Homemade Dog House Heater

Today  I spoiled my outside dogs a little bit more. I say outside dogs because I have Jack the Dachshund who is my inside dog and then there is Louie and DL who stay outside. They have a really nice duplex style doghouse that I built for them years ago. I even put electric heating pads in the floors of each room. Yes, Louie and DL each have their own room. The electric heating pads help to keep them warm in the winter, but I wanted better for them.

Sometimes around here it gets really cold, sometimes in the teens, and I want to be sure they are warm. I know they are animals and can deal with it, but while I am in my warm bed, I like to know they are well taken care of too, so I consulted with some friends and looked online and found a nice solution that is rather easy to make.

It seems that in August/September of 1990 in a magazine called Gun Dog, there was an article about how to create a simple dog house heater for hunting dogs. It involved using a metal gallon paint can, a porcelain light bulb fixture, a 60 watt bulb and some wire, to make a convective heating device.

Here is what to do:
Go to a paint store and buy an unused 1 gallon paint can with the lid. Punch 1/4″ dia holes on the lid and sides of the can. Keep the holes small enough to prevent much light from getting through yet still allow convective heat to escape. Punch a hole in the bottom about 2″ in diameter. Enough room for your wire to be manageable.

Mount the can keeping 4″ of clearance on all sides to allow heat to circulate. You will need to run the wiring to the correct location first of course. Connect a porcelain light bulb socket inside the can, wire it up and put a bulb in the base, put the lid on.

Accessories that can be included (after all it is built by guys) are a dimmer switch to control heat and an indoor-outdoor thermometer to keep tabs on the temperature.

I quickly snapped a video using my cell phone this evening to show you what it looks like inside the dog house, so you can get an idea. The can is very hot, I cant even touch it. It has the dog house nice and toasty. I am looking forward to see how it does in the colder days ahead.


#1 BigBob on 01.02.11 at 10:46 pm

Hey, thanks for posting this. I’m going to do this for my outside pair of dogs.

#2 Janay on 05.03.11 at 2:29 pm

That’s not just the best asnwer. It’s the bestest answer!

#3 Allie on 05.03.11 at 2:29 pm

HHIS I should have tohuhgt of that!

#4 Anon on 12.16.12 at 7:43 am

Thanks for the info and video. I am going to make one of these. Just a theory, but if you put more holes in it, and smaller holes, like a grid of small holes 2″ apart on most of the can, more heat could escape into the doghouse and the can would be less hot.

#5 Anon on 12.16.12 at 7:49 am

Also spray painting the can black inside and out would make the can get hotter, And with the added heat and holes you could probably get by with a 60 watt bulb, making the heater use less energy or cost less to use.

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