Will a pet door affect your energy bill?
Pet doors are convenient for pet owners and pets, but they can affect energy bills. A poorly made or improperly installed pet door will create unwanted drafts that increase energy bills and reduce the overall comfort level of your home. The wrong type of door also may be pushed open during high winds.
Consider installing a pet door certified by the Alliance to Save Energy, or one that has a double or triple flap. These types of pet doors can reduce energy loss and make life easier for you and your furry friends.
The best solution may be a high-quality electronic door that is activated by a chip on your pet’s collar.
It’s difficult to undo a pet door installation, so we suggest doing your homework before taking the leap. There may be other strategies that will give you and your pet some of the convenient benefits without the downsides.
How much hot and cold can your pup and tabby handle?
Cats and dogs can handle the cold better than humans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, which regulates facilities that house cats and dogs, requires facilities to maintain temperatures above 50 F.
Some exceptions are allowed for breeds accustomed to the cold or if some form of insulation is provided for the animals. Your pet’s tolerance really depends on their breed and coat thickness.
A report by the Purdue Center for Animal Science says Siberian huskies can tolerate temperatures below freezing, but some short-haired dogs require temperatures of 59 F or warmer. Older animals may require warmer temperatures than younger ones.
During summer, cats and dogs handle the heat in different ways. Cats clearly enjoy warmer temperatures more than dogs, and do a good job reducing their activity level as temperatures climb. But both cats and dogs can get overheated. The USDA says room temperatures in facilities housing dogs or cats should not exceed 85 F for more than four hours at a time.
Is it OK if your pet sleeps in the garage overnight?
USDA rules suggest this should be fine if your garage temperature stays between 50 F and 85 F. Pets might be able to handle a lower temperature if they have a warm, insulated bed.
I do not recommend heating or cooling your garage for your pet. This could lead to extremely high energy bills, which makes sense. An uninsulated, but heated, garage could easily cost more to heat than a home. A better solution is a heated pet house, which you can buy from multiple retailers. If you’re willing to spend a little more, you can find climate-controlled pet houses that include heating and cooling options.
You can also buy heated beds for cats and dogs. Some beds use as little as 4 watts of electricity, so they won’t drain your energy bill.