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Head_Unit 12-10-2011 11:46 PM

Keep my dog warm!
 
I'm wondering if anyone has knowledge about different types of insulation.

Right now (i.e. tomorrow!) I gotta get some insulation for a doghouse I'm having built.

The classic approach would be batts of fiberglass. But numerous sources say that is transparent to radiated heat, like from the dog himself! Then there are new aluminized-looking radiant barrier mats, and from a bunch of Googling it appears that blown cellulose features resistance to both radiated and conducted (convected?) heat. But I couldn't find anything about sheets of cellulose

And I could not find anything about foamboard insulation-yellow hard foam topped by an aluminumish skin. This would be really handy to put on the floor of the doghouse (covered by rug or such), because it can support weigh (I think).

All I could find was Expanded Polystyrene Insulated Sheathing.

I'm also not sure what is important to insulate. There will be two heat sources: the 75 lb dog's body, and a 1.5x2' flat heat plate device. I presume it is most important to insulate the floor, as the dog and the heat plate will be on top of that. Then I suppose the walls, as the dog may rest against them.

Given that one side will have a roughly 1.5x2' door cut into it (maybe with hanging plastic curtain), I'm not sure if it's important/helpful to insulate the roof with scarce funds. Seems like it's more about keeping the surfaces the dog physically presses against warm?

The main thing is, any big panels should be bought and installed before the final side is put on!

titanoman 12-11-2011 12:02 AM

When I built my luxury condo for my chow, I had T-111 on the outside, R-13 Kraft faced batts in the 2x4 walls and floor, R-21 in the attic, with 7/16" osb lid and on the inside of the walls. I even had some scrap tyvek I wrapped the whole thing with, and 150 watt bulb in a coffee can for heat, and a doggy door to keep the heat in there.
My kids used it more than my dog.

Windows on Wash 12-11-2011 11:00 AM

If you build a fairly air tight enclosure with a doggie door, there is no need for a hotplate.

Rigid foam (poly-iso with the foil facing) will work very well. I would put rigid foam inside the framing and then cover the entire interior with a rigid foil faced poly-iso.

gregzoll 12-11-2011 11:18 AM

Head Unit, if you and your dog is in LA, their fur coat will be enough to keep them warm. Yesterday it was 12 degrees outside, and our Golden was laying down on the ground, found some sunshine, and was "hunting". She would not come in, due to she loves the cold, and the snow.

Now some days, she comes in right away if the wind is blowing, if it isn't, she is fine. As for the dog house, as long as it is a structure that allows them to get in from the cold wind, and has a warming mat, or hay on the floor, they will be warm.

Blondesense 12-11-2011 11:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windows on Wash (Post 791214)
If you build a fairly air tight enclosure with a doggie door, there is no need for a hotplate.

Ditto.
Especially in LA.
Sealing it from drafts and making it the correct size should be your other two criteria. It should be just large enough for the dog to get in and turn around. No bigger.
Straw in the bottom will also help hold their body heat.

Head_Unit 12-11-2011 03:32 PM

Ha ha, lemme tell ya, Albert Hammond sang "it never rains in southern California" but that was also a lie.

It CAN get cold here; sometimes I have frost on the ground. Not "real" winter, but as we leave the dog by himself outside for a week for Christmas his body heat should be reinforced. It can also blow a very cold rain, getting the dog wet, so a warm house is crucial.

The house needs to be big enough for him to stand and turn around because sometimes he'll be in it all day while we're at work and I want him to have somewhere to keep out of the rain. Ergo the heating pad, and maybe a heat lamp.

Thanks for the input!

Dog door is a good suggestion, I'll have to consider that. Wanted a somewhat bigger entrance for light and to be able to get inside and clean, but maybe I can adapt just a couple thick plastic pieces.

gregzoll 12-11-2011 03:51 PM

Cold. The coldest it ever got there, when I was out there in the 80's, with the Navy, was the 30's at night and 50's during the day, in Oct through Jan. If your dog is a outside dog, yes you should provide a place with some warm material/bedding, and a shelter. If they are more indoor, and just go outside for a short period, they will be fine.

Head_Unit 12-11-2011 04:10 PM

Aluminum-faced foam insulation: the aluminum should be on the outside?

titanoman 12-11-2011 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 791242)
Ditto.
Especially in LA.
Sealing it from drafts and making it the correct size should be your other two criteria. It should be just large enough for the dog to get in and turn around. No bigger.
Straw in the bottom will also help hold their body heat.

It should be big enough for them to lay down stretched out comfortably. My pit takes up my whole 5 foot couch. They like a roomy house just like we do.

Windows on Wash 12-12-2011 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Head_Unit (Post 791447)
Aluminum-faced foam insulation: the aluminum should be on the outside?

If you are insulating against the cold, the aluminum should face the dog to reflect the heat back.

Blondesense 12-12-2011 12:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by titanoman (Post 791451)
It should be big enough for them to lay down stretched out comfortably. My pit takes up my whole 5 foot couch. They like a roomy house just like we do.

If they are in a comfy house, then yes, they like to stretch out. If it is cold outside, and you are building an unheated dog house to keep them warm, they are going to be curled up. I stand by my statement.

titanoman 12-12-2011 12:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 792070)
If they are in a comfy house, then yes, they like to stretch out. If it is cold outside, and you are building an unheated dog house to keep them warm, they are going to be curled up. I stand by my statement.

The light bulb and my dogs body heat are plenty enough on the coldest days in her 16 sgft condo. If you're going through all the work to build a doghouse why wouldn't you heat it? I hope you don't have a dog.

Windows on Wash 12-12-2011 04:20 PM

Dogs pump out plenty of heat in most applications. If the space is properly insulated and air tight, the heat coming off of dog will heat the space.

Running a light burns electricity and is a fire hazard. If dogs can bury themselves in the snow and insulate themselves in the arctic (granted they are huskies and similar) they can probably do okay in every part of CA.

titanoman 12-12-2011 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Windows on Wash (Post 792248)
Dogs pump out plenty of heat in most applications. If the space is properly insulated and air tight, the heat coming off of dog will heat the space.

Running a light burns electricity and is a fire hazard. If dogs can bury themselves in the snow and insulate themselves in the arctic (granted they are huskies and similar) they can probably do okay in every part of CA.

I lived in Cali about 100 miles from Lake Tahoe where they get 100's of inches of snow. Not all of the state is any warmer than the Arctic. I know i'm going way off topic, but I get do tired off people thinking California is all sun and surf.

Head_Unit 12-13-2011 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blondesense (Post 792070)
If they are in a comfy house, then yes, they like to stretch out. If it is cold outside, and you are building an unheated dog house to keep them warm, they are going to be curled up. I stand by my statement.

Well, I know what you mean, but he won't stay curled up for 24/7.

I want the dog to be comfy. Doesn't need to be the Ritz, but our visiting relatives is not a survival test either.

Maybe I can build in a DVD/TV combo and play Rin Tin Tin and Lassie on endless loop :laughing:


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