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Hi I am new :-) Q - Keeping pets warm?

October 23rd, 2007, 08:54 PM
I have a question. I live in Missouri (originally from California) And it gets very cold here. I would like get as many ideas as possible on how to keep the dogs warm here. Does anyone know about heating pets with heat lamps? I just had a 12x12 shed built for them it has a doggie door and carpet in there also soft beds. I had a heater in there but I am into saving energy and that uses 1500 watts. I have the heated pet pads that only use 20 watts but I do not think that is enough. I just purchased a infrared heat lamp 250 watts they seam to like it . Does anyone use these that can give me some tips. or any other energy saving tips would be great!

Thank you doodle poodle
No I am not a breeder I rescue pets.

October 23rd, 2007, 09:18 PM
Why are they being kept outside in a shed?

October 24th, 2007, 03:25 PM
That's not the question but I'll answer anyways .
Because I have 23 animals and I can not keep all my (Rescues) in the house I love animals but even I know that's to many in the house , although I do rotate them in and out through out the day. 16 cats 7 dogs. Now does any one have any good ideas on keeping them warm?:lightbulb:

October 24th, 2007, 03:56 PM
I feel like I am doing a very good job on taking care of these animals. They play all day and live in a wonderland compared to where some of them came from. My last rescue was in a cage for TEN years. He could Hardly walk when I got him and was completely lethargic and would cry when I even came near him he had to have medical attention and 14 teeth pulled from rotting in his head, He is why they have a new shed now because he does not know how to walk up the stairs to the doggie door. his name is now Sweetie and he is no longer lethargic and afraid he loves me and has even learned how to run (slow but he tries ) I also have Joey who was so badly abused he was even set on fire, Cullen was beaten until his back was broken. Sloopy I got from the newport shelter Bennie a chawawa was tied up in the snow with no dog house freezing and I had to buy him to save him . because the police would do nothing but the owners would take a hundred bucks to let him go! the two miniature chawawas were left in a closet to live che che only has one eye lord knows what happened to her? I got them through babysitting them and they never came back for them, Thank goodness. So now you know why I have so many animals the cats just end up here to eat and I catch them spay and neuter and continue to feed them. They also have houses with heating pads in every one. o.k I wrote all of this so we can get over the wondering if I am a bad pet owner or a breeder. Sorry if I offend breeders but every pure bread purchased is a pet at a shelters shot for a home gone! Anyways so that is My story . if you want to no anything else just ask but I also am really wanting feedback on energy saving tips on keeping pets warm.:dog:

October 24th, 2007, 06:06 PM
I'm quite good at cat shelters but have never had a dog (yet :)), so I googled 'winter dog house'.

Found this on a dog forum:
PLEASE be careful with carpet in doghouses. I thought i was doing Shadow a favor by putting a piece of carpet in his dog house. It got a loose loop and started to unravel and it got around his neck. trying to get free he twisted and turned and strangled himself to death. It was a very sad time for me. Dogs have a winter coat and we make sure they have plenty of straw to nestle down in to keep warm. Dogs have a higher body temperature than we do, so a doghouse made for their size and with some straw they should be okay. Face the opening away from the wind. In very cold we do bring them in. Also feed them more since they use more calories to keep warm and make sure that they have fresh water.

You didn't say if the floor is raised. Even if it is not concrete, it will be mighty cold otherwise.

From another site:

The final step is to construct a raised floor. Cold concrete floors can actually wick body heat away from an animal, so a simple floor is an important consideration. The easiest thing to do is to lay 2x4s flat on the concrete floor, spaced about two feet apart. Insulate the spaces between the boards with 1 inches of rigid foam insulation, then cover everything with a sheet of plywood. Throw a carpet remnant on top of the plywood - don't tack or glue it down, since it's much easier to clean if it's removable - add a couple of warm, soft blankets, and you'll have one happy dog that's all ready for winter.

I don't know if this is relevant:

Make sure there are no electrical wires, lamps or any other live wiring near or within the enclosure that the dog can chew on, or that could be a fire hazard. Also, do not install heaters, heat lamps or other warming devices; if you do need to provide some auxiliary heat within the enclosure, consult with your veterinarian or a quality pet supply retailer about kennel-safe heating pads.

There's lots of information out there.

Good luck with this. I wouldn't think of flaming you for having such a big heart. Your food bills must be astronomical!

October 24th, 2007, 06:31 PM
I wouldn't flame you're doing an excellent job. :angel:

I was going to suggest straw on the floor as it is a great insulater. The electrical wires and lamps would be a concern. Are the walls and ceiling insulated?

Jim Hall
October 24th, 2007, 07:12 PM
you are a saint doodlepoodle you moved all that zoo across the country ?

October 24th, 2007, 07:35 PM
We use Snuggle Safe microwave headpads for our outdoor cats, who snuggle into a big cat box during the winter. Sorry, but I doubt that would be a good suggestion for all you care for.

Thanks for taking care of so many.


October 24th, 2007, 09:03 PM
Sorry if you mistook my question for flaming, was just curious why they'd have to live in a shed.

October 24th, 2007, 11:28 PM
If they are bigger dogs, with thick coats, they should be fine with just the warm pads. If what I`m picturing is right, you just have the shed for them, it might be a good idea if you can pick up or make a dog house (or 2) to put in there. A smaller space is easier to keep warm. A raised floor is great, a windbreak of some sort so the cold doesn`t directly hit the wall would be good too.

When I was a kid and had my first dog, my parents were "no animals in the house" people (they have changed!). We had 2, they lived outside all the time in central IL. They did get to come in the garage at time; it was heated somewhat, but mostly they were outside, in their dog house which was inside a wire pen. We had some bales of straw stacked up outside for a windbreak, with more straw inside for bedding. I think they used cedar chips as well.

They were medium size, about 50 pounds, and had good coats. They did fine through the winters we had them, although I wish they would have been allowed inside. I would not have a smaller dog, like a chihuahua outside much at all during our midwest winters or cats either, but if they must be in the shed, I think the body heat from several of them together would be enough once they are used to it.

Good luck!

October 24th, 2007, 11:52 PM
Great suggestions so far I would like to add:

Make sure the heating pads have a blanket covering them so the dogs are not in direct skin contact with the heating pads as over time they may create sore/burn spots especially on short coated dogs who may spend most of the day/night in one location

I would not want to put in a heat lamp because a) the chewed cord factor but even more scary b) the fire risk - if the lamp fell or was knocked over or off the wall it could very quickly cause a fire by landing on blankets/straw or burn a dog landing on them

Fleece blankets are a great source of heat for pets, they warm up quickly with body heat & keep it in, they are lightweight & easy to launder & can be picked up cheaply - you can even buy bolts of fleece material to cut your own size blankets - you don't even need to hem the ends. Every animal I have ever had LOVES to sleep on a warm fleece blanket :thumbs up

good luck :fingerscr:goodvibes:

October 25th, 2007, 09:20 AM
What about solar panels, or maybe a skylight (to let the warm sun in)
Heating up their food in the winter also helps to maintain body heat.

October 25th, 2007, 10:29 AM
My cats adore fleece, they absolutely gravitate to it.
And yes, cover your heating pads well, my sister's cat got a burned belly from insufficient covering, and it happened over time, not something that was readily apparent.
I used straw to stuff my shelters last winter - after years of using old blankets and sweaters - and it was by far the warmest - if you've got some old fur coats on hand, they are equally wonderful.
I like the idea of building separate boxes inside the shed, particularly if it is drafty. This would give you the double floor, which apparently makes a huge difference. Raising the structure off the ground has the same effect (obviously not practical in your case:)). A cold floor will bring the temps in there way down.
If you have a camera, why not put up some pictures? We'd love to see your critters.

October 25th, 2007, 10:47 PM
Hi it's late and I am hitting the sac so I do not have time to read all. but I will tomorrow I did skim through real fast and we do have wood floors and the outdoor carpet is bound on edges. Today was a long day I had switches put in shed so I do not have to use extension cords and I did put in 3 heat lamps with chains from the ceiling so they can not fall or anything. Yesterday I had it insulated and drywall put up over that and caulked all cracks. Just in time because it is going to be 40 tonight buuur (not used to that) Only 2 dogs and 1 cat are from California and they are in the house Cullen is super super old and Sloopy is my first dog ever and Willy cat is 16 and used to warm weather but the new rescues I got here . Anyways I am falling asleep here so I think they are going to be cumphy tonight. and I am getting under the heating blanket oh and I also have a few heated dog beds out there incase they dont like the heat lamps. Yet I still worry. I dont know why? I just do:cry: I just need a bigger house!:thumbs up

Thank you all and all a goodnight :-)

November 1st, 2007, 12:17 PM
Hi I read all the post And I am looking into solar panels I think that is a great idea. But so far I am pleased with these heat lamps I think these are going to work great. I have the heat lamps chained up so they can not be knocked off and no hay. I love the idea of a few smaller dog houses inside the shed because Bennie loves to cuddle he may like that better. I put 3 heat lamps in a row near the back wall that way if any of them get to warm they can move to the other side of the shed. So far so good. Last night we had a frost so I peeked out a window to see if they were in there and they all were so that is comforting so they will be good this winter but I still am looking into the solar panels for next year.

Thank you all Very much.

November 1st, 2007, 12:38 PM
Are you able to insulate the shed at all with styrofoam to keep their body heat in and the cold out? Heat especially escapes through the ceiling and upper walls so if you could insulate those places it may help.

Bless you for helping these poor souls who did not deserve what they received from their first caregivers.

I know a person who rescued cats in Edm AB and kept them in a shed, they heated with a propane heater, but there was always a fear of fire.

He used straw on the floor which helped the kitties stay warm. The would snuggle down into the hay.

December 5th, 2007, 10:51 AM
God Bless You DoodlePoodle for all you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:thumbs up:angel::grouphug:
You are doing a wonderful job and the shed is probably the bestest home those lucky, lucky dogs have ever had!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!