If your dog is an outside one and it has its own dog house, it is imperative to pay special attention to its features, especially before the wintertime kicks in. Unfortunately, lots of pet owners buy dog houses based on a series of irrelevant things. Does it look good? Does it look cute? Is it quite sturdy? It is good to go then.
The truth is there are plenty of other aspects to pay attention to. Furthermore, even if you choose to do it yourself, there are a few things to take into consideration. More importantly, small details can make the difference between a comfortable place in the wintertime and a place that exposes your dog to a series of risks.
So, how to keep a dog house warm in the winter?
Dangers Of Cold Weather
Cold weather can be hazardous for dogs. Put yourself in their shoes. If you put a coat on, gloves and a hat and you are still cold when you go outside; your dog probably feels the same. Outside dogs are usually more resistant because they are used to harsh weather conditions, but cold weather can still cause trouble.
Hypothermia is probably the most significant risk associated with cold. Pay attention to signs of cold, such as walking stiff, keeping the tail close to the body, or sleeping in a curled position. Check your dog more times a day, too – make sure the tips of the ears, the body, and the nose are not cold. Paws should not be black or dark red either.
If you notice any of these signs, rush to a veterinarian. At the same time, it is evident that the dog house is not good enough. So, how do you keep it warm then?
Three Methods To Keep A Dog House Warm In The Winter
There are a few different options. It mostly depends on how harsh winters are in your area.
There are multiple ways to retain heat, and they are mostly related to keeping the dog house in good condition.
- Covering holes – unless a hole is there for a good reason (like ventilation), it must be patched. The same rule applies if it is just damage. Ideally, you should match the material, but other than that, plastic or wood sheets will get the job done.
- Insulation – it works just like for your home. Foam boards can be installed without calling a professional, and they will keep your furry friend warm. If your dog tends to chew things, cover these boards with some fake walls to stop access.
- Bedding – while straws are quite common, they make a terrible idea. Instead, cedar and pine shavings represent a great solution. They also insulate your dog from the bottom.
- Clothes – this one does not work with every dog. Get your wagger a jumper and supervise it for the first few days. Some dogs will rip these clothes off, while others will be comfortable with them.
- Door – add a door flap, as most of the warm air goes out through the opening. The house should be big enough to accommodate it and have it close once the dog is in. Also, make sure the house is not facing winds.
- Stuffing – toys, and blankets can clear the excessive room, which will lower the temperature.
- Raising the floor – according to Family Handyman, building the house off the ground will reduce the low temperature coming from underneath it. It depends whether the ground or the air is colder, though.
Getting Some Natural Heat
Increasing the amount of natural heat will also help you learn how to keep a dog house warm in the winter. How can you do it then?
- Ideal placement – it makes quite a lot of sense. Placing the dog house in direct sunlight can increase the internal temperature. Turn it around for its most significant side to get as much sun as possible, but make sure you do not expose your dog to extreme winds.
- Dark colors – they tend to absorb heat, so painting your dog house in a dark color will help. The classic khaki you can find in so many dog houses is not as efficient as black, navy blue, or other similar colors.
You can take this venture even further and without too much hassle, especially if winters are harsh in your area.
How To Add Heating To A Dog House
Piping in warm air is one of the most common options out there, and it involves some creativity. Warm air will naturally make its way towards the dog house, but you can also use a fan to make the system more efficient.
Plumbing, on the other hand, is probably the most efficient way to do it. Nothing will keep a dog house warmer than proper pipes with hot water. Make sure the pooch has no direct contact with them, as they can cause burns. The project is more elaborate and will require a plumber.
According to this article on Daily Puppy, placing the dog house against yours is just as efficient to raise the temperature a little. It will insulate the dog house on one side, but also reduce the effects of harsh winds. At the same time, your home is warm, and it will inevitably warm up the dog house too.
Other good options include:
- Using a rice-filled sock – keep it in the microwave for a few minutes, make sure you can hold it in your hand indefinitely and tuck it in your dog’s house.
- Using a microwaveable cushion – it works on the same principles, only you can buy it from commerce.
The bottom line, learning how to keep a dog house warm in the winter, is an investment in your dog’s health and comfort. There are multiple ways to do it, and you can use more of them simultaneously. It is still essential to keep an eye on your dog and make sure it is safe.