Those long cold winter nights – How would you ensure your dog house is warm and cozy? There are a number of simple steps you can take to do it. But depending on the weather condition of your area (extreme cold regions), you may have to take drastic measures to ensure your dog house stays warm. But for the rest of us who might not need such extreme measures, here we go with some time-tested tips…
Waterproof and windproof
First and foremost, make sure your dog’s palace is 100% waterproof. No matter the other measures you take, water dripping in from any part of your dog house will make things uncomfortable for your dog. Furthermore, water dripping in during the winter nights will be chilling. Ensure that the roofing extends well beyond the entrance/exit in such a way that keeps rain out of the house. And don’t forget to position the house such that the entrance/exit is away from the predominant direction of rain.
Now while you’re at work on that, also ensure that it is windproof. How comfortable do you feel with chilly winter winds? Ok, you know how to spare your dog the agony and ensure you take every step possible to keep them out.
Insulate your dog house
Take steps to ensure that your dog house is well insulated. There are a number of simple things you can do to achieve this. You can achieve better insulation by ensuring every hole or crack is covered. Lining the floor with a heavy cozy material like a thick blanket and even extending such lining (or padding) to the walls will go a long way in reducing heat loss from your dog house. Note, though, that you should use insulation boards, filler or fiberglass to insulate your walls if you want superior results.
Now while you are at it, take steps to ensure your dog can’t get to the insulation or all your efforts will go to waste. This is more the case if your dog is notorious for chewing on things.
Still on insulation, don’t forget to raise your dog house from the ground as doing otherwise will make it absorb cold and moisture from the ground and reduce the dog house’s heat retention.
Move it to a warmer location
There are areas in your home that are naturally warmer than others. For example, your garage would be warmer than outside (totally exposed to the elements) especially if it’s heated. So move your dog house into your garage and you’ll be taking a big step in making it warmer. Explore your home and pick warm spots where you can place your dog house. Even if you can’t move your dog house into a part of your home, placing it against the building where it’s warm and sheltered from the elements will be a big first step in achieving more warmth.
Install simple heating products
Let’s continue with another simple (albeit more cost-intensive) option for keeping your dog house warm. Buy heating products that are designed to keep your dog house warm. There are easy-to-use products such as heated dog mats. But if you are picking these types of products to be sure you do your due diligence in ensuring they do NOT pose any hazard to your dog and that you are buying from a manufacturer that’s been proven to take all necessary precautions in ensuring you canine friend’s safety.
And even at that, it’s important that you make out time to monitor the temperature so that your dog doesn’t get burns from using them.
Improvise with bulbs
Depending on the shape and size of your dog house (and your ability to do-it-yourself), you can keep your dog house as warm as you like by building simple devices that heat things up by just using incandescent bulbs. It’s simple and NOT complicated…
All you need are a light fixture and the right bulb (it could be 60 watts or less depending on how much heat you need to generate and the space you need to keep warm). All you have to do is run a cable to the top of your dog house and install the light fixture, ensuring your dog can’t get to it. Fit the incandescent bulb and it will generate heat. The amount of heat you need will determine how many watts or bulbs that will be required.
It’s important that you ensure that there is a protective measure around the bulb so that you don’t have accidents that might lead to a hot bulb exploding and hurting your dog. A good measure is placing a guard or baffles around the bulb as added protection. Furthermore, don’t use white bulbs. Go for pet-safe alternatives. These will do the job of keeping things warm while NOT being too bright to prevent your dog from shutting his eyes.
Important note: While we used 60 watts in our example, do note that you might have to use a bulb with much lower wattage if the space you need to keep warm is much smaller. Too much heat in a small space can be as dangerous (if not more) than freezing (So if you’re improvising, it would be great if you can add a thermostat to the mix). If you don’t know enough about these things (heating and electricity) and haven’t consulted a professional, err on the side of safety and don’t use this option. Instead, consider the next tip…
Get a dog house heater
For those of us who are NOT so knowledgeable in electrical/heating matters, there is an option that has you covered. It’s the dog house heater. There are many options out there but if you go shopping for one, look for the following features as they are critical…
- Comes with a thermostat that allows you to determine how hot your dog house can be. Without this, you’ll have to be doing manual checks to ensure the right temperature and who has such time? Furthermore, a lot could go wrong if you forget to check or get carried away
- Has a protective measure as a shield to ensure that your dog isn’t able to make contact with the heating device
- Comes with cords that have safety features built in to keep your dog from chewing on them and endangering himself
- Provides sufficient heating for space you want to keep warm
This is by no means an exhaustive list of steps to take to keep your dog house warm. But that said; it’s a good starting point. But while you are at it, ensure that you always consider your beloved dog’s safety first.