Fox’s Tips for Keeping Pets Safe and Cool as the Heat Increases
Seattle pet owners love their furry family members, and only want the best for them. It’s easy to think that our pets are similar to us and that they will react the same way to 90-degree heat that you do. But that isn’t always true, so Fox’s HVAC Specialists have a few tips to keep our critters comfortable while they are at home.
Cats, Dogs, and Comfort Inside the House
Let’s start by saying, please refer to your veterinarian’s recommendations for your specific animal. There are many articles that talk about heat and outdoor pet safety. We recommend this ped.md piece, for great tips on cooling pets while outdoors. But what about indoors?
In general, cats like it warmer and dogs like it cooler. Neither likes it hot. Most cats prefer to alternate between a super heated patch of sun that could fry an egg and a cooler darker environment for deeper sleep. Your indoor cat would love you to leave a few blinds open. That might not help to keep the house as cool as possible, but kitty will be happy.
On the other hand, dogs tend to seek out the coolest spots to sleep on during the summer. You may notice your dog sleeping on tile, in bathrooms, on linoleum, or other cool parts of the floor, instead of their dog bed.
Air Conditioning vs Toughing It Out with Pets
If you are a tough-it-outer with no air conditioning, you likely have heat coping strategies when you are at home. We recommend including your pets in those plans, making sure they are well hydrated and have a cool spot to lie on. They don’t have shoes on, so the deck or patio that is too hot for you to walk on without shoes, is too hot for their paws. If you normally close doors to rooms, garage or basement areas that are not in use, and they are cooler, your pets will be more comfortable if you allow access to those rooms when it’s hot out.
If you do have air conditioning, your pets would prefer you to leave on the AC on during the day while all the people are out. And so will your air conditioner! Fox’s HVAC team reminds us that air conditioners work better, and last longer, if they can cool the house slowly over a longer period of time, vs. straining to overcome maximum heat at full blast.
Optimally at the start of a heat wave, set the temperature to your liking, turn on cool or auto and let it do its thing, leaving the system on continuously. If it gets too cool at night, switch to fan but remember to start up the AC in the morning. By keeping it low and consistent, the air conditioning system will use less energy, keeping summertime electric bills in check. In addition to greater energy efficiency, you will have a cool house to come home to, and happy pets.