Top 5 Tips To Winterize Your Dog House

Most dogs love to be outside running around and relaxing in the shade.

But as winter rolls around, the dogs that love to outside then need somewhere they can go to stay warm.

If you have a dog house, that can be used to keep your dog warm during the winter, but you do need to winterize it.

So what do you do to winterize your dog house? Check and fix spots that let in drafts, provide bedding for your dog, add a dog door to the dog house, raise the dog house off the ground, and provide a heated water dish.

Read on to find out why these tips are important to help keep your dog warm during the winter.

Check for drafts

One of the most common problems you are going to find with your dog house is wind drafts.

If there is a draft in your dog’s house, it is never going to be warm enough to keep your dog at a good temperature during the winter.

The drafts will keep the dog house warm, even though the presence of the dog’s body in the dog house is trying to keep it warm.

So, it is good to check for cracks or holes in the dog house.

Walk around the dog house at night with a flash light.

While you are walking around the dog house, have someone else looking inside.

Shine the light from the flash light onto the house and walk around.

If the person looking inside the dog house sees any light coming into the house dog, you know you have a crack.

Go to your local hardware store and find the best sealant for the kind of dog house you have.

Use the sealant to fill in any cracks.

Once you have gotten rid of the cracks, the dog house should get nice and toasty for the dog.

Also, keep in mind that your dog house should not be more than 3 times the size of your dog.

If the dog house is any bigger, the dog’s own body heat will not be enough to keep the dog house warm.

Anything smaller will not be big enough for the dog to move around.

Three times the size of the dog would be just the right size.

Also, keep in mind that there is a difference between drafts and ventilation.

Ventilation is typically set up so good air can come in to take out the bad air.

It also is not typically set up to vent straight onto the dog.

Draft are inconvenient spots that serve no purpose but to get your dog cold.

Ventilation is good, while drafts are bad.

Add a door

Going along with the drafts in your dog house, putting a door on the dog house also serves the purpose of keeping the unneeded wind out.

One easy way to do this is to purchase a rubber shower mat.

Measure the width and height of the door of your dog house.

Then mark this out on your shower mat and cut accordingly.

Then nail the shower mat up in the door frame of the dog house.

This should then help to keep out much of the draft that comes through the door frame.

Get your dog some bedding

Dogs love to lay down and relax.

When they go into their dog house, it is usually to get out of the elements and find a good space to stretch out.

You should provide some type of bedding for your dog to be able to relax on.

The bedding gives the dog a place to stretch out and relax without getting them colder.

The floor of a dog house is typically cold if it remains uncovered.

There are a few options of what kind of bedding you can get for a dog.

A dog bed

Dog beds are great for dogs because they get your dog a nice comfy spot they use to get and stay warm.

You can also typically find dog beds that have a heater that turns on when the dog lays down on the bed.

You can find a few to choose from here.

Keep in mind, though, that if your dog has not been fully trained or is still rather young, they may end up chewing up the dog bed.

Unfortunately, dogs do not always realize they are doing something that will eventually hurt themselves, and ruining a dog bed is one of those things that I have seen far too often.

So if you are going to invest in a dog bed to keep your dog warm in the winter, make sure they have been trained not to chew or provide them with chew toys to focus on.

Straw or cedar chips

According to

Fill the floor of your doghouse with about 6 inches of either straw or cedar chips for bedding. These materials insulate the floor of the dog house and reflect body heat when your dog lies in them to help keep him warm. If you put plenty of straw in the doghouse, your dog will make a cozy nest in it.

How to Winterize a Doghouse (

Straw or cedar chips are a good option to help keep your dog warm in his or her dog house during the winter.

So give them up to 6 inches of straw or cedar chips.

Also keep in mind that if you go with this option and you let your dogs inside on a regular basis, they are going to be messier.

You might have to invest some time cleaning them off each time they come inside.

Either way, straw and cedar chips are going to help your dogs stay warm in their dog house.

Stay away from hay, as there is a possibility that it contains fleas or other parasites, which would be bad for your dog.

Raise the dog house off the ground

Raising the dog house off the ground helps to keep the dog house from getting ruined due to rain, snow, etc.

There are many options to raise your dog house off of the ground.

One cheap option would be to raise the dog house off the ground using pallets.

Put the pallets on the ground and then place the dog house on top.

Simple enough.

Another option would be to place the dog house on bricks.

Walk around the dog house with your bricks and place a brick on the ground at each corner.

Once you have the bricks placed, either have four people pick up the dog house at once (if it isn’t too heavy), move the bricks in with your feet, and then place the dog house on top of each brick.

If you are by yourself and your dog house is small enough, you might be able to lift one corner of the dog house at a time, move the bricks in, and then place the dog house on top of that brick.

And then move around the dog house and do the same thing at each corner until all corners are up on bricks.

Get your dog a heated water dish

Water is going to freeze in the winter and your dogs need a lot of water.

So instead of having to refresh the water a few times a day, it might be better to get your dog a heated water dish.

You can find a few different options here.

Not only will you not have to fill up the water bowl a few times a day, but I am sure your dog will appreciate some water that is not freezing cold.


Winter can be a harsh time for your animals, especially for dogs.

Though it may seem like their fur can handle the cold, that does not mean you shouldn’t try to make the winter a little more warm for them.

Check your dog house for cracks and drafts, and fix any that you find.

Also, put in a dog door on the dog house, raise the dog house off the ground, provide bedding for your dog and think about purchasing a heated water dish for them.

Bill Lantz

Bill Lantz is a database analyst by day and a weekend warrior by... weekend. He's currently building up his own miniature homestead in Central Utah with his wife and six kids. Some of his interests include knowing random trivia about films, reading history books, and playing video games with the boys.

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