How Hot is Too Hot: Air Conditioning for Pets
The weather outside is heating up and so are your furry friends. Your cat has turned into a pool of fur melted across your floor and your dog’s panting is your new summer soundtrack.
In a bid to beat behind-the-knee-sweat (we’ve all been there) you open up your Close Comfort full blast, and your cat jumps on your lap looking grateful, which is a first. Obviously while you’re home you can ‘chill’ together, but what about when you go out, should you leave your air conditioning on for your pets?
Pet Air Conditioning: Yes or No?
The general consensus from veterinarians is YES; create a cooler environment for your animals, because if you’re suffering from the heat, your 4-legged friends most certainly are.
Dogs and cats generally run 3-4°C hotter than humans and unlike us they can’t sweat. As they can’t drop their furs off at coat check they have to deal with the heat their own way…
Dogs keep cool by panting, which evaporates moisture from their lungs and takes the heat away from their bodies. However, in extreme heat and humidity, panting simply exchanges hot air for hotter air, which can leave them at risk of heat exhaustion.
When it comes to keeping dogs cool, short-nosed dogs like bulldogs or pugs cannot cool themselves easily enough through panting and dogs that come from colder climates and have shaggier, thicker coats, like Newfoundlands or huskies, need a little extra help adjusting to the heat, so air con certainly helps.
Cats turn to grooming themselves more in hot temperatures, with the evaporating saliva causing a cooling effect, much like sweating for humans. Cats are also the masters of minimising movement when it gets too hot, as well as finding the coolest spot in the house to hide when the heat is on. But sometimes curling up in the bathroom sink isn’t enough to keep your cat cool.
The Perfect Temperature
Both dogs and cats can cool themselves more efficiently in cooler air. Older animals, especially those who are overweight or have health issues, are at more risk when the mercury is rising. A good rule of thumb for air con is if it’s comfortable for you, it’s comfortable for your furry friends.
Other heat busting tips are to close blinds and curtains to create shade for your animals and to make sure they always have plenty of access to fresh water and circulating air.
Won’t my pets just adjust to the heat?
According to Meteorological Service Singapore, 2019 was the equal hottest on record. With the weather getting increasingly warmer, finding effective and financially viable cooling solutions will be an ongoing issue for most households.
Some might argue that leaving the air con on for an animal is overkill as dogs and cats are very adaptive. This is true, but only to a point. While they may get used to rising temperatures over time, sudden spikes will still affect them negatively.
Is All Day Air Conditioning an Option?
With climate change now a pressing issue, leaving your energy-guzzling wall mounted unit or ducted home aircon running all day is just not on. Soaring power costs also make this a less viable option.
Air-conditioning accounts for up to 40 per cent of the electricity bill for the average household, according to a 2018 study from Singapore’s National Environment Agency, so these costs can quickly mount up.
Close Comfort, on the other hand, uses so little energy and has such a small amount of greenhouse-sensitive refrigerant, you can now cool your little friend all day without it being on your conscience. Plus with using at least 75% less power than the smallest standard air conditioners, you can keep them cool for less than $0.80 a day, or far less with even the smallest solar panels.
Portable Air Con Solutions for Pets
You can help your pets adapt to the heat with a COOL FOCUS Personal Portable Air Conditioner, the perfect solution for a cool corner just for pets.
Small, portable and with no pipe or window kit necessary, the COOL FOCUS does as the name suggests; focused cooling in one simple plug and play action. The unit is easily portable with its wheeling action and ability to work on batteries, solar and small generators even when you’re on the road in far off places.
With its directional front flap, you can also direct the refrigerated cool air right where your pet needs it most. Direct the air upwards if they’re on a couch, or downwards if they’re a smaller pet or prefer to sleep on the ground.
The COOL FOCUS has gentle cooling, enough so that Buddy can feel the wind in his fur, along with a remote control to adjust the temperature and cooling speed as needed. Since the unit uses just 300 Watts of electricity it needs at least 75% less power to run than the smallest standard portable air con units, making it an energy-efficient and cost-effective solution to keep your best friend cool.