If you keep your dog outside during the winter time for extended periods of time, it is important that you provide your dog with an adequate shelter that will keep your dog warm and protected against the winter elements and rain.

#1 Location

The first thing that you need to keep in mind when setting up a shelter for your dog outside is location. You want to make sure that the door or opening of the shelter does not face towards where the wind most commonly comes from in your area. Do a little research and figure out what directions the wind blows; you should be able to easily do this by checking the weather online for a week or two. When it is windy outside, it can make the temperature feel even colder than it really is. You don't want wind to be blowing directly into your dog's shelter.

You may want to put your dog's shelter near your house, garage, or shed, where the other structures outside will help block the wind from getting into your dog's house.

You also want to make sure that you don't place your dog's house somewhere where it will get really wet. If you have a pond or marshy area near your home, that is not where you should put your dog's shelter. You also don't want to put your dog's shelter right next to a downspout where water will be flowing during the winter time. You don't want your dog to have to walk through water to get to their shelter nor do you want your dog's shelter located somewhere where it will flood.

#2 Insulation

You are going to want to increase the insulation on your dog's shelter if you expect them to spend a lot of time inside of it during the winter time.

You are going to want to add either Styrofoam sheets or polystyrene foam on the walls of your dog's house to provide increased insulation. You can put the insulation inside of your dog's house, and then put a layer of plywood between the insulation and your dog's space to protect your dog and keep it well-sheltered. Be sure to also put an extra layer of insulation on the floor, as this is where a lot of the cold will come from.

#3 Heating Pads

Finally, you can keep your dog warm using heating pads. However, you don't want to use heating pads and keep them on 24/7. Doing so could cause your dog to get burned and dehydrated.

You can apply heating pads to the outside of your dog's home, which will warm up the entire structure without putting your dog at risk of becoming dehydrated or burnt. If you keep a heating pad inside of your dog's house, set it to a timer so that is only on when your dog really needs it. Make sure that the cord is hidden within the walls of your dog's house so that they don't try to chew it as well. 

For more information, contact local pet professionals.