Let me start by saying why I am talking about insulating dog houses today. My Limo is a beautiful black lab who’s on the skinny side. No matter how much I try to fatten her up, she just does not retain any fat over her muscles. I got super worried that she would get sick in the winter! So, what did I do?
I went and read up on how to insulate a dog house; it was an illuminating hour of my life as a pet mom. Did you know that dog houses need insulation not only for winter, but for summer also? Otherwise, the inside of the house can get too hot and your darling pooch can succumb to a heatstroke.
If you own a dog of one of the short nosed breeds, this possibility is even higher. I’m really not kidding when I say there are a lot of dog house insulation ideas floating around on the internet. In this text, I’m going to talk about the simpler ones, you’ll easily be able to understand. However, first let’s learn the reason behind insulating your dog’s house.
Why Insulating a Dog House Is Absolutely Necessary!
No matter how big or small your dog is, I know he’s occupying a large part of your heart! As you love your dog so much, you’ll obviously want to keep him as comfortable as you are throughout the year. So, when you’re thinking about redoing the insulation of your own house, you need to insulate your dog’s house as well, especially if it’s an outdoor house.
If your area gets a lot of snow, even sub-zero temperatures, keep your pet indoors if you can. If that’s not possible for some reason, provide ample insulation on his dog house. Has your dog been barking all night and keeping you up?
It could be because his outdoor house is not insulated and the poor baby is chilled to her bones! On the other hand, if your area suffers from heat waves in summer, insulate the dog house to keep all that heat out. You need to take more measures to ensure your dog doesn’t suffer a heatstroke, but we’ll get to it later.
Now that you know that it’s important to insulate a dog house, you can go ahead and learn how to insulate a dog house. A quick tip, if you’re thinking about buying a new dog house, make sure it comes with ample insulation so you don’t have to spend extra every year. For warm dog house ideas, check out this guide on the best dog houses.
Insulating a Plastic Dog House
I have seen a lot of fellow dog parents favor plastic houses. They’re light and compact, and more often than not cheaper than traditional wooden dog houses. However, it’s only natural that these houses offer less insulation. So you need to know how to insulate a plastic dog house insulated dog shelter.
I don’t think I need to explain why insulating a plastic dog house is even more important than insulating a dog house made of any other material. No matter how well the house is built, it’s still plastic. It may keep the wind and rain away, but not extreme heat and cold.
In summer it will turn into an oven, and the flimsy walls would not protect your pet from freezing to death in winter. Fortunately, plastic dog houses are actually pretty easy to insulate. A lot of good quality plastic dog houses will boast about being ‘insulated’.
You will find that their walls are usually double layered and there’s hollow space within. This hollow space does offer some insulation. However, you can easily stuff this space with extra insulation for optimum results. Cheaper dog houses can be insulated easily too. They tend to have detachable walls, roof, floor etc.
So you can just dissemble it, add insulation to the walls and then put the whole thing back together in quite a short time. After the house is insulated, add some blankets and a heat source inside and you’re good to go! That’s easily how to insulate a dog house made of plastic.
How to Insulate a Dog House for Winter
Most people worry about their pets surviving through the winter months unscathed. I’ve heard so many of my dog mom friends lament about their lack of knowledge on insulating a dog house for the impending winter.
The best bet is to learn the things you can do to keep the house from getting chilled, and implement all the points possible for you. Here’s some pointers that I’ve picked up while trying to winter-proof Limo’s outdoor house.
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Smaller Is Actually Better
I was about to splurge on buying a large dogloo for Limo where she can spread out and doze all winter. But then I stopped myself and gave it more thought. When it’s winter, I usually migrate to my smaller bedroom, which warms faster than the larger bedroom.
The same principle should apply to a dog house too: get your dog a house that is snug and cozy. Therefore, when your dog curls up in it, it will warm up with his body heat faster and will also stay warm for longer. Keeping it heated will be easier and less expensive as well.
Afterwards, I went and got Limo a house that’s not too big and not too small, and she loved it! When you learn how to insulate inside of a dog house, you’ll be glad that you picked a smaller house.
Give It a Lift
As much as I like walking barefoot on my lawn in summer, doing so in winter is obviously horrid and the cold that hurts my feet can just as easily seep into my dog’s house. I’d suggest using some pavement pieces or bricks to elevate it off the ground. It will also keep rainwater and melted snow from dripping in.
Position Away From Wind
Winter air is dangerous as this is what will mostly leech off the warmth from your dog’s house. Place the dog house away from the wind, preferable facing it towards your house.
Well, it’s obvious that you need to use insulation, that’s the main point of this blog post, anyway. While using the other methods to keep the dog house warm works well, insulating beats them all. If your dog’s house is plastic and has hollow walls, you can stuff some soft insulation in. Otherwise, you can just fix the insulation to the walls inside.
For fixing the insulation, you can use staple guns, tacks or strong glue. After lining the walls with the insulation material, install another layer of plastic or plywood on top of it for maximum efficiency. We’re going to learn more about how to insulate a dog house and proper materials a bit later.
Fix the Cracks and Holes
No matter how much insulation you add or how many blankets you pile up inside, one single crack in the floor can undo all your hard work and turn the dog house chilly. That one crack will allow all the warm air to seep away. So, you can fix any existing cracks and holes with caulk, doing the same with any joints that do not come together properly.
Add Bedding and a Heat Source
Any dog parent worth their salt has a heap of blankets ready for their dog’s comfort. Take some and line the floor of the doghouse. You can also use a waterproof, thin dog mat for this, which would be easier to clean up. Some traditional dog owners prefer wood shavings, which also works well.
Additionally, you can use some kind of a heater inside to keep the house toasty warm. Remember, your dog’s fur offers an extra bit of protection from chill, so do NOT shave it anytime around winter if you want him to stay healthy. All your knowledge on how to insulate dog house would be useless if you disregard the natural way of things.
Add a Door
If you take my advice and face the dog house away from wind direction, using a sturdy, heavy door flap should suffice to keep the heat in. You can also install a door, but make sure there’s sufficient ventilation so your dog doesn’t suffocate in that warm house.
Take It Inside
This is entirely up to your judgement: if you think your area gets so cold that even after taking all these measures your dog might not be comfortable, just take the dog house inside. You can put it in your garage or a covered porch, if you don’t want to sacrifice space in the bedroom.
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How to Insulate a Dog House for Summer
We learned the best way to insulate a dog house in winter, but what about summer? Unless you insulate the house, in the summer months it would get too hot inside and your dog will be reluctant to sleep in it. Here are some things you should maintain during summer:
- Keep the dog house in a shaded area
- Take the dog house inside during extreme heat
- Make sure the house has enough ventilation
- Get a dog cooling bed
- Keep the house lifted off the ground to facilitate airflow under it
- Face it parallel to the direction of the wind
- If you’re about to buy a new house, choose wood
Additionally, you should know how to insulate a dog house for summer as well. Simply adding foam insulation to the walls works well. Plywood is another handy option.
Aside from providing insulation, make sure your dog has plenty of water to drink. Provide him with icy treats when it’s especially hot. If you feel the outside is too hot, don’t hesitate to take him inside and let him take a nap in the air conditioned living room!
Insulation Materials for a Dog House
Depending on your budget, the type of dog house you have, and ease of use, you can pick from quite a few types of insulation. These are usually the materials used for dog house insulation:
- Fiberglass insulation: Easy to use and affordable. You can use this to stuff the hollow walls of a plastic dog house. It’s quite affordable.
- Reflective foil: This will keep your dog’s house warm with his own heat! It’s also quite affordable and very effective.
- Bubble wrap: I’m sure you’re thinking “I know I have a bunch of these stored somewhere!” but you can’t use that! No, we’re talking about special bubble wrap that’s made for insulation. Fix it to the wall inside the dog house and reap the benefits.
- Foam: Styrofoam is actually a pretty good option to insulate your dog’s house both in summer and winter. It’s cheap and available, but you need to cover this with some wood or plastic panels to make sure your dog does not chew on it.
- Expanding foam spray: You can use these to fill hollow walls in plastic dog houses, but it might be too expensive if the house is big.
In my opinion, reflective foil is the best insulation for dog house. You can easily fix it to the walls and can even add other installations along with it. It’s not expensive, and is readily effective.
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Prepare to Use Up Some Elbow Grease!
Was I able to convince you that your dog’s house needs proper insulation? I hope you became well informed on the necessity of insulation both for winter and summer months. Also, you should’ve gotten a good idea on what kind of insulating material you can use.
Now that you have a clear idea on how to insulate a dog house, gather your supplies and get down to it! Come say hi in the comments and tell me if your dog liked the fancy upgrades!