How Long Do Puppies Need a Heat Lamp?

Heat lamps are important for young puppies, especially when they are small and cannot regulate their own body temperature.

These devices help maintain a comfortable room temperature for your puppy while also saving you some money on electricity.

Understanding how to properly care for a dog involves knowing about heat lamps.

Newborn puppies require a heat lamp until they are around 7 weeks old.

Since they are small and cannot regulate their body temperature, using heat lamps ensures they stay warm and cozy.

While puppies reach their normal body temperature around 4 weeks old, they still cannot regulate it effectively.

So, it’s important to use a heat lamp until they are 7 weeks old.

If you want to know how long puppies need a heat lamp, keep reading this article.

What Puppy Heat Lamps Are and How They Work

Newborn pets are sensitive to the cold, and the warmer the room, the longer they need to stay warm.

If the temperature is too low, it can harm their nervous system and bones.

Puppies left outside in 30-degree weather can quickly succumb to the cold and lose body heat, leading to serious consequences.

So, it’s essential to know how long puppies need a heat lamp and discuss it with your veterinarian.

Puppy heaters should only be used for a few days at a time.

Puppies are vulnerable to heatstroke and dehydration, so they should only be under the heat lamp briefly.

The heat lamp emits infrared radiation, which gives off warmth, similar to how humans feel heat.

Remember to consult a vet before using a heat lamp to ensure it’s safe for your puppy.

These lamps are designed to keep puppies warm in cold weather. They produce both light and heat, which are essential for small puppies.

There are different types of these lamps, but two common ones are the Fluker Ceramic Heat Emitter and Exo Terra Desert UVB Lamp.

These lamps emit heat without producing visible light, making them suitable for use during the nighttime.

A 250-watt lamp is a good choice for providing the right amount of heat for a puppy.

It’s not safe to use heat lamps in puppy homes made of straw as they can pose a fire hazard. Instead, use flame-resistant bedding.

Remember not to expose the puppy to high temperatures, and ensure the heat lamp used for a puppy’s whelping box is no higher than 250 watts to avoid burning the puppy.

One concern with heat lamps is the risk of entanglement with electrical cords.

However, most heat lamps are safe for dogs if selected carefully.

When purchasing a heat lamp, choose one that only emits heat, as some brands also give off uncomfortable light.

Keep the puppy’s heat lamp away from walls and ceilings to prevent the risk of fire.

Why Puppies Need Heat Lamps?

Even though it may seem unnecessary, puppies require heating to survive and are vulnerable to hypothermia.

When they are young, they can’t regulate their body temperature, so they rely on huddling together with their mother for warmth.

It’s crucial to keep them warm and comfortable to properly care for them.

A heat lamp is a great way to maintain a warm environment where your puppy sleeps and eats, helping to prevent hypothermia.

While heat lamps are effective in keeping puppies cozy and protecting them from frostbite, they shouldn’t be used indefinitely.

To ensure safety, move the heat lamp to a different room to prevent the puppy from chewing on the cords.

Consider using a mesh safety net or cover to keep the lamp out of your puppy’s reach.

This way, you can provide a safe and warm space for your furry friend.

When Do Puppies Regulate Their Own Body Temperature?

Until around seven weeks old, a puppy cannot control its body temperature and depends on its mother’s warmth to stay comfortable. Becoming too cold can be a serious issue for them.

As a puppy gets older, it learns how to regulate its body temperature.

Most of the time, puppies can do this by the time they are 7 weeks old.

By seven weeks of age, a puppy’s body temperature should be around 72 degrees Fahrenheit.

Even if the mother is nearby, puppies should not have a temperature lower than eighty degrees.

Puppies that can regulate their temperature will be happier, more active, and spend less time with their mother.

To help a puppy learn to control its body temperature, it’s essential to know what a normal temperature is.

A healthy puppy’s temperature typically falls between seventy degrees, while a normal adult dog’s temperature is around eighty degrees.

If a puppy cannot regulate its temperature, it will try to stay warm in different ways, like sleeping on top of its siblings, being close to the mother, or lying beside a heater.

How Long Do Puppies Require a Heat Lamp?

Using a heat lamp is an effective and affordable way to keep puppies warm. Most heat lamps can be screwed into a regular lightbulb socket and positioned at the right height above the whelping box.

You can also buy a complete heat lamp unit that plugs directly into an electrical outlet.

As I told you earlier puppies need heat until they are at least seven weeks old. After seven weeks, they can regulate their own body temperature.

Keeping puppies warm is crucial for their healthy growth.

If the room is too cold, they may develop bone and nerve issues, and in severe cases, they could even pass away.

Moreover, if puppies are left outside in temperatures as low as 30 degrees, they can quickly become dehydrated and face serious risks.

A heat lamp can assist puppies in coping with these temperatures, but it’s crucial to keep a close eye on the temperature and make adjustments as needed.

If you intend to use multiple heat lamps for your puppy, ensure the room has proper ventilation.

Also, never leave your puppy unattended when it’s under the lamp. Keep a watchful eye on them to ensure their safety and comfort.

Alternatives to Heat Lamps for Puppies to Keep Cool in Summer

Keeping dogs cool during the summer is important to prevent overheating.

While heat lamps are commonly used to provide warmth to puppies, they may not be the best choice in hot weather.

Here are some alternatives to consider:

  1. Blankets: Lightweight blankets can create a cool and comfortable surface for puppies to sleep on. You can also dampen the blankets with water and place them in the puppies’ area to help lower the temperature.
  2. Cooling Pads: Look for specially designed cooling pads for pets. These pads use gel or other cooling materials to maintain a cool surface for puppies to relax on.
  3. Cooling Jackets: These specially designed jackets are worn by puppies to provide warmth without overheating. They use special fabrics that reflect the puppy’s body heat back to them, keeping them warm without raising their body temperature.

Overall, these alternatives can create a safe and comfortable environment for puppies during the hot summer months, when using a heat lamp may not be the best option.


According to my experience, heat lamps are a great way to provide warmth to an area that is slightly too cold for puppies.

You can position the heat lamps in a way that allows the puppies and their mother to find a comfortable distance from the heat.

Using heat lamps requires some research and careful testing to ensure safe and responsible usage.

It’s essential to be cautious as they can sometimes generate too much heat, which can be problematic if the puppies cannot move away to cool down.

To address this issue, it’s necessary to use a thermostat when using heat lamps.

The bulbs used in heat lamps come in different strengths, measured in wattages.

This variety allows you to customize the heat and select the bulbs that work best for your particular setup.

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Luke Grayson
By Luke Grayson

I'm Luke Grayson co founder of The Dogs Wiki and dog lover person. Plays the role of content writing and keyword selection with proper research.

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