Heat lamp or Straw bedding? - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Heat lamp or Straw bedding?


I have a 15 month old male GSD who will be moving out of the house to a new dog house. The dog house is insulated on both the sides and at the bottom. It is sitting about 6 inches off the ground and has a concrete base around it.

I have a light fixture and provision for attaching a mini fan also. I have been searching on the internet to get a better idea on what to use to keep him warm in cold winter nights. Temperature here in Alabama does not get much cooler than 30 degrees F. He loves staying outside but I have never kept him out over night.

What should I use? Heat lamps or a straw bedding?

I can turn the heat lamps on and off during day but I am little weary of straw bedding because it might house some bugs or small rodents.

Any suggestions?

Thank you

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:01 PM
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Why are you moving him outside?
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:05 PM
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I would use a black light at night. You can buy timers for them to switch on and off. Did you have the roof high enough that the lamps will not burn the dog? How will you safely secure them so the dog doesn't chew up the cords? Those things I would double check.

I use hay for my tortoise and have never and bugs or mice in it though I remove and replace the hay bedding 2x a month. I also use a safe organic pesticide in my backyard from Lowes.

(oh, I am from Fairhope, AL near Mobile bay)
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:08 PM
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I would not use any sort of electrical heat lamp in this situation. Way too much that can go wrong, including electrocution and fire. That sort of heat source also isn't needed for a dog this old.

With straw or other similar bedding the dog will be just fine and plenty warm enough. Though it is important to make sure the dog house is not too big.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:11 PM
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Would wood shavings work also? I wouldn't use a heat lamp either. It really doesn't get cold enough in Alabama (most of the time) for a dog with an undercoat.
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:21 PM
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If you are worried about bugs, use cedar shavings. Natural bug repellent, and smells nice too. You can use straw and the cedar shavings together if you like. Many sportsmen use the cedar for their hunting dog houses. If the dog house is the proper size (not too big) and insulated, has a door to keep the wind out, straw should be enough. I would wait to move the dog outside after this winter is over. He will get used to the cold weather as it happens this fall.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 09:38 PM
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I'm pretty sure it's just styrofoam inside but it almost feels like it's heated... it just reflects body heat though.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:41 PM
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If it never goes below thirty F, then wood chips or straw is PLENTY. In fact, you might find that the dog will refuse to sleep in the dog house because it is too warm.

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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:46 PM
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Just a note, many dogs are allergic to cedar shavings.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 02-05-2011, 10:50 PM
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I would just use plain pine shavings. Buy it at the local feed store in bales. Clean it regularly. If you are concerned about bugs, spray some Equisect in there.
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