Despite having fluffy, warm coats, dogs tend to feel the cold just like human beings do. Therefore, if your dogs are sleeping outside, you should provide them with additional protection against the harsh temperatures. Spending hours outdoors in the cold can cause the dog’s temperatures to fall below what is considered safe. This can result in frostbites on paws and ears and hypothermia, which is a life-threatening condition that may cause the body organs to shut down.
You can install a thermometer to keep track of the temperature levels in the dog house. If the temperatures are too high, the dog will be unable to regulate its body temperature resulting in overheating, which is also life-threatening. The dog house temperatures should be maintained between 50°F and 75°F.
Electricity is an excellent way of heating your dog’s house. However, it can also be dangerous, especially for dogs that love chewing cables or for owners who want to avoid the hassle of wiring. If you do not want to use electricity, here are a few ways that you can still keep the kennel heated and warm.
The placement of the dog kennel can make a huge difference regarding its warmth. The dog kennel should be placed as closer to the house as possible to help keep block any wind. The door should also face away from the direction of the wind. Although this is a minor change, it will have a significant impact on the overall safety and comfort of your canine.
Patch Any Gaps
To ensure proper insulation of the dog house, you need to patch up any gaps on the dog house. One of the best materials to use is foam, however, you can use any material that will cover the gaps to help improve the warmth of the dog house. If there are gaps that your dog can easily reach, be sure to use wood or other materials that are less tempting for your dog to chew. This is important because foam is a prospective choking hazard.
Utilize Solar Power
If you do not want running wires from the house to the dog kennel, you should use solar power. This can help to save your energy costs and will give your dog the power that he/she needs to stay warm. You only require a small array for the dog house. Furthermore, smaller solar systems tend to be affordable and are easy to install without the need for technical knowledge.
All you need to do is place your panels on the kennel’s roof and attach the inverter on the back of the house so that it is not exposed and plug in the heaters. You can also utilize solar panels that do not have an inverter if you want to enjoy a greenhouse effect. During the day, the sun rays will penetrate the dog house and raise its temperatures and it will stay relatively warm even after the sun goes down.
Today, there are readily insulated or heated dog houses that are quite economically priced. However, you can still insulate your current dog house. Plastic or wood dog houses are the best for warmth. You need to insulate your kennel with materials that will trap heat inside and prevent it from getting out, for instance, foam.
To insulate the kennel, you need to cover the roof frames, wall frames, floor joints, and even the door with 1-inch of thick foam spray or boards. You should also carpet the floor of the dog house because the ground tends to be the coldest area. Although foam insulation is perfectly safe, non-toxic, and easy to install, it is also soundproof and expensive. Using a carpet to cover the interior of the dog house may be a cheaper alternative but it is less effective.
Add a Door
Most dog houses lack a door and only have a big gap that the dog can walk in and out with ease. However, this opening lets all the heat out and allows wind and cold air in. Adding a door will ensure that there is no heat loss throughout the night and your dog will be safe and warm. Furthermore, doors are quite easy to install and are affordable.
Self-heating or Thermal Dog Beds
Self-heating and thermal blankets and beds are an inexpensive way of creating a warm and cozy environment for your dog in their small house. There are excellent dog beds that can work for winter and they work by absorbing heat that emanates naturally from the dog’s body, trap the heat inside and then radiate it out. This will keep your dog warm even during the cold winter months.
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The use of microwaveable cushions provides a temporary way of heating dog houses. All you need to do is put the cushions in the microwave for a few minutes and then place them on the dog’s bed. These cushions will absorb heat and will then radiate it out, but for just a short time. The downside is that cushions should be reheated after every house and are not ideal for overnight use. They are perfect for dog owners who are looking for something more affordable to keep their dog house heated.
Nobody loves sleeping out in the cold and dogs are not an exception. However, if your dog sleeps outdoors, then you should do everything possible to keep them warm and comfortable outside. Although electricity-powered heaters are the easiest way of achieving this, they are not a perfect choice for everyone. You can opt for any of the above-mentioned ways to keep your dog house warm and comfortable, especially during the cold winter months.