How to Heat a Dog House: The Complete Guide To Heating Outdoor Dog House

Outdoor pet housing has been around for centuries, and they can be an excellent way for your guard dogs to roam around your gated compound( assuming you live in one).  

By locating an ideal outdoor dog house, it allows for your pet dog to retire to a warm and comfortable dog house outside your backyard when it feels like doing so!

But, How do you Heat a Dog House when winter comes? Like it or not, the winter season is going to happen every year. 

And, if you happen to choose outdoor housing for your pet dog, you need to consider how you will keep that dog house heated throughout the cold nights of winter so that your dog does not suffer from hyperthermia, frostbite, and much more cold weather can throw at your dog.

On the other hand, if you already own an outdoor dog den, beware as the majority of outdoor dog houses you know are not purposely built for both summer and winter uses.

And that means if you have recently just bought an ordinary outdoor dog house, you should know they are only as good as they can be when you need them to keep the scorching heatwave outside your home at bay. 

However, if you intend to keep your dog house heated in the winter but also cool enough in the summer’s heatwave, you need to purposely build your outdoor dog house to heat up efficiently in winter and cool down during summer effortlessly.

Use Cold-weather proof Dog Houses.

With a bit of outdoor dog living planning, you can quickly figure out how do you insulate a dog house for the winter, and the good news is that there are plenty of weatherproofing materials like this one, which is available on Amazon.

Install Proper Dog House Insulation

With good and useful outdoor dog insulation materials, your dog house can be made safe for cold weather.

Depending on your budget, there are options to keep your dog house heated all winter and relatively cooled down in the summer. 

And, planning allows you to get the most effective all-weatherproof insulation panels for installation on your wooden paneled dog house walls, roof, and doors.

 Paired with heated dog beddings and heated dog mats like these over on Amazon, your dog house can provide the warmth and comfort it needs during all of the winter seasons. 

Pay attention to the type of material used to build your outdoor dog house too! Scientifically, plastic materials are lousy heat and cold conductors. 

So, if you are investing in an all-weatherproof dog house, make no mistake to discount if not rule out all plastic outdoor dog houses completely. 

For best results and your pet dog’s warmth in the winter, consider using properly insulated wooden dog houses, which are known to be a better option compared to plastic dog houses.

Weatherproof The Doghouse

Weatherproofing the doghouse in individual states where snow is a recurring occurrence during winter, is a necessary part of the process of keeping your dog house heated. 

While insulation may appear to be the same as Weatherproofing, the truth is they are quite different in so many ways. Insulation of all outdoor dog houses applies to all states, while Weatherproofing of the doghouse is only a necessity in areas likely to snow during the winter season.

And to install a weatherproof shield, a wind and waterproofing membrane like this on Amazon is wrapped around your outdoor dog house to keep melting snow water going through the dog’s den into the sleeping areas.

Protect The Doghouse Entrance: Use Outdoor Dog Houses With A Built-in Closed and Open Door

While most outdoor dog houses prefer to have no closed doors, such pet houses pose a challenge to keep heat from escaping in the den. With a proper closed and open dog door house, you can regulate the room temperature inside your pet’s dog house. 

It’s simple things like a self-service dog enclosure, even if it is only made of a thick carpet that allows the dog to go in and out of her outdoor dog house as it please is all you need to keep your dog house heated.

Insulation: Keep Your Dogs House Heated With Insulation

Whether it’s a pre-made dog house or you are making one from scratch( DIY outdoor dog house), keeping it adequately insulated is all you need to keep it warm and cool enough in the summer.

For those with a limited budget, consider these affordable dog house insulating supplies available on Amazon.

 And, if you feel you could do a DIY upgrade on an old or newly purchased dog house, consider accessorizing your pet house with dog heating furnace, self-heating dog mat or heated dog beds.

Raised Flooring

Placing your bed on an elevated position gives your dog house a chance to fend off the cold weather, especially in outdoor areas where concrete or cement flooring was used. 

Cement and concrete structures are known for conducting the cold from the floor and keep the entire dog house way too cold for a dog to survive cool winter nights.

Ideally, a pallet or anything made out of wood should be able to systematically keep the cold draft away from your dog’s den, and in the summer, the elevation also doubles as ventilators to cool the dog house on demand.


While each dog breed comes with varying needs for headspace, keeping things down to essentials is also key to keeping the dog’s den warm and self-contained during cold winter nights.

As long as your dog can stand and turn when he needs to change positions or access his food and water bowls, then you are all made up for the entire winter.

Use Heat From Your Own Home

With a little bit of creative thinking, you could use all the wasted heating from your home to keep your kennel house warm. Imagine what your home dryer can do for keeping your dog warm during the winter cold nights? 

With a simple chipboard cut-out to fit this aluminum foil ducting(available on Amazon), location selection of where to assemble your dog’s outdoor den, you can extend the four-inch home dryer flex pipe to heat your dog house effortlessly.

Use Microwavable Pads

These microwavable heat-emiting pads are capable of keeping your dog’s den heated for hours with just one microwave heating. 

Though they may not last all night, when paired with these winter beds they can go a long way to keep your dog house warm all night.

Factors That Impact Your Dog’s Heating And Cooling Needs

These factors may affect how your dog will need heating during winter, whether he has an outdoor dog house or living with you indoors…

Old Dogs

Aging dogs are the most vulnerable when it comes to nippy weather conditions that come with winter weather where temperatures can plummet to freezing point in some areas across the USA and Europe. 

While dogs can naturally self-regulate their body temperatures, old age in dogs also affects their metabolism abilities to provide the body with fat-burning fuel; it needs to regulate their body heat effectively. 

And that is why dogs need human intervention to provide them with the required warmth in winter.

Pregnant Dogs

A pregnant bitch demands constant warmth alongside the newly born puppy dogs. Therefore, you must make all the preparations necessary to keep that bitch away from all potential cold weather. 

Single Coated Dogs

Short and single-coated dogs have stirred up debatable issues surrounding their ability to keep themselves warm enough with such thin-layered dog coats adequately.

While you may find shaven dogs to be fashionable, keep in mind that once you aggressively cut your dog’s coat, you are leaving her exposed to direct UV sunlight, which can burn and cause the dog’s skin to blister. But your dog will also not be able to keep the warmth it needs in the winter.

There is also a raging argument made by other veterinarians in other quarters of our society about different dog breeds such as Dachshunds(including all of the Dachshund mix dog breed), Boxers, Greyhounds.

The belief is that these dog breeds have it easy in the winter despite not being long-haired dogs. 

Their hair coat may be structured in a way that makes them look either vulnerable or prepared to battle it out with nippy and cold winter nights outdoors. 

Truth is every dog, regardless of the short or long-haired dog breed heritage, must be provided with a heated outdoor dog house.

With the market flush with countless ways to keeping your dog comfortable all seasons, there is no excuse that as a pet owner, you can not do DIY dog insulation for your dog’s house heating needs.

And, if you have the habit of shaving your pets, careful thinking should be your guide here on how you are leaving your dog exposed to elements as well as bug bites.

Eddie Mcfarren

Eddie Mcfarren is an avid Pet blogger who is passionate about pet welfare and everything to do with animals. His passion for writing does not intend to provide veterinary advice. However, when he writes about pets, he will go to great lengths to help users better understand their dogs. His pet dog Tess helps him in understanding a great deal of care and living with pets at home. On a serious note, the content on this blog is not a substitute for veterinary guidance. Only competently trained Vets can offer qualified advice about your pet's ailments. Therefore, make sure to seek advice from your local veterinarian officer near you!

Recent Posts