Purchasing a pet bed warmer is an excellent idea as it can be extremely cold during the winter nights. Since dogs spend a good amount of time in their beds ensuring they are warm throughout the night is particularly important for smaller dogs as their smaller bodies do not hold the heat as well.
Furthermore for older dogs, that may be suffering from joint or muscle issues, will get a huge benefit from the extra warmth through their bodies. Furthermore, there is evidence that prolonged exposure to cold and damp can actually increase the risk of arthritis and other similar afflictions.
Our Top Dog Bed Warmers
We realise that many people just want the top picks, so here they are - simply hover over the button for the price, or click through to the main review for more info on why we like them!
There are three main types- there are the heated beds, heated pads, which you put on your dog's usual bed and finally the passive warmers which store the body heat as your dog lies on it, so making it warmer - these last ones do not require any power unlike the first.
These are our picks.
UOKOO Heated Dog Bed Pad
Best Heated Pad/Dog Bed Warmer
K&H Manufacturing Self-Warming Crate Pad
Best Self Warming Pad
K&H Lectro-Soft Large Heated Dog Bed
Best Heated Bed For Large Dogs
Keeping Your Dog Warm
The concept of pet warming beds have actually been around for a long time and they are actually quite similar to devices that people use such as electric blankets and heaters. These bed warmers for pets are built with a thermostat inside which then control the temperature. You've noticed how dogs always find their way to the warmest spots in the house? So you can be sure that on those cold nights, your dog or cat will absolutely love these!
There are several different options. You can purchase an entire bed that has heating elements built in. This is great if your dog is not too large and does not need anything like memory foam for arthritis, but it can be slightly limiting.
Many people prefer to use the bed that your dog is already comfortable in and simply add a heated pad to it. These usually come with a fleecy cover making them easy to wash and comfortable for your pooch.
All of the designs we have mentioned before come with AC power adapters to power them. Many are also compatible with a 12V power supply so that you can even warm them. However, if you don't like the idea of having a power cable (especially if your dog is a real chewer!) then a self-heating pad might make more sense.
The self-heating models usually have some kind of foil in them and are made from materials that store heat. So once your dog starts to lie on them they heat up and store your dog's heat, making them much warmer than they would be on a simple blanket.
Benefits of Dog Bed Warmers
In the cold winter months dogs become more prone to problems with arthritis and other joint and muscle problems. A heated bed can really help soothe their aches.
However, this is not just limited to older dogs with issues. There is a lot of evidence that cold and damp weather makes people more likely to get problems with their joints. Since we are both mammals, this is also true of dogs, especially those breeds that are prone to these issues. So a bed warmer can be a good investment in staving off unwanted vet bills.
Furthermore, having one of these ensures that your dog is nice and warm and you do not have to leave the fire alight or heating on. A 15W heated pad is much more economical and a much lower risk than an open fire!
Choose the right warming pet beds
Choosing the right pet bed warmer might seem like a daunting task as there are tons of choices available so the following will help with your decision.
Sizing The Bed Warmer
Most pet bed warmers are available in a variety of sizes. Most heated pads are not that large as they do not need to fit all of your dog on them, just their body. So as long as they are big enough for their body to fit on them, the rest of the bed can be left without the heated pad.
The self-heated ones do generally need to be a bit larger though as the larger area ensures that they can store more heat and your dog will not move off of them in the night.
So whether you have a small or large dog, you should be able to find something that works, but just be sure that you choose accordingly as it would be rather uncomfortable for a large dog to sleep on a tiny bed.
Easy to clean
Whether you choose a heated cat bed or a heated dog bed, be sure that you choose one that is easy to maintain. This means that it should be fairly easy to clean and the lining should also be removable so you can easily throw it in the machine washer.
You also want to ensure that you are purchasing the right one for your pet as you probably would not want a small bed warmer for a huge dog. You might think that the warming pet bed is expensive but you would be rather surprised when you check them out at online retail stores. This is where you can easily be able to find great prices while being able to read reviews also.
How the electric heating pads work
Similar to an electric blanket, these feature a heating element usually controlled by a thermostat. Some have a set temperature, usually designed to keep your pet nice and warm in the cold, so usually a bit too high to be used year round.
Safety First - What To Look Out For
Safety is of utmost importance when it comes to the pet bed warmer which is why you should also look for those models that are UL or CUL listed. This essentially means that these devices are laboratory tested and meet all safety requirements. You can never be too safe when it comes to your animal’s safety so if it means spending a little extra then it is definitely well worth the price.
Keep in mind that the pet bed warmer is typically run off electrical power so there needs to be an outlet nearby so the heat can stay constant.
One of the things you will need to keep in mind is to choose those beds that have a chew resistant cord as the last thing you would want is for your pet to get hurt. Another alternative is those heated pet beds that are battery powered so be sure to look around.
Spending a little extra on a quality product can make a world of difference as you will most likely be using it for many years to come. With that said, you probably want to purchase a model that is able to last for a long time so be sure that it is well built. Look for those items that have a removable cover that is also washable so you can keep the bed looking new.
Indoors and Outdoors?
Even if your pet does not stay indoors, then you can always purchase outdoor heated pads which cost about the same price while being just as effective. These are designed to resist the worst that the outdoors can throw at them....or at least a bit of rain and moisture!
Another added benefit is that these are great for older pets as the heat can provide a therapeutic sensation. This means that it can help to relieve any pain or discomfort that your dog or cat might be having.
Our Top Heated Dog Beds and Pads
So we have chosen our favourite models of each of these types, listed in the table above or the reviews below.
UOKOO Heated Pet Pad - Our Best Dog Bed Warmer
If you already have an existing bed and do not want to purchase a new one, or need a bed with orthopedic foam then this UOKOO heated pad is a great solution and this is our pick of the crop.
Measuring 20" x 20" (50cm x 50cm) it is big enough for smaller dogs to comfortably fit on, but our Labradoodle had no problem shifting it around and then flopping right over the top of it and seemed to enjoy it so the size should not be a problem, just put it in their bed and let them figure out where they want it.
Once unwrapped, you simply plug it in, slide it into the washable cover and it will automatically heat up to 102-104 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the normal body temperature for a dog, keeping them warm and comfortable, it is simplicity itself! If you need to make adjustments the LCD panel is clear and the buttons not too small and fiddly.
The internal thermostat has a trip so that it cannot go over 131 degrees Fahrenheit to keep everyone safe. The pad itself is tough, chew-resistant PVC and the cable is steel wrapped and 5'6 long to ensure it is both safe and easy to plug in.
The cover is machine washable and the pad and cable are water resistant so this can be used both inside and out.
The power source of this is 12V so, with an adaptor, it can be powered from a car or caravan's power. The power consumption is a little higher than the Art of Paws bed at 15 Watts, but this is not too bad.
Overall this is a well made and well priced heated pad that will keep your pets toasty and safe.
Art Of Paws Electric Heated Pet Bed - Our Best Heated Dog Bed
If you do not already have a bed for your dog and would like to make sure they stay warm and snug, the Art Of Paws heated dog bed could be just the ticket!
Measuring 58 x 43cm (22.8 x 17 inches) this is big enough for the smaller breeds that are the most likely to struggle with the cold and it only uses 10 Watts of electricity, much less than most other heated mats and beds and the clincher for getting the top prize in our test.
The foam is not orthopedic grade, but again it is usually bigger, heavier dogs that get any real benefit from those high-tech materials and this foam is pretty good for most smaller breeds. It also features a machine washable fluffy cover that is really comfortable for your dog, but can easily be removed and chucked in the washing machine.
The cable is tough enough to prevent your pet biting through it, and it has an internal thermometer with overheating protection to ensure their safety. The manufacturer recommends not leaving it on for more than 48 hours and unplugging it when not in use - as do the manufacturers of most electrical devices. It also comes with a 2 year warranty, which is also better than most of its competitors and another tick.
Overall this heated pet bed is a great choice for those older pets with aching joints or smaller dogs that feel the cold. The foam could be slightly better but compared with the low power consumption, long warranty and overall quality, this is a minor flaw.
K&H Self-Warming Crate Pad
If you don't like the idea of a power cable (or your dog is a real hardcore chewer!) or you just cannot get a power cable to wherever your dog sleeps, this could be the answer.
The really clever part is the material the inner is made from as this stores the dog's body heat and reflects it back. This K&H pad does this really well and does not make a crinkly noise from the internal foil that some of the competition does.
I actually used this myself when I went on a hiking holiday in Wales in my friend's freezing cold Land Rover (my hearing has still not recovered from the trip down the M4 - refinement is not their strong point!) I put this pad on the thin Defender seats and it made such a difference, much warmer and more comfortable, so I can assure you it works!!
Designed as a crate pad, it has slit corners, which also mean that it will fit into most dog beds really well, or just sit on the floor, although it is not that well padded. It cheap enough to be bought as a top layer for a thicker orthopedic bed for some added warmth if your dog has joint issues.
This pad comes in a selection of colours and sizes and I think it looks pretty good. It is also easy to wash and the underside is non-slip, which is great if you have polished floors.
Overall, while it cannot offer the instant heat of the powered choices above, it does make a surprising difference to the warmth and comfort of your pet (and me!) Well made and well priced, so this K&H Self-Warming Crate Pad is our choice for the best passively heated bed warmer.
K&H Lectro-Soft Large Heated Dog Bed - Best Heated Dog Bed For Large Dogs
I have included this as the picking for a larger heated dog bed are pretty slim! This one measures a fairly good size, measuring 25" x 36", with the usual steel wrapped cord and built-in thermostats. However, I would probably spend my money on a larger dog bed and add a heated pad than go for this.
The reason is that firstly, these are sent over from Amazon US, so they are expensive and come with the wrong plug (an easy fix, but not idea) Secondly, bigger dogs generally need firmer, and higher quality foam and the foam in this would be fine for a small dog, but a heavy dog is likely to flatten it
So if you are looking for a heated dog bed and you have a Lab or larger dog, then I would probably go the alternative route. However, if you want an all in one then, unfortunately, this is the best on offer right now.
There is no doubt that in cold climates or if you have a pet with arthritis or similar joint problems a heated bed is going to make a huge difference to their comfort. However, the question is which type of heater bed is the best?
Since we have one large and one medium sized dog, I personally prefer getting a bed specifically made for them, and adding a pad. While there is nothing really wrong with the Art of Paws dog bed, I prefer getting a bed that my dog can use year round and I can simply add the pad when needed. So, for this reason, the powered UOKOO pad is my top choice for the best dog bed warmer.
I was also very impressed with how good the K&H crate pad was - I never expected it to be as comfortable and warm as it was and if your dog simply needs a bit more warmth, I am not sure I would stump up the extra for the powered pad as this does a great job.
Finally I was disappointed with the choice for heated beds for larger dogs, especially as larger breeds are more prone to hip and joint problems. So while the K&H Lectro-Soft Large Heated Dog Bed is the best heated bed for a large dog, the competition is not exactly fierce. As I said earlier I would be much more tempted to simply buy a good quality large dog bed and then add the UOKOO heated pad or K&H crate pad for extra warmth.
So there you have it, whether you go powered or passive, your pooch is bound to appreciate the extra warmth and it may also help them stay that bit healthier too!
- 1 Our Top Dog Bed Warmers
- 2 Keeping Your Dog Warm
- 3 Benefits of Dog Bed Warmers
- 4 Choose the right warming pet beds
- 5 How the electric heating pads work
- 6 Indoors and Outdoors?
- 7 Our Top Heated Dog Beds and Pads
- 8 Summary