Should I Keep The Air Conditioner On For My Pet?
Long gone are the days when pets are considered inferior and confined outside the property for most of the time. For many Australians today, pets are part of the family and their comfort and wellbeing is highly important to us. For that reason, it’s unsurprising that many of us leave our heating and cooling systems on when we leave the home to ensure our pets can enjoy a comfortable climate while we’re away. But is it necessary?
What Makes Pets Hot?
While dogs and cats differ in their physiology, panting is the natural cooling system for both dogs and cats. When this is compromised, it can lead to a higher risk of stress and exhaustion. Heat on its own isn’t the worst problem for indoor pets. Rather it’s the heat mixed with humidity. Combined, both the heat and humidity can prevent animals from panting effectively.
Older, sick or overweight pets may be less resilient to hot weather. Some breeds may also be more vulnerable than others. For example, short-snout dog breeds (Bulldogs, Pekes and Pugs) are more likely to suffer from heatstroke as well as short-faced cats like Persians or exotics.
Should I Leave the AC On?
Leaving the air conditioner on for your pets cools the air inside and brings the humidity down. Whether this is necessary depends on a range of factors, including:
- Weight – The more body fat a pet has, the harder it’ll be for them to cool down, so keep your home below 22°C they are carrying extra weight.
- Size – If you have a bigger dog, they may be able tolerate higher temperatures compared to smaller dogs and cats.
- Coat – Pets with shorter hair can tolerate higher temperatures. If your pet has long hair or a heavy coat, aim to keep the temperature at 25°C or lower. Breeds found in colder climates, like a Siberian Husky or Border Collie, struggle the most in warm weather.
- Age – Older pets can have joint issues that may benefit from a slightly warmer environment. The same goes for puppies and kittens. The younger the pet, the more warmth they need (which is why they tend to stay close to their mothers).
- Overall health – Certain health conditions may affect a dog or cat’s ability to regulate their body temperature. This includes certain infections, kidney or thyroid issues, or arthritis. Consult with your vet to find out what the ideal setting for their specific health issue is.
How Cool is Your Home?
Whether you need to leave the air conditioning on for pets often depends on your home itself. Some have better insulation than others and can maintain an indoor temperature of 22 to 25°C without the use of air conditioning. You may also be able to maintain a low temperature and humidity simply by keeping the curtains or blinds closed.
Basements are generally several degrees cooler than the rest of the house and are another place pets can go to keep cooler. If your dog or cat has access to the outdoors through a pet door, the fresh air can help with a humidity issue inside the house. Cooling pads, mats, and coats are also available if you are seeking out alternatives.
Contact Efficient Pure Plumbing for Air Conditioning in Melbourne
Keep you and your pets cool with quality air conditioning. Efficient Pure Plumbing is the Melbourne expert in heating and cooling, with over 20 years of experience. From ducted air conditioning to quality split systems, we have a range of heating and cooling systems to suit your needs. Call us today for a free quote on 03 9792 3261 or contact us online.