The colder months promise the joys of a glittery winter wonderland with fluffy snowflakes and shiny icicles, and hot chocolate by the fire. But for some outdoor doggos, those same dreams of sparkly, snowy days mean cold temps that can be painful and dangerous.
Some dogs are built to withstand the cold. Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes, and Saint Bernards are just a few breeds that will delight in winter days. But if your pup belongs to a breed that isn’t quite so cold-proof on its own, and temps will be dropping below 50℉ where you’re located, finding a way to offer your dog outdoor shelter and warmth is something you need to consider. DoggyAdvice has dug up the details on some excellent options for keeping your tail-wagger warm through the winter months.
Top Outdoor Dog House Options
We’re starting our list in the dog house, and we mean that in the best way possible. Many dog houses are designed to keep out the cold and keep your canine companion comfortable with toasty temps inside, no matter how frigid it gets outside. Here are a few doggy domiciles we found to be exceptional.
Deluxe indeed, this darling dog house features a stylish profile plus multiple means of protecting your medium-to-large-sized pup from the cold. The walls are insulated with Styro/EPS foam to keep the cold at bay, and the fitted door creates an extra seal against the cold when closed.
It will stand up to the cold all winter long with the windows closed, and in summer, you can open them to provide cross-ventilation and keep your dog cool. It’s also topped with a solar panel that powers a fan for those dog-days of summer.
As an additional heating option, there’s a built-in 18 x 18-inch floor heater. It’s included in your purchase and cleverly designed with the heater cord portal exit directly at the back of the house, which means you can safely hook up the heater to an external power outlet without worrying about your pet’s safety.
There are some genuinely paw-some perks to this insulated dog house designed to accommodate canines up to 220 pounds. The company boasts that this is “the most technically-advanced dog house on the market today,” and here’s how they back it up.
For starters, the Climate Master Plus will keep your pup toasty through the winter and feeling cool breezes all summer with their patent-pending PanelAbode Laminated Engineered Panel System. The simulated rough-sawn cedar finish gives you the classic look of western red cedar dog houses while maintaining structural soundness much longer. You should know, though, it relies on this insulation system for keeping your pup warm and does not include a heating element.
For ease of access, your doggo can come and go through the all-weather door. Backed by a 90-day satisfaction guarantee and a 5-year warranty, this door is made in the USA with a color-matched powder-coated aluminum frame. The weather-sealed entrance features shatter-resistant clear acrylic panels and even a lock. The house also has raised feet, a vented ridge-cap, and a removable roof with patented Slide-Lock technology that lets you open up your dog’s abode with no tools needed for cleaning or easy access to your furry friend.
Unlike the previous two houses on our list, this dog house isn’t insulated and doesn’t have a door to keep out the cold. Instead, it features the smart design of an off-center door offering your pup a place to shelter from the elements by moving away from the entrance. However, if you feel like Fido needs one, you can order a barn-style plastic door made to fit the structure. Like the Climate Master above, there’s no heating element included with this dog cabin.
Weatherproof sealed inside and out, the Club House is made of solid pine, and the panels are draft-resistant thanks to the tongue-and-groove design. The roof is covered with composite shingles and features ventilation via two locking arms to prop it open. The structure sits on adjustable hard plastic feet to keep the floor level on any surface as well as elevated from the elements in any season.
There are three house sizes available, depending on your doggo. Small/medium will suit pups up to 45 pounds, large for up to 70 pounds, and extra-large if your furry friend weighs up to 95 pounds.
An economical option to keep your pup safe from exposure to harsh temps in both summer and winter, this dog house for small-to-medium-sized pups sticks to the basics and does it well. It’s not insulated, lacks the door feature, and doesn’t include a heating option. Still, it is made of ultra-durable, weather-resistant PP material that will offer your canine a cozy place to escape the elements.
Its ventilated design with thermal balancing features keeps your furry friend fresh and feeling fine in any weather. Plus, it sits on an elevated platform floor to keep pup up off the ground in case of rain or snow. The roof is waterproofed against rain and wind too, and it’s easily removable for cleaning.
Top Dog House Heater Options
As you can see from the selection of dog houses featured above, an included heating element is a rare find. In general, a solid structure for shelter is certainly better than being left out in the cold, but if you feel that Fido might still need the extra warmth, here are some excellent additional heating options.
Newly redesigned, this heater is easy to use and generates safe, dry heat inside your doggo’s shelter. The 300-watt heating element has the ability to heat up to 75 cubic feet, so it’s more than capable of keeping cozy temps inside any of the houses on our list. It’s also got a 6-foot cord to reach your power outlet.
Safety first, this heating unit has rounded corners and no sharp edges that could potentially harm your furbaby. Plus, it features an internal heat shield that makes the bottom half safe if doggo does come in contact with the heater, though you’ll need to position it high enough inside the house that they won’t touch the top of the unit.
To bring the heat, it uses a forced-air fan that runs only when needed to conserve energy. You can set the easy-to-access thermostat anywhere from 30 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the thermal sensing bulb means you can rely on it to provide accurate temperature control. The heating element and the thermostat can both be replaced, but you shouldn’t need to worry about it for quite a while since it’s good for up to 100,000 on/off cycles.
EnergyWise is the parent company of Heat Storm, and they lay claim to the creation of the world’s first line of quartz-infrared space heaters. Capable of keeping any space toasty, this little heating unit belongs to that line and can safely warm human homes and doggy digs alike.
Plus, since it only takes up less than 2 feet of wall space, it can be situated just about anywhere, including the dog house. And in case it stops working properly, the product includes a 1-year warranty.
Designed with safety in mind in every aspect, the product’s Safe-Touch Grill means you don’t have to worry about your doggo getting too close for comfort because it won’t burn skin. It also includes an auto-shutoff feature in case an overly-rambunctious pup accidentally knocks it over.
With a digital touch LED display to define the ambient temperature and another auto-shutoff feature in case the grill becomes obstructed and temps get too high, you’ll always be sure that your dog isn’t getting overheated. When temperature changes are necessary, you can also use the included remote control for easy adjustments from anywhere.
Something else that’s positively paw-some about this particular heater is the lifetime filter that removes dust and dander and is easily removable, so you can wash and replace it anytime to up the quality of air in your pup’s place.
This portable unit also uses quartz infrared heating technology from the same company and the same line as the Deluxe Mounted Heater above. It has many of the same safety features like the heat shield and safety switches for auto-shutoff. Plus, both are guaranteed by their ETL Safety Certifications.
It’s also got the same LED temperature display and remote control functions, so you check on and adjust the ambient temp without having to head outside with your doggo.
It looks a little bit like a toaster and will keep your dog (comfortably) hot without burning his buns, pup-pun totally intended. This device is no joke, though. The 1500 watt heater will heat up to 1000 square feet, so it’s suitable no matter the size of your dog’s palace. For smaller spaces, it has an energy efficiency mode that will reduce the wattage to 750.
You don’t have to worry about your pup being unable to take the heat either because this heater also features Heat Storm’s patented heat exchanger with HMS Technology. That means that the infrared heat combines with the humidity in the air rather than reducing it to create a gentle heat that doesn’t lower oxygen levels.
We’re switching gears here from space heaters to an alternative heat source that can be placed inside your doggo’s house. Like the included floor heater pad from the ASL Solutions Dog Palace that topped our list, the Lectro-Soft outdoor heated pad is an ideal solution as an additional purchase for a dog house that’s missing this element.
There are other heating pads designed for pups out there, but K&H stakes their claim as the “first soft, outdoor heated bed on the market.” Because of the extremely low-wattage and the super-soft PVC exterior lining, the bed is safe for use in outdoor conditions and won’t absorb moisture from weather events like rain and snow.
Your pup can stay snuggled up on the bed safely inside their dog house and enjoy the comfort of orthopedic support with a comfy fleece cover. Plus, the thermostatically controlled temperature will warm to their ordinary body temperature providing a safe source of unparalleled comfort and warmth.
This plush, premium pet-pampering pillow eliminates the electrical element. It depends on your doggo to sustain warm temps with a Mylar interior layer that absorbs their own body heat and reflects it back to them. Lined with faux-lambs wool and trimmed in corduroy exterior with a non-skid bottom, this is a stylish and functional alternative to electrically heated pet beds.
What To Consider in Choosing a Dog House and Heater
If you live in a climate where the temps don’t drop too low, you might find that a dog house alone will be sufficient for keeping your pup safe and sheltered from winter weather. The dog houses we looked at ranged in doggy design and delivered different pup-perks.
Some are insulated with weatherproof doors, and our top pick even includes its own additional floor heating element. Other canine housing choices are more standard, but they’re still sturdy structures that can help ease doggo’s exposure to the elements.
Yet if winters where you are get really frigid, you and your pup will likely love the option of the separate heating elements we reviewed. These types of heaters can be wall-mounted, portable, or even electricity-free.
Overall, your dog’s safety is your number one consideration, and you know your pup best. An easily excitable pup might not fare well with a heating unit that could be knocked over. A canine that chews on anything they can find won’t be best served by a fluffy bed that might seem more like an oversized toy.
Based on these canine considerations, you can be sure you’re armed with the info and ready to find the perfect house and/or heater combo that your furry friend will appreciate all winter long!