, heavy-duty crates are for large-sized dog breeds. They are also not meant for indoor use. If you have no space in the house for your dog or want to provide safety from stray or wild animals, then a heavy-duty crate is ideal.

But, heavy-duty carriers do not provide any resistance from the cold. So, if you have cold dogs on your hands, then reinforce the crate to provide warmth.

Fashion Crates

A fashion crate, also known as a furniture dog crate, isn’t practical. It is supposed to serve the dual purpose of acting as a piece of furniture and a warm dog crate. Yet, it doesn’t do either with much success.

You see, dogs don’t like to sleep or walk on the furniture; that’s what the cats do. So, the fashion crate doesn’t hold much appeal for dogs. If your dog happens to be a large-sized zealous beast, then you can kiss the expensive piece of furniture goodbye.

fashion crates for dogs
Fashion crates for dogs are not practical.

How to Keep a Dog Warm in a Crate

Now, let’s discuss the various methods to ensure that your beloved pooch is warm in the cold season. Remember, it is not only about warmth but about comfort too.

Insulate or Elevate the Crate From the Ground

It is common knowledge that hot air rises and cold air sinks. The surest way to comfort your pet in the winter is to either insulate or elevate the crate. If you don’t get what that means, please read on.

Adding layers inside the carrier or around it provides insulation. You can place a veterinary bed or fluffy fleece blankets. Once your doggy is resting in its cage, you can also place thick materials around the carrier as it will increase the level of coziness inside the crate.

Elevation means to raise the crate off the ground. The floor, wooden or tiles, are the coldest in winters. If you elevate the dog cage by placing it on a few bricks or a sturdy wooden plank, the carrier will become warmer.

Invest in an Indoor Heater

The mini indoor heater will not only create warmth for you but for your dogs too. It doesn’t make much to have heaters in the mild, cooler weather. But, if the temperatures drop, then it makes sense to invest in an indoor heater.

Just remember to place the heater closer to your dog’s crate so that your dog is cozy. Yet, do not miss out on making sure that the heater is not too close so that the dog does not feel stifled. Also, you don’t want to have an accident or burns. Thus, make regular checks on the temperature of the heater and your pet.

Buy a Heated Mat or Pad

Amazon claims that they have had an alarming increase in the sales of heating pads for pets in recent years. It goes without saying that heating mats are gaining tremendous popularity for keeping dog crates warm.

Placing a heating mat under your dog’s bed or inside its carrier does help. The temperature of the heating mats is adjustable. So, you can make use of it in mild weather for a small dog or harsher climates for larger breeds.

If your dog loves to chew, you have to be creative and come up with other alternatives. In such cases, you can make use of fleece blankets over and above the carrier. Furthermore, you can place hot water bottles to warm up your pooches bed before it goes in for a nap. But, make it a point to remove it as it does leak and can cause burns too.

Make Sure it’s Always Dry

Blankets and towels tend to get wet in dog crates or beds – this is never good. So, make sure you’re changing the blankets and towels with fresh ones every other day. Also, placing in freshly ironed towels works like heating mats for your pet. If your dog is a chewer, you can always revert to putting an ironed towel in its carriers to give it some heat.

Stay Indoors

It is delightful for your dog to loll about in the sun at all hours. But, it is essential to bring your dogs indoors once the weather turns.

Remember, small-sized dogs are prone to arthritis. And, if you do not take care, then your beloved companion may suffer because of your neglect. Also, dog crates, even large ones, do not take too much space. Dedicate a corner for your dog to relax in. You will have done your dog an excellent service. You see, corners trap heat better than open spaces.

Keep a Dog Warm in a Crate – FAQs

Let’s go through some of the basic queries about keeping your dog warm in a crate that most new pet parents worry over. Trust us; this will be worth your while.

How do I know if my dog is too cold?

Many obvious signs will tell you when your dog is cold. Most dogs avoid contact with the floor, and some cuddle into you more than often. Some dogs whine, shiver, and tuck their tail underneath to show they’re cold.

Which breeds feel the cold easily and which ones do not?

Smaller dog breeds tend to feel more under the weather than other dog breeds such as the Chihuahua. Dogs with a single coat of fur also feel the cold more, such as Greyhounds. But, certain breeds of dogs feel fine even in frosty weather, such as the Siberian Husky.

What temperature is too cold for dogs?

When it comes to understanding how canines keep warm, you should know that dogs regulate body heat well. But temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit can mean trouble if your dog does not have a warm shelter. Make sure you keep your doggo indoors when the mercury drops below the 45-degree Fahrenheit mark.

Is it really necessary to buy a dog crate?

If you’re a new pet owner or if you have an anxious dog, a carrier is a must. Crates provide easy solutions for warmer living spaces for your pets. But, if your pet shares your bed with you, then it does not need anything else. If crate training does not work, you can do some alternatives.

Providing a heater for dogs or fleece blankets is a way to show your dogs that you care for them. All living things require protection and shelter from the intense weather conditions, and your lovable pooch is no different. Based on the canine’s breed, age, and health condition, even the smallest slip can lead to serious wintertime consequences. Avoid all such scenarios by implementing some of the tips discussed above and you’ll be able to keep your dog warm in a crate.

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