How to Build a Winterized Dog House for Cold Weather

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As the winter months set in, many people begin winterizing their homes and doing what they can to stay warm. Although your dog may be wearing a warm, winter coat, you should not forget that his body is very susceptible to the cold and the elements. Therefore, as you are examining your own dwelling, you should make a careful examination of your dog's house or shelter. There are some fairly simple steps you can do to winterize your dog's house.

Step 1

Place your dog house where it is out of the direct wind.

Step 2

Raise your dog house off the ground with a platform. This will keep it off the cold ground.

Step 3

Cover the doorway of the dog house to keep cold air and moisture out. Choices to use for a cover include: waterproof burlap, plastic sheeting, old bathmats or scraps of carpeting. You will want something sturdy enough to keep out the wind, but also pliable enough for your dog to be able to get in and out of the dog house with ease.

Step 4

Examine the dog house roof for any holes that could cause water leaks or allow cold air inside. Patch and repair any damage you find.You might also consider adding extra roof insulation.

Step 5

Insulate the dog house with sheets of Styrofoam. Buying rolled sheets is probably the easiest bet.

Step 6

Arrange the bedding inside the doghouse. Stay away from the usual types of bedding like blankets or sheets because they retain moisture and can freeze. Straw and cedar shavings are good choices because they retain warmth. You will need to change bedding once every two to three weeks.

Step 7

Protect your dog's water by purchasing a heated water dish for your dog house. These are available for purchase at retail pet stores.

Step 8

Install a small heater for your dog house. Make sure you take the necessary precautions with the wiring so that your dog does not have access to chew the cords. Dog house heaters and heated blankets are both available for purchase at pet stores and online.

Things You'll Need

  • Heated water bowl

  • Old bath mat

  • Sheets of plastic wrap

  • Old cinder blocks, bricks or a wooden platform


Be careful of using electric blankets or heating pats. These can sometimes become too warm, especially on the tender flesh of your dog's belly. They also pose dangers with your dog chewing on the cord. If you do use a blanket with a cord, be sure to place the cord in PVC piping so your dog doesn't have access to chew it.