When the temperatures outside become unbearable in the hot summer months and frigid winter wind, humans can close the windows and switch on the heating and air conditioning units. While humans can listen to the clues their bodies give as to when to turn up the dial on the thermostat, our pets are not able to let us know when they’re feeling too hot or too cold.
Animals do not regulate their body temperatures in the same way humans do. If the temperature in your home causes you to be uncomfortable, it is very likely that your pet is also affected. It is important to pay close attention to your pets’ behaviors, as they may be in danger if action is not taken quickly enough.
When the temperature is too warm for a dog, you might see him panting, drinking excessively or laying on a cool tile floor. On the other hand, if your dog is shivering or burrowing under the blankets when he usually is playful, this is a sign that he may be cold and you should turn the thermostat up a few degrees. Dogs may be kept cooler in the summer months by keeping their hair cut shorter, and letting it grow longer in the winter.
Much like dogs, you may see cats and birds drinking a lot if they become too hot. Birds may also fluff their feathers when they get too hot as well. It is additionally important for all pets, especially birds, to maintain a healthy level of humidity in your home. Low humidity levels in your home can cause your pet to have dry, itchy skin which can create more serious problems. An easy way to counterbalance the low humidity issue during the dry winter months is to run a humidifier in your home.
The best way to make sure your home is comfortable for both you and your pet is to schedule regular air conditioning maintenance for your heating and air conditioning systems– preferably twice a year, before the summer and winter seasons. This will help to ensure that your heating and air conditioning systems do not break down during the extreme temperatures, leaving you and your pets uncomfortable.
Observing your pet’s behavior, scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance, and maintaining appropriate humidity levels will make for a comfortable home for both you and your pets year-round.