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​Whether furry or scaly, hairless or feathered, pet owners will do anything to keep their critters feeling comfortable and happy at home. But what if there was a way to care for our pets while still keeping energy efficiency and the environment top of mind?  

 

Find out if you're guilty of our energy-sucking habits and find out how a few small changes can make a difference.

1.  Leaving the TV on to keep your pet company

Pet owners are all too familiar with the guilt of saying goodbye when it's time to leave the house. Leaving the TV on for your pet may seem like an easy way to comfort them while you're gone, but sometimes it can do more harm than good—especially when it comes to wasting energy.

While energy consumption varies depending on your make and model, leaving your TV on for an extended period of time can cause your monthly consumption to skyrocket. Plus, the constant stimulus can actually confuse your pet and prevent them from resting as much as they normally would.

If you really need to let your pet watch The Food Network while you're away, try plugging your TV into a smart plug and setting a timer so it automatically turns off 10 to 15 minutes after you leave. Your pet will have a chance to relax after you've left—and you'll save energy!

2.  Worrying that your pet is too hot or too cold

We always want our pets to be as comfortable as possible, especially when we aren't there to check up on them, but it's important to remember that a comfortable temperature for us and our pet may not be the same. If you're worried about them being cold in the winter or overheating at home in the summer, you're likely taking it out on your thermostat and wasting energy when you're not around.

Depending on the type of pet and the amount of fur (or lack thereof), their ideal temperature might surprise you and your vet is the perfect resource for helping you determine what that is.  

Once you know the range, a programmable thermostat can help you create a schedule to automatically adjust the temperature when you're not home to put your mind at ease and improve energy efficiency.

3.  Keeping lights on around the house

Unless your pet is afraid of the dark, leaving lights on around your house for them while you're sleeping or out for the night is a waste of energy and can disrupt their natural sleeping patterns.

Pets generally don't need artificial lighting, and most can see just fine in dim or dark settings. The darkness can actually help regulate their internal clocks so by shutting them off, not only is your pet resting happily, but you will too when they don't wake you up in the middle of the night.

If it's a matter of safety and there are areas of your home that need that extra bit of light, try using motion sensors or automated lights on a timer. These use energy only when needed and shut off before it becomes wasteful.

4.  Forgetting to deal with drafts

While drafts around your house are always inefficient, they can also be harmful for pet birds. Since most domesticated birds originate from more tropical locations with warmer climates, drafts can be incredibly uncomfortable for them. Luckily, this can be fixed by checking the seals around your windows and doors and using insulated leak kits to patch them. For a more long-term solution, you can swap them out for ENERGY STAR windows and doors to improve efficiency.

5.  Letting the tap run for your cat

Are you guilty of turning on the tap for your cat to drink from? It's no secret that cats prefer slurping running water, but letting it run for 5 to 10 minutes at a time or forgetting to turn it off altogether is far from eco-friendly. Swap out the tap for a pet fountain that recycles water and uses little electricity to keep the water fresh and moving.

Looking for more energy-saving tips for you and your pets? Check out 4 Places to Remember to Clean If You Have Pets and visit our blog for more ways to boost energy efficiency at home!  


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