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Optimeal® Blog

Heated Dog House: Keeping Your Pup Warm 24/7

By Optimeal Team


When the temperature drops, it’s important to know how to keep your pup warm both inside and outside. Some dogs fare well in cold, wintery conditions, while others prefer to stay bundled up inside where it’s warm. No matter what type of pup you have in your family, investing in a heated dog house is well worth it if they stay outside in the winter.

When we talk about heated dog houses, we aren’t actually referring to dog houses that are heated with electricity. Instead, we’re talking about dog houses that are packed with insulation and other heat-retaining techniques that provide the perfect cozy getaway for your furry friend. There are some that use electricity, but most use insulation.

If your dog stays outside in the cold, consider these tips for choosing the best-heated dog house and keeping them warm in the winter.

When To Use a Heated Dog House

Dog houses come in handy for many pet parents. If you have a fenced-in yard and have to be at work for most of the day, leaving your dog safely outdoors can be more ideal than leaving them cooped up in a crate.

During the summer months and warmer weather, leaving your pup outside with adequate shade and water is a no-brainer. But, during the winter, you may want to take measures to add heat to their dog house. Heated dog houses provide insulation to keep your pup warm while they’re outside in the winter.

When should you use a heated dog house? It’s important to note that not all dogs need a heated dog house. If you only take your dog outside for walks in the snow and don’t leave them out for long periods at a time, you can probably go without a heated dog house.

Similarly, if you own an arctic dog breed, you likely don’t need to heat your dog house. Dog breeds like the Norwegian Elkhound, Bernese Mountain Dog, Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard, Shiba Inu, and Siberian Huskies love the cold weather and won’t mind the kind of cold you need to bundle up for.

Of course, if the weather where you live is extremely cold weather, an insulated dog house can come in handy even for these breeds.

You do need a heated dog house if you own a dog breed that does poorly in cold weather. Certain dog breeds like Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Basset Hounds, Greyhounds, Doberman Pinschers, Chinese Crested, Whippets, Yorkshire Terriers, Pit Bulls, and French Bulldogs. If you parent any of these breeds, keeping them warm is of utmost importance.

If you have to leave your furry family member outdoors in the winter, a heated dog house is an excellent way to keep them safe, warm, and happy.

Different Types of Heated Dog Houses

Though heated dog houses come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, there are only two main types of heated dog houses: electrically heated dog houses and insulated dog houses.

Most dog houses aren’t really “heated” at all. These houses use insulation to retain warmth, keeping the cold out and the warm air in. This type of dog house is the most popular option as it’s much safer, more affordable, and easier to set up than the other option.

Electric dog houses, on the other hand, are actively heated using electricity. For more severe weather concerns and cold conditions, an electrically heated dog house will be more effective. Hoewer, there are some risks involved. If your dog chews at the wiring or if the heating malfunctions, your dog may be stuck in the cold for hours before you get home, not to mention the danger of electric shock or burns.

What To Look For in a Heated Dog House

Whether you’re looking for an electric dog house or an insulated dog house, here are a few things to look for in a heated dog house.

Adequate Space

First, you want to make sure the dog house has adequate space. Trying to heat a large area does take more energy than trying to heat a small area, but it’s important for your dog to have enough room to lay comfortably.

A general rule of thumb is to get a dog house that’s 25% larger than your pup’s measurement from tail to nose. This will give them enough room to maneuver, lay down comfortably, and sit, without being too large.

What’s the Right Temperature?

Many dogs can live comfortably in the cold and enjoy being outside in the snow and winter weather. But, if you’re giving them a warm dog house to spend their time in, what is the right temperature to keep it at?

If you’re heating it electrically, we suggest keeping your dog house anywhere between 69 to 73 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also the best temperature to keep your home while you’re away during the day. Toy breeds or puppies especially need the warmth!

Raised Flooring

Every heated dog house should have a raised floor. This is an excellent way to keep your dog as far away from the cold as possible, and the best way to let the dog house retain as much warmth as possible. When floors are on the ground, the inside of your pup’s dog house may become wet, too. Water can accelerate freezing time and make it much colder much faster.

You can use dog houses that are on the ground during other months, but during winter, raised floors are a must.

Weather Stripped Material

The cold isn’t the only weather you need to protect your furry friend from during winter. Sleet, snow, and cold rain can be dangerous for your pup if they’re left outside. Be sure the heated dog house you find has weather stripping or weatherproof material so your pup will stay nice and dry inside.

When A Heated Dog House Isn’t Enough

While uncommon, there are times when a heated dog house simply isn’t enough to keep your canine companion warm. If you have a dog who is more sensitive to the cold or live in an area where weather gets well below freezing, it’s important to take extra measures to keep your dog warm. You can also move your dog inside during winter to make sure they stay warm and healthy.

Consider heated dog beds, doggy sweaters, and electrically heated dog houses if you must leave your pup outside. Be sure to give your dog the proper nutrition with healthy amounts of protein and healthy fats so they can keep themselves warm, too.

Tips for Keeping Your Pup Warm in the Winter

Here at Optimeal®, we know how important it is to make sure your pup is taken care of, even when you aren’t home with them. This guide will help you know the best-heated dog house to use for your furry friend to keep them warm and dry in the winter.

To learn more about how you can excel as a pup parent, take a look at our resources here.


Winter Safety Tips to Keep Man's Best Friend Safe and Warm | Blog | Animal League

8 Ways to Keep Your Dog Warm | AKC

​​Keep Your Pets Warm, Happy and Healthy with These Winter Safety Tips! | ASPCA



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