Is Air Conditioning Good For Your Pets?


Pet ownership has its learning curve, especially for new pet owners. Most issues seem to have a way of sorting themselves out, usually through harmless reactions indicated from them. For example, if a dog is hungry, they’ll let you know by moving their bowl or picking it up. And cats may try to get your attention by walking you to the food source. The same applies to pets and air conditioning. But just how good is it for pets?

Air Conditioning and Pets

Not everyone is aware of the average body temperature of cats and dogs, two of the most common household pets. A healthy body temperature for dogs is 101 degrees. With cats, it ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees. That’s about a three-degrees higher difference than people, which averages around 98 degrees.

In any indoor or outdoor setting you go, your dog or cat will feel slightly warmer than you do. It’s normal since pets contain fur that acts as a protector against the cold. But in a hot outdoor temperature, indoor warmth could spell irritability for your pet companion. Pets aren’t immune to debilitating effects from taking in too much heat. For owners to keep them comfortable, it’s perfectly normal to run air conditioning in their presence.

Exotic Pets and Humidity

Some exotic pets, such as iguanas, can live in slightly cool indoor environments but may require humidity that’s achievable only through running a humidifier. The best air conditioners for some reptiles could be the portable kind with built-in humidifiers, products that are portable and small enough for placement within the vicinity of their living area.

However, going back to dogs and cats, just an AC should be enough. You don’t have to run it too high. If you do, you might find them making frequent trips outside to bake in the sun, at least for a couple of minutes. It’s pertinent that you provide dogs and cats with enough warming material for them to stay relaxed when you’re at home or away. At home, a comfortable range for your thermostat is between 67 and 71 degrees.

You could set it slightly higher or lower based on the seasonal temperatures outside. These are also temps that are common for people without pets. Therefore, keeping it around these numbers shouldn’t make you or others members of the household uncomfortable. If you have an AC with variable controls of the duct’s different routes, you could change the temperature in one room while leaving it the same in others.

Small Pets

When puppies or kittens are around, be sure to provide them with extra fabric to keep them warm. An additional blanket might be enough. Large dogs with thicker fur may become hot faster. They may have no problems with how you currently run your AC when the temperature remains lower than 60 degrees. Anything lower than that is usually cold to dogs, though setting it lower might be required to keep areas of your home from getting too hot, areas unreachable by the AC system.

To finalize, remember that your pets aren’t immune to either heat or old extremes. But many animals kept as pets have adapted to or have always been easy in providing proper cooling.