Should I Leave My Air Conditioner On for My Dogs?

Jul 07, 2021

One of the best ways you can save money on your air conditioning bills, especially over the summer, is to set your programmable thermostat to higher temperatures while you’re away from home. However, if you leave your four-legged friend at home while you’re away, you probably want to know if it’s safe to leave your air-conditioner off.

While it’s usually not safe to shut your AC off entirely while you have dogs at home, a few factors affect the best temperature for your dog’s unique needs. Learn more about if it’s safe to leave your air-conditioner off and some factors you’ll want to take into account when selecting the right temperature for man’s best friend.

Is It Safe to Leave the Air-Conditioner Off While Dogs Are at Home?

Unlike humans, dogs can’t shed some clothes to account for hotter temperatures. Instead, they’re stuck in their coats, so it’s crucial you create an environment they can stay comfortable in. If a dog’s temperature exceeds 104-degrees, it can suffer from heatstroke.

Since excess humidity and heat can raise a dog’s internal temperature, it’s important you keep your air-conditioner on when you leave your dog at home.

Ideal Temperature Settings for Pets

Though it’s not safe to turn your air conditioner off while dogs are left alone at home, you can still usually set the temperature a little higher. For most dogs, you can set the temperature somewhere between 78 to 80-degrees Fahrenheit to keep them safe and comfortable.

This is a recommended energy conservation setting by the Department of Energy, and it will help you save money while keeping your dogs protected. In addition to your AC settings, you might consider getting your pups a cooling floor mat and leaving them with plenty of cold water while you are away.

Main Factors Affecting a Safe Temperature for Dogs

While it’s usually safe to set your thermostat between 78 and 80-degrees, a few factors affect how safe certain temperatures are for dogs. For example, a dog’s age, coat, weight, and size can all affect the temperature they need to stay comfortable and safe. Check out some of the primary factors you should consider when trying to decide what temperature to set your AC at for your dog:

  • Coat: One of the most obvious factors affecting a safe temperature is your four-legged friend’s coat. A shorter-haired dog is more likely to be happy and safe in 78-degree temperatures. However, a dog with a heavy coat or long hair will usually need it a little cooler. Since these dogs’ coats will keep them warmer over the summer, it’s usually best to keep your temperature between 72 and 75-degrees while you’re away from home.
  • Health: Some health conditions can affect your dog’s ability to regulate its body’s temperature. Some of the most common health issues include arthritis, thyroid issues, kidney problems, and infections. If your dog has a health issue, make sure to talk to your veterinarian about what temperature you can safely set your AC at to keep them comfortable.
  • Weight: If you have a dog that’s carrying around a little extra weight, you’ll likely want to keep your home cooler. Since more body fat can make it harder for your pet to cool down, it’s usually a good idea to keep your home in the low to mid-70s if you have a dog on the heavier side.
  • Age: As a dog gets older, it’ll start to have more joint issues. A warmer environment can help ease joint pain, so an older dog can benefit from you keeping the temperature in the high 70s. Puppies can also benefit from warmer temperatures, as it can serve as a substitute for their mother’s warmth. If you only have a puppy at home that can’t cuddle with their mom or another dog, temperatures in the high 70s can help them be more comfortable.
  • Size: When a dog is bigger, they’re usually better at handling higher temperatures. While you shouldn’t shut your AC off when you leave a bigger dog at home, you can usually set it at the general recommended range of 78 to 80-degrees. If you have a smaller dog, you’ll likely want to set your programmable thermostat to a temperature in the low to mid-70s.

Turn to Newcomb and Company for Energy-Efficient AC Systems and Services in Raleigh

At Newcomb and Company, we know how important it is for you and your dogs to stay comfortable in your home over hot summer months. As a result, we regularly outfit our client’s homes with efficient air conditioners to ensure you save money and get the best performance while running your AC. Since we offer comfort contracts where we come to your home regularly to perform maintenance and inspect your system, we can keep your energy-efficient AC system running at its best.

If you’re in Raleigh, Wilmington, or surrounding areas and need local air conditioning repair, review our HVAC repair and replacement services today. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or want to schedule a service!

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