It can be challenging to figure out ways to keep your dog warm during the long nights of winter. While you can try a few simple solutions to keep the doghouse warmer, drastic measures may be necessary in particularly cold regions. Often, the only way to warm doghouses in extreme climates is to add a commercial heating unit to the house or to construct a heating device of your own.
Improve the Placement
The simplest way to raise the temperature of your dog’s house may be to move the house to a warmer location, such as a heated garage. Even if you cannot move the doghouse inside, it will stay much warmer if you place it in an area sheltered from the wind. You could place it against your house or other heated buildings, which will not only shelter it from much of the wind, but it will help raise the temperature of the doghouse slightly. If wind is not a factor, you may want to consider placing the doghouse in a place that receives ample sunlight -- particularly in the afternoon. Solar doghouses are an option, but they do not operate during the night, when your dog needs warmth the most.
Insulate the House
Your dog’s body heat is what keeps his house warm. The better insulated the doghouse is, the warmer it will stay. Accordingly, ensure that all cracks and gaps in the house are covered or blocked. The doghouse must have a door that will keep the warm air inside the doghouse from leaking out. You should raise the doghouse up off the ground and place a soft bedding material, pillow or blanket on the floor for your dog to sleep on. Not only does this provide comfort to your dog, but it also helps to insulate both the dog and the house from the cold ground.
Purchase a Heater
A number of commercial “plug and play” products are available that will help keep your dog’s house warmer. For example, several manufacturers produce heated mats that can go on the bottom of the doghouse. It is important to monitor dogs when electrical devices such as these are used; do not use these types of devices with dogs who are likely to chew on them. Additionally, be sure to monitor the temperature of heating devices regularly to prevent burns and accidents. If you prefer, you can simply start over and purchase a heated doghouse, which will help keep your pup warm in cold climates.
Build a Heating Solution
If you are handy with tools, you can install a light fixture in the top of the doghouse; when fitted with an incandescent bulb, it will keep the house much warmer. This is only an appropriate solution if the doghouse provides enough headroom that you can install the light high enough to prevent your dog from coming into contact with it. Use a ceramic light fixture, as they are safer than plastic units, and place a fire-resistant baffle or guard around the bulb to reduce the risks of something contacting the bulb or fixture. Only use pet-safe, red lightbulbs instead of a white bulbs so that your pup can still get some shuteye.
Capture Waste Heat
If you really want to spoil spot rotten, you can use the heat from your house to warm your dog's house via a dryer hose. Cut a circular hole near the top of the doghouse that will accept an aluminum dryer hose connected to the interior of your house. Connect the dryer hose to the dog's house on one side and the house on the other. Use a small fan to blow the heat into the doghouse.