Hours of Research
Sometimes, I’m jealous of my mother’s dog. The air conditioner in his dog house is probably better than the one in my home.
He needs it, though. Dogs are very sensitive to high temperatures and without an air-conditioned dog house, outdoor dogs risk fatal heat stroke.
But how do you pick the best dog house air conditioner for your pooch? I wrote this guide to help you find a unit that lets your dog lounge in the same luxury as my mother’s!
Quick Guide – Our Top Picks
Our Top AC For
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Best For Outdoor Dog Houses
Portacool Jetstream 220
Ease of Use
Value for Money
Best Fan & HEATER Combo
Ease of Use
Value for Money
5 Best Dog House Air Conditioners Reviewed
1 - MightyKool K2 (Best Value)
Ease of Use
Value for Money
12 x 11 x 8 inches
2-year limited warranty
The MightyKool K2 might as well be called MightyKool K9 (get it?). It’s a powerful, relatively affordable evaporative air cooler that can keep any pet cool, from a chihuahua to a Great Dane.
Let me be clear — this is not an air conditioning system. The K2 is a cooler that pushes air past a water-chilled tank to provide your dog with a cool breeze. So, if you need a programmable AC unit, look elsewhere.
That’s not to knock the K2’s performance, though. It’s very efficient, capable of blowing air at 25 mph. It’s a great spot cooler for big dog houses, and can likely chill an entire small dog house with the strong airflow it creates.
The K2 is a relatively compact device and lightweight device, but it might not fit in the tiniest dog houses. You can resolve that issue with a simple DIY wall vent.
The one-gallon water tank closes tightly with four screws. There’s no need to worry about your furry friend spilling the contents all over themselves. With anything but the lowest setting it’ll last around 5 hours, so you’ll have to fill it regularly.
Controlling the K2 is very simple with an on/off switch and a step-less power knob. That means there’s no way to set the unit to turn off on its own at certain temperatures.
My biggest gripe is that the unit power through a 12v car cigarette lighter outlet. You’ll have to rig up some kind of adapter to use it at a dog house. Then again, you can keep your pooch cool even while you’re on the road.
Despite it being clearly designed for car use, MightyKool K2 provides a lot of cooling for your buck. With a power adapter, your dog won’t want to leave their coop!
2 - Pioneer Diamante (Most Efficient)
Ease of Use
Value for Money
32 x 8.12 x 11.5 inches (indoor); 28.6 x 11.25 x 21.6 inches (outdoor)
38 dB (indoors); 50 dB (outdoors)
If you live in the desert (like I do) you need some serious cooling power to keep your pet comfortable. Pioneer Diamante is up to the challenge, being one of the strongest dog house air conditioners money can buy.
Unlike the other units on my list, this is a true AC unit that has enough cooling capacity to keep a 350-square-foot space at a comfortable temperature. So, no matter what kind of doggie mansion you’ve built for your pooch, Diamante’s 9,000 BTU will keep it cool — or warm since the unit works also as a heater.
This dog house air conditioner has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a modern AC, from a timer function to automated temperature monitoring. Just set it and forget it.
If you can’t forget it, you can easily adjust the unit with the remote controller. No need to squeeze yourself into the dog home, apart from the seasonal filter wash.
As a cherry on the cool sundae, the AC is literally whisper-quiet. Running at only 32dB, it shouldn’t bother your dog too much.
Yet, I have two buts about this unit. First, it’s challenging to install. You get a full installation kit so you can do it with basic DIY skills, but less-than-handy pet owners might need a professional.
Second, Diamante is expensive — even before you account for potential installation costs. At least it’s very energy efficient, so your electricity bill shouldn’t go up too much.
Pioneer Diamante is a super-powered dog house air conditioner. You will have to spend quite a bit of money and time to buy and install this unit — but having a truly air-conditioned dog house is worth it.
3 - Portacool Jetstream 220 (Best High-End for Outdoor Dog Houses)
Ease of Use
Value for Money
29 x 27 x42 inches
3-year warranty on electronics; lifetime warranty on housing
Are you the kind of dog owner who insists that only the best is good enough for your pooch? Then Portacool Jetstream 220 is right up your — and your dog’s — alley.
Like MightyKool K2, the Jetstream 220 is an evaporative cooler. Yet, with its 400 cfm airflow capacity and 30 mph air velocity, it squarely beat the compact K2 in cooling efficiency.
The manufacturer promises enough cooling power to drop temperatures in a 700-square-foot area. I can’t see the Jetstream 220 actually doing that, but I digress — it will cool even the biggest dog house.
I particularly like the gigantic 20-gallon water tank (with a water level indicator) that lasts for a long time. Want to make things even easier? Connect the cooler to a garden hose and never worry about topping the tank up.
You also won’t have to worry about something going wrong with the unit. The electrical components come with a long 3-year warranty, and the unit housing itself is guaranteed to stay intact for a lifetime.
The controls are as simple as on the K2. You get a power switch and a twist knob for adjusting fan power. I wish there was an automatic thermostat, but that’s just not these types of coolers work.
There are a couple of “meh” things about the Jetstream 220, though. It’s the single most expensive unit on my list. The proprietary and pricey filters add even more to the cost.
That huge water tank also makes this a big and heavy cooler. You’ll likely have to build some kind of wall vent solution because I doubt it’ll fit in the dog house. It’s also loud, so make sure your dog is okay with the sound.
Yet, if it’s a strong breeze your dog's house needs, you can’t do much better.
4 - Akoma Heat-N-Breeze (Best Fan/Heater Combo)
Ease of Use
Value for Money
21 x 10 x 6 inches
1-year limited warranty
I’ve covered several coolers, but what if you live in an area with fluctuating temperatures? In that case, Akoma Heat-N-Breeze is the solution you seek.
This cooler and heater combo has an adjustable thermostat that activates the 150w heating unit or the fan, depending on the dog house’s temperature. There’s no digital display, so you may want to buy a separate thermometer. Nonetheless, I like that you can set the unit and let it do its job independently.
That said, there are no remote controls, so you’ll have to get to the machine to adjust it. It’s a bit of a hassle, but not a dealbreaker by any means.
The Heat-n-Breeze has no sharp corners and a sturdy, chew-proof power cord. You won’t have to worry about your pooch cutting or shocking themselves.
With a low power consumption, the Heat-n-Breeze won’t rack up your electricity bill even in summer heat or winter cold. It’s a durable unit to boot, and you can easily get +5 years of operation out of it with basic maintenance.
Installation is fairly simple. You have to make a hole in the dog house wall for the fan intake duct, but it’s a straightforward 30-minute DIY project.
I do have a couple of notes about the heater unit. First of all, the heater doesn’t work with the fan — in fact, the fan deactivates when the heater turns on. It relies on simple radiation, so it might take a while to heat the dog house.
Second, this unit runs hot. I would install a safety cage around it so a curious dog won’t burn its sniffer. You also shouldn’t use any bedding with it.
Just play it safe and the Akoma Heat-n-Breeze can keep a dog house cool or warm in any weather.
5 - Akoma Hound Heater (Best Dog House Heater)
Ease of Use
Value for Money
10 x 4.5 x 10 inches
Yes, one-year limited warranty
Calling all Alaska dog owners! You might not need an AC during the moderately warm summers, but your dog will thank you for the Hound Heater (love that name) in the winter months.
With the Hound Heater, Akoma has basically dropped the fan from the Heat-n-Breeze and double-sized the heating element. With a 300w heating unit, the Hound Heater can keep even a 75-square-foot dog house nice and toasty.
Like with the Heat-n-Breeze, the heater’s design is pet-friendly with a strong cord and no rounded corners. The Hound Heater does share the same mediocre heat shielding with its sibling. Put up a safety cage, just in case.
As a silver lining, the hot spot is mostly limited to the front top edge of the machine. Even in a plastic dog house, there’s no need to worry about the unit melting the walls.
There’s one big advantage to this unit, though — it’s available in manual and Bluetooth versions. So if you want to control the heater remotely, it’s an option.
As with the other Akoma unit, the energy consumption is low and you get an automatic thermostat that turns the unit off when the air gets warm enough. No need to stress about heating bills turning this affordable unit into a money drain.
Installation is even simpler than with the Heat-n-Breeze since there’s no exhaust fan. Just drill a hole for the power cable, mount the wall unit, and you’re good to go for several years.
As to the downsides, well… Apart from getting hot, this unit can’t cool your dog's house. But it’s a heater; what did you expect?
If you’re a pet owner looking to keep your dog warm in cold weather, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this durable heating unit.
Dog House AC Units Compared
Considerations When Buying A Dog House Air Conditioner For Your Pet
Air-conditioned dog houses are the best way to keep your dog cool — apart from bringing your furry friend into your home. But how do you know what kind of unit is right for your puppy?
I’ve broken down the most important things to keep in mind when looking for an air conditioner for your dog’s own home.
Type of Air Conditioner
Not every kind of air conditioner works for every dog or location. In general, I recommend getting a compact true AC that can supply your dog with both warm and cool air. For example, the Pioneer Diamante is a good true dog house air conditioner on my list.
Actual ACs can be expensive or you may not be able to install them in your dog house. In such cases, portable air conditioners or heater/cooler fan combo units, such as the Akome Heat-n-Breeze, can be a workable option.
You might also live in a place where even winters are relatively warm like I do. For these kinds of environments, an evaporative cooler, like the MightyKool or Portacool systems on my list, may keep your pet comfortable.
Cooling & Heating Capacity
Match the AC’s cooling (and heating) power to the size of the dog home. An AC’s capacity is measured in British thermal units (BTU). Without turning my article into a science lecture, just know that 2,000 BTUs are sufficient for a 50-square-foot room. As such, aim for a dog house air conditioner with a 2,000 BTU power rating.
Dog homes aren’t big so buying too small a unit isn’t usually a consideration. An oversized unit, on the other hand, could make the air too cold and cause health issues in itself — not to mention being more expensive.
Evaporative coolers and fans — like the MighlyKool, Portacool, or Akoma units — don’t have BTU ratings since they’re not actual ACs. Their power is measured in the cubic feet per minute (cfm) of air they can circulate. For a dog house, look for a rating of at least 100 cfm.
Most dog house air conditioners and coolers state their maximum effective cooling area in square feet. I recommend carefully measuring your dog house and comparing it to different units’ efficiency before buying one.
You should know, though, that manufacturers tend to exaggerate their coolers’ power. Yet, comparing the stated capacity to your dog house’s size is usually a good basic guideline.
If anything, I would err on the side of going for a slightly larger cooling area than necessary. Dog houses rarely have first-class insulation, so you’ll likely lose some cool or warm air through leakage. A bit of a bigger unit can help mitigate heat loss and keep your dog more comfortable.
Try to find a dog house air conditioner or cooler that requires minimal installation. In a perfect world, all you would have to do is plug the AC in and turn it on.
However, the reality is more complicated. True ACs, like the Pioneer Diamante, need heat pump and wall unit installation, wiring, and drain and duct setup. It’s nothing a relatively skilled home handyman can’t do, but dog homes’ small size can make the operation challenging.
If you’d rather not try to install an AC, evaporative coolers are usually simpler to set up. For example, the MightyKool only requires you to fill the water tank before plugging the power cord in.
However, you should also make sure you can plug the unit in. Going back to the MightyKool as an example, it has a car outlet plug so you will need an adapter. Even units with regular plugs might require extension cords.
Related Article – How Many Watts Does a Portable AC Draw?
Smart AC Controllers
You don’t want to crawl into your dog house to adjust the AC every couple of hours, do you? Look for units that have in-built thermostats and smart temperature control to make using them easier.
Most true dog house air conditioners, like the Pioneer Diamante, have automatic controllers like those found in your home. With them, you can just set the temperature to an ideal level and let the unit run.
Evaporative coolers are rarely automated because they’re essentially just fans with a chiller. Be prepared to monitor the temperature in your dog house with a separate thermometer until you figure out an appropriate power setting.
Price & Warranty
Dog air house conditioners come in a wide range of prices. My advice is to determine your budget beforehand so you don’t waste your time (and time is money) browsing units you just can’t afford.
My list includes “only” five units, but even they vary in price from around $130 to more than a grand. Whatever your budget, there will be a unit that suits you, even if you’d have to compromise on some bells and whistles.
You should also pay attention to the manufacturer’s warranty since your unit can always break. The units on my list have at least a 1-year warranty, but some — like the Portacool — offer unlimited warranties on certain parts.
No machine works without maintenance and a dog house air conditioner is no different. I recommend finding a machine that can go a long time without you having to mess with it.
A true AC or a simple fan cooler (like the Akoma Heat-n-Breeze) will likely be the lowest-maintenance option. They generally only need basic cleaning and possibly a filter change every six months or so.
Evaporative coolers are more maintenance-intensive. You may have to fill their water tanks every few hours and replace the filter monthly, depending on how hard water you have. Try to find a unit with a large tank capacity and readily available, affordable filters.
Energy Efficiency Rating (EER)
EER determines how energy efficient your dog house AC unit is and how well it can cool surrounding air without using too much energy. True ACs, like the Pioneer Diamante, can be power hogs and noticeably bump up your energy bill.
Just like with your home AC, go for a dog house air conditioner with the highest possible EER you can find and afford. The rating system is pretty simple — the higher the EER, the less energy the unit consumes. High EER ratings are not only eco-friendly but also save you money.
Related Article – How Much Electricity Do Portable AC Units Use
Consider what features you’d like for your dog house air conditioner before you start shopping for a unit. The ACs and coolers come with plenty of more or less useful extra features, like an auto-timer, dehumidifier setting, electronic thermostat reading, LED display, and auto shut-off feature.
Personally, I would like to see a timer, auto shut-off, and a clear thermostat display on my dog house air conditioner. Just be aware that the more features the unit has, the more expensive it will be, so try to strike a balance between cost and quality-of-life features.
Why Do You Need an AC for Your Dog House?
A dog house needs an AC for the same reason your house does — if you’re hot, they’re hot. Only, overheating can be much more dangerous to dogs than humans.
We can sweat throughout our bodies, but dogs have sweat glands only on their paw pads. Panting allows dogs to move heat away from their chest cavity, but this method quickly becomes inefficient in high humidity. (1)
Without an effective way to cool itself, a dog can easily suffer a heatstroke. Up to 50% of canine heatstrokes are sadly fatal. (2) Air-conditioned dog houses can help keep your pooch cool and even save their life.
Similarly, dogs are susceptible to the cold as their bodies run much hotter than humans (which is why I love using my doggie as a personal heater). A body temperature of 99°F would be a mild fever for a human, but for a dog, that’s mild hypothermia. (3) This is why I recommend buying a real dog house air conditioner or another unit that can both cool and heat your puppy’s home.
Things You Should Know Before Installing a Dog House Air Conditioner
So you have a dog house air conditioner and you’re ready to install it. But hold your horses! You should consider the facts about your particular dog house before you get to work.
Here are some tips I recommend considering before you install the AC.
Dog House Materials
The ideal material for dog houses is wood. This natural material is porous and allows the dog house to breathe slightly, improving air circulation. Additionally, it doesn’t heat up excessively in the sun, helping the dog house air conditioner function better.
Plastic is the most common material for cheap dog houses — for a reason. Plastic degrades in the sun and will eventually turn very brittle. Cutting holes for AC wires and ducts can be difficult on plastic walls, and a poorly positioned heating unit could even melt the plastic.
Then we have metal. If you have a metal dog house, here’s my tip — buy a different one. Metal has a high heat transfer capacity and your dog's house will turn into a very real oven in extreme heat. You’re not trying to cook your dog, right?
Dog House Location
I recommend placing your dog house out of direct sunlight. Even the best building material is no match for the sun’s heat on a hot day. Keeping the house in a shady spot goes a long way toward keeping your dog comfortable.
If it’s simply not possible to put the dog house in the shade (for example, my yard doesn’t have a single tree), consider building a cover for it. All you need is four poles and a tarp — or you could just buy a small picnic shelter.
Another good tip is to face the dog house’s door so that a breeze can blow in. Of course, wind changes direction, but most places have a common wind direction. The breeze provides natural cooling and fresh, and may allow you to turn off the AC at night.
You should place the AC as high up on the dog house’s wall as possible. This makes it harder for your dog to reach the unit and accidentally break it or hurt themselves. I recommend building a small safety cage around the unit out of wood, just in case.
Always try to keep all cords and wires outside the dog house. If that’s not feasible, buy metal or hard plastic cord covers to prevent your dog from chewing the wires.
Some dog houses are so small you can’t fit the AC unit inside, or you might have a floor unit. In these cases, build a small shelter for the AC outside the dog house and connect it to the interior with a wall vent. That will conveniently keep the machine out of your dog’s reach, too!
Dog House Insulation
Your dog house should be well insulated to help the AC function most efficiently. A poorly insulated dog house will simply leak the cool air outside and won’t do much for your dog.
Most DIY and hardware stores sell simple, cheap insulation panels. Installing even rudimentary insulation can really help your dog stay cool.
Your Dog’s Health Issues
Consider your dog’s potential health issues before installing an AC. You should ensure the unit won’t impact your dog’s health, so consult a vet if you have to.
For example, some AC units could pull allergens from the outside into the dog house to torment an allergic pooch. I recommend buying a unit with an efficient air filter and replacing it regularly.
Related Article – How Safe are Portable Air Conditioners?
8 Extra Tips for Keeping Your Dog Cool in Summer Heat
A dog house AC unit is just one way to keep your dog cool in the summer. I’ve listed here some additional tips to cool down your hound:
- Make sure your dog always has access to cool water.
- Give your dog cold or frozen treats.
- Don’t shave a long-furred dog — the fur is an important heat insulator.
- Take walks during cooler hours of the day.
- Construct a shady shelter for your dog.
- Buy a small pool your dog can swim or splash around in.
- Get a moist cooling pad for your dog to lay on.
- Learn the most obvious signs of heat stroke, including hard panting, vomiting, confusion, and shaking. (4)
What are the dangers of leaving dogs unprotected outside?
Leaving your dog outside unprotected can expose them to dangerous heat (above 80°F) or cold (below 45°F). Dogs are sensitive to temperature and could fall victim to hypothermia or hyperthermia if left outside.
What Is a Comfortable Summer Temperature For a Dog?
A comfortable summer temperature for a dog is around 70-75°F. Temperatures above 80 degrees may cause heat stroke in dogs.
Is it safe to leave a dog in a car?
No! It’s never safe to leave your dog in the car because the temperature in the car can rise above 100°F within five minutes in direct sunlight. If you absolutely must leave your dog in a car, turn the AC on and be back in five minutes — but it’s better to take your dog with you on your business.
Can dogs get a cold from an air conditioner?
Cold air itself won’t make your dog sick, but if your air conditioner is blowing too hard, your dog could start suffering from hypothermia. If you don’t clean the AC unit well, it could also spew mold and bacteria that can make your dog ill.
When Should I Turn the AC On for My Dog?
In general, you should turn your dog house air conditioner on when the outdoor temperature rises above 80°F. The cutoff point varies somewhat between dog breeds, but 80 is a good general guideline.
Are there ways to keep a dog cool without AC?
You can help keep a dog cool without AC. You could set up a fan, provide them with cool water, and help them stay in the shade. However, once the temperature rises above 80°F, you should turn on the AC.
Related Article – Are There Alternatives to Air Conditioner Units?
And there you have it — the best dog house air conditioners, air coolers, and heaters out there. You’re now ready to pick the unit that best keeps your pooch at a comfortable temperature.
Yet, if you’re still considering your options, here are my personal recommendations:
- Pioneer Diamante is the best true dog house air conditioner for any climate.
- MightyKool K2 is an efficient high-value evaporative cooling system.
- Akoma Heat-n-Breeze is a great unit for regions with varying temperatures.
Our #1 Dog House AC
Ease of use
Value for Money