Q&A / 

Keep Dogs Warm

A visitor to AsktheBuilder who'd rather remain anonymous and who lives in sunny, but sometimes cool, Phoenix, AZ, has two dogs he wants to be warm at night. Here's what he sent:

"I need to keep my two dogs warm at night without heating the whole house.  Help!

Here are the two dogs that need to be warm. Photo credit: Anonymous man Phoenix, AZ

Here are the two dogs that need to be warm. Photo credit: Anonymous man Phoenix, AZ

Even here in Phoenix, it gets cold in the winter (okay, it's all relative, but cold nonetheless) and the temperature inside my home frequently will drop into the low-mid 60s at night if I don't use my central heating.  That's okay for us people, all warm under a down comforter and such.

But that's way too cold for my girls.  As result, they either sleep in bed with my wife and I (which means they sleep and we don't ... how do they take up so much room?) or we turn the central heat up to about 78 degrees to sufficiently warm their sleeping quarters (our laundry room).  The girls stay warm that way, all right, but it wastes much money to run the heater and warm the entire house.  Not to mention that 78 degrees is just too warm for us (remember: down comforter).

What can we do?  Leaving a space heater on all night in the laundry seems unsafe.  Is there an alternative that doesn't involve thousands of dollars to redo the heating system?"

Well, the first thought that pops into my head would be a simple small radiant floor heating, keeping warm, floor warmer, floor heating heat mat that goes under the dog bedding. You could build a small floor and cover it with ceramic tile just like a bathroom floor. The mat would heat the tile so it's toasty warm. That heat would transfer through the dog bedding just like heat does through a heated seat in my car and truck.

Understand that if you do this the small floor you build for the two dogs could end up weighing in excess of 100 pounds with no issue. You'll not be lifting this thing up and moving it around with ease.

You can watch my video series on radiant heating floor mats by clicking here.

Another option is to just put the dogs in a small tent that has reflective foil in it so the heat from their bodies is bounced back at them as they sleep.


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