- This post contains affiliate links. Read more here.
- Not a substitute for professional veterinary help.
Brr! When temperatures drop, it’s natural for us humans to reach for a coat to keep us warm. While our dogs rock their fur coats year round, it’s also important to consider how extreme weather will affect your dog.
No dog should be left outdoors for prolonged periods of time in freezing weather, but dogs must go outside in winter for a variety of reasons. A heated dog house can be a great option to help keep your dog warm and safe in the winter.
We’ve gathered up a range of heated and insulated dog houses to shelter your dogs before they are ready to come inside and cozy up by the fire with you. But first, let’s look at the reasons why a heated dog house might be a good idea for your dog.
Should My Dog Have a Heated Dog House?
Some breeds tolerate winter weather well. Huskies and Malamutes, for example, were bred as working dogs in cold climates. Other dogs with thick or double-layer coats may also find themselves at home in cooler weather, too. But dogs with thin or single-layer coats, or whose short legs keep their bodies close to the ground, are typically much more vulnerable to the cold.
It’s important to understand your pup’s comfort with cold and ensure that they have a safe, dry, and warm place to shelter during the winter. In fact, it’s often the law. There’s no substitute for the safety and comfort that the shelter of your own home provides (not to mention surplus opportunities for cozy snuggles). But if your dog needs or wants to spend some time outside in cold weather, a heated dog house can help. Heated dog houses can serve as both a retreat and a fun winter playhouse for your pet.
When constructed soundly and properly, heated dog houses can:
- Protect your dog against wind, rain, snow, and other extreme winter weather
- Provide interim shelter for dogs not yet ready to come inside while out on a potty or exercise break
- Extend your dog’s outside time by breaking up long periods spent indoors, which is believed to help with the effects of seasonal affective disorder
Some dog houses use power to add warmth, while others are insulated, keeping the cold out and your dog’s natural warmth in. We feature both styles here, but you’ll want to shop for the one with the features that best meet your dog’s specific needs.
No matter which style you choose, it’s important to build and insulate your heated dog house as directed. Make sure to set it in a good spot where it won’t take in rain or snow. If your heated dog house runs on electricity, make sure your outlets are up to code and regularly check that the dog house components are functioning properly and comfortable for your pet. A heating pad or furnace that’s either too hot or not warm enough may keep your pet from using the dog house, potentially leaving them exposed to extreme winter elements that can threaten their health and safety.
The Best Heated Dog Houses
We’ll admit it: it’s hard to find a lot of high-quality, durable options out there for heated dog houses. However, after countless hours spent researching and comparing the products available, we feel confident suggesting this small collection of dog houses and some related accessories as well.
This sturdy, insulated dog house is stuffed with up to four inches of foam insulation throughout the floor, roof, and walls to keep your pet comfortable.
A built-in digital thermostat and a remote allow you to easily set a safe, moderate temperature for your pet. When assembled, the size is 47.5″H x 31.5″W x 38.5″L, offering plenty of space for medium to large dogs.
Features and style notes:
- Available in brown and gray color options
- Built-in door with window, which can be removed for training
- Elevated floor to keep your dog dry
This wood cabin lookalike is a stylish insulated dog house that keeps dogs warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Built of weather-resistant insulated panels that combine timber, foam, and plywood, this dog house offers better heat retention than standard plywood. The sturdy floor holds dogs up to 154 pounds and is raised two inches off the ground to keep heat from escaping and to protect your pets from the elements.
Things to keep in mind:
- While the plastic door flaps help with wind chill, they will be tempting to chewers
- Roof closes but doesn’t latch or lock; you might want to reinforce it with screws
- For extra warmth, consider adding a heated dog pad or bed
Petmate Husky Dog House and Heated Pad with Cover (Sold Separately)
These two items, sold separately, can be used together to create a heated dog house system. The house is a modern take on the classic igloo-style, wind-shielding plastic dog house. The heated dog house pad is specially shaped to fit in igloo-style dog houses. It comes with a soft cover and is available in three sizes. The large, with dimensions of 17.5 inches by 30 inches, will fit while leaving plenty of unheated floor space so your dog has options.
Things to keep in mind:
- Igloo dome provides basic shelter from wind and rain, but not from the cold
- Heated pad and cover are easy to clean
- The 5.5-foot steel wrapped cord will need to be run through the door of the dog house
Heated Dog House Accessories
If you are looking to equip an existing dog house with a source of heat, consider this furnace. Rated for spaces up to 75 cubic feet, an internal sensor monitors the temperature so it only runs when needed. Plus, the heater is bluetooth-enabled, allowing you to check and update the temperature from any bluetooth-enabled device.
- Heavy-duty 6-foot cord resists chewing
- Sturdy cover with rounded corners protects the internal wiring and your dog too
- Easy to set up and install
This orthopedic foam heated pad is a great way to warm up an insulated dog house that doesn’t have its own heat source. The pad is covered in waterproof PVC material for indoor and outdoor use and comes with a removable fleece cover for extra coziness. It is offered in small, medium, and large sizes depending on your needs.
The cord is 5.5 feet long and steel wrapped for safety and durability. It operates at a reasonable voltage (as all heated dog houses and beds should) at 60 watts.
Note: If you’re looking for a reliable but no-frills heated dog house pad, we recommend this style. It cleans up easily and can stand up to heavy use, making it great for active dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors. One Rover editor piloted it to great success, keeping it plugged in on her covered porch so her dog could be outside when she went to work.
- Fleece cover is easily removed and machine washable
- The thermostat is designed to adjust to your pet’s body temperature, so you never have to adjust or modify the temperature
- One-year limited warranty
Your dog will get thirsty while they’re out there frolicking in the snow. Even in cold weather, access to drinking water is essential, and this heated dog bowl keeps that water from turning solid in sub-freezing temperatures. It’s energy efficient too, with low voltage and an internal thermostat that turns the bowl on and off automatically as needed.
- Electrical components are hidden inside to keep your pet safe
- Available in four sizes to meet your dog’s needs.
Related articles as you and your dog navigate these coldest months of the year.