How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage

As pet owners, providing a cozy environment for our furry friends during cold months is essential. While some keep their dogs indoors, others house them in the garage due to constraints. However, garages can get freezing in winter, risking your dog’s health – especially for small dogs who have less body heat to keep them warm. This guide explores strategies on how to keep dogs warm in garage throughout the colder seasons.

How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage

Key Takeaways:

  • Insulate the garage walls, ceiling, and door to retain heat
  • Provide heated bedding, radiant floor heating, or space heaters
  • Offer an insulated dog house or crate for concentrated warmth
  • Monitor your dog’s comfort level and adjust heating as needed

Consider Your Dog’s Needs

Before diving into warming methods, understand your dog’s unique requirements. Factors like breed, age, coat thickness, and health affect their ability to withstand cold. For example, thick-coated breeds like Huskies handle cooler temps better than short-haired, small dogs like Chihuahuas who have less body heat. Puppies and seniors may need extra care due to developing or declining thermoregulation. Consult your vet to assess your dog’s specific needs.

6 Proven Strategies on How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage

Here are some proven strategies on how to keep dogs warm in garage during winter:

6 Proven Strategies on How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage
6 Proven Strategies on How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage

Strategy 1: Insulate the Garage

Proper insulation is key to maintaining a warm garage. Insulating walls, ceiling, and garage door reduces heat loss, creating a cozy space.

  • Wall and Ceiling: Use fiberglass batts, rigid foam boards, or spray foam for excellent thermal resistance.
  • Garage Door: Options include replacing with an insulated door, installing insulation kits on the interior, and weatherstripping/sealing to prevent drafts.

Strategy 2: Heating Options

While insulation helps, additional heat sources may be necessary for smaller dogs with less body heat during extreme cold.

  • Heated Beds/Mats: These cozy spots offer adjustable warmth for your pup to snuggle.
  • Radiant Floor: Installing heating cables/mats beneath the floor provides gentle, even warmth.
Installing Heating Cables/mats Beneath the Floor

Strategy 3: Insulated Dog Houses and Crates

In addition to heating and insulating the garage itself, providing an insulated shelter traps your dog’s body heat creating significantly more warmth and comfort. Insulated dog houses or crates offer a cozy, draft-free environment.

When selecting a dog house or crate, look for models with insulated walls and a raised floor to prevent heat loss through the ground. Additionally, consider incorporating a removable roof or door flap to allow for easy access and ventilation.

Strategy 4: Bedding and Blankets

Ensuring access to ample bedding and blankets is crucial for keeping small dogs with less body heat warm in the garage. Provide a soft, insulating bed or mat, and layer it with cozy blankets or quilts to concentrate their body heat.

Additionally, consider placing a heating pad or hot water bottle beneath the bedding to provide an extra source of warmth. However, exercise caution and monitor your dog to prevent burns or overheating.

Strategy 5: Outdoor Shelter

If your dog spends significant time outside the garage, an insulated, weatherproof shelter like a traditional dog house or covered kennel area is essential to protect them and their body heat from wind, rain, and snow.

Ensure the outdoor shelter is elevated off the ground to prevent heat loss through the flooring, and add insulation or bedding to create a warm, cozy environment.

Strategy 6: Monitor and Adjust

Observe your dog’s comfort level and make adjustments as needed, especially for small dogs with less body heat. Watch for shivering, lethargy, or seeking warm spots. Use a thermometer to track the garage temperature and modify heating/insulation appropriately.

Observe Dog's Comfort Level

FAQs About How to Keep Dogs Warm in Garage

What Temperature is Too Cold for Dogs in a Garage?

A general guideline is that temperatures below 45°F can start becoming uncomfortable and potentially harmful for many dogs if kept in a garage. Particularly, when temperatures drop below 40°F, it is advisable to provide heating or insulation to ensure their safety and comfort. For the best care, keep the garage well-insulated or heated, especially during cold weather, to maintain a conducive environment for your dog.

Is It Too Hot to Leave My Dog in the Garage?

Leaving your dog in the garage during hot weather can be extremely dangerous due to poor ventilation and rapidly increasing temperatures. If the outside temperature is above 75°F (24°C), it’s generally too hot for the garage. Dogs can easily suffer from heatstroke without adequate cooling and fresh water. It’s safer to keep your dog inside a cooler, well-ventilated area like your home with air conditioning or fans, or ensure they have access to shade and plenty of water outdoors. Always prioritize their safety by avoiding hot environments.

What is the Best Thing to Keep Dog Warm?

To keep your dog warm during winter, ensure they have insulated bedding with blankets or a heated dog bed, dress them in a dog jacket or sweater, provide a draft-free and well-insulated sleeping area, and consider using safe heating pads designed for pets. These measures will help maintain your dog’s comfort and health in cold weather.


Keeping your pup toasty in the garage requires some effort, but their happiness and health make it worthwhile. With the right preparations focusing on trapping body heat, even little dogs can stay warm and content through the chilliest days.

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