To avoid winterizing in the freezing cold, you should try to winterize your dog house before winter begins. Icy patches, biting winds and water can pose all sorts of threats to the integrity of your dog house, potentially leaving your pooch without its favorite hangout when it’s time to play outside once more. Follow these five steps to fully winterize and protect your dog house from winter’s wrath for seasons to come.

Step 1: Clean It Out

The first step for winterizing your dog house is to give it a thorough cleaning. If possible, take the dog house apart to make it easier to clean inside. Start by spraying the interior and exterior with a garden hose. Then, sprinkle baking soda on the damp surfaces and scrub with a new toilet brush. To ensure you get those pesky corners and crevices, use a toothbrush as well. Baking soda is a nice alternative to commercial cleaners, and can help eliminate odors and dirt without posing a serious health risk to your pooch.

Next, mix a solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. White vinegar is excellent for killing bacteria and mold, as well as repelling fleas and ticks that may be living in your dog’s abode. The white vinegar solution can also prevent fleas and ticks from entering the dog's home during the winter months. Finally, spray the house down with a hose and allow it to dry fully before putting it back together.

A dog’s bedding can be particularly prone to fleas and ticks that look for warmth as the temperatures drop. You should remove all bedding and either replace it or do a thorough cleaning to get rid of the pests. A cup of distilled white vinegar in the washing machine should do the trick!

Step 2: Assess Its Structure and Location

Some factors to consider when winterizing a dog house are the structure and openings of the dog house’s entrance. A wide-open entrance may allow in extra debris, snow and water that can cause permanent damage to the dog house. Angle the dog house’s entrance away from the winds for protection against dangerous gusts and the elements they bring with them.

Further minimize the wind’s effects by covering the doorway or the entire dog house with plastic sheeting, vinyl or a waterproof tarp. You can also install a rubber doggy door over the entrance to help keep the nasty elements outside. Of course, moving your dog house into an indoor location, such as the garage, would be your best bet for protection in the winter. 

Step 3: Elevate It off the Ground

The next step for winterizing a dog house is to elevate it off the ground to avoid any contact with water from rain and snow. Elevating your pet's house will help it stay dry and maintain its structural integrity throughout the year.

Do a quick check of the yard and take note of areas that may be prone to puddling or flooding. You can tell what spots get the best drainage by simply paying attention to the aftermath of rainfall. If certain areas are more prone to standing water, then avoid those when deciding where to place your winterized dog house.

For added support, you can place the dog house on a waterproof platform. Raising the dog shelter off the ground will help prevent melted snow from seeping into the floor while also keeping your pup high and dry any time of the year.

Step 4: Protect Against Cold and Moisture

After making sure your dog’s abode is in the right location, your next step for winterizing a dog house is sealing it against cold and moisture. You will want to cover every part of the house, especially the floorboards. Look for loose boards and make any necessary repairs and replacements.

Seal up holes and cracks with spray insulation or waterproof caulking, or install a layer of rigid foam insulation throughout. Then, cover the inside with plastic sheets to ensure your pup doesn’t have access to gnaw on the repair materials when warmer weather returns.

Reinforce any unstable roofing by covering the top with paneling or plywood. If your dog house doesn’t have a shingled roof, consider installing one now. Shingles offer protection against leaks and damage from moisture. Pop a few on just like you would your own home.

Step 5: Add Heaters for Comfort

During winter in Alberta, it’s likely too cold to leave your dog outside. However, when temperatures start to rise again mid-spring, it may be safe to let your dog out once more. Consider installing a heater while you winterize your dog house so your pooch can be comfortable and cozy when warmer springtime weather arrives.

The dog house heater you choose should include safety mechanisms that monitor the temperature inside the dwelling so as not to overheat your dog. The heater should also have some form of protection to ensure your pup doesn’t come into contact with the heating mechanism. Heaters designed specifically for dog houses typically have these standard safety elements. Finally, consider installing solar-powered dog house heaters so you don’t have to worry about running electrical cords from your home’s outlets to the dog house.

If you live in Alberta, you know that keeping your home warm is absolutely necessary when the cold weather hits. As your Alberta energy company, we can help fuel your home’s heating equipment, as well as give you pointers on how to save energy in the winter. From learning how to winterize your garden to winterizing your pool, we’re here with tips on how to make your home more energy efficient. Contact us anytime at 1.866.420.3174.