How to Keep a Dog House Warm in the Winter

doghouse for winter

As you prepare to keep your home warm during the cold months, it’s also important to know how to keep a dog house warm in the winter.

How to winterize a dog house will depend on where you live since some areas experience more extreme weather than others. You can use a variety of methods to add the right amount of warmth to your dog’s home to keep them safe.

Dogs Need Warmth Too

dog on a warm cloth

Image via Pixabay

There are many debates online about how to keep a dog warm in the winter and how cold is too cold for a dog. The truth is that your dog will let you know if they aren’t comfortable in the cold.

Different breeds will handle cold weather, rain, and snow differently, so it’s a good idea to learn about your dog before you customize a dog house for them.

Their needs and the climate you live in will determine how to keep a dog house warm in the winter. Some people may need to take a few measures to keep their dog warm. On the other hand, others may need to take every possible precaution.

How to Keep a Dog House Warm

in the Winter

Once you have an idea of how your dog handles the cold, you can learn how to keep a dog warm in their dog house.

There are several aspects of your dog house you’ll have to think about. You’ll need to make sure it’s the right size for your dog, in the best location, and free of any flaws that will let in the cold and moisture.

After that, you can choose how you want to weatherproof the outside and insulate the inside. Once you’re done, your dog will have a cozy place to lay that keeps their body heat inside and the cold air outside.

Pick the perfect size

Before you can learn how to keep a dog house warm in the winter, you need to make sure the dog house is the appropriate size. If it’s too big, it’ll be more difficult to keep your dog warm. If it’s too small, you can’t add much insulation before you start making the inside cramped.

Whether you're planning to build a DIY dog house or just need to figure out the dimensions you need, use your dog’s size as a reference.

Add 9 inches to the height of your dog, 18 inches to their length, and 12 inches to their width. That should give you the perfect dimensions for a dog house that isn’t too big or too small.

Find the right location

dog house

Image via Pexels

During the summer months, you may have the dog house in a different location. However, your dog can stay even warmer if you put their house in a position that protects them from the elements.

Refrain from leaving the dog house out in the open. If it must stay outside, try placing it next to the house. That will reduce how much wind blows around it and offer additional protection against rain and snow.

You can also place the dog house in the garage for even more protection and warmth. That will make it so wind and precipitation can’t get to your furry friend.

Fix any flaws

Before you add anything to the dog house, you should make sure the structure is free of any flaws that will let in the cold. For example, there shouldn’t be any holes or open slats in the wood, plastic, or metal exterior. It should also have a functional roof that doesn’t leak.

If there are issues with the dog house, fix those first. That may require you to spend more money on materials or reroof the house. However, it’ll be worth it knowing you’ve done your best in building a winterproof dog house.

Stay off the ground

One method of how to keep a dog house warm in the winter is to elevate the dog house off the ground. If it sits directly on the ground, cold can seep into the house and chill your dog as well.

An easy way to do this is to place the dog house on a wooden pallet because it puts a few inches between the house’s floor and the ground. You should then insulate the space between the bottom of the house and the ground with straw or a similar material.

Weatherproof the outside

Once the dog house is free of flaws and elevated off the ground, it’s time to weatherproof the outside. That will add another layer that prevents wind and moisture from getting into the house and making your dog uncomfortable.

One way to do this is to wrap a tarp around the house. Just make sure you secure it with rope or industrial staples. It’s lightweight and easy to use, and it’s a great barrier.

It’s also a good idea to add a dog door because an open hole in the house can quickly let out any warm air inside. A vinyl dog door is preferable because it offers a barrier, but it isn’t so heavy that snowfall can force it closed and prevent your dog from entering or leaving.

Insulate the inside


​image by pixabay

The next step is to insulate the inside of the dog house. There are several different kinds of materials you can use to ensure your dog stays warm.

If you used straw underneath the dog house, you could place any extra hay on the floor of the house. Then place your dog’s bed or blankets on top of the straw.

For the walls, you can also hang carpet on them to hold in as much heat as possible. If the dog house is bigger than your dog needs, you can add foam insulation, but make sure you cover it so your dog doesn’t try to chew through it.

If there’s little space available, foil insulation will trap in the heat without limiting your dog’s movement.

Add heating if necessary

If the other steps don’t provide enough heat, you can also opt for heating sources to provide a bit more warmth.

Outdoor heating pads use minimal energy and output a significant amount of heat. These are great to put underneath your dog’s bedding. If your dog is a chewer, you’ll need to protect the cord so they don’t electrocute themselves.

While outdoor heating pads are safe to use in a dog house, don’t use heated dog beds outside. These are meant for indoor use only.

You can also invest in a dog house furnace that quickly and efficiently heats small areas. Many of them come with a shield to cover them so your dog won’t burn themselves if they touch it.

However, if the temperatures are extremely cold for an extended period of time, it’s best to bring your furry friend inside. It’s not okay to force them to stay outside in weather that puts them at risk for hypothermia.

Keep Your Dog Safe by Knowing How to Keep a Dog House Warm in the Winter

dog in the blanket

​image by  pexels

When the weather turns cold, it’s critical to know how to keep a dog house warm in the winter. Many dogs can withstand the cold more than people can, but their tolerance can vary depending on the breed you have. You’ll also need to take the climate you live in into consideration.

Winterizing a dog house only requires a few steps. Start by moving the house to a protected location and fixing any flaws in the structure. You can customize how you weatherproof and insulate the house to your own budget and your dog’s needs.

Do you have tips for how to keep a dog house warm in the winter? Let us know in the comments section.

Featured image source: Unsplash


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here