All of us want to keep our power bills down in the summer, and a great way to do that is to set a programmable thermostat to raise the temperature slightly when no one is at home during the day. But when you do that, keep in mind to make sure that the indoor temperature is comfortable enough for your dogs, cats, or other indoor pets.
When you come home of the end of the day during hot weather, be sure to check to see if your pet is showing any signs of overheating. These signs can include heavy panting, unusual lethargy, excessive thirst, or if the pet feels extremely warm to the touch.
Certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to the heat, including those with thick coats (Samoyeds, Malamutes, American Eskimo dog) and those with flat snouts (Boston terriers, pugs, French bulldogs). The dogs with flat snouts are less capable of “panting out” their body heat than other breeds. And pets that are aging may be more susceptible to negative effects from hot weather than younger pets.
You might like to leave the curtains open to allow your pet to look out of the window, but remember that this can result in higher indoor temperatures when the sun is directed on that part of the house. Try to keep most of the window shades closed during the day, especially those on windows with a lot of direct sunlight – not only to keep pets cooler, but keep power bills down. A ceiling or floor fan will increase air circulation, but fans are less effective at keeping dogs comfortable in the heat than humans. To increase circulation and overall comfort, try a cooling gel mat or pad for your dog, or a bed that is slightly elevated.
Remember that a pet that is confined to a crate might be even warmer still – so during the summer, you might consider blocking of an area in the kitchen or some other part of the house if your pet is not given unlimited access. If you have a finished basement that is safe for your dog to stay in all day, you might try to see if the pet is more comfortable there.
Not only dogs and cats can be affected by high temperatures, so keep an eye out for the health and well-being of your birds, pet rodents, reptiles, and other types of pets as well. Follow some of these tips and you’ll soon find the perfect indoor temperature to keep all of your pets comfortable, yet keep the air conditioning bills under control.