The Sunshine State is a great place to own pets. All that Florida sun makes it easy and fun to take our furry friends out for a walk or to one of Jacksonville’s many pet-friendly parks. But during the warmer months, all that sunny weather can make it really hot and humid, especially for your pets.
That’s why it’s important to take care of your AC system and have it serviced regularly, so it can help take care of your pets. To help you out, we’ve listed the best ways to use your AC to keep your pets comfortable and happy.
UNDERSTAND YOUR PET’S OPTIMAL TEMPERATURE
Pets come in all sizes and hair lengths, which means every pet has different heating and cooling needs based on their breed. A short-haired dog, like a Chihuahua or a Boston Terrier, will have an easier time staying cool than a fluffy, long-haired dog or cat, like a Yorkshire Terrier or a Persian cat.
To best understand your pet’s temperature needs, pay close attention to them when they’re at home. If you find that your dog is constantly panting with its tongue out or that your cat continually bathes themselves, the temperature in your home is probably too high for your pets. Even if you’re comfortable in your home, it may be too hot for your pets, especially for long-haired animals. Try turning down the AC a couple degrees, and then monitor their behavior.
KEEP YOUR PETS COOL
During the summer months in Jacksonville, the heat index can reach over a 100 degrees. This is not only dangerous for humans, it’s dangerous for your pets as well. When it’s very hot out, be sure to keep the temperature down on your thermostat, even when you leave the house and your pets are home alone. Keeping your blinds and curtains closed, especially on windows that face the sun, will help insulate your home and keep it cooler, while putting less stress on your AC system.
When it’s very hot out, it’s also good to keep dog walks short and walk in the shade whenever possible. Remember, dogs use four legs to walk, which means they exert twice as much energy as humans. Also, be sure there is plenty of water available for your pets. You can even try putting ice in their water bowls if they don’t mind it.
DON’T NEGLECT YOUR AIR FILTERS
When you have pets, it’s even more important to change your air filters regularly. All that pet hair and dander will soil your air filters faster and cause them to clog up. Not only is this bad for your allergies and the allergies of your guests, a dirty air filter will block airflow in your home. This will keep air from moving through your AC system and across the evaporator coil, which removes the heat from the air, making it hard to keep your home cool for you and your pets. Be sure to replace air filters every month to ensure that your AC system is working effectively and efficiently.