Dog Heaters For Outdoors: Perfect Winter Picks

Unlike humans who need heavy clothing and furnaces to keep themselves warm in cold weather, dogs naturally heat themselves up. However, during colder winter months, the natural heating may not be enough to keep your pup warm, especially if he lives in a non-heated outdoor kennel. That is why you need to invest in the best dog heaters for outdoors so your dog can keep warm and happy during winter.

The problem with most dog heaters for outside kennels is that they either don’t do the job well enough or are unsafe for daily use. Young puppies and short-haired dog breeds are particularly delicate when left outdoors, and they’ll need a little help to keep their body temperatures at normal levels. Fortunately, we have reviewed some of the top-rated dog house heaters for outdoors that will do the job right while keeping your pet safe.

Top Rated Dog House Heaters for Outdoors

When shopping for dog house heaters, there are multiple options to choose from:

  • Dog heated pads or mats
  • Regular electric heaters that are safe to use around dogs
  • Heated dog houses

Here are our best recommendations under these categories:

Best Dog Heating Pads and Mats

Heated dog pads heat up safely for your dog’s needs and work on low voltage electricity, making them very safe for canines. You can choose between self-heated and electrically-heated models depending on your pet’s heating needs and how chilly winters are in your region. Here are our top pick under this category:

1: Best Overall:  K&H Lectro Kennel Heated Bed

The K&H Lectro Kennel Heated Bed is perhaps the best dog heating mat on the market since it’s designed to work both indoors and outdoors. It comes with a one year guarantee, just in case something goes wrong.

It is thermostatically controlled to warm your pet’s body temperature based on the insulation that your pup’s body provides when lying on the pad. As long as your dog is snuggled on the mat, it keeps a constant warm temperature.

Besides, the heater can emit heat if the insulation provided by the pet’s body isn’t sufficient to maintain a cozy and comfortable temperature. That is why this dog heating pad consumes very little energy and won’t cost you much or ruin the environment in the long run.

A cheaper dog heated mat will eventually cost you more after a few weeks of use due to high electric bills.

Moreover, this heated bed is orthopedic and works great even in extremely freezing temperatures. It is the ideal mat for puppies and senior dogs who need perfectly warm and snuggly bedding.

What we like
  • Includes a washable fleece cover
  • Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use
  • MET listed for safety
What we don’t like
  • Vinyl is porous and may absorb odors

2: Best Self-Heated: Pet Magasin Thermal Self-Heated Dog Bed

If you prefer a non-electric heated pet pad with a great price tag, then the Pet Magasin self-heated dog bed may be your best choice. It does not require electricity to heat up and is much less expensive than its electric counterparts.

This product is a set of two self-heating mats. The larger one measures 22”x18.5” and the smaller one has dimensions of 17”x11”. Both mats are made from a thick foam pad, an insulating material known as Mylar, and an outer velvety sheet.

The dog heating mat feels warm and soft. It utilizes special materials to help retain the natural heat that your pet exudes while providing insulation from the cold ambient air and floor. It is a perfect mat to have during chilly nights. However, it may not work solely to provide adequate heat during colder winter nights.

The bottom part of the heating pad is rubberized to keep the mat steady on the floor, but you may use it on the couch, too. Other than keeping your dog warm, it will literally catch shed hair, dander, and other dirt.

What we like
  • Non-electric
  • Comes in a set of 2, making it great for multi-pet families
  • The rubber underside keeps the pad from sliding across the floor
  • Very affordable
What we don’t like
  • The self-heating pad may not produce enough heat to keep your dog warm in extremely cold winters
  • Slight crinkling noise when the dog steps on the mat

3: Best Budget: Farm Innovators Heated Mat

The Farm Innovators heated pad is made of ABS plastic and works well both indoors and outdoors. The heating pad has an internal thermostat that warms up the pad to temperatures of 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit.

The medium size uses 70 watts of power and measures 17”x24”. The wattage typically varies with size. It comes with a 3-pronged plug and a cord with a spiral wire protector to prevent dogs from chewing it.

To make its rigid surface more comfortable, it features a faux fleece cover secured with elastic bands on all four corners.

This dog heating pad will continue producing heat even when your dog is not lying on it, which can be disadvantageous for pet parents looking to save on utility bills. But if your pup isn’t particularly fond of a cold pad that only heats up after he has laid on it for a few minutes, this can be an advantage.

You can count on this heated pad to provide constant, gentle heat that doesn’t go beyond your pet’s normal body temperature. 

What we like
  • Features an internal thermostat with temperature ranges of 100-105 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Designed for both indoor and outdoor use
  • Available in 3 different sizes
  • Spiral wire protector to discourage chewing
  • Affordable
What we don’t like
  • Not quite thick
  • Not soft enough
  • The cover is only secured with elastics that frequently fall off

Best Electric Heaters for Outdoor Kennels

You don’t need to buy another dog house if your pooch already has an outdoor den she likes. Installing a heating gear into your insulated dog house will adequately keep your pup comfortable during colder winter months.

There are a few regular heaters on the market that are extremely comfy and safe to use in an outdoor dog house in the cold season. They include:

1: Best Overall: Akoma Heat-N-Breeze Dog House Heater

If you’re looking for the best electric heater designed for your pet’s safety in mind, then the Akoma Heat-N-Breeze House Heater is your ultimate choice. Although it is not one of the cheapest products on our list, it is well-built and long-lasting.

After opening the box, simply place it at an appropriate corner in the kennel, connect it to an electric outlet and turn it on. The heating unit does get warm, but not too hot to burn your pet. The thermostat basically controls the ON or OFF settings.

It comes with heat shields to protect your pet from getting burned, giving you peace of mind around the clock.

To conserve energy, consider insulating the walls, ceiling, and floor of the dog house so you can turn the heater on a lot less. You can even set the thermostat to a lower setting if applicable. The easiest way to insulate the kennel is to install special foams or thicken the walls using wood.

What we like
  • Can heat and cool the dog house
  • Easy to install
  • Energy efficient
  • Safe for your dog
  • Good for larger areas
  • Controlled by a thermostat
What we don’t like
  • A little expensive
  • The fan does not cool well enough

2: Best Runner-Up: DeLonghi HMP1500 Mica Panel Heater

The DeLonghi Mica Panel Heater provides a lightweight and sleek way to heat a room or kennel. It uses micathermic technology to ensure efficient, safe, discreet, and consistent heating. With this dog heater for outdoors, you will no longer endure the noise, danger, or disappointments associated with regular, cheap heaters.

This stylish heater works well even for dog breeders who keep several dogs indoors or in a garage, away from the elements. The front panel can be safely touched without the pet getting burned.

Also, the unit has an auto-off feature in case the pet accidentally bumps on it or it tips it over. Most importantly, it has no open flame, carbon monoxide poisoning, or propane leakage that could be harmful to your dog.

What we like
  • Virtually quiet since it doesn’t use a fan
  • Has a thin profile for convenient mounting on the wall
  • Heats up quickly and provides comfortable heat
  • Safe for pets
What we don’t like
  • The thermostat setting doesn’t display the exact degree of temperature

3: Best for Large Kennels: Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO Portable Infrared Heater

The Heat Storm HS-1500-IMO is just a regular heater and is not specifically designed for dog houses. It, however, works perfectly fine for heating dog houses since it features a heat shield and safety shutoff switch.

With a 1500 watt heating coil, the unit can heat up to 1000 square feet, which is perfect for heating large dog kennels. The LED display shows the current room temperature as well as the thermostat temperature. This makes it easy to monitor and control the temperature in your dog house at all times.

Besides, it has a remote that similarly displays all this information, so you can control the temperature seamlessly from the comfort of your house. It also has an energy-efficient mode that allows you to reduce the energy consumption to just 750 watts, saving you money in electricity bills.

What we like
  • Energy-saving mode
  • Highly portable
  • Remote control with temperature display
What we don’t like
  • Cannot be placed inside the dog house

Best Heated Dog Houses

If your region experiences extremely cold winters, then purchasing a heated dog house is probably your best option. Heated dog houses come fully installed with a built-in heater, ensuring that your pup stays warm during the cold winter months. Here are our best picks:

1: Best Heated Dog House: ASL Solutions Deluxe Dog Palace

The ASL Solutions Deluxe Dog Palace has a lot of impressive features, including a heater and a fan. The solar panel on top of the dog house powers the fan and provides enough power to cool the room down. It saves a decent amount of electricity and has a battery to store energy.

The excellent built-in heater keeps the dog house toasty throughout the cold winter nights. The heater is not a blower-style heater but rather a heated pad placed under the plastic floor. You won’t have to worry about keeping the heated pad dry or the heater coil burning out since the unit is fairly durable.

Besides, your dog can’t dig into or chew on the heated pad since it’s underneath the plastic floor. You can place dog bedding over the plastic to ensure that your dog doesn’t sleep directly on the warm plastic. Although this is not necessary, your dog will likely enjoy softer bedding, and the house will still feel warm.

This dog house features a fan, a heater, and efficient insulation. The insulation is really what makes heated dog houses much better than regular kennels. The ASL’s insulation ensures that the dog house is 25 degrees (Fahrenheit) warmer when your dog is inside, even when the heater is turned off.

Moreover, the fan automatically turns on if the heated dog house gets too hot. The windows and the smooth plastic surface also make cleaning a breeze. You can even include feeders inside this dog house.

What we like
  • Comes with a safe built-in heated pad at the bottom
  • Solar-powered cooling fan saves on power bills
  • Styrofoam-insulated panels for enhanced energy efficiency
  • Spacious enough for large dog breeds
What we don’t like
  • Mat or blanket required to cover the heated pad for better comfort

2: Best for Large Dogs: Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House with Door

If you own a large dog breed, then the Climate Master Plus insulated dog house could be your best pick. This heated dog house is the most luxurious choice on our list, thanks to its simulated wood finish, great design, quick assembly, and a high-quality door with weather seals.

It’s one of the biggest dog houses on the market, comfortably accommodating even a 220-pound dog. It is also ideal for people with numerous small or medium-sized dogs.

In terms of the assembly, the dog house comes as 7 different panels that you can seamlessly assemble yourself. It takes just about twenty minutes to assemble – you only need a screwdriver or drill.

The dog house has 1.5 inches of white styrofoam over all the plastic panels, which helps to keep the heat inside the dog house and the cold outside. If things get too cold, consider purchasing a Hound Heater or a heated mat.

What we like
  • Well-insulated and laminated panels
  • Unique and durable weather-proof door
  • A weatherproof, lockable door to protect your dog from the elements and feral animals
  • Extended warranty
What we don’t like
  • Expensive
  • No heater included

3: Best Budget Pick: Giantex Plastic Dog House

The Giantex dog house is made of a thick resin, making it extremely durable during inclement weather. With a smooth plastic finish, it is extremely easy to clean. You only need to spray it with water and scrub it a little with some steel wool.

This dog house has a removable roof and is quite easy to set up and disassemble. The resin pieces seamlessly snap together without requiring any tools. You can even stake this dog house to the ground to avoid wind uplift since it is relatively light at just 23 pounds.

The Giantex also features a vinyl door, which helps to keep the interior warm in winter. It also prevents rainwater from dripping in during rainstorms.

What we like
  • Good value for the money
  • Has a vinyl door
  • No tools needed to assemble
What we don’t like
  • Not completely waterproof
  • Only great for small dogs weighing 70 pounds and below

Best Dog Heaters for Outdoors: The Buying Guide

When shopping for the best dog house heaters for outdoors, there are several considerations to make. Some heaters are engineered to be used indoors and will not provide sustained heat for an outdoor kennel. In this section, we highlight some critical factors to consider before making your buying decision.

When to Heat a Dog House

You obviously need to heat your dog house whenever it gets too cold. The exact temperature will vary by the breed and age of your dog. For example, a Siberian Husky fares much better in the winter as compared to a short-haired Chihuahua.

It is safe to assume that you should heat the outdoor dog house whenever temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Degrees Celsius). The exact temperature range varies depending on the breed and age of your dog, but keeping temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit will ensure that your pooch never gets too cold.

Which Dogs Require Outdoor Pet Heaters?

The weakest dogs particularly require warmth throughout the coldest winter days, especially at night. Such dogs include:

  • Senior dogs
  • Pregnant females
  • Young puppies
  • Short-haired dog breeds

Senior dogs have a slower metabolism, which means they can’t produce as much heat to keep them warm during colder winter months.

Pregnant and whelping female dogs also need constant warmth before, during, and after delivery. Excessively cold air can be lethal for the female and the puppies. It’s important to invest in an outdoor pet heater to save money on vet bills, especially if your current dog house isn’t insulated properly.

Dog House

When it comes to short-haired dogs, there is a heated debate among dog specialists and veterinarians on whether or not they require heated dog houses more than their long-haired counterparts.

On one hand, some vets argue that short-haired dogs have reduced insulation and should be offered some extra heat through dog house heaters. On the other hand, some dog experts maintain that dog breeds such as Dachshunds, Doberman Pinschers, Greyhounds, and Boxers have hair structured differently than other longer haired breeds. They, therefore, don’t require extra heating because their insulation is just as good as other long-haired breeds.

Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, the consensus seems to lie in between. Overall, short-hair dogs have hairs that are hollow with air pockets that help enhance insulation. However, they can’t possibly provide the level of insulation against the cold that longer haired dog breeds have.

Types of Dog House Heaters for Outside Kennels

Dog house heaters are designed to produce heat for either a small area or an entire dog house. There are five common types of dog house heating devices:

1: Heated Pads and Bedding

A heated pad is typically a thick bed with a fleece lining. It can also be a thermal pad that fits inside or under a fabric bed. Dog heating pads are affordable solutions to keep your dog warm inside his house. However, they’re not very effective in extremely cold winter weather or for spacious dog houses.

Self-heated dog bed

2: Microwavable Pads

A microwavable pad is another affordable and convenient way to quickly heat one small area of your dog’s house. It is simply a dog pad that you can heat up in the microwave and place in your dog’s kennel. It will then continue producing heat for up to 8 hours on average. This is not a long-term solution and is mostly suitable for crates or playpens situated indoors.

3: Solar-Powered Heaters

Solar-powered dog heaters for outdoors are still not yet easily available commercially. Many dog owners often choose to build this system themselves. Solar dog house heaters are energy-efficient, highly sustainable, and can save you a lot of money in the long run. However, it requires some initial investment to reap the long-term benefits.

4: Light Bulb Heaters

Light bulb heaters are typically used with farm animals and reptiles, but they have become increasingly popular for pet houses over the last couple of years. You simply install a regular light bulb or even a ceramic bulb in your dog’s house to emit heat and light without being too uncomfortable on your pup’s eyes. However, light bulbs aren’t very effective in extremely cold temperatures.

5: Electric Dog House Heaters

Electric dog house heaters are the most effective solution for outdoor kennels and usually come with a steeper price tag. These heaters can be either mounted on the wall of the dog house or placed on top of a solid object inside the dog house. They are effective for heating large areas, usually the entire kennel.

Dog House Heaters vs. Heated Dog Houses

Heated dog houses are houses that come with their own heating systems preinstalled into their design. Most models have an electric heating system or light bulb. They combine the heat source with better insulation and energy-efficient materials to help retain heat.

Buying a readymade heated dog house is often more expensive than buying and installing a separate dog house heater or furnace, especially if you already have a dog house. However, heated dog houses are more efficient and come with a pre-installed heating system specifically designed for the dog house.

Choosing between a dog house heater and a heated dog house will depend on your budget and whether or not you already have a decent dog house.

How to Choose the Best Dog Heaters for Outdoors

Not all dog house heaters for outside kennels are made equal. Some heating devices require manual installation, and you must be very handy with tools to fit them correctly. Others can simply be placed in the dog house.

Additionally, some heaters cover a much larger area than others. Safety measures must be observed when installing certain units to protect your dog from accidents. Overall, here are the factors to consider when choosing a dog house heater for outdoor spaces:

1: Heating Power

The heating power you need depends on several factors, including the size of a dog house, how cold winters are in your location, your dog’s heating needs (size, breed, age, weight, and health), and whether your current dog house is insulated properly or not.

Always choose a dog heating device that will provide adequate heat for your pooch without being too aggressive. Excessive heat can easily overheat your pet.

2: Quality of Materials

When dealing with dog house heat sources, quality is extremely important due to safety issues. The heater or furnace should be made from durable and dog-friendly materials to ensure that your dog won’t scratch it or chew through it.

Any cords and other electrical components of the dog house heater should be chew-proof. The electrical wires should have a steel outer layer to prevent your pup from getting to the wire itself.

3: Automatic Temperature Regulation

Electrical dog house heaters and heated pads should have a means to control the temperature in the dog house. The thermostat should have the ability to cool and heat the dog house in order to maintain comfortable temperatures for your pooch. An automatic shut-off system will help prevent overheating.


4: Price

If you are shopping on a budget, the price of the dog house heater is an important consideration. Luckily, there are numerous choices in different price categories, especially if you have a smaller dog house that doesn’t need a lot of heating power. Again, the type of heating device will determine the price. A heated pad costs much less than an electrical heater or a fully heated dog house.

Safety Considerations for Outdoor Dog Heaters

Dog house heaters should be made from quality materials to discourage chewing or scratching. Ensure that the heater has safety mechanisms such as a thermostat that shuts off the heater to prevent overheating

Electric heaters or furnaces must be equipped with distance protection or shields to prevent your pup from getting burned if she comes too close to the heating unit.

Also, your dog’s house must be spacious enough to host these heaters. Very small dog houses won’t provide enough room to safely install a heater.

Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s installation instructions to the letter. More importantly, don’t use a dog house heater outdoors if it’s not designed for that purpose. Outdoor pet heaters are usually waterproof since they may come in contact with moisture, snow, or rain.

Finally, avoid putting any winter clothing on your dog if you already have a dog house heater installed. These dog house heaters are designed under the assumption that they will be the single source of heat for your dog’s home. Adding extra heating elements can result in your pet getting overheated.

Chihuahua in warm clothing

Extra Tips for Dog Heaters For Outdoors

There are a few extra things you can do to help you save some money in heating costs. They include:

  • Raise Dog House Flooring — You want to elevate your dog house floor to keep it away from the actual ground. That way, the floor won’t be influenced by the ground temperature. Simply place insulated wood or a wooden pallet underneath the dog house.
  • Choose the Right Size for the Dog House — Many dog parents prefer the biggest and tallest dog houses. But when it is winter, you want a dog house that is just large enough so your pup can turn around and stretch, yet small enough to allow your pet’s body temperature to effectively heat up the space. Additionally, using insulated walls will keep the heat within.
  • Avoid Cold Air Streams — Place your kennel in an appropriate location where there is no cold air stream to help reduce heating needs.

FAQs About Dog Heaters For Outdoors:

1: Do I need to heat my dog house?

It typically depends on the climate in your area. Generally, dogs can comfortably handle temperatures around 60 degrees Fahrenheit, although this varies by breed. Some dog breeds do better in cold climates than others. If you notice your pup shivering during chilly winter nights, then you definitely need to invest in a dog heater.

2: Will my dog house get too hot?

A good quality dog house heater should not make your dog house too hot. Many models we have listed here have a thermostat that helps to regulate the temperature. Keep the temperature somewhat low since your dog can always hide under his blanket if he feels too cold.

3: Can I insulate my dog house with fiberglass?

Yes, you can, but fiberglass is not often recommended for dog houses. The material poses a fire hazard, and your pup might chew on it.

4: Can the heater injure my dog?

Not likely. High-quality heaters meant for dog houses have heat shields to prevent your pooch from getting burned. Dogs are also good at sensing heat and will avoid getting burned in case of the heat shield malfunctioning for some reason.

Final Thoughts

A dog house heater is great for every dog house, especially if you live in an area that experiences the coldest winters. You’ll never go wrong with any of the products we’ve reviewed here. Heated dog houses are the perfect solution for colder climates, but if you already have a well-insulated kennel, a decent heated pad or electric heater should do the job just fine.

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