In most climates, a well-insulated dog house of the right size will keep your dog warm and cozy. But if you live in a very cold climate, your dog’s body heat may not be quite enough to keep the dog house warm.
In that case, you’re going to want some kind of dog house heater. People often want to know if it’s possible to make one themselves. The answer is yes, you can make a homemade dog house heater, as long as you know enough to set up the electrical side of things safely. You will need to know a bit about wiring and the like to be able to make your own doghouse heater.
So how to make a dog house heater? Well, there’s a particular kind of heater which is very straightforward in construction – the heater box. The basic principle is straightforward – the key part is simply a light bulb. If you’ve ever tried to change a light bulb which has just been switched on, you know how hot they get! So a single light bulb can be enough to keep a dog house toasty warm.
You need to install it at the top of the dog house, so that your dog can get in and out without burning himself on it. Don’t put it right at the top, though – you need a few inches of space from surrounding surfaces, or you’ll have a fire hazard. So, drill a hole near the top of the wall, and run the cables out there to the power socket.
You need to be able to run them in a way that your dog can’t get at them, because if he chews them, he’s going to get a nasty shock. If your dog house is against a fence, you can run the cables straight through the fence. If not, you may need to cover them with a purpose-built casing, or bury them. You can get metal casing at hardware stores, but a bit of garden hose can also make a great casing, and there are other kinds of hard plastic tubing you can get at hardware stores which can work.
Back inside the dog house, you’ll want to cover the bulb with something, or the light may stop your dog sleeping. An old paint can is a good option for this, or failing that a large food or coffee can. Strip off any paper covering, of course. Make a few small holes to let air out, and then attach the can, over the light bulb, to the wall. If you screw it on, then you can easily remove it when you need to change the bulb.
Alternatively, make a large hole in the bottom of the can, and fix the bottom of the can to the wall – in other words, setting up the light bulb inside the can. Then just put the lid on the can to cover the light.
If you like, you can paint the can black – that helps the heat radiate.
If you want to get really fancy, you can add a dimmer switch, so you can adjust the heat, or a thermostat, to control the temperature.