Do It Yourself Method # 1
Here is how I installed the old (no longer available) K9 Kondo heater. The parts are readily available at any hardware and pet store; you can rig this kind of heater up with local parts.
STEP 1: Purchase:
- one ceramic light bulb base
- one reptile heater (from PetCo) small watt for small dog houses, larger watt for larger dog houses.
- an extension cord long enough to reach from the dog house to a power source
- depending on your dog, metal pipe or plastic pipe to cover the extension cord
Here are some of the parts you will need:
STEP 2: With a drill, punch a hole through the back or side of the dog house which the wire will fit through. Don't make it any larger than it needs to be. Don't place the heater where the dog will run into entering the dog house. Don't place it up against a wall, either. See good location in picture at top of page.
STEP 3: If you are using an extension cord, cut off the end and strip the wires, like this:
STEP 4: Stick the wire/extension cord through the hole and attach the wires to the back of the ceramic light bulb holder. If you are unsure of which color goes to what, ask someone for help. You don't want to mess up and burn your dog's house down!
STEP 5: Screw the ceramic light bulb holder to the dog house. Make sure it is screwed in securely.
STEP 6: Screw in the ceramic heater. In a dog house, you can use a light bulb (red is best) in mild climates, or a heat lamp in really cold climates IF the dog house is large enough the dog won't be burned by the light.
STEP 7: Make a baffle which will keep the dog from coming into contact with the heating element. This is the baffle that came in the kit. You can make one out of wire.
STEP 8: Fill dog house with chips or straw, but make SURE it can't get piled up in the corners high enough to catch fire. Chips are safer than straw. The picture below shows a metal "baffle" I placed over the top of the heater to keep the roof from getting too hot. Probably not necessary, I'm just a freak about these things.
STEP 9: Use metal or plastic (you know your dog!) to protect the power cord coming out of the dog house. Make sure water will not get into and sit in the tube. I drill holes in the bottom of the pipe so water can drain out.
STEP 10: Secure extension cord and make sure it is handy so you can plug and unplug the cord as needed. They DO make thermostats - but I don't trust them. If it is going to be above 40 degrees, I unplug all dog houses. On really cold, clear, spring mornings, just unplug when you get up - the house will stay warm until the sun comes out.
STEP 11: THIS IS IMPORTANT - Make SURE your dog is "OK" with the heater. Some dogs may be frightened of the new, strange element and even spooked by the heat emanating from it. My suggestion is to let the dog sleep in the house a few nights BEFORE you turn it on. Turn it on for the first time when you can monitor the dog and make sure they can go in it.
STEP 12: Pat yourself on the back! You just took the time and energy to make your dog's house as comfortable as yours!