Are you afraid that your dog will end up freezing in its kennel during cold weather? It’s a good thought, because animals are indeed afraid of the cold and it’s not their imposing coat or the lack of complaints that should make you forget it.
It can be difficult to find ways to keep your dog warm during the long winter nights. While you can try some simple solutions to keep the kennel warmer, drastic measures may be necessary in particularly cold areas.
Often, the only way to warm a dog house in extreme climates is to add a commercial heater to the house or build your own heater. But, let’s discover some other possible setups together.
Improving kennel placement
The easiest way to raise the temperature of your dog’s kennel may be to move it to a warmer location, such as a heated garage. Even if you can’t move the kennel indoors, it will still be much warmer if you place it in an area that’s out of the wind.
You could also place it against your house or other heated buildings, which not only shelters it from the wind, but also helps to raise the temperature of the doghouse slightly.
If wind is not a factor, you may want to consider placing the kennel in an area that receives plenty of sunlight – especially in the afternoon. In mountainous areas, there is sometimes warm sunshine coming in during the day, despite heavy, cold snow on the ground.
Solar huts are an option, but they don’t work at night, when your dog needs warmth the most.
Insulate the kennel more
Your dog’s body heat is what keeps his home warm. The better insulated the kennel is, the warmer it will stay. Therefore, make sure all cracks and gaps in the house are covered or blocked.
It’s quite common to try to create your own doghouse, but if you’re not an expert, chances are you’ll forget some of the safeguards. I recommend you to buy a good model. Your dog spends most of his time in it to sleep and you shouldn’t try to save money on such a need.
I invite you to look at my comparison of the best dog houses.
The dog house should have a door that prevents the hot air inside the house from escaping. You should lift the kennel off the ground and place soft bedding, a pillow or blanket on the floor for your dog to sleep on. Not only does this provide comfort for your dog, but it also helps insulate both the dog and the house from the cold floor.
Most kennels sold today provide this elevation. Be sure to check at the time of purchase that this is the case.
Regarding the material, wood seems to be the warmest, but this is not always true. Some PVC kennels have excellent results in warming the doggie.
Buying a heater
A number of products exist to keep your dog’s home warm. For example, you can find heat mats that fit in the bottom of the kennel.
It’s important to supervise dogs when such electric heaters are used; don’t use these types of heaters with dogs that are likely to chew them. Also, be sure to regularly monitor the temperature of heaters to prevent burns and accidents.
If you prefer, you can simply start over and purchase a heated dog house, which will help keep your pup warm in cold climates.
Build a heating solution
If you’re a bit of a handyman and have the right tools, try to do a bit of work on the dog house to keep it warm.
You can install a light fixture in the upper part of the kennel. When equipped with an incandescent bulb, the kennel stays much warmer. This is only appropriate if the kennel has enough headroom that you can install the light at a height that will prevent your dog from coming into contact with it.
Use a ceramic light fixture, as they are safer than plastic ones, and place a guard around the bulb as your curious pooch may try to lick it or knock it off with his paw.
Use only pet-safe red bulbs instead of white ones. Plus, the less bright color won’t keep your dog awake.