How to Heat a Dog House without Electricity

Solar Energy Hub may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. This comes at no additional cost to you, and all the prices and availability are accurate at the time of publishing.

Dogs are a man’s best friend, and sometimes your best friend needs a little help staying warm. A dog house is a perfect place for your pup to stay during winter, but without external heat, it can get pretty chilly in there! 

I know what you’re thinking now – how can I heat my dog house without electricity? Well, we all know that the best way to keep warm is with a good old-fashioned fire. But where do you get one of those in the middle of winter when there’s snow on the ground and it’s freezing outside? Of course, let’s not forget an open fire is just flat-out dangerous, a good intention gone wrong story waiting to happen and show up on your 6 o’clock news. So how do you avoid the good boy from getting singed then?

Electricity seems like the next obvious go-to solution. Problem solved right? Actually, no. What about those who live in areas where there isn’t any electricity? Or for those who want a more natural and sustainable way of keeping their pup cozy. Not to mention owners who have some more cheeky buddies at risk of chewing wires and getting a potentially fatal shock. We shouldn’t leave our furry friends in harm’s way for any reason whatsoever.

You must be wondering by now, what should I do then? Fret not. Here’s where this gets interesting. Time for some of the best ways to heat a dog house. 

Did you know there are many ways to heat a dog house without electricity? Well not flexing or anything but here I am to save the day so you, in turn, can save your pooch.  It’s important to take care of your pet, especially during colder and painful winter months. There are some pretty ingenious methods out there and I’ll share them with you:

Method 1 – Retaining the Heat Already Present

1. Add a Bedding

Western Home Dog Crate Bed for Small Medium Large & Extra Large Dogs/Cats Up to 50/75/100 lbs, Calming Dog Beds for Sleeping & Anti-Anxiety Pet Beds, Waterproof Bottom and Anti-Slip Thin Dog Pad

Next, you are going to need to add bedding. This not only provides insulation but also helps absorb any fluids that may come into contact with the dog house and cause a permanent stink. Most dogs prefer having bedding to lie on, especially if it is cold outside.

Any soft material that will insulate your dog from the cold ground, such as old clothes or rugs will also do the job. A foam mattress can serve well if it can avoid contact with moisture.

Recycled newspapers or old clothing work well as a bedding material or an old blanket or comforter but remember to change it once or even twice a week to maintain good hygiene standards for your pet.

2. Insulate the House

Owens Corning R-13 Faced Insulation Roll

The recommendation is to have an old blanket or comforter and hay, straw, newspapers (or other similar things) as your insulation. You can put these two layers on top of each other if you like; however, the bedding material should be at least 4 inches thick to protect your pet from cold floors and drafts.

It is also a good idea to put a layer of straw on top of this for extra protection and insulation value. If you don’t have any straw or hay then blankets will do just fine instead. Also make sure that it is right up against the walls of the dog house to prevent cold air from seeping in through the bottom part of the wall. 

You can also use things like Styrofoam or foam rubber for insulation as well if you have access to them. If not, they shouldn’t be too hard to come by with a quick trip to your local department store. However, these are more expensive than using materials you likely already have around your house.

3. Patching up the holes

There are plenty of dogs out there whose main aim in life it seems is to destroy as many garments as possible! So, in true DIY style, what better way to heat your pup’s abode? Using some old clothes or fabrics from clothes that you don’t wear anymore is a great starting point. 

Just place them in the holes or spaces that allow minor wisps of cold air into the kennel. Such as the floorboards, wall planks along with the roof and tiles. 

Keep in mind to fill the gaps around latches and ports too but leave a tiny place for ventilation. The last thing we want is the poor doggo to suffocate. 

4. Clothe your Dog

sensiya 4 Packs Summer Dog Clothes - Dog Shirts for Girl and boy Puppy Cats - Suitable for Small/Medium Dogs Clothe - Dog T-Shirt Clothes Soft and Thin (Medium)

Clothing for dogs can either be bought online or at local pet stores. 

However, it needs to fit properly and should cover the length of your dog’s neck down to its tail. The neck coverage will prevent wind chills from reaching your dog, while the longer-style clothing works well in keeping legs dry and covered during snowfall.

Another thing to keep in mind is to have them try it out first with an adjustment period. Dogs might try to initially remove them by gnawing and tugging at the clothes. A couple of hours to get adjusted should do the trick. 

5. Add a door

PetSafe Extreme Weather Dog and Cat Door - Aluminum Frame Pet Door - Large

One way to keep a dog warm in a dog house is to add a door flap. Flaps are available commercially, but it is easy enough to create one yourself. 

A simple rectangular piece of heavy fabric cut to fit the entranceway will do the trick nicely although a clear thick plastic one will be the best option. There will be less hesitancy for the dog to use it as well. 

It should be heavy enough to hang straight when no force is exerted on it to cover the entrance and keep the warm air in, yet flexible and part easily when your four-legged friend pushes against it. 

6. Make it Cozier

Comsmart Warm Paw Print Blanket/Bed Cover for Dogs and Cats, 6 Pack of 24x28 Inches

When it comes to keeping your dog warm, you cannot go wrong with stuffing the house full of materials that are good at retaining heat. 

Stuff it with straw or blankets – even better if they are clean towels or clothes. You can also consider using their favorite toys as well. Pillows, rolled up mats and rugs can be a nice addition and help reduce space for cold air to reside in whilst performing the job of a support for your furry friend to lean against. 

7. Raise it above Ground

If the ground is colder than the air, it will cool the house from below. Raising it on a wooden platform or even placing it on some cinder blocks can stop chilling effects from taking place in the dog house. 

However, it’s not that simple. If the ground is warmer than the air, then raising it can have the opposite intention of what you’re going for. 

So, make sure to check and be aware of the surrounding temperatures before taking this step.

Method 2: Leveraging the Sun’s Natural Warmth

1. By Placing the House in the Sun’s Path

Being able to heat a dog house without electricity is always an exciting proposition. There are many ways to achieve this, but one of the best methods out there isn’t even something that requires electricity to work. 

That method is simply positioning the house in such a way that it collects solar warmth during the day and then retains that warmth throughout the night. 

This is a wonderful way to heat up a doghouse without needing any electricity, but it requires a few changes to the house’s design and position.

2. Choosing to Paint the House a Dark Color

In the winter, the sun’s warmth falls on Earth as light and heat. In summer however, it is still as bright as ever but instead of being a source of heat, it becomes a source of cooling.

This means that you should paint your dog house to reflect this constant change in seasons – dark colors absorb sunlight and produce more heat while light colors reflect the sun’s heat and cool faster.

There is no limit to dark colors, the obvious example being black, but consider going with a dark red or brown that will fit well with your backyard environment – this tip can work well if you live in an area where there are seasons.

Method 3: Physically Adding Heat to The Dog House

1. The Plumbing Solution

A much more complex system is needed to run heated water piping in the walls or floor of an insulated dog house. This provides a fairly constant temperature and keeps the dog warm and dry. 

The downside to this approach is that there must be access to a water supply and you may need a professional to run the pipeline through the house.

If you’re willing to go the extra mile, it is one of the sure best ways to keep your dog toasty and he/she will appreciate it.

2. Adjoin the Dog House with Your House

This won’t make any major changes in the heat of your dog’s house, but it will create a buffer zone that will retain some of the heat warming the connected wall from inside your home.

The idea is to attach the dog house to your own house. This adds minor heating and more protection from drafts. You can use bolts or screws to connect the two buildings at their walls.

The most useful feature is the fact it will block some of the wind that blows along at least one side of the dog house.

3. Piping in Warmer Air

This is by far the easiest and best way to add heat to a dog house provided you have a little bit of technical expertise. 

PVC Pipes or ducts can be purchased at any hardware or home improvement store. They are easy to work with and will not decrease in efficiency over time like wood heating vents will when they start to rot in the dog house. 

A fan can help speed along the process for flow of air, an air-tight house is not needed, but will help increase the effectiveness of the heating process.

4. The Good Old Rice-Filled Sock

Carex Bed Buddy Heat Pad and Cooling Neck Wrap - Microwave Heating Pad for Sore Muscles - Cold Wrap Pack for Aches and Pain

If you are looking for a cheap, easy way to provide your dog with an extra boost of warmth then this is the option for you.

To make the rice-filled sock, you will need a clean sock and 2 cups of uncooked rice.  Obviously, no holes please. 

First, pour both your cups of rice into the sock. Then tie a knot at the end to seal the two together tightly. Once done, take one cup’s worth of uncooked rice and put it in the microwave. Heat it for 2 minutes to ensure that the rice is hot. Then, take it out and place your “rice-filled sock” in the dog house under the bedding. 

The heat from the rice will transfer, creating a nice bonus heating device that can be used when trying to warm up quickly or stay warm for an extended period. 

This nifty little trick can be used if you are in a pinch and don’t have any instant heat source nearby. Of course, the sock will eventually cool down, but it is still a great way to warm up quickly when your dog needs it most.

5. The Modern Microwavable Cushion

Arf pets Microwavable Pet Heating Pad, Self Warming Cat Mat, Cozy Cover- Cushion is Included

You could also use a microwavable cushion. In addition to being non-electrical, this method is much similar to the sock but just in cushion form instead. 

This option is great for those who want to be able to heat the cushion and then slip it into a dog bed. This is perfect for when you are trying to provide your pup with that extra warmth and will last much longer than the sock. 

How to Monitor the Temperature of Your Dog’s House?

Monitoring the temperature in your dog’s house is very important. This ensures your pooch stays warm when it’s cold outside and cool enough to avoid overheating. 

Check the weather before leaving your pooch at home so you know how to adjust his/her environment accordingly. 

This is very important especially if you have a dog that spends a lot of time indoors. Something to keep in mind before you leave him home alone for extended periods.

You can use a wireless temperature sensor to monitor the heat and cold inside your dog’s house. Place it on one side inside of the structure and make sure it’s durable just in case your pet decides to claw and bite it. If you can’t find a plastic one, place a brick on top of it as a substitute. 

Keep the following features in mind when purchasing one. 

— Inbuilt Memory so you have a record

–Programmable sample rate

— Wireless connectivity

— Alarms and notifications when the temperature falls out of your desired range

–iOS and Android app are available for easy setup and notifications

— Long battery life

–30 C to 80 C temperature range at least

Effective Electric Heating Options

1. A dedicated heater

These units are expensive to purchase and install but can be an effective long-term solution for dog owners who want to give their four-legged friend the royal treatment.  

They require professional installation of water lines and electrical wiring that will run between the heater and the dog house. 

Because they are not portable, these units provide constant temperature without the need for an automatic thermostat. Make sure you consider how much it will cost to install and run before choosing this option, as well as providing a secure location for your dog away from the unit itself.

2. A space heater

Space Heater, 1500W Electric Heaters Indoor Portable with Thermostat , PTC Fast Heating Ceramic Room Small Heater with Heating and Fan Modes for Bedroom, Office and Indoor Use

Space heaters are the cheapest option because they can be purchased at almost any department store. 

They are easy to use, usually have built-in safety features, and will provide quick heat that can be regulated by a thermostat or manually adjusted with an adjustable control knob. 

Can be a good option if you want to heat a small or confined area, such as an indoor dog house or kennel as long as you take precautions to guard your dog from the hot surface and electrical cords.

3. A heating pad

Heating Pad for Back Pain, Neck and Shoulders and Cramps, Large 12" x 24" Size Ultra-Soft and 4 Heat Settings with Auto Shut Off, Moist & Dry Heat Options and Fast Heating

Heated beds or mats can be used to effectively heat a dog house and are available in many different sizes and styles, some even come with built-in thermostats that will automatically shut off when the temperature reaches a desirable level. 

Heating your dog’s house with an electric pad can be costly, but is easier because you eliminate the need to consider the installation of thermal piping or other heating sources.

4. Solar heating systems

The Complete Handbook of Solar Air Heating Systems

A super-efficient and effective way at warming a dog house in the wintertime because they take advantage of a free renewable energy source. 

Panels can be placed nearby or on the roof of the dog house and work by absorbing and trapping the heat from the sun, converting it into electrical energy and storing it in batteries for use at your convenience.

Although more complicated to set up, Solar heating systems provide comfort for your dog that is completely independent of any outside electrical power grid. 

Provide a constant and steady temperature environment for your dog without encountering any excess costs and can be used with a heat lamp in the dog house providing warmth without any need for wires or pipes. 

Make sure your heat lamp is covered with a wire guard to avoid accidents and burns, and position it in an area that will not be accessible to your dog.


So, what is the best option for heating a dog house? The answer to that question has its own complexity and will depend on many factors. 

If you live in an area with cold winters and no electricity there are many options available as mentioned above but each has its own pros and cons. 

But before you settle on one of these methods, make sure that they will be effective at regulating the temperature in your pet’s home along with the resources, materials and tools available to you to help you make the best choices. 

We hope this blog post helped shed some light on the subject of heating up your pet’s shelter without using electricity and regardless of how you go about warming up your pup’s abode this winter season, just remember that consistent temperature monitoring is key!

Leave a Comment