With winter fast approaching, it’s time to bring out the blankets and cozy socks. For your canine family members, meanwhile it might be time for a winter jacket or a heated dog bed. Doggos regulate their temperatures differently than we do (mostly because of all that fur), so it's not ideal to repurpose your electric blanket for their use. Instead, find a heated dog bed. These will be especially helpful for older dogs with arthritic pain, pups suffering from hip dysplasia or hairless breeds who get extra chilly when temperatures drop.
The 10 Best Heated Dog Beds to Keep Your Pup Nice and Toasty
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Are Heated Dog Beds Safe?
Heated dog beds are safe when used appropriately. First and foremost, make sure you purchased a heated bed or insert that's manufactured with dogs in mind (no heating pads for people, please). A dog’s resting body temperature typically hovers around 101 or 102 degrees Fahrenheit. Most dog beds will help hold this temperature rather than increasing it to raise their sitting temp.
Second, follow the operation instructions carefully. Most advise against letting dogs use these items unsupervised. As Lightning Bug Electric points out, even though electric heated dog beds require less voltage, there’s always a possibility that cords could become frayed and cause a fire. So before plugging anything in, make sure those cords are in tip-top shape.
Which brings us to another precaution: Big time chewers shouldn’t be given beds with cords. If you know your dog destroys things with its teeth, maybe hold off on getting a heated dog bed until the gnawing phase is done.
Worried about your pup chewing through things or overheating? Opt for a self-warming heated dog bed. These don’t require outlets and use your dog’s own body heat to keep them nice and cozy.
Why Would a Dog Need a Heated Bed?
Elderly dogs with stiff joints or diagnosed arthritis might find a heated dog bed soothes those aches and pains. The AKC advises opting for an orthopedic heated bed if possible—just note that your pup might have trouble standing up if they get too hot.
Hairless or short-haired breeds may also find heated dog beds useful in wintertime. We’re talking American hairless terriers, whippets and Chinese crested pups. Even small frames may require extra warmth, like those of Italian greyhounds or chihuahuas.
The Best Heated Dog Beds at a Glance
- Best Pet Outdoor Heating Pad: K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Heated Pad
- Best Outdoor Dog Bed: K&H Pet Products Lectro-Soft Heated Bolster Bed
- Best Self-Warming: Petmate Aspen Pet-Warming Bed
- Best Insert: K&H Pet Products Bed Warmer
- Best Cooling and Heating Bed: Pet Fit For Life Cooling and Heating Pad
- Best Charcoal Bed: Thera-Pawz Warming Pad
- Best Bolster Bed: K&H Pet Products Thermo-Snuggly Sleeper Bolster Bed
- Best for Large Breeds: Clawsable Super Large Pet Heating Pad
- Best for Small Breeds: K&H Pet Products Thermo-Mod Dream Pod
- Best Heated Crate Mat: Toozey Pet Heating Pad
Best Pet Outdoor Heating Pad
- Why We Love It: Steel-wrapped cord, machine washable, water-resistant
This pad comes with a fleece cover and a steel-wrapped cord, making it safe and comfy for outdoor or porch use. If you’ve got a dog who lounges in the garage or enjoys deck time, this pad will keep him warm on chilly days. The cover is machine washable, and the entire product is water-resistant. It warms up to match your pet’s body temperature, too, so there’s little chance of overheating. All and all, it's a good choice for outdoor time.
Best Outdoor Dog Bed
- Why We Love It: Extra cushy, two thermostats, steel-wrapped corn
For dogs who need extra cushioning in their kennel, garage hangout or dog house, this bed will do the trick. It provides two thermostats to ensure the bed warms up to roughly 102 degrees, which should be in line with your dog’s natural body temperature. Like the outdoor pad, this one's cord is 5.5 feet long and wrapped in steel to prevent weather (or chewers) from eroding it. One reviewer with a 13-year-old Border Collie said after a very cold night, their pup “jumped out of bed for his two hour walk. Despite his arthritis, he was ready to hit the road.”
- Why We Love It: No cord required, non-slip bottom
This super soft self-warming bed acts as a trap for your dog’s body heat. Lightweight with a non-slip bottom, it doesn’t require cords, outlets or constant supervision to prevent pup from overheating. The lining is a sherpa, faux lamb’s wool fabric which envelops your pup for a cozy nap. Ideally, it's for small- to medium-sized dogs who can curl up and head to dreamland.
KH Pet Products
- Why We Love It: Works with any bed, up to 15 degrees over air temps
If your dog is finicky or has a favorite bed they will not leave, a heated insert may be your best bet. This insert, which comes in four sizes, including giant, can be placed inside any dog bed. Simply unzip the current cover and slide the pad in, allowing a small hole for the cord. Definitely don't use it alone or without a soft cover that's at least a half an inch thick. The manufacturer says the insert will make sure the dog bed stays 12 to 15 degrees warmer than the air temperature, but will not exceed 102 degrees when a dog sits on it.
Best Cooling and Heating Bed
Pet Fit for Life
- Why We Love It: Can be placed in microwave or freezer, soft fleece, machine washable
For those who live in climates that can’t decide on a temperature (looking at you, the Midwest), it may be wise to invest in a bed that can both cool down and heat up your dog. This pad can be placed in the microwave or the freezer to help regulate doggy temps. Soft fleece makes it a cozy choice alone or you can sneak it inside your dog’s bed. The gel interior is pet-safe and the fleece cover is machine washable. One drawback is its size, which may not work for large breeds.
Best Charcoal Bed
- Why We Love It: Self-warming, great for travel
This pad doesn’t use electricity, microwaves or batteries to keep dogs warm. It uses bamboo and charcoal! The Green Pet Shop says this combo “naturally emits far infrared rays” that work with your pet’s body heat to increase and circulate warmth. We like that you don’t have to plug it in and it travels well. Reviewers who like this pad note how well their arthritic dogs enjoy it and have found success putting it in sunny spots. Some reviewers don’t think it gets warm enough, though their pets still enjoy a nap on the soft surface.
Best Bolster Bed
- Why We Love It: Machine-washable cover, low energy use
Anxious dogs may find a bolster bed gives them an added sense of security. This one has sturdy-yet\-soft sides and a cushy pad (with a machine-washable cover) and a removable heating device you can take out when the weather warms up. When your pet isn’t laying on the bed, it will cool down. Once they hop on, it warms to their body temp and keeps it there. According to the manufacturer, this heated bed only uses six watts of energy and meets all USA/CA electrical safety standards.
Best for Large Breeds
- Why We Love It: Super spacious, pre-set timer, six temperature settings
Great Danes and multi-dog households alike will love the size of this ginormous heating pad. The XXL size is 59 inches by 39 inches and comes with four pre-set timer options to choose from so you can ensure it turns off after a specific length of time. There are also six temperature settings. With seven layers, this pad is high tech and won’t overheat. Plus, the cord is wrapped in chew-resistant metal. Unlike the bamboo and charcoal non-electric mat, this heating pad should never be folded in half, even if you’re storing it.
Best for Small Breeds
KH Pet Products
- Why We Love It: Offers security, adorable design
Ever notice your pup curl up into a tiny little ball? Let them do that in here! It’s a thermo pod with a heated pad inside. The pad is covered in faux fleece and can be removed if it gets too warm for your tiny pup. Some reviewers note the pad slides around on the interior, especially if your dog squirms trying to get comfortable. We’re partial to the green model as it reminds us of a spaceship, and we know our dogs are outta this world!
Best Heated Crate Mat
- Why We Love It: Custom timer and temp settings, removable cover
Like the Clawsable pad, the Toozey has timer and temperature settings. This pad is ideal for crates. It comes in four sizes and four colors, so you can find the right fit and style for your dog. The material is also flame retardant, which can ease your mind when in use (but still keep an eye on your dog!). The cover is removable and machine washable, but do not let your dog hang out on this pad without it! If the heat’s on, the cover should be too.
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Sarah Ashley is a Chicago-based freelance writer and journalist. Her work has appeared on PureWow, Reductress and Culture Trip. More often than not, Sarah covers pets, dogs, cats and anything related to wildlife. She is currently working towards her master's in journalism at NYU.