How To Keep A Doghouse Cool During The Warm Summer Weather

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With the rising occurrences of freak heatwaves all around the world, it is more important than ever to ensure that your pup is nice and cool during the hot summer months.

As soon as it gets too hot to bear, we jump to turn on the air conditioners and leave our poor dogs out in the open! If you have a dog that is primarily an outdoor dog, you have to make sure that he is comfortable when the temperature starts rising.

This article discusses loads of tips to cool down your pet’s dog house. Read on to find out the importance of hydration during the summer, the risk of heat stroke, and how you can use styrofoam to make your dog’s life much more enjoyable!

Why do you need to keep it cold?

Cedar Wood Dog House

A question I had before I started looking into outdoor doghouses was if insulation was really necessary. After all, I live in an area that never snows or gets too cold.

Besides, dogs are wild animals at heart, right? If they could survive in the wilderness all by themselves, I was sure they could handle some toasty weather.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Dogs have got a naturally higher temperature than humans. This means that they have a limited ability to cool down. Besides, their mechanisms of cooling down aren’t as developed as ours. 

Humans lose most of our excess body heat through sweating; since dogs don’t sweat, they lose their excess body heat by panting, which isn’t fast enough if they are in extremely hot conditions.

This could have potentially life-threatening consequences for our dogs. 

They may suffer from dehydration, which is a lack of water & electrolytes.

To test for dehydration, gently pinch your dog’s skin and pull outward. If their skin does not immediately spring back, then they are suffering from dehydration. Dehydrated dogs also have sunken eyes & a dry noses. 

Overheating a dog can also lead to heatstroke, heat exhaustion, or cardiac arrhythmia. Some signs of overheating are dizziness, disorientation, and blue/red gums.

Both cases require immediate medical attention. Therefore, it’s crucial to prevent these consequences before they even happen.

Primarily, you should be urging your dog to drink cool water every hour. You should also avoid taking them outdoors in extremely hot temperatures.

Monitor their behavior carefully for any signs of dehydration or heatstroke. However, the best way to keep your dog cool in the summer is by insulating your dog’s house.

A dog spends most of its time inside its dog house, napping, laying down, or even standing guard. They are especially prone to heatstroke in a small, enclosed space like this.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve bought the best outdoor dog house on the market, there are still plenty of ways to make it more accommodating for your pooch in the summer.

Insulation Ideas

1. Material

Wooden Dog House

Wood is a great option for an outdoor dog house. This is because wood is a fantastic insulator. If you’re thinking about the kind of lumber, I recommend cedar because of its moisture resistance. Therefore, cedarwood is also less likely to rot. 

Another option is plastic. Plastic is a common material for dog houses, but it does not insulate as well. Therefore, look for a plastic doghouse that is double-walled. A double wall system will lock cold air in the middle & cool down the entire doghouse.

I’ve also seen concrete doghouses. Concrete is a durable option for a dog house if you’re handy and love to DIY things. However, concrete dog houses should be avoided at all costs as it is not a good insulator & will heat up a lot during the summers.

Similarly, avoid brick and stone; even though they look really cool in the garden, they will literally become burning hot under the sun!

Find some of the best summer dog houses to find one made of high-quality insulating material. 

2. Doghouse Placement

Doghouse placement is super important for keeping dogs cool. You need to choose a location that is out of the direct sun throughout the day.

I recommend placing it right under a tree or a shed so that it will be under natural shade from 10 am – 2 pm, which is when the sun is the brightest and the most damaging. You can also build a makeshift gazebo with a couple of wooden pillars, some nails, a hammer, and a shade of cloth. 

You can try to keep it in the path of any strong winds to provide a little extra breeze & airflow to your pup.

I have found that placing the dog house right next to the main house provides a good amount of heat loss. So, you can position your doghouse with its back touching the main house. This means that the heat will be dispersed to your wall, which will keep the inside of the doghouse nice and chilly. Also, the dog house can borrow the shade cast by your house to keep it cool in the mornings.

3. Ventilation

13. In The Doghouse

Ventilation is an often overlooked factor in insulating a dog house. In the summer, proper airflow is crucial because dog houses trap heat.

Since the walls of a dog house are very close together, your dog’s body heat is trapped inside. This causes the interior kennel temperature to go up and up, which leads to the danger of heat stroke. 

A built-in ventilation hole will allow for heat dissipation, by blowing all of this hot air out and replacing it with cooler air. 

A good dog house will already come with ventilation holes. Vent holes come in a variety of designs; they could be discreet half-dollar-sized holes on the roof of the shelter, or they could be beautifully designed doggie windows.

If your dog house has ventilation hole covers, consider removing them for the summer months & re-installing them for the colder months.

4. Raising up the doghouse

Speaking of ventilation, another kind of essential airflow is ground airflow. A couple of holes in your doghouse can only do so much. You need to make sure that air is able to travel all around the dog house.

The ground, especially concrete or stone, can get extremely hot in the summer weather. We all know the feeling of going on burning concrete barefoot. That scorching ground transfers all its heat to the floor of your dog house.

If you raise your doghouse up off the ground, you allow air to flow in the space between the doghouse floor & the ground. This cools off the doghouse floor & ensures that no extra heat is transferred to it. 

A simple hack to raise up the dog house is to attach a plank of plywood to a metal cot frame. Then, you can adhere your dog house to the plywood!

If your dog is on the smaller size, you may need to invest in some puppy stairs so that he can climb up to the cot with ease.

5. Adding Extra Insulation

YOUEON 12 Pack Rectangle Styrofoam Blocks

Adding extra insulation is a really simple way to beat the heat.

If your dog house has double-layered wood, you can put a layer of fiberglass in between the 2 layers. This will trap even more heat before it can reach the inside of the dog house.

You can also use aluminum bubble wrap. This is exactly what it sounds like; the air trapped in the bubbles holds on to the heat, and the added aluminum layer reflects any extra heat off.

If you’re on a budget, you can also try using styrofoam. Styrofoam works in a pretty similar way, where the air bubbles in the foam trap the hot air.

However, if you are thinking about adding extra insulation you must make sure that you have completely covered it up. A bored dog will find that fiberglass is the tastiest thing he’s ever had in his life!

Also, be careful when you are working with these materials. Fiberglass can cause rashes and lung irritation when breathed in. So, ensure that you are using the proper protective equipment.

6. Add a fan

Solar Panel Powered Fan Mini Ventilator

You could add some artificial ventilation with a fan. Essentially, you are creating your own ventilation hole & using an exhaust fan to blow air through it.

This is a fantastic option if you do not live in a windy area. Your dog is going to love this fan, and probably spend hours with his tongue out, enjoying the breeze.

These exhaust fans are usually solar-powered, so you don’t have to worry about connecting them to an outlet. They are also waterproof, so they can handle anything from a light drizzle to a tropical storm. 

Just make sure when you are installing it to keep all of the cords & wires outside of the dog house, as Fido will definitely chew on them if he gets the chance.

7. Change the bedding

Even if your dog absolutely loves his bed & can’t go to sleep without it, this could actually be what is causing overheating. Bedding is often made of warm fabric, which holds on to heat. 

So, you can try using a bed that is filled with a cooling gel material. This still gives your dog the comfort they need to sleep, but will also keep them cool throughout the night. 

You can also try replacing their pillows with a breathable material like cotton or linen, as this will leave them much cooler than body heat-trapping materials like wool. 

If your dog is low-maintenance and doesn’t really mind where he sleeps, then consider removing the bed and blanket altogether. Dogs are perfectly fine sleeping on the floor; in fact, some prefer it due to the coolness & vibrations!

8. Paint the doghouse

Vintage red dog house

The summer months might just be an excuse to cover your doghouse with a fresh coat of paint! If you replace a dark roof with a light roof color, you will notice a world of difference in heat retention. 

A light-colored dog house will reflect sunlight, whereas a dark-colored roof will absorb it, making the dog house much warmer in hot weather.

You can also take it one step further and paint the sides of the dog house that come into contact with the sun the most! Just be careful to use a pet-safe, non-toxic material in case it begins to chip.

9. Install an Air Conditioner

Hey, if we can have one, why can’t our pets? This is a much more pricey answer to the question of how to keep outdoor dog houses warm. We recommend installing a window AC near the roof of your dog house.

Just make sure that all the wires are outside the dog house. Also, see if you can find a way to close the main door & ventilation holes so that the cold air doesn’t escape.

If you switch the puppy AC on for a few hours in a day, it will make the dog house super cold & inviting. Make sure you provide enough cold water as well because your dog may forget to drink water in the chilly room!

However, your dog shouldn’t keep entering and exiting the dog house as that will let the cold air leak out.

Also, if your dog is still a puppy or has chewing issues, then I don’t recommend this tip, as there is a high chance that a bored dog can just chew off all the vents!

10. Spray it down!

This is probably the easiest (and most fun) solution to bring down the dog house temperature. All you need to do is take your garden hose & spray water all over the roof, sides, and floor of the dog house.

In this way, you are sort of forcing the dog house to sweat! The water will evaporate; to do so, it needs heat energy which it will take from the dog house & the floor. Thus, you are able to cool down the dog house without spending any money!

11. Misting System

DIY Misting Line

Installing a misting system is super easy & convenient. You could add it inside the dog house, but it is preferable to put it right outside the dog house, so your dog doesn’t get too wet. 

When the mist evaporates, it will take all the heat away with it. Plus, your dog will absolutely love to play with the mister!

12. Popsicles & Pool Days!

If all else fails, you can just manually cool your pup down. Make delicious ice treats out of frozen chicken broth or watermelon juice. Your dog will love licking it on a blazing hot day.

Or, if your dog loves swimming, then buy a kiddie pool & fill it up with cool water. Throw in a couple of heavy-duty bath toys for your dog to have a fun time splashing around in there.

Final Thoughts

We hope that you enjoyed this list & found these tips useful. As we approach the hottest times we have ever seen, it is super important to take care of our furry friends, who don’t have voices of their own.

If you live in a very hot area, try to implement a few of these tips to greatly improve your pup’s quality of life. If you can’t afford any big changes, try some of the low-cost options, like spraying down the roof, painting the doghouse, or adding styrofoam insulation.

If you found this list informative, please share it with your friends & family. Please leave a comment below if you have any other tips to beat the heat. Thanks for reading!

Meet our writer

Anoushka’s love for animals began with taking care of the cows & chickens on her family farm. As she grew older, this love transformed into a love for dogs. She volunteers in a dog shelter, so she is well-versed in the care and comfort of all breeds of dogs.

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