You take great joy in pampering your pets. Dog, cat, or chinchilla, you make sure you give your fluffy friends the very best in life. Keeping them comfortable in your home during the winter is no different. If they experience too many sudden temperature changes, they could be at risk for health issues.

Although dogs and cats can survive between 30 and 115 ºF, your pets deserve a more stable interior temperature. Our blog post today covers the importance of stable temperatures and how to set your thermostat to keep them comfortable while you are away.

Factors That Determine Your Pet’s Ideal Temperature

Your pet has its own biological temperature control capability. This means they can adapt to the temperature they have lived in. As a basic rule of thumb, if you’re comfortable, they are comfortable.

However, several factors help determine whether your cat or dog will do better in cooler or warmer temperatures.

  • Coat type – If your pet has a thick, long coat, they will likely be more tolerant of cold. They also might overheat faster than you. If your pet has short, thin fur, though, it won’t be able to retain body heat as well and will need warmer temperatures.
  • Size – Smaller pets will get colder faster than larger pets. This is because smaller pets have a higher surface-area-to-volume ratio, meaning they have more skin through which to lost body heat, relative to their size.
  • Weight – A more overweight pet will be more insulated against the cold than a thin or fit pet. However, don’t let this fact justify owning obese pets! The health risks associated with obesity outweigh saving on your energy bill.
  • Age and health – Very young and older pets will require warmer temps, as will animals with acute illnesses or chronic joint issues. You may want to add a heating pad for these pets.

Setting Your Thermostat to the Right Temperature

In general, plan to set the thermostat between 69 and 72 ºF when you’re at home. Larger or thick-coated pets may require temperatures on the lower end of this small scale. Keep it warmer for your kitten or old arthritic dog.

While you’re away during the day, set the thermostat no lower than 60 ºF. Again, you’ll want to keep the temperature a little higher for small, young, or sick pets. You can also offer a heating pad, soft bed, and open the curtains on nice days so the sun can shine in.

If you have only cats in your home and no dogs, cats appreciate slightly warmer temperatures. Keep the temperature closer to 75 ºF if you can manage it in the winter. If the cat seems less tolerant to heat, reduce the temperature, leaving it no colder than 60 ºF when you leave.

Keeping your pets comfortable during these cold winter days is easy if you know how to set your thermostat. We recommend investing in a smart thermostat that allows you to time temperature changes to maintain as consistent a temperature as possible.

Also, keep in mind that at Kelly’s Creature Comforts our pet care providers will adjust your thermostat for you when we drop in to check on your pets. Contact us for more information and answers to your questions about winter pet care.