Sure, your dog has a winter coat on all the time—or so you think. But that doesn’t mean your dog won’t still suffer from the cold. Being too chilled can lead to a condition called hypothermia. Newborn puppies and seniors are particularly at risk if they face long-term exposure to cold temperatures, but any dog is a candidate in the right conditions.
You’re looking for the means to make sure your dog is warm and toasty, which is a great thing. Whether you have a mother dog who is whelping puppies or one who lives outdoors, you want them to be warm amidst the elements. We have compiled a detailed list of reviews on the six best heat lamps we could find to warm up your cold pups.
A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2021:
|Best Overall||Fluker's Ceramic Heat Emitter||
|Best Value||Exo Terra Desert UVB Lamp||
|Premium Choice||Zoo Med Avian Sun Compact Fluorescent Lamp||
|Woods Clamp Heat Lamp||
|Evergreen Pet Supplies Infrared Heat||
The 6 Best Heat Lamps for Dogs:
1. Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter – Best Overall
The Fluker’s Ceramic Heat Emitter is an emitter rather than a lamp, which means that it disperses heat without producing light, so it is suitable for nighttime use as well as daytime. It has a large circular design, so it will warm a decent sized area, and although the lamp is marketed for reptile owners, it will work just as well to heat a puppy enclosure or dog crate.
This model comes in either a 100-watt or 150-watt model, and although you will need to ensure that it isn’t placed too close to the dog to cause overheating, it should be perfectly safe for use in any cage or covered bed. This heat emitter does offer more power than most, so it should effectively heat larger beds and bedding areas, but it does need to be placed a minimum of 1 foot above the dog to ensure that they don’t scald themselves on the emitter.
Despite being powerful, this is a well-priced emitter, and because it heats without giving off a bright light, we have rated it as the best overall heat lamp for dogs.
2. Exo Terra Desert UVB Lamp – Best Value
UVB light plays a vital role in your dog’s health. Primarily, it helps your dog to absorb calcium. No matter how much calcium he is getting in his diet, if your dog is not getting enough vitamin D, which can come from dietary sources but is also derived from UVB light, he will not be absorbing enough of the essential mineral. The Exo Terra Desert UVB Lamp may be designed for use in terrariums, but it can also provide your dog with increased levels of UVB. This can be especially beneficial to puppies and seniors.
Available with either a 13 or 26-watt bulb, the Exo Terra can be used for nursing, whelping, and general dog beds and crates. It should be placed a suitable distance away from the dog and out of their reach. The bulb is safe for 24-hour use, and it has a standard connection so can be used with most bulb fittings. It is also cheap, which is why we rate it as the best heat lamp for dogs for the money.
- Related Read: Best Whelping Boxes for Dogs – Reviews & Top Picks
The Zoo Med Avian Sun Compact Fluorescent Lamp is a full-spectrum lamp, primarily designed for birds. It offers UVB, which helps ensure your dog can utilize the calcium he eats, as well as UVA. Both of these are present in daylight, with UVA usually present during the late afternoon and UVB stronger in the middle of the day.
Dogs naturally require sunlight to thrive. They should get a good mix of UV light, but this can be missing if you are unable to walk your dog during daylight hours, for example, because you’re working or not at home.
The 26-watt lamp also provides warmth, and this combination of UVA, UVB, and warmth, all of which mimics natural sunlight, makes the Zoo Med Avian Sun Company Fluorescent Lamp a good choice for use in dog beds and crates. It is bulkier than most other models, however.
4. Woods 166 Clamp Dog Heat Lamp
This Woods 16 Clamp Heat Lamp comes with all you need to heat your pet’s enclosure. The convenient clamp design allows you to secure it to the ceiling or trestle in the area so you can safely heat the space. It’s easy to move around, too. So, if you find it works best in another spot, you can move it at your leisure.
It has a 6-foot wire, so you have quite a bit of leeway. Once you have the clamp positioned, you can also move the lamp portion to aim at an ideal spot. It also includes a 300-watt bulb, so you don’t have to purchase separately.
A negative to this heat lamp choice is that it isn’t advisable to have on continuously. It’s also doesn’t have the non-emitting light feature, so it stays bright, which can interfere with sleep patterns.
5. Evergreen Pet Supplies Infrared Dog Heat Lamp
The Evergreen Pet Supplies Infrared Heat Lamp is a 2-pack, so you can have a backup, or even use both! Since it is another infrared addition, it puts out heat but not light. This is perfect for day or nighttime use in your dog’s house or enclosure.
Each bulb is 75 watts, and the total life is 800-1,000 hours, so it’s significantly less than some of our other selections. Even though they claim to last that long, some of the bulbs last considerably less time. When it comes to value, you’d want to assess if the money would be worth the time in use.
- Related Read: Best Insulated Dog House for Winter
6. VIVOSUN Infrared Ceramic Heat Lamp
This VIVOSUN Infrared Ceramic Heat Lamp is our last pick. While it’s not the best on our list, it’s still worth noting. This is a decent light for a reptile enclosure, but it may not be the most excellent option for a doghouse or whelping area. It gets very hot, and there is no safeguard to protect from scalding.
It’s another infrared selection, so it gives off heat but no light. It’s designed to last 10,000-12,000 hours and is safe for 24-hour use. It’s a 100-watt light bulb like a lot of others. It’s not one of the most expensive lamps on our list, so if you’re on a budget, this one could work for you as well.
Ultimately, while it has a lot to offer, it doesn’t have as many safety positives as others. It lasts basically the same amount of time with no real reasons to slide it higher on the list. It also has several instances of not living out its promised lifespan, which isn’t particularly favorable when you need it to last. This is especially true if you go long periods without checking.
Whether you have a dog that lives outside in a kennel or your dog had a recent litter of puppies, you will want to make sure they have a heat source when they’re outdoors. While it may seem like choosing the right lamp would be easy, there are some things you want to take into consideration. Read on to learn more about how to find a heat lamp that is safe for your dog.
Amount of Emitted Heat
Depending on the size of the enclosure, the wattage you will need is going to vary. A 100-watt lamp heats roughly a 4-5 cubic foot space. You may need more than one lamp for adequate heating if your space is much bigger or if there is quite a bit of heat loss due to open entrances.
Having a bulb that emits as much heat as possible is essential, but it is best to have an infrared light. Other lamps that emit light can affect your pet’s sleep schedule, which isn’t ideal for them.
When you buy a bulb, that’s not all you’re going to need. If your purchase doesn’t come with a clamp or a cover, you’ll need to factor that in if you don’t already own these things.
Covers are essential, such as that in our number four slot. That protects the bulb from being bumped or broken and prevents scalding and fire hazards. There are multiple options to secure your heat source to provide optimal safety.
You will want to make sure the light is up high enough or in a position where the dog cannot knock it down or touch it. You will also want to be sure any cords are hidden or kept out of reach to prevent your dog from chewing.
If you need to buy any extension cords, clamps, or means of security, you will want to factor that into your overall purchase. There are items on our list that cover most of those bases for you to make that experience a bit easier.
Length of Use
Some lamps are available for use 24hours at a time. This means you can leave it on as long as you need to without worrying about safety. If your dog isn’t outside constantly, you only have to use it when they are. You wouldn’t have to get a bulb that is suitable for 24-hour use unless it was a personal preference.
If you have a litter of puppies or an outside animal that you have to protect from cooler or harsh temperatures, 24-hour lights are very convenient. You will have to make sure to check them regularly since most of them do not emit light. You need to know the heat source is still working and hasn’t burnt out.
Heat in whelping boxes needs to stay in the ballpark of 85 degrees for the first few days after birth. Between 75-80 degrees would work after that. If the temperature goes down, the puppies may be huddled together to keep warm. Be sure to keep an eye on the specifics.
If you have a litter of puppies, check regularly. If you aren’t monitoring daily when usual care takes place, their bodily temperatures may decline without you realizing that they no longer have a basking light. Depending on how cold it is, your puppies could get sick or even freeze to death if they are without proper heat or their mother too long.
Safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to having a heating lamp on. You will want to make sure everything is completely free of fire hazards since you won’t always be around to make sure all is well.
Some lamps are cordless, and others are corded. Some of the corded options have anti-chew features, so if your dog does discover it, it prevents them from destroying it. Depending on how you have secured space will show which option is the best.
You want to be sure your pet cannot yank the cord either and knock down the lamp. This could cause arcing, which can lead to electrocution. It could also hurt your pet by scalding them. Be sure they cannot access the lamp in any way.
When it comes to keeping your pets warm, we stand by our number one. The Fluker’s Ceramic is everything you would want for your doghouse. It is long-lasting, durable, anti-cracking, and designed for 24-hour use. It emits sunlight-like warmth and no light. It can efficiently heat a dog box to keep your pet nice and toasty, so we think it deserves the winning slot.
If you’re looking for the best heating element for a whelping area or for a puppy, the Exo Terra Desert UVB Lamp should catch your eye. Not only does it only emit heat, it comes with a silicone cover to ensure nothing is scalded or burned by the light.
If you’re looking for a bulb and money isn’t an issue, the Zoo Med Avian Sun could be the one you need. It has attractive longevity and can be left on 24-hours at a time. It gives a wide-spreading warmness that is sure to keep your pet comfortable.
Keeping your dog protected from the cold is part of being a fantastic pet owner. Hopefully, we have led you to the most efficient heat lamp for the needs of your enclosure, and your search is now over.
- A Quick Look at Our Favorites in 2021:
- The 6 Best Heat Lamps for Dogs:
- Buyer’s Guide