If you have pets, you probably treat them as though they’re part of the family. Gone are the days when people thought of them as an inferior companion who spent most of the time outside. Now, they sleep inside, they cuddle with us, they are our babies.
However, they are also happy to do things that we’d consider unthinkable, such as laying down in sunspots even on the hottest and most humid days. They’ll drink water from the toilet (oh, the shame!). They’ll even eat food off the ground, considering it a bonus if it’s something with a questionable smell.
When we can’t be home with our animals, we want them to be safe and comfortable. The question has been asked: “Should I leave the air conditioner on for my pet when I am not home?”
Yes, you should.
Unlike humans, animals cannot leave your home for a cooler area or adjust the temperature to their liking. Extreme temperatures cause your pet unnecessary stress and can result in medical complications. Continue reading to learn about proper care for your type of pet.
What’s the Ideal Thermostat Temperature for Pets?
When it comes to your pets comfort level and air conditioning, you may wonder if they prefer the same home temperature as you do. What temperature should you set your thermostat for your fur babies when you’re not home?
In a nutshell, there isn’t one magic number that will keep all pets comfortable. You will have to take into account several factors in order to ensure their wellbeing, such as:
1. Weight. It’s easy to overdo it with snacks, especially when they look at you with their cute puppy eyes or demanding meows. However, the more body fat a pet has, the harder it’ll be for them to cool down, so keep your home in the low 70s if your cutie is carrying a few extra pounds.
2. Size. The bigger the dog, the more they can deal with higher temperatures. This is not to say that you should turn off the AC, but you could get away with leaving it a couple degrees higher than you would if you have a chihuahua.
3. Coat. Pets with shorter hair will likely be comfortable with a temperature of about 78 degrees. If your fur babies have long hair or a heavy coat, set it down a couple degrees, anywhere between 72 and 75. If the breed is the type most likely found in colder climates, like a Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, or Border Collie, keep it on the lower end of the temperature range.
4. Age. Older pets can have joint issues that may benefit from a slightly warmer environment (generally, in the high 70s). The same thing goes for puppies. The younger the pet, the more warmth they need (which is why they tend to stay close to their mothers). If you have more than one puppy, you can keep the temperature a degree or two lower, since they’ll cuddle with each other for warmth.
5. Overall health. There are several health conditions that may affect a dog or cat’s ability to regulate their body temperature. These include certain types of infections, kidney or thyroid issues, or arthritis. Consult with your veterinarian to find out what the ideal setting for their specific health issue would be.
Regardless of your pet’s circumstances, always remember to leave plenty of fresh water for them to cool off. And if you’re concerned about energy efficiency, consider installing a smart thermostat or an energy efficient doggie door.
Should I Leave the AC on for My Dog?
According to the Humane Society, a dog’s temperature should not reach above 104 degrees. But what is more important, is how a dog cools down. Dogs pant, evaporating moisture from their lungs, which takes heat away from their body. If the humidity is too high, like in Florida, they won’t be able to cool themselves efficiently.
Should I Leave the AC on for My Cat?
Cats, like dogs, pant to cool themselves off. They also tend to naturally find the coolest places in the house to lie down, such as porcelain sinks, tile floors, and above refrigerators. Don’t scold them for this. Because an air conditioner acts as a dehumidifier, both cats and dogs would cool themselves more efficiently in an air conditioned home.
Should I Leave the AC on for Sick or Elderly Pets?
Ill, elderly, the very young or obese animals will have more cooling needs, as they are more susceptible to heat stroke. Watch these animals carefully and consider their conditions when deciding the temperature of your home while you are away. The American Medicine Association recommends watching all pets when the air conditioner is on. Notice if they look comfortable. Do they tend to sit near vents? Are they soaking in the sun? You know your pet the best.
Call Blair’s Air for AC Service in Clearwater
We have been taking care of air conditioning needs for humans and their furry, feathered, or scaled companions since 1974 and we are happy to help your pets stay cool while you are away. Give us a call or contact us online for an appointment!
Call (727) 800-4148 to schedule your appointment.