The Benefits of a Heated Dog House

As the weather turns colder, you may wonder if your dog needs a heated dog house. Let’s examine some of the benefits of heated dog houses and steps you can take to make your pet’s outdoor shelter warm and cozy.

Heated Houses Offer Health Benefits

Cold weather can be harmful to your dog’s health, so a heated dog house can help prevent both urgent and chronic conditions. Two of the obvious urgent conditions that a heated dog house can help avoid are frostbite and hypothermia. Untreated frostbite can result in the loss of ear tips, tail tips or even toes, and untreated hypothermia can be life-threatening or even fatal.

Symptoms of frostbite include:

  • blistering of the affected area
  • discolored skin
  • lack of feeling in the affected area
  • pain in the affected area
  • peeling skin in the affected area

Symptoms of hypothermia include:

  • body temperature below 95 degrees Fahrenheit
  • pale or blue mucous membranes
  • shivering
  • slow heartbeat
  • stupor or coma
  • weak pulse

A heated dog house can help ease the pain of many chronic joint and nerve conditions, including arthritis, rheumatism, spondylosis and neuropathy.

Heated Houses Offer Comfort

In addition to the health benefits listed above, your dog may simply find a heated dog house more comfortable during cold weather. He can snuggle in his house on frosty or snowy days and wait out the weather, and he may sleep more soundly at night if his house is not subject to temperature extremes.

Even the best-designed dog house cannot protect your dog in extremely cold weather. Monitor your local weather forecast and set up a warm place in your home for your dog to sleep in, such as your laundry room, on extremely cold nights.

How to Heat Your Dog’s House

You can take some very simple steps to help heat your dog’s house during cold weather. First, make sure your dog’s house isn’t too large because an overly large house won’t efficiently trap heat in cold weather. The house needs to be large enough for your pet to stand up, turn around in and lie down comfortably without bumping his head. Set the house up on the south or east side of your home to make the best use of the winter sun for additional warmth. Keep it out of the wind to protect your dog from cold drafts.

Cover the entrance to the dog house with an old car mat or heavy blanket to minimize drafts. Make sure the door covering is flexible enough to allow your dog to enter and exit his house easily. Make sure the roof is intact and free of leaks.

Next, provide additional blankets or straw as bedding material to add insulation and warmth. Your dog can nest in the blankets, and the straw can help keep heat in on cold nights.

If you’re handy with tools and have an outdoor electrical outlet near your dog’s house, you can provide additional heat by installing a heated mat or a 100-watt light bulb installed in a coffee can to reduce the chance of fire.

If you’re building a dog house, consider the coldest average temperatures in your area and install appropriate insulation as you construct the house. Build the house on an elevated platform to provide further protection from the cold for your dog.