Pamela writes on a diverse array of topics including health, how-to, and animal care and safety.
Outdoor Fun and Play
Even in the Winter you dogs need to get out and get exercise. However, dogs are susceptible to frostbite just like humans. Depending on the temperature, do not leave your dog out for an extended period of time. A doggy door is always a good idea, so your pet can come in when he needs to get warm or wants to sleep. If you don't have a doggy door, monitor the time they are out.
If your dog is healthy a half an hour or so might be an appropriate amount of time. Never, never leave your dog out in the cold all day or all night! This is animal abuse! And a neighbor may decide to report you to animal control. Your dog is a member of your family. Treat him like one.
What to Wear? What to Wear?
When taking your dog out for a walk, there are a few things to consider. What type of dog do you have? Does he have long hair or short hair? Is he a puppy or older dog? Protective clothing is appropriate to prevent discomfort when going for a walk. A coat and even boots may be appropriate to protect them from the weather. Boots also protect their feet from salt and chemicals that care put down to melt snow.
How to Heat a Dog House
There are many ways to heat a dog house. A heated dog house is a great way to keep your dogs warm in cold weather. Fortunately, most dog owners realize the necessity of assuring their dogs are warm and safe in winter. However, every year, many dogs freeze to death or suffer from exposure to the elements. If you do a little research, you will find a method you are comfortable with that meets your budget.
One winter, I saw a tiny ball of fur on a lawn tied to the railing of the front porch. It was laying down and all balled up trying to keep warm. It took all my strength not to get out of my car and take that puppy home.
Many dogs enjoy the snow and the cold weather, but there are precautions we need to take just to assure they don't get frostbite or suffer from hypothermia when the temperature really drops. There are many things we can do to help, from using extra clothing, to placing a heating pad in the doghouse.
Build or Purchase a Dog House
Make sure that the dog house is large enough to accommodate the dog. If you live in an area that is subject to snow or flooding, make sure that the dog house is on stilts or off of the ground.
For extra protection against the wind and cold, make sure the dog house is up against a flat surface, such as the house or a tree. When building or buying the house, take into consideration room for heaters and other insulating materials.
To make sure your dog can stay warm when outside, make sure they have a warm, comfortable place to lay down. A remnant of warm carpet or a thick blanket in the dog house will allow them to cuddle up. Seal any crack or openings in the dog house that will allow the elements to come in.
- Doggy Heating Pad: You dog will especially love you for getting him a doggy heating pad. They are great to use for your dog if he prefers to be outside or if he stays in the garage or basement. Doggy heating pads are chew and water-resistant and safe to use indoors and out.
- Dog House Heater: Hound Heaters are safe and efficient in maintaining a comfortable heating environment for your pet. It has a 100,000 cycle life thermostat designed to maintain a consistent safe temperature. They cost about $100 and can be purchased in pet stores or online.
In-Home Doggy Door
- Make a doggy door: If you do not use a dog shelter, a doggy door is convenient and very inexpensive to install. This way, your pet can come into the house to warm up whenever he wants to. Make sure the door is large enough for the dog to easily go in and out and that the flap is tight enough to keep cold air out and the heat in your home.
Tack onto the dog house strips of thick plastic, tarp or heavy fabric, that will allow your dog to go in and out and act as a buffer against the cold. You can also put a doggie door in the dog's dwelling that will close behind him—this will help to keep the cold out and the heat in.
When your dog comes in from the snow or the rain, it is a good idea to take a towel and dry them off. It is also important to make sure they have a warm place to stay while they are drying off. Also, check the paws to make sure they have no signs of frostbite.
© 2010 Pamela Lipscomb
Pamela Lipscomb (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on May 31, 2020:
Julie, if your dog has extreme anxiety, please have a vet treat her anxiety. There are both prescription and natural homeopathic treatments for this.
Julie on October 13, 2018:
I see a lot about just bringing them in. I have three dogs two are indoor dogs and one prefers outside. My outside pup has extremely bad anxiety and has broken her teeth trying to get out of a indoor enclosure. We build a outdoor large dog kennel and she loves it. She has some relief from the anxiety. She is medicated for it but this way she can fully relax. I got her as an adult so don’t know her past. This is the first winter with her and I can use all the tips possible. Just because my dog is outside when I leave the house doesn’t mean she isn’t my family. I would love to have her in but that’s not what she wants so I make outside as comfortable as I possibly can and bring her in whenever I am there.
marietta on December 31, 2017:
new law dogs cant be left outside for more than 2 hours at a time .......and its a family if you dont @$%*!( get one ...simple
Abdigani on January 19, 2017:
i am asking you the insulation materials and electricity source that they use to heat the dog house during the winter time, and answer the question using scientist vocabulary
Pamela Lipscomb (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on September 14, 2010:
Aley, I don't understand it either. Are pets are to be cared for and protected at all costs.
Alice Lee Martin from Sumner, Washington,USA on September 14, 2010:
Nice hub. I never understood why people leave their pets outside in inclement weather. My dogs are inside animals, but go out to "play" and of course to relieve themselves...they are my children!
Pamela Lipscomb (author) from Charlotte, North Carolina on April 08, 2010:
Yes, don't you know dogs are people too! : )
glassvisage from Northern California on April 06, 2010:
That is a beautiful doghouse. I love this Hub... great tips! A doggy heating pad! How caring! :)
Even in winter your pets need to be hydrated, but drinking ice doesn't feel so good on their tongues. So K& H makes this electrically heated water or feeder bowl to keep those sweet wet tongues from getting burned. The K&H 96-Ounce Thermal-Bowl Outdoor Pet Feeder holds 96 ounces!
K&H 96-Ounce Thermal-Bowl Outdoor Pet Feeder
(Dog) Home Improvement
At the risk of stating the obvious, the first order of business is to determine if the existing structure – whatever it may be – is adequate to provide the required protection. Basically, how good is it?
Keep in mind that protection is completely dependent on your location, and the expected temperatures, so a dog house in Florida or Texas will have different requirements than one in, say, Colorado.
Because we’re pushing into the cold months, we will concentrate on protection from the cold – and not with sweaters.
A few basics for your pooch palace to take into consideration:
- The house should be large enough to allow your dog – or dogs – to move around inside. The height should allow them to keep their heads up and not hunch over. The height should allow them access to their bed without bumping their head. They should be able to stretch out without cramping. The more dogs, the more room is required.
- Without exception, the roof should be waterproof and extend over the opening to keep any rain from going into the house. Also, make sure the structure is set in a manner that the opening is away from the prevailing direction of incoming rain.
- The opening should be large enough for your dog to comfortably enter and exit, without being excessive – or solid.
- Without question, there should be some type of bed for your dog. Make sure it’s on a platform of some sort, raised up about 6″ from the floor of the house.
- The walls, roof, and floor should be completely insulated.
- The house needs to be windproof, period. Insulation and waterproofing are important, but wind chill can be a killer – literally.
If you find your dog house meets most of the requirements – then let’s see how we can improve it!
A homebuilt doghouse can easily be modified, and alterations should be straightforward enough to tackle in an afternoon with some help from your favorite DIY store.
Leaky roof? Start by removing all the old shingles and sub-roofing. Add a layer of insulation, lay down some water-resistant membrane, and then re-shingle. If the height isn’t quite what it needs to be, now is the perfect time to add height – before finishing off the roof.
If the walls or floors have no insulation – or if the insulation is not what it should be – then you have the option to add the insulation and another layer on the outside of the structure, or the same on the inside.
Heated Dog Houses to Keep Your Pet Warm This Winter
Now that winter is upon us, most people wonder whether their dog is warm enough at night. This is particularly more important if you have a large, hunting dog breed that is usually kept outdoors. As a word of caution: always bring your dog indoors if it gets too cold. And if you plan to keep your dog in the garage or the patio, do invest in a heated dog house. Of course, you must still make sure that your dog is warm enough at night, especially when the temperatures plummet in their teens. Check on your pet from time to time and make sure he has plenty of fresh drinking water available along with warm bedding.
In this guide, we will consider some of the best heated dog houses along with some tips to you’re your dog warm in winters, inside and outside.
Why Buy a Heated Dog House?
Ordinarily, your dog’s body heat and a suitable choice of bedding material is sufficient to keep the dog house cozy.
However, if you live in an area that experiences r particularly cold winters, your dog’s house may need a little extra heating to keep the temperature up.
A sufficiently insulated, heated dog house or heated dog kennel for winter is especially important for senior dogs whose general health is not what it used to be.
The same applies to dogs who are sick or recovering from an illness and a heated dog house is also recommended for whelping.