Does your dog get cold easily? Some dogs, due to age or ailments, get cold easier, regardless if they’re inside or outside. And it’s heartbreaking to see your baby shivering.
Our Beagle is one of these. At 14 years old and two major tumor surgeries, she’s more prone to shiver. We keep a close eye on her when she’s outside during the winter and bring her in as soon as her extra-strong Beagle nose is done inspecting and ensuring her backyard is secure.
We make sure she has a blanket to curl up on or a warm body to sit with when she comes back in, but it still takes her a while to stop shivering.
Now I’m wondering about a heated dog bed or blanket and if it’s worth investing in one. So I thought I would do some research and share it here.
Introduction to Heated Dog Beds
Does your dog have achy or arthritic joints? Maybe their blood is thinner so they get colder quicker? These would be common symptoms for older dogs but there are many middle-aged dogs and even under-developed puppies who need a boost of heat to warm themselves up.
Heated pet beds actually help heat your pet!
How often has your partner or your dog laid right up against you and that side of your body feels warm, leading to the rest of you feeling warm? That’s what heat will do, which includes a warmed up bed.
Why You Might Want A Heated Bed
Heat also helps to ease and relax stiff and sore muscles and joints. How many times do we use a warmed up neck pillow when we have a sore neck? The benefits of heat are readily apparent.
Reasons that your dog might benefit from extra heat are:
- Achy joints
- Twisted or sprained legs from chasing squirrels, bunnies, and tails
- Older dogs
- Hairless dogs (I’ve never had one of these so I’d be curious to hear from those who have)
Option To Consider
There are different types of dog beds, pads, and blankets so you’ll need to decide which one will work best for you. The advantage with the pad are that they can be placed under the current bed you have and will slowly warm it up as well. However, be cautious as some beds weren’t intended for this.
Some beds or pads are intended to be used inside, outside, or both. Do make note of the intended bed you buy, knowing where you’ll want to use it. Some can be used in dog houses and left there but you’ll still want to monitor it regularly.
Our lifestyle would work for indoor beds or pads only as our dogs usually just go out to do their business, maybe check the perimeter for squirrels, and then come charging back in to be with their people.
Are Dogs and Electricity Compatible?
Dogs are natural chewers and, well, a cord lying innocently on the floor could be too much of a temptation. “Look, mom, it wiggles when I do!”
Electrically heated dog beds could be a good solution – unless the solution becomes deadly. But it’s also important to note that many of these beds and pads come with an automatic shut-off. So if that’s important to you then make sure the one you buy has that feature.
Some beds come with non-chewable cords while others recommend that you buy a cord protector. Do these work?
I know there are others but I’ve found one bed that I’m particularly interested in. It’s made by Milliard and is both an indoor and outdoor heating pad. The cord is a non-toxic PVC that is chew resistant, which will prevent most chewers from inadvertently getting themselves in trouble.
These are made from heavy grade tubing and many come with different scents and tastes infused right into the tube. This means that if the smell doesn’t keep your dog away then the taste should.
You can purchase tubing that you slit to fit over existing cords (sounds difficult, especially if you’re clumsy with knives) or you can purchase a ready-made cord (easier). However, if your pet bed doesn’t come with a non-chewable cord, you will need to cover it up regardless.
On The Road
Some beds offer the ability to plug in at home and have a 12-volt adapter for your vehicle. This is useful if your dog is banished to the far back of your SUV or even the back seat where the heat doesn’t adequately reach.
As noted above, many of us use microwaveable neck cushions or slippers for achy and injured joints. So I was happy to read that there are also microwaveable dog beds.
These will retain their heat long enough to warm your dog up, some for as long as 10 hours because the plate-size pad has a special, non-toxic, thermapol compound inside that retains the heat. However, they can be put back in the microwave and they have the natural benefit of holding your dog’s heat once they curl up and go to sleep.
The advantage of these types of beds:
- No cords to chew.
- Therefore no cord protectors.
- You can “nuke it” just before leaving the house for the day.
- “Nuke” and take with you on a trip.
CAUTION: Let these cool for a minute before using. Do not overheat or you may cause injury to your dog.
Do They Actually Keep Your Dog Warm And Happy?
If your dog needs to snuggle up to you or under the blankets then that may be indicative of needing extra heat just to warm up and stay warm, especially on cold winter nights.
Some electric dog blankets and beds even come with adjustable heat controls so you can start them high when your dog first comes in and then turn them down as your dog warms up.
And, of course, these beds need to be waterproof because, well, just as dogs and chewable cords are potentially dangerous, so too are water and electricity. This is especially important if your dog has just come in on a rainy day. Use caution!
But once your dog comes in and the bed or pad is heated, it’s usually an instant hit.
One of the downsides to heated beds is that you should unplug them when you leave the house, even if it’s all day. As I’m sure you know, cold doesn’t end just because we’ve gone to work. Your dog is still at home and cold. However, unless you work nights, daytime is the warmest time so things are naturally warmer. Plus you can leave the thermostat turned up if you need to.
When I was reading different reviews, one thing that consistently came up was that you’ll want to test the bed or pad yourself. Once you get it home and before you let your dog use it, turn it on and let it completely warm up (the instructions will help you know what the minimum and maximums are). If you think it’s too warm, start with the lower or middle setting (depending on model) and let your dog try it out when you’re ready.
Oh, a little aside: if you have a cat then they may claim the bed as their own. Not a problem if the two get along but if not, usually the cat wins. Buy two beds?
Do you have a heated dog bed, pad, or blanket? Let me know if you like it and how long you’ve been using it.
Thanks for reading.