When it’s cold outside you must protect your dog from the freezing temperatures. In fact, in some states it has become illegal to leave your dog outside alone in temperatures below freezing thanks to Libre’s Law. One great way to keep your dog warm and safe is by using a heated dog pad or also known as a heated dog mat.
Today I’m going to share with you the different brand options you have (with pros and cons depending on budget) as well as answer questions regarding safety and usage tips to help you make the best informed decision for your dog. Whether you are indoors or outdoors, there’s a solution for you in this article so keep reading!
In a hurry? Then check out this dog heating pad/warming bed on Amazon — it’s our top pick and will accommodate many dog sizes.
Heated Dog Mats vs. Pads – What’s the difference?
After doing my research I realized that heated dog mats and pads both share the same purpose (to keep your dog warm and comfortable during winter months when it’s freezing outside). It’s just that we humans often use the two terms (mat and pad) to mean the same thing.
Really it’s a heated pet pad you are looking for which can accommodate cats or dogs depending on the size. While I would never recommend leaving your dog outside during freezing temperatures these pads are very handy to have for dogs who live outdoors in a dog house. Better yet, bring fido inside and use one of these heated dog pads to keep their kennel or crate nice and warm!
So now that you know that, how do you choose the right pad for your dog?
Battery powered or 12v options?
Electrical heating pads are far more common, and despite the con of having an electrical cord, most companies ensure that any cords are completely chew-resistant.
Maybe you have a crazy puppy or you don’t have access to an electrical outlet nearby. Perhaps you’d rather purchase batteries than have your electrical bill affected. Whatever your reason, you’re in luck; there are a few battery operated heated dog beds available too!
Electric heated vs self warming?
Self warming beds require no electricity. These beds or mats are designed so the insulation can return the pet’s own body heat to them. Self warming beds require the pet sit on them for a little while in order to radiate heat. And generally, they will not radiate as much heat as an electric heating pad would. There are upsides to self warming beds, however. Self warming beds are a very safe option for those pet parents who need peace of mind while they are away. There are no electrical cords so no need to worry about electrical fires or anything related. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about your pet overheating as the bed’s maximum temperature matches your dog’s body heat.
Dogs that are constantly shivering may do best with an electric heated pad. The pad will be able to raise to a temperature above your dog’s body heat temperature. Many electric pads have a regulation system ensuring that the temperature does not get too hot.
Pressure activated heating pads rely on the pressure of the dog to turn on any heat. When your dog is on the mat, the temperature will raise. Pressure activated mats reduce the use of excessive electricity. If your dog prefers it very hot, however, they may do better with a regular, continuous heating pad.
If you’d like to give your dog some comforting warmth in the colder months, this pressure activated mat adapats to your dog’s temperature and provides a nice, soothing warmth. It provides an optimum, maximum heat of 102 degrees Fahrenheit and boasts a low, safe voltage so as not to overwork your electricity.
Safety tips when operating a heated dog mat or pad
Whichever route you choose, when choosing a heating pad for your dog consider their behavior: Are they likely to chew through the bed or any cords? Do they just like a little warmth or do they want it nice and toasty?
Other factors to consider are water resistance and temperature control. Is your dog likely to spill their water bowl or have an accident? Do you want it the pad to be able to adjust its temperature?
There are a few heating mat options in this article that get great reviews and have wonderful, practical features for everyday use!
Heated Dog Mats and Pads For Outdoor Use
If you must leave your dog outside in chilly temperatures, it’s a good idea to think about ways to keep them warm. A heated pad would be the perfect addition to a dog house to ensure that your pup is nice and cozy while you are away.
Choosing a dog pad to warm a dog house
When looking for a dog pad to use outdoors, you want to know that what you purchase is durable enough to withstand the outdoor environment. Specifically search for mats that indicate they are for outdoor use; this tells you that the manufacturer intended for the mat to be used outdoors and has used durable materials.
Keep in mind that the heating pad will need to shell out quite a bit of heat to combat the frigid temperature outside. Look for well-known brands and good customer reviews to make sure the pad is up to the challenge!
Another factor to consider when choosing a heating pad for your dog’s dog house is the electrical cord. The electrical cord needs to be able to reach a plug. Additionally, the cord itself should be chew-resistant to ensure that your pup doesn’t get shocked if they want to gnaw on the cord.
So what’s the best outdoor heated dog pad or mat?
This company’s previous Lectro-Kennel mat has been manufactured and loved for 30 years. Their Lectro-Soft Outdoor pad is intended for outdoor use. Despite being outside, your dog will enjoy the comfiness of the orthopedic mattress. The outer material is made of a soft, waterproof, durable PVC material, making it a flexible but long-lasting option. The electrical cord is 5.5 feet long and is wrapped in steel to protect your dog from electrical shock.
The bed’s energy efficient, thermostatically controlled heater is designed to match your dog’s own body temperature and will never exceed it, making it comfy, cozy without the risk of scalding your pet’s skin.
With being outdoors, it’s bound to need some cleaning every once in awhile. Thankfully, it’s super easy to clean; just wipe with a damp rag and allow it to fully dry before plugging it back in. If you use the optional, included fleece cover, just pop it in the washing machine.
Heated Dog Mats and Pads For Indoor Use
Even being indoors, your pet can get chilly during winter months. To avoid using a costly heater, you can plop down a heating pad for your dog to lay on.
The heating mat can be placed on the floor or in your dog’s kennel or crate. You can also pop the heating pad underneath your dog’s usual bed or blanket; that way, it will radiate heat upward through their usual comfy setup.
For Large Size Dogs
A favored heating pad for large dogs is the MARUNDA Heating Pad. The steel wrapped chew-resistant cord is a favorite feature. It’s waterproof and has a removable cover that is machine washable. The built-in dual thermostat keeps your pet from overheating but can reach a nice, toasty temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit. It also boasts a low power usage so as not to increase your utility bills.
For Small or Medium Size Dogs
There are many options for small or medium size dogs. You’ll want to consider the size of the mat as well as the potential temperature it can reach.
RIOGOO’s best feature is its auto power off. Set the time anywhere from 0-12 hours, and it will turn off when the timer is up. You can also set the temperature up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit.
The 7 layers of protection will prevent your dog from being burnt. There is also a chew-resistant power cord. Although safety is its best feature, RIOGOO is also very easy to clean; simply wipe off the removable cover.
If you have a very small dog, consider the Snuggle Safe Microwaveable Pet Bed. This non-electrical bed can retain heat for up to 10 hours, and it is the perfect size for your small dog. Simply pop the Snuggle Safe Pet Bed under your pet’s usual bed, and it will radiate heat.
I’m on a budget what’s the cheapest option?
Mospro’s Pet Warming Bed is affordable at just $18.99. Measuring 18” by 18” it can accommodate many dog sizes. It has some pretty fancy features despite its favorable price point. The favorite feature: its rapid heating capability allows it to heat within 5 minutes.
I don’t care about cost, what’s the best option?
K&H has been making warming pet beds for 30 years. They offer a variety of sizes, styles, and features, so you are sure to find something that fits your needs.
Is a heated dog mat good enough for below zero temperatures?
If you’re worried about your dog in below zero temperature, consider the facts. Will your dog be indoors or outdoors? How big is your dog? Are they shivering?
Obviously, if your pet is outdoors in below zero temperature, you will need to find other ways to keep your dog warm and happy. Consider a space heater and blankets galore. Of course, the best option, if possible, would be to bring them indoors when the weather is not so pleasant.
Indoors while it’s below zero temperature, your pet is safe from any rain, sleet, snow, or wind. Many dogs will be just fine with a nice heating pad.
However, some may still be chilly. You can provide them with ample blankets and places to lay. Additionally, you can use your central heater or a space heater.