Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Linda Richard
Keeping a dog outdoors requires a lot of care and investment. So, dog houses with air conditioning and heating – what do you need and how to get it? Is putting AC and heaters in an outdoor dog house even a good idea or are there fire hazards involved? A lot of people opt to keep their dogs outside for convenience’s sake but depending on how you choose to go about it, this can end up being quite an inconvenient experience for both you and your dog.
Naturally, the outdoor life also isn’t suitable for all dog breeds. Labrador Retrievers and many others breeds are better-suited for life indoors. If you choose or need to keep your dog outside, however, you also ought to make sure that your pet is kept cool in the summer and warm in the winter. So, let’s go over all the good options for dog houses with air conditioning and heating.
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Are Dog Houses With Air Conditioning and Heating Feasible Or Are They Unsafe?
They can be either, depending on how you set them up. Any type of outdoor electrical appliance can be exceptionally unsafe, especially when kept near grass, plants, and trees as dog houses usually are. However, there are things you can do to make sure your dog and property are safe. And, thankfully, there are many heating and cooling appliances nowadays that are specifically designed to be safe and effective for outdoor dog houses.
What Are The Best Air Conditioned Dog House Options?
First, to get it out of the way, dog houses with AC units are sold as-is. They can be a bit pricey, of course, but if you find one that suits your pooch and circumstances, this can be an excellent option in and of itself.
If you want to make the dog house yourself, however, there are ways to put some AC in yourself. Without going into specific brands, here are some types of products you can consider:
- Portable evaporative air coolers. Small, battery-powered and rechargeable, safe and effective, these devices are very good for cooling the dog house during the hottest hours of the day. Their batteries usually last 6-9 hours so you will need to recharge them each night.
- Small portable air conditioners. There are many such models designed for dog houses or closet spaces. Just make sure the wiring is insulated against weather and chewing.
- A mini-split system. A ductless split system can be pricey but very effective and relatively easy to install.
Of course, there are also some practical ways to keep a dog house cool during the summer – we’ll cover those below.
What Types Of Heating Are Best For An Outdoor Dog House?
Many people assume that putting a space heater inside a dog house is a major fire hazard as well as risks the dog’s health. And that’s true – standard space heaters shouldn’t be placed in dog houses. However, there are pet-safe mini furnace models that are designed to be safe for that exact purpose. As with AC units, such models need to have chew-proof cord covers and the furnace itself should be burn-proof. So, dog houses with air conditioning and heating are possible.
Of course, even with a quality furnace, it’s normal to worry. That’s why most people opt for heated pads instead. And those are indeed a great choice, provided that they can supply enough heat for the coldest winter months. Again, the cord should be chew-safe and you should inspect the pad for exposed wires daily. But those are a good option overall.
Learn more about: How Cold Can Labradors Tolerate?
Or, if you’ve opted for a portable AC for the summer, you can look for some great dog house air conditioner heater combo options. Many portable AC models can offer decent heating too, albeit for a price.
Whichever of these options you go for, safety is an absolute must – both the wiring and the heating element need to be safe for the dog, the house, and the environment.
What Other Ways Are There To Keep Your Dog’s House Heated Or Cool Without Electrical Appliances?
Naturally, going for dog houses with air conditioning and heating isn’t always necessary. If you live in a more mild climate zone where neither the winters nor the summers are too harsh, you can just design the dog house in such a way that it remains well-insulated all year round. Besides, even if you end up needing to use an AC or a heating pad, it’s still wise to consider the following tips for extra insulation:
- Location, location, location. Dog house insulation, like marketing, is all about the location. If you’re worried about the summer heat, it’s very beneficial to pick a location that won’t be in direct sunlight most of the time. Vice versa, if the winter cold is the main issue, go for the most sunlit place In your yard.
- Black and white. The color of the dog house matters as well. Paint it black if you want it to capture more sunlight in the winter or white if you want to reflect rather than absorb sunlight in the summer.
- Lift it higher. A dog house doesn’t need to and shouldn’t touch the ground. Instead, it’s wise to keep it a couple or more inches above the ground by installing legs underneath it. This will allow for better cooling in the summer. And, in the winter, you can stuff insulation under it for even better thermal protection.
- Insulate the insides too. All sides of the dog house can and should be insulated with stuff such as foam board, aluminum foil bubble insulation, fiberglass, wood shavings on the floor, and more.
- Cover the entrance too. Obvious, a literal door won’t work as Fido won’t be able to operate it. However, you can always use some heavy-duty vinyl flap to act as a door instead.
So, Dog Houses With Air Conditioning and Heating – Are They A Good Idea and How Doable Are They?
Both AC and portable furnaces can be decent options for your dog house if you’re sure the item is safe. AC units, furnaces, heating pads, water evaporators, and other options are usually marked as “pet safe” when that’s the case. The things to watch out for specifically, however, are the wiring, the heating element, and any possible malfunction. Maintenance is key and whatever heater or cooler you choose to go for, it’s important to keep an eye on them almost daily if possible.
Read more about 5 Best Dog Heaters For Outdoors And How To Use Them