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Air Conditioning and Pets

Just like humans, the temperature has a significant effect on pets such as cats and dogs, and as the weather conditions become extreme, your pet’s comfort is crucial for their happiness and health. As a general rule of thumb, if the temperature is too hot or too cold for you, then it will have a similar effect on your animals too. During the colder months, pet owners tend to keep their pets indoors, supplying them with items such as blankets, walking jackets or even heated pads. In extreme heat, which the UK has been facing over the past few summers, cats and dogs may also need air conditioning in order to keep cool and avoid overheating when in a house or apartment.

Factors which can affect a pet’s body temperature

Like most aspects in life, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to the ideal temperature for a pet. There are a number of factors which can affect the body temperature of an animal and also the conditions it requires to be comfortable and satisfied. Here are the main factors to consider when determining what temperature is best for your pet!

Type and thickness of the coat

Whether it’s a dog, cat or rabbit, every pet will have a different type of coat as well as differentiating in thickness and length. Animals with thicker fur are more tolerant towards colder temperatures, however, may struggle in the heat. On the flip side, those with thinner coats struggle to retain heat and may require some extra attention in the wintertime.

Size of the pet

The overall size of a pet will affect its ability to maintain its body temperature. Small pets can not retain heat in their body, meaning they will get colder quicker, easier and for longer compared to larger animals. This also relates to the factor of weight. As body fat contributes to temperature sensitivity, this will act as an insulating layer for your pet and keep them warm in colder temperatures and possibly cause overheating when the summer comes around. Underweight pets may also be prone to extreme weather conditions as they are generally more fragile and sensitive.

Health conditions

Pets too can suffer from medical conditions which may affect things such as their immune systems, circulation or general health. Their medical history could then affect their body temperature or needs as they may have weakened systems.

The age of your pet

As your pet gets older, its ability to regulate its own body temperature will decrease and it will have to work extra hard to stay comfortable. Older pets and young pets such as puppies or kittens typically require warmer temperatures and may need extra care when the weather gets more severe.

Signs your dog is too hot

Dogs are pretty good at letting their owners know when they’re unhappy, uncomfortable or not feeling too good, but overheating could leave your dog feeling fatigued and reserved. As a dog’s temperature rises, blood rushes to the tongue, gums, and membranes to help move excess heat. Frantic panting, excessive salivation, bright-red membranes, and difficulty breathing are clear warning signs that your dog is overheating. Your dog may also indicate discomfort through depression, excessive sleeping, vomiting or hyperventilation.

Signs your cat is too hot

Cats have a number of ways of communicating such as gentle purrs when they’re happy but will also give you signs when things aren’t right too. Although your cat thrives in the sun and being outdoors, there are dangers associated with the heat which could affect your pet’s health and comfort. When a cat is too hot it may show side effects such as panting, drooling, dehydration, vomiting or diarrhoea, pale or bright red tongue/gums, depression and fatigue.

Tips for having air conditioning around pets

If you have pets in your home, the air conditioning unit will also collect pet hair and dander that is in your home’s atmosphere. As pet hair and dust build up in your system, it can aggravate allergies and affect the quality of air being released. Having the air conditioning on at home when the temperature is high can cool your pet down, reduce potential health conditions, keep them happy and comfortable and avoid more severe effects such as heat stroke or dehydration. To ensure you and your pet are creating the ideal environment, it’s important to keep on top of maintenance and keep it working effectively.

Regular cleaning

When air travels through your air conditioning system, it passes through a filter which accumulates dust, debris, and pet hair. Ideally, you should change your filter on a regular basis to protect the function of your system and to keep the air clean and healthy for you and your pet. Regular cleaning may also include parts such as the vacuum and ductwork. Depending on your manufacturer’s recommendations, the cleaning process might need some intricate care so you can call out a professional and invest in a maintenance and service process.

Brushing and bathing pets

Keeping up with regular grooming will not only help their body temperature regulate correctly and avoid any overheating, but will also reduce the build-up of pet hair in your air conditioning unit.

Avoid outdoor units

Try to keep your pets away from your air con’s outdoor condenser or compressor. With pets such as cats spending a lot of time outdoors, they may be tempted to sleep on top of the unit which may result in animal hair or waste getting into your system. These systems could also cause a hazard or injury if your pet was to get too close so many pet owners create a form of barrier or fencing to keep dogs and cats safe when near the unit.

Choose the right temperature for your pet

One of the main points of having an air conditioning unit in a home is that pet owners want to ensure their pets are happy and healthy, with little to no negative side effects. Ideally, you should aim to keep the temperature in your home somewhat consistent. Many individuals lower the thermostat when they go to work to reduce energy bills and running costs. Pets are typically comfortable at the same temperature as humans, considering all the factors mentioned above. So keeping that in mind, ensure your home has a moderate room temperature, keeping it cooler in the warmer months.

Find out more about a comfortable living temperature here.

Lee Jackson Domestic Air Conditioning

Here at Lee Jackson, we strive to offer the best service out there and rest assured we’ll do everything that we can to bring a clean and simple installation to your home.

Whether you’re looking for a wall-mountedducted or floor mounted unit, we’ve got lots to offer. By supplying brands such as MitsubishiSamsungPanasonicFujitsu and Daikin, we can find, install and maintain the perfect system for you!

Get in touch today on 0800 949 9070 and get a free quote!