How to Heat a Dog's Pen

Although dogs love playing in the snow, they also may need help to stay warm.
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As the weather gets colder, your dog may need some extra help staying warm in an outdoor pen or doghouse. There are several easy ways to keep your pet warm, including heated bedding, a heater box and moving his house into a warmer area like the garage.

Importance of Heating

Certain breeds are less well-adapted to cold weather than others — for example, a Pomeranian might not do as well as a husky. If your dog is not a breed that thrives in frigid conditions, it’s important to provide additional heating. Heating also is important for older or sick dogs, as their metabolism and general fitness may not be enough to help them handle the cold on their own. By heating an outdoor dog pen, you can allow your pet to get exercise while remaining comfortable.

Outdoor Doghouses

If possible, make sure that your dog has an outdoor house in his pen so has additional shelter from the weather. The house should be big enough that he can turn around, but small enough that his body heat will stay warm. The walls, floor and roof of the doghouse should be insulated for additional warmth, and the house should be resting on a dry area. You might want to add a heated pad as well.

Heating Methods

A heated mat or sleeping pad is an easy and portable way to help your dog stay warm in an outdoor pen, provided you have a doghouse or dry area under an overhang where you can put it. You can install a heater box in a doghouse, which will keep the space at a comfortable temperature when the outdoor temperature is below freezing.

Other Options

If you’re looking for an alternative solution to keep your dog warm and you have a spacious garage or basement, you can set up a pen there. You also can set up a pen and doghouse directly next to the house so that your dog benefits from some of the indoor heat. Try using a dryer hose to blow warm air from your house into the dog’s house. Some environmentally conscious individuals even install dog houses with solar units so that their dog benefits from the warmth of the sun.