Are Heat Lamps Safe For Dogs?

heat lamp on ceiling

Heat lamps are safe for dogs if you choose the correct lamp and the right location for the lamp. Be sure the lamp only produces heat. Some lamps produce light that can be uncomfortable for the dog. The biggest danger to a heat lamp is fire, so be sure to keep the heat lamp away from walls or the ceiling.

If you live somewhere with a colder climate and want to make sure your pup is staying warm during the frigid winter, you may consider getting a heat lamp for your dog. 

If your dog likes to sleep outside, cold weather can be uncomfortable at best and deadly at worst. This is why a heat lamp is an excellent investment! 

If you live somewhere where the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, then any outside sleeping area for your dog needs to have some kind of heat source. 

Newborn puppies and very old dogs are at extra risk of hypothermia. Do not take any chances with your dog’s health. Make sure they are getting the warmth that they need. A heat lamp may be the best way for you to keep your pups warm.

Benefits of Heat Lamps for Dogs

Heat lamps are a simple way to ensure that your pup’s living space is warm enough for them to stay comfortable. 

While you may think your dog will stay warm in the winter due to its fur coat, this is often not the case. While the extra hair on their skin may provide some insulation, it is not enough to keep them warm when temperatures drop. 

Not to mention, your dog is not entirely covered in fur! Their nose, paws, and stomachs do not have the same coat as the rest of their body, so these areas are much more susceptible to temperature change. 

Heat lamps are an excellent way to provide a space for your dog that will always have a steady temperature, no matter what the weather is. For owners with outside dogs, a heat lamp is a necessity.

What to Look For in a Heat Lamp

When purchasing a heat lamp for your dog, you need to keep a few key attributes in mind. Aside from price, heat lamps on the market vary in ability and requirements. 

Not every heat lamp is created equal, and your needs may differ from someone else’s. Do not forget that your dog may require something special or out of the norm. Always consult your vet to see if they have any input on what would be best for your dog. 

Light From The Heat Lamp

Some heat lamps produce not only heat, but light. Often, these lamps give off an intense brightness that may be uncomfortable. 

If the area you are trying to heat is outside near a window, this can be bothersome. At night you will have to deal with bright light spilling into the room. 

If your dog has trouble sleeping (very rare for dogs), a bright heat lamp that produces light is probably not the best choice for them. But if your dog does not mind the light, and you will not have the light shining into the house, a light-producing heat lamp may work well for you! 

Or, you may live somewhere with low temperatures in the daytime too. Leaving a bright heat lamp on during the day will not cause issues with your dog’s sleep schedule and will still give them the warmth they need. 

If you are looking for a heat lamp that does not create a lot of light, check out heat emitters. They produce minimal light but will still raise the temperature of the room. 

Emitters work by dispersing heat through waves, but they do not produce the same level of brightness that many other heat lamps will. 

You can also look into infrared lamps. These are another type of heat lamp that does not shine brightly. Breeders often use an infrared lamp to keep their litters warm without bathing them in too much light.

However, infrared bulbs will not last as long as other heat sources, so you may end up frequently replacing them Consider this budgetary aspect when deciding on which heat lamp to buy. 

Power Usage

Heat lamps can suck electricity, especially if they’re running 24 hours a day. Before buying, always check the product description to see if you can comfortably meet the power supply needs of your heat lamp. Many dog owners are shocked when they see their electricity bill after running a heat lamp all month.

Additional Equipment

Keep in mind that heat lamps are not just a single piece of equipment. If you buy a heat lamp, you will still need a power source, somewhere to mount it, a thermometer to monitor temperature and any other accessories that you may want to keep your dog comfortable. 

Certain heat lamps come with their own mounts or wires, but it is always a good idea to plan out exactly what you need before purchasing. 

Measure the space that you are trying to heat and identify the optimal placement of the heat lamp. From there, you can look at what kind of lamp would work best for you. 

You can usually find simpler additions such as screws, hooks, and other mounting equipment at hardware stores for cheap, but do not forget to include them in your heat lamp budget.

Dangers of Heat Lamps

While heat lamps will warm up your dog and keep them safe from hypothermia in the winter, there are still risks involved with running a heat lamp. 

The most notable of these is fire. Do not put your heat lamp anywhere that poses a fire risk. This means you need to keep a space between your heat lamp and the walls and ceiling of whatever shelter you have for your dog. 

Do not use flammable bedding in this area, such as straw or dry cloth. Ideally, your heat lamp would be suspended on a metal frame away from any kind of flammable material at a comfortable distance from your dog’s bed. 

Make sure that any wiring is adequately insulated. Do not leave any exposed wires in the area that your dog has access to. 

Improper wiring can start fires, whether connected to a heat lamp or any other electric appliance. In addition, if you are heating an area for a dog, you risk them chewing through the cord. 

Heat lamps that are used to warm litters of puppies are more likely to encounter this problem, but no matter the age of your dog, the electrical cord needs to be properly secured and out of reach. Even if your dog just gets tangled in the cord, there is a risk to their safety.

Heat Lamps Are Great – But Use Caution

Heat lamps can be a winning choice to keep your dog safe and warm, especially if you have exceptionally frosty winters. 

If your dog is sleeping outside in low temperatures, they need some way to stay warm. Long-term exposure to cold temperatures may lead to hypothermia in any dog, not just puppies or senior dogs. 

If you can find the correct heat lamp for your situation, there shouldn’t be any issues! However, a heat lamp might cause greater problems if it is not integrated correctly. 

Fortunately, these kinds of problems are easy to avoid with a bit of planning and vigilance. Remember to include heat lamp accessories in your budget when planning to purchase a heat lamp and clear the space that will be heated. 

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