How Your Dog And Your Air Conditioner Can Live In Harmony


Many American homes rely on their air conditioning systems to keep cool in summer, but some members of the family may not enjoy the fluctuations in temperature quite so much. In the United States, 47 per cent of families have at least one dog, so with more than 83 million furry friends sharing American homes, it's important to make sure you create a healthy, safe environment for everyone. Learn more about the impacts your air conditioning can have on your dog, and find out what you need to do to make sure he or she stays happy.

How hot weather affects your dog

When the temperature rises, everybody struggles to stay cool, and your dog is no exception. During hot, humid weather, it's easy to see how a natural furry coat can make it difficult to stay cool, so dog owners need to stay vigilant. Dogs cannot sweat through their skin. In fact, the only place they can sweat is through the pads of their feet, so if your furry friend is leaving damp footprints around the house, it means he or she is pretty warm.

To stay cool, dogs pant. This exercise rapidly circulates air through their bodies and helps them cool down. That aside, if your dog has started to pant, it may mean that he or she is already too hot, which can put Fido at risk. If your dog gets too hot, he or she may suffer heat stroke, heat exhaustion or heat cramps. In some cases, heat-related conditions can kill dogs.

Some types of dog are at higher risk than others. Vulnerable dogs include:

  • Puppies aged 6 months or younger
  • Older dogs (such as large breeds over the age of 7)
  • Overweight dogs
  • Brachycephalic dogs (like bulldogs or pugs), whose bodies are particularly intolerant to heat

Unsurprisingly, during hot weather, the first thing many pet owners do is turn the air conditioner on, but is this the right thing to do?

How air conditioners affect your dog

Generally speaking, your air conditioner won't cause your dog harm. That aside, it's important to consider the wider impacts of your air conditioner on your dog's life.

If your home is constantly cool, your dog may become more susceptible to hot temperatures outside. As such, you may need to take extra precautions to keep the dog cool while exercising in the sun. Try not to make your pet dependent on the air conditioning, and find other ways to keep him or her cool. Things to consider include cooling the house with blinds, buying a cool mat or keeping your pet in the basement during hot periods.

Air conditioning is NOT a substitute for fresh air. Indeed, if you lock all the doors and windows of your house and rely on the air conditioner, you can threaten your dog's life. In 2014, 20 dogs died at an Arizona boarding kennel when one of the animals chewed through the power line. With no fresh air, the dogs died a sweltering death. Do not leave animals in an environment that could become dangerous if the air conditioning fails.

The air conditioning can also make the house too cold for your dog. In some cases, owners who crank the air conditioning up will find their furry friends shivering at the end of the bed. Try to use the air conditioning with moderation, and stick to a medium setting that will suit everyone's body temperature.

The American Veterinary Medicine Association also recommends that pet owners keep an eye on dogs while the air conditioning is on, as this can help you understand your animal's needs. For example, if the dog constantly sits near the vents, it's more likely that he or she enjoys and can cope with the cool air.

How your dog can harm your air conditioner

Air conditioning can help your dog stay cool, but he or she won't always respect the machinery that makes his or her life more comfortable. It may surprise you to learn that your dog could actually damage your air conditioner. Some dogs develop the unpleasant habit of urinating on the air conditioning condenser that sits outside your home. What's more, once the dog picks up this habit, it's difficult to kick.

The urine from your dog can corrode the metallic refrigerant coil in your air conditioning. Over time, this will stop the system working efficiently, and you will need to call your local air conditioning contractor for repairs. As such, you should keep your dog away from the condenser at all times. If necessary, plant short, spiky bushes immediately around the equipment to deter wanton urinating pets.

You and your family may rely on your air conditioning system during the hotter months, but you should also consider how the cool air affects your dog. Fortunately, if you use the system responsibly, your furry friends can enjoy the chill factor just as much as you and your loved ones.


6 July 2015

Learning About HVAC Services

Hi there, I am Nadine Bachmier. I am going to discuss the various ways HVAC contractors can keep the temperatures in your business stable. HVAC contractors focus on maintaining and repairing the air conditioner, furnace, and ductwork used in your building. To keep the heating and cooling system in good shape, contractors may need to replace internal components, clean out channels, or simply perform a full upgrade. I will talk about the tools and techniques used to maintain and repair the equipment in your building. I will also share information about new products as they hit the HVAC market. I hope you will follow along and learn all you can.