How to be an Energy-Efficient Pet Owner | Alliance to Save Energy
08/08/12

How to be an Energy-Efficient Pet Owner

If you own a pet, you may be wasting electricity without realizing it. In warmer months, follow these pet-friendly, energy-efficient tips to save money while keeping your four-legged friend happy.

Photo and videos courtesy of TXU Energy and the SPCA of Texas.

Keeping Cool

"When it comes to the comfort level of an animal in the home, the most important thing is temperature. Cats and dogs can do just find in a house that’s a little bit warmer to save on that energy cost."
— Inga Fricke, Humane Society of the United States director of sheltering and pet care issues

Set the temp to 78°-80°:

  • ​The Department of Energy's EnergySavers.gov site recommends keeping your thermostat at 78°F while you're at home and 85° when the house is empty during the summer. But if you're leaving a furry friend inside, stick to 78°-80° degrees. You still save money (running your air conditioning at 78° instead of 72° can save 6-18% on your cooling bill), but you'll also keep your pet comfortable.
  • Keep in mind that regular body temperature for cats and dogs is 3°-4° higher than for humans, so if it's comfortable for you it's likely comfortable for your pet. One caveat: Older animals, as well as cats and dogs with "smushed" or pushed-in faces – like pugs, bulldogs and Persian cats – may have a harder time controlling their internal body temperature, so ask your vet about their ideal temperature at your annual check-up.

Turn off the fan: Feline and canine bodies aren't covered with sweat glands like human bodies, so they don't benefit much from electric fans. Go ahead and switch off the overhead and table-side fan when you leave the house.