How Do You Keep a Dog Kennel Warm? (Solved!)

The easiest way to keep your dog kennel warm is by ensuring it’s in perfect condition. Using the right insulation, bedding, and placing the kennel in the correct place is of great importance when it comes to retaining heat inside the kennel. Even the paint job on the kennel matters a lot.

Why is Keeping the Dog Kennel Warm Important?

Just like us, dogs also get cold in the winters. Most dogs are alright in the cold till the temperatures hit 20°F, after which you should see if the cold is getting to your dog or not.

Common signs of your dog feeling cold include lethargy, watery eyes, loss of appetite, weakness, low fever, sneezing, whining. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, you should rush it inside its kennel as soon as possible.

A warm dog kennel is paramount to your dog’s health. According to the American Kennel Club, a dog’s normal body temperature should be about 101 to 102.5°F at all times.

A dog’s body temperature should not fall below 99°F. A warm dog kennel is necessary for this, because if your dog’s temperature does fall severely below 99°F, your dog is at high risk for hypothermia.

How Do I Make Sure My Dog Kennel is in Adequate Condition?

Make sure your dog kennel doesn’t have any cracks, holes, or fractures. Even the slightest air draught can mess up the temperature inside.

Seal off any cracks and patch up any holes. You’ll have to match the material to the construction material of your kennel, but in case you cannot, wood or plastic sheeting are good choices. Whatever you use, just make sure it’s non-toxic for your dog.

How Should I Insulate the Kennel?

First off, make sure your dog won’t chew through the insulation. If your kennel has hollow walls, then attach the insulation inside. If the kennel doesn’t have hollow walls, then attach the insulation to the ceiling and walls and cover it up with canvas or plywood panels.

There’s a wide range of insulation materials to choose from, including fiberglass, foam, foil, wood, bubble-wrap etc. Foil insulation is easy to install and works best for small kennels. For bigger ones, thick-foam insulation is more appropriate.

Cedar and pine chips for the floor of the kennel are also a popular choice, not just for their amazing insulation properties, but also because they repel fleas and other insects. Straw and hay, on the other hand, are terrible for this purpose since they get wet easily, and are a hub for fleas.

Can I Attach a Heater Inside to Keep the Dog Kennel Warm?

Yes, but you can’t use the regular electric heater you might already have. Dog kennels have specially-designed heaters, called dog house furnaces, which you should invest in.
These dog house furnaces are easy to install, and have proper protection for the wires as well. They occupy a small space, and are designed to ensure no overheating occurs.

Can I Use Electric Heating Pads?

Of course, you can, but if your dog is a chewer, then it’s best not to use them. Consider using microwavable heating pads instead that can emit heat for long hours.

What’s the Best Bedding for Warmth?

Bedding not only helps warm the dog kennel, but it also keeps your dog comfortable. Linen bedding is a popular choice as it provides cushion and heat both.
Dog beds also make for wonderful bedding. Make sure to invest in a high-quality, weatherproof bed as cheap ones won’t last long.

Should I Leave Lots of Empty Space in My Dog Kennel?

On the contrary, you should stuff the kennel as much as possible. Excess space helps keep the kennel cooler, not warmer.
You can fill your dog kennel with extra bedding, stuffed toys, spare blankets etc. It’ll help retain more heat.

Should I Add a Door?

As heat escapes the most through the door, attaching a door flap, vinyl, or other dog-accessible door will help keep the kennel warm and cozy.

What Does Paint Color Have to Do with Keeping the Kennel Warm?

Let’s refresh our physics knowledge: dark colors absorb more light than light colors, and since light is energy, this absorption results in more heat retention. Painting your dog kennel in a darker color, be it either black, navy blue or forest green, instead of the usual white, will help keep the kennel warmer.

So, That Means I Should Place My Dog Kennel Under the Sunlight?

Absolutely! Winter sunlight may not be particularly warm, but it does help raise the temperature by a few degrees.
You should make sure the largest, flattest sides of the dog kennel are facing the sun, to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

I Live in an Area Where There isn’t Much Sunlight. What Can I Do Instead?

If you have plain exterior walls, then simply move your dog kennel against one. This will shield the kennel from the wind, and your house will warm the kennel as well as heat is conducted through the walls.

Should I Keep My Dog Kennel on the Ground?

That depends on the ground being colder than the surrounding air. If the ground in the place where you live turns cold in the winters, then it’s better to place the kennel at an elevation.

You should lift the kennel at least 4 inches off the ground, and have hay or straw in-between the ground and kennel so that the cold doesn’t radiate up the ground to the kennel.

Can I Recycle Some Warm Air from My House to the Dog Kennel?

While it may be a bit of an elaborate project, you absolutely can do this.
You need to make sure the air you’re recycling is from a safe place inside the house, and then guide it towards the kennel through a flexible pipe. This is a bit of a slow process, though you can attach a fan too as it will help the air reach the kennel faster.