We love our fur babies. That’s why it’s hard to leave them behind when we must go to work or run errands. The look of sad confusion and the downturned tail as we grab our car keys and head for the door make us feel guilty. We compensate by doing things we think will increase their comfort.
Some of these practices, however, can cost you money in higher energy bills while doing little to increase the comfort of your pets. These summer tips will help you be a responsible energy saver while ensuring your pet’s comfort:
Turn off the fans. Dogs don’t respond to fans like humans do. As fans move air across our skin, the air cools the sweat, making us feel cooler as it evaporates. Dogs sweat a little through the pads of their feet, but they mostly cool down by panting. Panting draws out the heat and reduces their body temperature. A better bet is to leave plenty of water so that they can stay hydrated.
Turn off the tube. Leaving the TV on is usually just a waste of energy. Pets don’t perceive the images on the screen in the same way we do. Although you may think that leaving the Animal Planet channel on during the day will keep your dog company, leaving a favorite toy or such an item as one of your old shirts will be much more comforting.
Keep curtains and blinds closed and the lights off. Shading your home from direct sunlight is a good way to block the sun’s rays from heating your home. Pets can manage in dim or dark conditions just fine. Put the lights on a timer to limit electrical usage if you’re bothered by leaving them in the dark.
Monitor indoor temperature with a smart app. You can set different temperatures when you are out and take advantage of those energy savings. Your pets can naturally regulate their body temperature when it’s both warm and cold. Check with your vet before making a change. You also can purchase a cooling pad for your pet. These pads contain a cooling gel and can keep pets cool for several hours.
Install an energy-efficient pet door. The newer pet doors are even ENERGY STAR® certified. These doors can reduce thermal losses by 30%. If you don’t want to purchase a new door, make sure to caulk it annually to prevent air and heat leakage.
Leaving your buddy is never easy but following these tips will make your pet cool and comfortable while you are away. You’ll be rewarded with lower energy costs and a happy pet!