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12 Best Winter Proof Dog House

Written by Dr. Tom Bakerfield

Written by Dr. Tom Bakerfield

Dr. Tom Bakerfield is an expert author at WhyDoPets and a doctor of veterinary medicine. He's been working with animals for more than 15 years and he is the fourth generation of VETs in his family. He got his degree from University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University and he completed his clinical year in 1999.

Although most dog owners would prefer that their beloved dogs stay inside during nighttime, this isn’t always possible. Dogs just love going outside to explore their surroundings and there is no way to curb their natural curiosity. All the dog training in the world won’t keep them inside. This is part and parcel of having a dog as a pet.

If you have a dog that loves staying outside, you must keep him warm. Winter weather conditions can get too cold for dogs, and just like humans they can suffer from hypothermia.  If you have a dog that prefers to stay outside, you need to provide him with a suitable dog shelter that can keep his body temperature at a good level.

Unlike your regular dog house, the winter dog house has extra features:

  • Insulated floors and walls to keep warmth in the house
  • Angled entrance to prevent rain, snow, and even wind from getting inside the dog house
  • Optional self-heating pads or pre-installed house heater
  • Optional raised bottom or extra bottom layers to keep dogs away from the cold ground

Why is winter dangerous for dogs?

Winter weather can be extremely cold in many places around the world. Sometimes winter nights can go lower than 30° F degrees and there are even places when the daytime is freezing too.

An insulated dog house is designed for cold weather and will provide ample protection for your pets against snow, wind, ice, and low temperatures. They cost a bit more than your regular dog house but they come with features which are not available in other types of dog houses.

Although there are dog breeds that can sustain in winter better than others, it doesn’t mean that you should just leave them to their own devices. After all, no dog s body is completely immune to the cold. If your dog is going to be outside on some nights, it is best to invest in insulated dog houses.

Even thick-coated dogs will not be comfortable staying outside for long periods during winter. Some pet owners have made the mistake of assuming that their pet can withstand harsh winter weather and this has resulted in several dogs losing their lives.

How do you insulate a dog house for the winter?

Dog house insulation is essential for winter. Your dog should be comfortable and warm the whole year, even more so during the winter months. So, here is a quick guide for getting the dog house ready for the cold season.

Fill any holes and repair any damage

Before you go about insulating the dog house, you must first make it waterproof. Check the dog house for any holes and gaps and make sure that the dog house can keep the heat in and the cold air out.

Raise the dog house

Raising the dog house from the floor is necessary to protect the flooring, as well as your dog. Concrete, for one, is a very poor insulator for a dog house. Grass also does not do any good during winter as it gets cold and wet.

You can use joists to raise the floor. Another alternative for your dog house is a wooden pallet which can be picked up for free at your local scrap yards.

Line the floor

You can use some straw to line the floor of your dog house. Straws make a good insulator as it doesn’t freeze and dogs love sleeping on it. Opt for healthy and parasite-free straw and do not forget to put a thick thermal blanket over the straw to prevent movement and make your dog more comfortable.

How to select the best insulated dog houses for winter

There is an endless selection of dog houses available in the market, however, if you want to protect your dog from winter, you cannot just make a haphazard selection and wish for the best. You need a high-quality dog house that covers all the bases so that your dog is warm, comfortable, and protected.

There are significant differences between excellent dog houses and not-so-good options, so it is of utmost importance that you are selective, and are aware of the things that you need to take into consideration when looking for a dog house.

Keeps your dog dry

When your house dog gets wet during winter, he can get dangerously chilled. Therefore, you must purchase a dog house with a solid roof, something that doesn’t leak. One more thing to look for in a house that won’t let water drip or splash in.

Easy entrance and exit

You dog must be able to easily enter and leave the dog house because if that alone is very difficult, your dog won’t use the dog house. Take accurate measurements of your dog and use this when purchasing the winter dog shelter. You can also opt a dog house with self closing doors for more convenience.

Blocks wind

Just like humans, dogs also feel colder if there is a wind blowing into their homes, and you can prevent this by ensuring that there are no large gaps for the wind to blow in. One feature that you should look for is double plastic flap doors because they keep the chill out and the warm air in.

Adequate space

The best dog houses have adequate space because this allows your dog to live comfortably. However, you want to avoid getting a dog house that is too big because this will reduce warmth.

Has adjustable feet

Dog houses that sit directly on the ground have higher chances of rotting quickly so it is better to get one that has adjustable feet that allows it to be raised a few inches above the soil. Aside from reducing the risk of rotting, adjustable feet also helps keep the dog house level on uneven ground.

Sturdy materials

A dog house that easily collapses is something you don’t want to spend money on. You should opt for a dog house that has excellent craftsmanship and is made of sturdy material.

How do you winterize a dog house?

Cold weather has several effects on dogs and one of them is that it makes them burn more calories. This raises their body heat and as a result dogs need a lot more calories during winter. A good way to help your dog is to give him more frequent, smaller meals of dog food rather than a single large meal. This helps make sure that calories from their dog food can be efficiently used throughout the day.

A heated dog bowl will ensure that water doesn’t freeze and your dog has the luxury of drinking warm water the entire day and night. There are also a few more winter accessories to consider adding to your insulated dog house such as a heated mat, and dog blankets. They are affordable and they will do your dog a lot of good.

Just keep in mind that when you deal with any electrical appliance, whether indoor or outdoor, you must take precautions to avoid any accidents that can result in injury or worse, death.

How can I keep my outside dog warm in the winter?

Even if you purchase the warmest winter dog houses for more protection during cold months, he may still suffer especially on exceptionally cold nights. There are useful items that you can buy on Amazon to make sure your dog is perfectly comfy and warm in his outdoor dog house, and you sleep without worries.

A heated mat

Heated mats serve the same purpose as heated dog beds but they are better options for dogs who dislike beds, and owners who have already given their pup a nice bed to sleep in.

Heated mats can do wonders when it comes to warming your dog, however, it is quite a dangerous option for chewers. Safety should be an important consideration, apart from keeping your dog toasty and warm. Heated beds and mats come with cords which you must protect your dogs from.

There are a few options to prevent your dog from getting to the cord and they are burying the cord and threading it up through a hole drilled into the floor of the dog house, threading the cord through a PVC pipe, and using a conduit to keep the cord protected.

A heated bed

You can give your dog a cozy space if you get a heated bed. Aside from ensuring that your dog is comfortably warm, heated beds also have therapeutic benefits for dogs that suffer from hip dysplasia, ailing joints, and arthritis, so it is something to consider if you have an older pooch.

Get a bed that is suitable for outdoor use and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to the letter to prevent your pup from being burned or shocked. There are also self-heating bed options that do not need any electricity.

Blankets and litter

Provide your dog with extra insulation by covering the bottom of the best insulated dog houses with blankets. Some blankets are specifically designed for outdoor use and they are available in various sizes, designs, and colors. Opt for the machine washable and dryable variety.

If you would like to steer clear of blankets, you can go the old-school route and use products that are similar to litter to insulate your dog’s house and keep his body temperature normal. Avoid grasses and hays as they can harbor bacteria and parasites in the dog beds too.

The most inexpensive and popular choices are cedar and pine because they repel pests and have a pleasant smell too. However, the odor can get quite strong in enclosed spaces and there have been cases of dogs suffering from respiratory ailments after sleeping on shavings.

Dog house heater

You can further keep the winter dog house warm and keep your dog warm and toasty by getting investing in heating devices, a dog house heater to be specific. There are various models you can buy on Amazon for reasonable prices. The heating system can be easily installed in the pet house, diy style and will keep your pet happy.

What is the best dog house for cold weather?

Although dogs prefer to spend most of their time outdoors, they also get cold during winter, just like us. Although we would much prefer to have them sleeping indoors during the cold months, this is something that is easier said than done. As a responsible pet parent, you want to provide the next best thing, a comfortable and warm place to sleep in.

There is a wide selection of dog houses for winter which you can easily buy on Amazon. Not all dog houses are made to withstand the winter season, and you need to look at more than just the price tags. Some features you need to look at are self closing doors, a floor heater, insulation, and many others. So, we have come up with more than just the 10 best dog houses for you. We have come up with 12 so you can select the best one that serves all your needs.

1. Petmate Barnhome III Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

This dog house looks very similar to a travel dog crate except that it doesn’t come with caged windows or a handle. One of the best features of Barnhome is that it has a rear ventilation system that keeps your pet comfortable even when the days are unusually warm.

There is also ample protection from the rain, thanks to the eaves on the door. The eaves also come with channels that direct water away from the entrance and to the sides so your pooch is warm, dry, and toasty inside.

However, it is recommended that you purchase a vinyl flap door for added insulation. Take note that door flaps are not included in the regular order.

Features

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Petmate Barnhome III Dog House
Petmate Barnhome III Dog House

2. DP Hunter Dog House with Floor Heater

Our Rating:
5/5

Designed for petite and medium dogs, the DP Hunter dog house is smaller than most dog houses, however, it has a lot of great things going for it. It is raised 4 inches from the ground and comes with foam installation in the ceilings and the walls.

The exterior is made of water-resistant polystyrene plastic and comes with a removable floor that is built with a drain hole. The internal thermostat heating mat also keeps your pup comfortable and warm in winter. You can simply remove the pad and get more ventilation by opening the windows during the summer months.

However, it is important to note that if your dog is a chewer, you should cover the heating mat since it is not built-in. A bonus point for this dog house is that it comes with a lifetime warranty against breaking and cracking.

Features

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DP Hunter Dog House with Floor Heater

3. Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

Considered one of the best dog houses for winter, the Climate master plus is most suitable for cold climates. It has walls that are made from PanelAbode™ Laminated Engineered Panels which gives it optimum insulation.

Made for large dog breeds, this can accommodate canines up to 220 lbs in weight, so this is a great option for Rottweilers, Alaskan Malamutes, Saint Bernards, and Bullmastiffs. The locking, all-weather door and seals help prevent drafts, and the removable roof helps make cleaning the interior fast and easy.

Features

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Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House
Climate Master Plus Insulated Dog House

4. Petmate Indigo Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

Designed with the ubiquitous igloo in mind, the Petmate Indigo dog house has a doorway that is extended, giving your dog more protection from the rain, as well as cold air. There are air vents on top of the dome that provides optimum ventilation on days when it is warmer than usual. The walls are made of heavy-duty materials that are lined with insulating foams and completed with Microban technology that prevents microorganisms from wreaking havoc.

A moat surrounds the raised floor to prevent liquids from getting inside. The dome design helps slough off snow and rain and gives your dog better protection in the winter. Although it comes with a higher price tag, the Petmate Indigo dog house is a worthy investment.

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Petmate Indigo Dog House

5. Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace by ASL Solutions

Our Rating:
5/5

A wooden dog house by ASL Solutions, the Dog Palace is more suitable for larger dog breeds and is made with three layers of insulation for ample protection during the cold months. The first layer is made of timber, the second layer is made of Styrofoam, and the third layer is made of plywood boards.

Although the Deluxe insulated dog palace does not come with bacteria-fighting technology, the three-layer installation is excellent for winter months. The floor is raised about 2 inches from the ground so it keeps moisture away, helps keep the house warm during winter, and also keeps your dog cool during summer months.

This pet house can shelter dogs as large as 150 lbs and the removable floors and roof make it very easy to clean, which is a godsend for dog owners.

Features

Product Image

Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace by ASL Solutions
Deluxe Insulated Dog Palace by ASL Solutions

6. Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

Made of natural cedar wood that has a weather-resistant coating, the Precision Pet outdoor dog house is perfect for people who love the look and feel of wooden furniture. The off-center door location provides better protection against cold air. Your dog can also snuggle far from the door for more protection from the elements.

This large dog house is designed for pets that are of medium weight, however, the roof is screwed together so it is a bit of a challenge to clean and change the bedding. The elevated floors prevent water from seeping in but it is still recommended for dog owners to add an extra pad or some extra blankets for unusually cold days.

Features

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Precision Pet Outback Log Exterior Dog House

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7. Pets Imperial Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel

Our Rating:
5/5

This large dog house seems very cozy and looks very much like a wood cabin. Excellent for dogs that are under 154 lbs, it is made with lumber exterior that has been treated to make it water-resistant. The inside walls are made of timber, plywood insulation, and Styrofoam to give your dog maximum insulation and protection from the elements.

According to the manufacturer, the walls are 150% thicker compared to other insulated dog houses. The floor is also raised about 2 inches from the ground and there are plastic caps on the feet that prevent rotting.

The roof can be opened up and the floor is removable, allowing pet parents to clean it easily. The entrance is covered in plastic door flaps that helps block the wind. This winter dog house has an affordable price point which makes it an attractive choice and you can easily purchase a heating pad to make your doggo more comfortable.

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Pets Imperial Insulated Wooden Dog Kennel

8. Suncast Outdoor Dog House with Door

Our Rating:
5/5

One of the best things about the DH350 dog house is that assembly can be easily done, thanks to the snap-on design. It provides ample protection during winter and comes with a vinyl door that can be personalized with your dog’s name with the letter set that is free with the package.

Suncast looks just like a miniature home, thanks to the details that it comes with. The dog house comes with air vents so that your dog is comfortable not only in winter but also during the harsh, summer months.

The resin material does not allow dirt and stain to cling to it so you spend less time cleaning and more time playing with your dog. You can easily reach and clean the interior of the dog house by removing the roof.

Features

Product Image

Suncast Outdoor Dog House with Door
Suncast Outdoor Dog House with Door

9. Petsfit Wooden Dog House for winter

Our Rating:
5/5

Another one on the list of best dog houses to consider is the Petsfit wooden dog house for winter. It has an irresistible porch design that makes it a welcome addition to the home. It is made with a roof that extends farther away than the doorway which gives it enough cover and keeps the rain from getting inside.

The roof is hinged too so you don’t need to detach it when you check on the heater or clean the floor. A few other appealing features that are worth considering are waterproof asphalt roofing, adjustable feet, and windows for ventilation.

Unfortunately, this dog house comes only in a single small size so if you have a bigger dog, this might not be the best choice. It comes with a hinged roof so pet parents will definitely appreciate being able to open it easily. However, you will need additional insulation to keep your pet warm during harsh winter days.

Features

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Petsfit Wooden Dog House for winter

10. Tangkula Weather Proof Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

This wooden pet kennel prides itself in waterproofing, above all else. The floor has been deliberately raised to prevent rotting and stimulate air circulation. By doing so, the floor will stay dry and warm during cold days and cooler during warm days. Wood’s thermal properties are used to perfection on this one.

The only drawback to this dog house is that it has an open entrance which would seem counterintuitive to keeping your dog warm. This can be easily remedied by using a thick blanket or cutting a vinyl door flap.

However, if your dog is a pet that enjoys cold weather, the lack of a door would not be too big of a problem.

Features

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Tangkula Weather Proof Dog House

11. Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Outdoor Winter House

Our Rating:
5/5

One of the things which set the Confidence Pet winter dog house apart from others is that it has a slightly narrower and taller door compared to other designs. Made of durable plastic materials, it is very easy to clean and easy to assemble, although you might need a few tools to complete the process. 

The flooring is elevated from the ground to prolong its life, however, it doesn’t include any form of insulation. This can be quickly remedied by adding a heating pad or a few blankets.

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Confidence Pet Waterproof Plastic Outdoor Winter House

12. Giantex Plastic Dog House

Our Rating:
5/5

If you are in pursuit of a dog house that is not only easy to put together but also waterproof and sturdy, the Giantex plastic dog house is a great option for you. This model is made of solid and sturdy PP material which is not long-lasting but also resists all types of weather.

The elevated floor keeps the dirt and water away which makes the dog house suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. Your dog gets excellent protection from stormy and rainy weather thanks to the slanted and leaf-proof roof. Furthermore, the roof is removable which makes cleaning a breeze.

Well-ventilated dog houses are always great selections because they provide fresh air regardless of where you put them. The plastic material keeps the house cool in summer and does a pretty good job of keeping your pet sufficiently warm during winter. However, there might be a need to get additional blankets or heating beds.

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Giantex Plastic Dog House
Giantex Plastic Dog House

If you think that there are other dog houses for winter which we missed but deserve to be on this 10 best list, let us know and we will be more than happy to include the information and update this list of the best insulated dog house for you. Your perfectly optimized content goes here!

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