Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Insulate Your Dog House: Materials & Step-by-Step Guide

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

insulate dog house

If your dog house is kept outside, you may be concerned about the temperature when it comes to keeping your dog warm. Although it is great to give your dog blankets or, in some cases, hay to help keep them warm, nothing will do the trick quite like insulation.

With an insulated dog house, your dog can still get those blankets and comfortable materials, but the heat will stay in their home much better. How you insulate your dog house will depend on the type of dog house you have. We have put together some quick and easy steps to help you get your dog house insulated today!

divider 10

The 5 Steps to Insulate Your Dog House:

1. Ground Control

The first step in insulating your dog house is to raise it off the ground. When your dog is lying directly on the ground, they are going to have a challenging time keeping their body heat regulated and using that heat to warm the dog house. There are many ways to raise a dog house off the ground, and you don’t need it very high up, just a few inches is completely fine.

You can use a few bricks or wood, or even an old pallet can help you get creative with how you raise the dog house. No matter what you choose, just make sure it is stable.

Once the doghouse is up off the ground, you need to create a barrier where heat can not escape the floor of the house. If the dog house has a wooden base, place a tarp below the base. This will help keep some heat in and not let moisture get into the dog house.

Lastly, you want to make sure that the floor of your dog’s house has comfortable materials that will help your pup stay warm. You can use remnant carpet pieces, blankets, and towels. Once the floor situation is figured out, you can move onto the next step.

brick foundation
Credit: Gajus, Shutterstock

2. Determine Insulation Type

There are several different ways to insulate a dog house, but all of them will require an insulation material of some sort. The three most popular ways to do this are with traditional insulation, foam pieces, or spray foam. Although a piece of foam and spray foam can be useful, installing traditional insulation works the best and is a more permanent solution.

First, measure the inside of your dog house to see how much insulation you will need. Insulation is sold in sheets, and it is straightforward to cut and shape into the required size. The problem with insulation is that it is very itchy, and it can cause some rashes on your skin.

Be sure to follow the directions, especially when it comes to covering up your skin to protect yourself from any irritation during installation (in Step 4 we’ll talk about how to protect your dog from the same thing).

Insulation, Credit: David Papazian, Shutterstock

3. Installing Insulation

When you have your insulation, you can start covering the interior walls of the dog house with it. It should be relatively easy to attach the insulation directly to the walls of the wooden dog house. You can use scissors to cut the insulation into pieces and then staple it directly to the walls. Make sure to do the roof of the dog house as well as the walls. Do not put insulation on the floor of the dog house. Use other materials for the floor (see Step 1).

4. Covering and Protecting Insulation

Once your insulation is up and in place, you are getting very close to being finished with the project. The next thing you need to do, which is probably the most important, is to cover the insulation. Just as this product was itchy and irritating to people, it can have the same effect on a dog.

You can use wood panels to cover the insulation, or you can simply staple a heavy-duty plastic in place to create a barrier. Regardless of the material you use, make sure that it is not easily accessible to your dog. You do not want them to break through this barrier and become exposed to the actual insulation material.

dog house
Credit: Kichigin, Shutterstock

5. Checking Condition of Dog House

As we mentioned in the last step, you want to do everything you can to keep the insulation from touching your dog in any way. One important thing to do is to continually inspect your dog house to make sure that insulation is not falling out. You will need to make sure that your barrier is still in place and working correctly to keep your dog warm. This won’t take much time to check, but should be done frequently.

divider 9

How to Insulate a Dog House: Frequently Asked Questions

Now that you have a basic idea as to how to insulate your dog house, here are a few critical questions that come up about this process and how to keep your dog warm during those winter months.

Can I Buy an Insulated Dog House?

Even though you understand how to insulate a dog house, you may be wondering if you can just go and purchase one that is already insulated. The answer is yes. There are plenty of dog houses on the market that offers insulation already in place. If you have to purchase a doghouse anyway, it is likely best to go with the insulated version right from the start.

An insulated dog house will be more expensive than a traditional dog house, but you have to calculate the time and material it will cost you to insulate yourself as a comparison.

33.4" Wood Dog Houses Outdoor Insulated,...
  • SMALL DOG HOUSE Dimensions:21.4"D x 33.4"W x 22.4"H, for dog under 30 lbs.
  • 【 Easy to clean】 It's easy to gain access to the inside by opening the roof and the bottom floor...

Does the Size of the Dog House Matter?

Although you may be inclined to give your dog a huge house so that they have room to explore, it may end up causing more of a problem when it comes to heat. This is because the heat that you are going to be generating in the dog house comes from your dog’s body.

If you can picture a tiny dog in a large dog house, there is no way they can generate enough heat to keep it warm. You will need to find a dog house that fits your dog correctly and does not make it so they can’t keep their own home warm.

diy dog house
Credit: pryzmat, Shutterstock

What About a Heater for the Dog House?

If you have insulated your dog house and you are sure it is the right size, but you still think your dog needs more heat, you may want to look into a dog house heater. Some heaters work quite well in a dog house, but you need to make sure that they are specifically designed for this application.

Do not try and put any space heater in a dog house, it is extremely dangerous and you could hurt your dog in the process. Dog house heaters are designed to have no sharp edges, and they won’t burn your dog either.

Hound Heater by Akoma Pet Products | 300w Dog...
  • LONG LASTING: The Hound Heater Deluxe lasts for years (100,000 on/off cycles) and is powered by...
  • SAFE CONSTRUCTION: Features heavy duty chew-proof cord and rounded corners for added safety. An...

Are Heating Blankets a Good Idea?

Heating blankets for dogs can be a great way to help them add warmth to their outdoor house or cage. Make sure that the heating blanket you purchase is specially designed for dogs. If a dog were to chew a traditional heating blanket, there is a high risk of injury. If a dog chews a dog-specific heating blanket, the chance of injury is much lower.

Can All Dogs Sleep Outside?

The majority of dogs will do fine sleeping outdoors in normal conditions. You will want to test the temperature of the dog house yourself and make sure that it is safe. If your dog is very old, a very young puppy, or pregnant, you will need to very carefully consider if they should be staying outside.

Older dogs, young puppies, and pregnant dogs are not as good as regulating their body temperatures, and they will struggle to keep warm enough in harsh conditions. Even if you can bring them into an area like a garage or basement where they will be protected from the elements, it would be a wise decision.

Divider 7

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, now you have a better idea about how to insulate your dog’s house and keep them a bit warmer in the winter months. Most dog owners are very diligent about keeping their pets warm and comfortable. If your dog can’t sleep inside with you, make sure that their home is as close to what an inside sleeping area would be.

Featured Image Credit: KellyNelson, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database