If you have a small dog, a very young or very senior dog, or a short-haired dog, or just cold floors, chances are your dog tends to get chilly in cool temperatures.
Get a good heated bed for your dog and your dog will never sleep cold again.
You may be surprised to learn that you can find a wide range of them for a very reasonable price.
We have reviewed some of the best heated dog beds to help you make the right choice for your dog.
What Are the Benefits of a Heated Dog Bed?
A good quality heated bed will provide many benefits for your dog because it:
Provides warmth in cooler seasons, which is especially important for short haired, young, or senior dogs, or dogs that spend time exposed to cold weather
Gives therapeutic relief to sore, arthritic joints
Allows you to clip longer haired dogs and keep them cleaner
Affords psychological benefits of comfort and security, which are important to helping your dog get better quality rest
A dog that sleeps on the cold floor or the ground outside, even in a dog house or a garage, will develop joint issues very quickly. The dog can even develop a life-threatening case of hypothermia. The dog needs a bed it can use to stay warm. Using a layer of blankets or straw on the ground outside is simply not adequate to keep a dog warm, dry, and clean. Veterinarians and expert trainers recommend a good quality heated pet bed to prevent and relieve a lot of these very serious health concerns.
How Do You Select the Right Heated Bed for Your Dog?
Selecting a heated bed that is best suited for your dog is important. Moreover, not all heated beds are the same. Many styles and options are available to you, but you need to determine which is best for your dog in light of its living environment. Here are some of the most important things to consider in making your selection when buying heated beds:
Size matters. You want the right size bed, whether heated or not, for your dog. You need a bed that is big enough to accommodate all of your dog’s body parts and limbs. In other words, a large dog needs a large bed. Likewise, if your large dog needs a heated bed, your dog needs a large heated dog bed or a heated pad that is large enough to provide the heat the dog needs. If the bed is too small, your dog will find it uncomfortable and won’t use it. You will have wasted your money.
Observe your dog when it sleeps. If your dog is big and likes to sprawl, your dog probably does not need much supplemental heat to stay warm. A simple rectangular shaped bed may be best; your dog may not be comfortable squeezed into an overly warm, round bed with bolstered sides. Does the dog get up abruptly and move to another location, like a hard, cool floor? If so, your dog is probably too hot.
Does your dog tend to curl up often when sleeping? If so, your dog is trying to stay warm. This is a dog that needs extra warmth and will likely going to be most comfortable in a round bed where it can curl up or perhaps snuggle against side bolster. Does your dog like to sleep under a table, a desk, or other piece of furniture? If so, you may want to consider a bed with a hood. A hooded bed style resembles a natural dog den and provides your dog with extra protection against drafts. Many small dogs like the feeling of burrowing into a tunnel-like enclosure. A hooded bed can provide that sense of security for such a dog. If you add a heating element to a hooded bed, take care to use gentle background levels of heat only, or the bed may be uncomfortably warm for many dogs.
Your dog needs its own space in a place protected from exposure to cold temperatures. If the bed is located indoors, the bed will be warmer than if it were outdoors. If your dog sleeps outdoors or in a doghouse, garage, or basement, your dog needs a heated bed to protect it from the cold hard ground or floor. When buying heated beds for use outdoors, you must consider the safety of your dog and use only outdoor heated dog beds and outdoor-rated wiring.
Type of Heat
A heated pet bed can be self-warming or electrically powered in some way. A self-warming bed is one that is warmed by the dog’s body heat. It is constructed with special material that reflects your dog’s body heat back onto the dog. A bed constructed with memory foam can be a great self-warming dog bed because memory foam retains the dog’s body heat. This might be a good choice for a senior, heavy coated dog that spends most of its time indoors.
If your dog needs more heat, you can get it by adding an electric heating element of some sort. Most heaters reach no more than the dog’s body temperature, around 102 degrees. They can provide soft, gentle heat, such as heat generated by a heated dog pad placed under the dog’s bed. Be sure that the pad will not get too hot for the bedding material. At least one heating pad reviewed below can be set at lower temperatures than the 102-degree body temperature, which may be an appropriate choice in certain cases. Also, be sure not to bury the heating pad so deep in the bedding that the heat cannot reach the dog’s body on the bed surface. You will defeat the purpose of having a heating pad this way.
For still more heat, you can use a heated mat that can be placed on a hard surface or on the dog’s bed. Your dog can lie directly on the heated mat. For even more heat, an electric heated dog bed with side bolsters and an open top for air circulation will do the trick. To capture the most heat, use a hooded bed with a heated pad or mat placed in the bed.
Now that you have an idea of the type of heated pet bed your dog needs, you need to determine the right amount of heat for your dog. Here are things to think about to determine the most comfortable temperature for your dog:
Cold-Weather Breed Characteristics
The first thing you should think about is your dog’s natural coat and insulation. Certain dog breeds are bred for colder climates and these dogs do not need as much supplemental heat. Examples of these breeds include:
Old English sheepdog
Bernese Mountain Dog
Other similar heavy-coated, heavier-bodied breeds
These dogs keep themselves warm by their thick coats of fur that insulate them from harsh winter weather and the special circulatory system in their feet and legs that protects their extremities from the freezing ground. Many of them love cold weather and may not seek shelter from it. Healthy, adult dogs of these breeds most likely will need only a self-warming bed or a memory foam orthopedic bed unless they spend most of their time outside in very cold, harsh weather. In such cases, they will need access to shelter and perhaps a heated bed, depending on the age and health of the individual dog and the conditions of its environment. Indoors, however, a heated bed likely will be uncomfortably warm for these cold-weather breeds.
Warm-Weather Breed Characteristics
Other breeds of dogs are not endowed with the heavy fur and body weight necessary to fare well in a cold environment. Examples of these breeds include:
Airedale terrier (clipped)
Other similar short-haired, light bodied or small breeds
Ill-equipped for a cold environment, these dogs are susceptible to hypothermia. Additionally, a longer-haired dog of any breed that you keep clipped short in the cooler months likely needs an electric heated bed to stay warm. Examples include poodles, schnauzers, shitzus, and other fuzzy dogs that are commonly clipped year-round.
Many orthopedic beds are made with memory foam. Memory foam is also self-warming. While memory foam beds are the best beds for arthritic dogs, dogs with hip dysplasia, or senior dogs, a heated bed during cold weather is even better for them. Most of these dogs will appreciate the therapeutic relief that an electric heated bed gives their joints and muscles, especially an orthopedic heated bed or mat. Also, puppies and younger dogs will need a heated bed in the colder months to stay healthy and avoid the serious risk of hypothermia.
Your dog may love to snuggle in a memory foam bed with bolstered sides and fleece cover. Adding a heating element on top of that self-warming material may be too much heat for all but the shortest-haired, puppy, or arthritic dogs. On the other hand, a bed made with shredded foam or polyfil and a micro-suede cover is not going provide much warmth for any dog. The coldness from the ground or floor will seep through that kind of bed, and your dog will get chilled. Supplemental heat would be desirable in such a case.
Now that you have observed your dog and thought through all of these factors concerning the ideal temperature control, you should have a better idea of the appropriate level of heating your dog may need—a self-warming bed, a heating pad placed under the dog’s bed, a heated mat to lay on, or an electric heated snuggly bed with side bolsters. Also, factor in whether your dog would prefer an open top for maximum ventilation, sidewalls to help protect against drafts or a hood to capture as much heat as possible.
You can buy a heated bed that lets you choose how long the heat stays on. Heated pet beds are available with automated thermostatic control. Like the heating in most of our homes, these beds can be programmed, and some are pre-programmed to automatically turn the heat on until the bed reaches a predetermined temperature, and then turn off. The heat will stay off until the bed temperature drops to a predetermined temperature. Another option is to buy a timer from the hardware store and set up on/off duration times yourself. Or you can choose one with a simple on/off manual control or unplug it when you do not want it to be operational.
Whichever type of bed your dog needs, heated dog bed safety is a paramount concern. If you use any electricity for the bed, be sure to use low voltage, double-insulated, chew-proof cords and follow the instructions for safe use very carefully. Most quality heated pads and beds will not exceed a temperature of 102 degrees, so the risk of overheating is rare. For that reason, you should never use a human heating pad. Human heating pads reach much higher temperatures, which can burn your dog. Also, human heating pads are designed to lie on top of an injury and not be laid upon! Similarly, do not use an electric blanket designed for human use; the dog may chew on it or damage it, making it unsafe to have in a dog’s bed.
Using an electric heated bed outdoors presents additional safety issues. First, never use an indoor heated bed product outdoors. When using an extension cord for a heated bed outdoors, make sure the extension cord is a heavy duty cord designed for outdoor use. Typically, it will have a three-pronged grounded plug.
Whether indoors or out, always make sure the heating element is sound, UL certified and operates at safe temperatures. If it becomes damaged in any way, you should discontinue using it. Try to buy a heated pet bed with a warranty against malfunctioning and one that is returnable if your dog does not love it.
If your dog needs more warmth but an electrically heated dog bed is not for you, you have a couple of other options. They include:
Purchase a microwavable dog bed warmer and follow manufacturer’s instructions for use
Make your own microwavable dog bed warmer by filling a sock or cloth bag with rice, and heat it in the microwave for a minute, then cover and place in your dog’s bed
You may also use a hot water bottle, but do not fill it with boiling water. Also, make sure your dog is not inclined to use it, or any other homemade bed warmer, as a chew toy before leaving it unsupervised.
We reviewed and compared several of the top-selling heated dog beds on Amazon. The selections were many, the prices reasonable overall, and the range of quality was noticeable. Some of the beds were clear standouts in terms of quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction. In this regard, K&H Manufacturing is a clear stand out as a manufacturer of a nice assortment of good quality heated beds. Our list reviewed several of their numerous fine products. Other heated bed products simply were not reviewed because too many customer complaints raised questions about the product quality, or the manufacturer did not offer any warranty.
To help you make the best choice for your dog, we recommend any of the beds reviewed below as being good quality and safe for you and your dog. We looked at the following factors in evaluating whether the bed is a good choice:
Bed Construction Materials – are the materials used durable and safe, yet comfortable?
Ease of Cleaning – is any part of it machine washable?
Heat Control – is the heat control thermostatic or manual? Energy efficient?
Indoor/Outdoor Use – can the bed be used indoors and outdoors?
Size Availability – Is the bed suitable for different sized dogs?
Safety and Reliability – is the bed reliably safe to operate?
Manufacturer Warranty – does the manufacturer stand behind its product?
Customer Reviews – how satisfied are the customers on average?
The heated pet beds reviewed here can be used for dogs, cats, or most any pet. Now, here is our list of our ten favorite heated beds for dogs:
This heated pad-style bed is one of the best-selling heated beds. It is made by K&H Manufacturing, a premier maker of heated pet beds, and recommended by many veterinarians. This bed is a best-seller for good reason. The bed is affordable, reliable, and safe to use indoors or in a sheltered area outdoors, down to 20 degrees below zero, making it a great choice to use in a garage, kennel, basement, or covered porch. The bed is made with orthopedic memory foam to give your dog soft, yet supportive comfort. The outer shell of this bed is made of a soft, waterproof, pliable PVC vinyl material that is so easy to clean by wiping it with a damp cloth.
The bed has an energy efficient internal heater that costs little to operate at low wattage. Depending on the size bed, it uses 20 to 60 watts of current. With thermostatically controlled pre-programmed heat, it goes on and off automatically, and it is so safe because the heat delivered never exceeds your pet’s body temperature of about 102 degrees. The attached cord is 5.5 feet long and steel-wrapped for added chew-resistant safety. Like all K&H products, this bed has been rigorously tested and certified by MET Laboratories to exceed American and Canadian electrical safety standards.
The Lectro-Soft bed comes with a soft, plush fleece cover that is removable for washing. You can buy additional replacement covers from the manufacturer so your dog will always have a clean, warm place to sleep. You can get this bed in three sizes, small, medium, and large, so be sure to get the right size for your dog.
K&H Manufacturing provides a one-year warranty for this bed. Note, however, that this bed should not be used underneath any object other than the fleece cover designed for the bed. Also, this bed is too soft for dogs that chew or are destructive. The manufacturer makes other good quality heated beds that can better withstand destructive behavior.
This is another great heated bed manufactured by K&H Manufacturing. If your dog needs a little extra warmth and likes to sleep snuggled or curled up, you should give this bed serious consideration. It is also a good choice for arthritic dogs or dogs with hip dysplasia or other joint or muscle problems. This oval-shaped bed is surrounded with two-inch thick foam bolsters that are five inches high, with an opening in the front for easy entry. In the middle of the bed is a soft, fluffy, polyfill pillow for your dog to sleep on and cuddle against the soft but sturdy bolsters. The pillow is removable and completely machine washable in cold water on a gentle cycle. The exterior cover also is removable and machine washable. They can be line-dried or in the dryer on the no- heat setting.
Heat is delivered with a 6-watt removable thermostatic heater, pre-set to the ideal temperature. Not only is this bed a good quality heated bed, the removable heater makes it a practical choice for year-round use. When your dog is using the heated bed, the bed heats to your dog’s body temperature. When your dog is not on the bed, it will remain heated to a temperature that is 10 to 15 degrees above the ambient air temperature. The low wattage makes the bed energy efficient and inexpensive to operate.
This bed is safe for use indoors only. It comes in two sizes, medium and large. It has been rigorously tested and certified by MET Laboratories to exceed American and Canadian electrical safety standards. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
No electricity is needed for this snuggly self-warming bed. It is handsomely made in a rectangular shape with corded seams and fluffy walls on three sides and a plush pillow bed in the center. The shape allows your dog to feel secure and snuggle in for a deep sleep. The taller sides provide a nice headrest and provide a little protection against drafts. The bed is entirely covered with two layers of material that reflects your dog’s body heat back onto your dog. The first layer serves as insulation to capture the dog’s body heat, and the second layer radiates the heat back to your dog. The bed is stuffed with a thick fill made from recycled plastic bottles for soft and cushy comfort. The plush softness of this bed makes it so comfortable for your dog, but the bed is quite durable and should last for years. It has a non-slip bottom to help keep it from sliding across the floor. An additional plus is you can clean this bed by tossing it into your washing machine on the gentle cycle and line dry or dries it on the no-heat cycle.
This self-warming bed comes in three sizes, small, medium and large. It is a good choice for dogs with heavier coats or those in warm environments that need a little protection from drafts or chills. Most customers and their dogs love this bed, but on occasion, a dog will not accept the sound of the plastic fill. The bed comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This heated pad is made by Milliard, a reputable manufacturer of pet beds. It can be used indoors or outdoors. It is made of heavy ABS plastic and its six-foot cord is covered with PVC. Both are chew resistant and weatherproof to protect the internal electronics from moisture. Inside the bed is a thermostatically controlled heater that keeps the bed at a temperature of 102 degrees, and provides the warmth your dog needs for protection against the cold. It comes with a fitted fleece mat to provide a little extra comfort for your dog. The mat is easily cleaned in your washing machine on gentle cycle. For more padding, you can try placing additional layers of blankets on top of it.
The heater operates on only 30 watts of current, so it is energy efficient and inexpensive to operate. One nice safety feature is the plug. Unlike some of the other beds reviewed, the plug for this bed is a three-pronged grounded plug. This bed is a great choice for use in a doghouse, garage, barn, or covered porch.
The Ortho Thermo-Bed by K&H Manufacturing is a heated bed made with two layers of thick orthopedic egg crate foam. The manufacturer states that the foam is so thick that even the largest dog will not “bottom out” on it. It is covered with a soft, fuzzy, yet durable cover that most dogs love.
The Ortho Thermo-Bed bed has a small removable heater that heats just enough of the bed’s surface to warm your dog’s core when your dog lays on it. It is enough to keep most dogs warm and comfortable. When not in use, the bed will surface will stay at a temperature between twelve and fifteen degrees above the ambient temperature. This allows the heater to operate on economically yet efficiently on low wattage. You can use the bed all year long by unplugging the heater or simply removing it when the weather is warm. This bed also has a non-slip surface on the bottom to keep it from sliding across your floor.
Cleaning this bed is easy. Simply remove the cover and toss it in your washing machine on the gentle cycle with cold water. Line dry or dry it on the no-heat setting.
This bed is not waterproof and is safe for use indoors only. It is a great choice for dogs that get chilly in an air-conditioned house or one that is chilly in cold weather. Keep in mind that the heater in this bed warms just a portion of the bed. If your dog needs more heat to stay comfortable, you will want to look at some of the other products reviewed here. You can get this bed in three sizes, medium, large, and extra- large. It has been rigorously tested and certified by MET Laboratories to exceed American and Canadian electrical safety standards. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
This popular heated mat can be used indoors or outdoors. It is made of durable, rigid, high-impact, weather-resistant ABS plastic. The heater is thermostatically controlled to heat to your pet’s body temperature range from 100 to 105 degrees. A great feature with this bed is the red indicator light that shows when unit the unit is on and operating. You do not have to rely on feeling the bed to try to determine if it is operating. It has a heavy-duty “anti-chew” cord protector with a three-prong grounded plug. It comes with a faux lambskin fleece cover, which may not be durable enough to withstand destructive behavior.
This heated mat is weather-resistant and comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large. It operates with 60 to 100 watts of current (depending on the size of the bed), so it will deliver the heat your dog needs whenever your dog needs it. Note that this bed will operate even when your dog is not using it. It is a great choice for use on a hard surface in an outdoor sheltered environment, such as a doghouse, garage, kennel, or covered porch, but it does not provide much-padded comfort. The manufacturer advises not to use additional padding on top of this mat, but some have reported using blankets and towels with no problem. It also comes with a one-year limited manufacturer’s warranty.
The K&H Manufacturing Pet Bed Warmer is a safe way to heat any indoor dog bed. This pet bed warmer uses only 4 to 22 watts (depending on the size bed) to warm the surface of your dog’s bed. Place under a ½ inch to 1 inch of bed fabric, and it will safely warm the bed to no more than your dog’s body temperature, or 102 degrees, only when your dog is lying on the bed. When your dog is not using it, the bed will stay 10 to 15 degrees above the ambient temperature. This small amount of heat will attract your dog to the bed.
This fantastic pet bed warmer has a 5-1/2 foot cord and comes in four sizes, small, medium, large, and extra-large. It is the perfect solution for a jumbo-sized dog that is too large for a regular heated bed. Its portability also lets you turn any indoor bed into a comfy, heated bed.
Follow the manufacturer’s directions for testing the bed to make sure it is operating properly. Like all K&H Manufacturing heated pet beds, the pet bed warmer comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty. Also, it has been rigorously tested and certified by MET Laboratories to exceed American and Canadian electrical safety standards. The pet bed warmer is designed for use inside a pet bed. You should never allow your pet to lie on it directly. It is safe for indoor use only. If you need a heated bed for outdoors, you can find quality heated beds designed for outdoor use.
The IB Sound heating pad is a small, round heating pad that is water-resistant and pressure activated. When your dog lies on it, it will heat slowly and gently to the dog’s body temperature of 102 degrees. The thermostatic control will turn itself off when it reaches that point. It has an LED indicator light that displays the temperature of the heating pad so you will always know how warm it is and whether it is operating properly. When your dog leaves the bed, it will turn itself off.
Made with durable PVC fireproof material, this pad also has a soft, removable cover that can be easily machine washed. It uses only 12 watts of current and is safe to use alone or with most dog beds. When using it with other bedding, cover the pad with only a thin layer of bedding fabric so it does not block the heat from reaching the surface and your dog. You can also place the bed on top of your dog’s regular bed to provide more direct heat while making sure your dog has comfortable support.
This pad can be used indoors or outdoors. The size of this pad is just less than 12 inches in diameter, making it ideal for a small dog, particularly senior or arthritic dogs, puppies, or those in recuperation. It may not be large enough to provide adequate heating for larger dogs, especially outdoors in harsh conditions. It has a 5-1/2 steel-wrapped chew-resistant power cord. It comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The Fluffy Paws pet bed warmer has a thermostatic control which cycles on and off to save energy at the same time it provides safe and accurate heating. It uses a red or blue temperature label located at the top of the heating unit to indicate the surface temperature. One side has a red label and reaches 100 degrees. The other side has a blue label and reaches only 82 degrees. You simply control the temperature by placing whichever side up for your choice of suitable temperature that will keep your dog warm and comfy. It is safe to leave plugged in all day.
The heating unit is a water-resistant plastic with a chew-resistant, plastic-wrapped metal cord for safety. You can wipe the heating unit clean with damp cloth. It also has a non-skid bottom to keep the warmer in place. It comes in two colors, white or yellow polka-dots, and it comes with a removable polyester fleece cover that can be tossed in the washing machine on gentle cycle. One drawback is replacement covers are not available, and the pad itself is hard, so you will likely need to use this pad under your own thin bedding.
It comes in three sizes, small, medium, and large. The large size fits dogs up to 65 pounds. It operates with only 34 watts of current. It is designed for indoor use only and is UL certified. The pad comes with a 1- year manufacturer’s warranty with receipt of purchase.
This heated bed comes in only one size, small. It is a rectangular-shaped bed with taller, generously stuffed polyfill sides for comfort and protection from drafts. Its box-like shape will give some small dogs a sense of safety and security, especially dogs that like to snuggle with their backs against a vertical surface. It has a water-resistant, non-slip base to keep it from sliding across your floor. The leopard print cover holds a thermostatically controlled heater that regulates the bed’s temperature. It comes with a 6-foot cord with a heavy chew-resistant coating. The sleeping surface of this bed is not heavily padded, so you may need to place it on top of a foam or polyfill bed to give it more cushioning and comfort on a hard floor.
This bed is designed for indoor use only. It is CE approved. ALEKO also makes a slightly larger heated bed that may be suitable for slightly larger small dogs.