Can air conditioning make cats or dogs sick?

Can Air Conditioning Make Cats or Dogs Sick?

Some of the most common questions we are asked come from concerned pet owners, who ask “can cats get sick from air conditioning?” or “can dogs get sick from air conditioning?”.

These questions are important when deciding whether you should install air conditioning in your home. After all, your pets are part of your family.

Thankfully, the risks to pets from air conditioning are minimal. Really, it can be a massive benefit for your cat, dog, rabbit, parrot, or any other animal to have a regulated, comfortable temperature in your home. Not to mention how significant a benefit it is for you to come home to a beautiful, cool apartment on hot, muggy days in London!

We have outlined some concerns we have had from clients below, and we hope our answers help you in your decision-making process – please feel free to call with any questions.

Also, check out this short video from Savva, our Technical Director, who shares how air conditioning can actually help your pet.

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WHY WOULD YOUR CAT OR DOG NEED AIR CONDITIONING?

Plenty of people know how much warm air can affect a pet. If your cat or dog has long hair – a particular trait of species from colder climates – you might find that they struggle in the summer months. As Savva explains, even rabbits and other less common animals might struggle in the sweltering heat.

This is especially true when your pet is left at home during the day. While they might seem perfectly fine during most of the year when the temperature starts to rise just a little bit too high, it can leave cats and dogs feeling uncomfortable. So, to stop your pet from overheating and an unwanted trip to the vet, cooling down your apartment is essential.

Because you don’t want to leave a window open with no one at home for security reasons, fully internal air conditioning seems like the natural solution.

As such, a completely internal air conditioning solution is a natural, reliable way to keep your pet happy and healthy when you’re out and about. It doesn’t just cool you down, it cools pets down, too.

BUT ARE THERE ANY RISKS OF HAVING AIR CONDITIONING WITH A DOG OR A CAT?

We’ve seen why people might want to install air conditioning units when thinking about their pets, but that doesn’t help us with the initial question.

When you’re deciding whether air conditioning might be the solution in your home, you want to be extra careful. Asking “can my dogs get sick from air conditioning” isn’t so much a throwaway question as it is an important consideration.

In short, there are no real risks for pets when being left at home with the air conditioning activated. At times when the temperature is high enough that you’d begin to consider cooling the air, your pet likely has other concerns.

Dogs and cats have been on the planet for far longer than our modern technology, and they’ve survived harsher conditions than a slightly chilly room.

In asking questions such as “can cats get sick from air conditioning”, it’s often best to think about it in a different context.

There are reasons to be cautious when leaving your air conditioning on, but your pet’s health should always be a primary concern and – most importantly – cats and dogs often appreciate the chance to cool down on a hot day.

Far from getting sick, many pets will enjoy an escape from the scorching temperatures.

HOW TO KNOW WHEN YOUR PET IS STRUGGLING WITH THE HEAT

Cats and dogs do tend to get warm in the summer. Just like us, they find stuffy, stagnant rooms with little airflow to be uncomfortable.

Dogs and cats don’t sweat nearly as much as humans, however. Like many mammals, their solution to overheating is to pant, releasing warm air and cooling their bodies.

In the summer, you’ll often find that dogs need more cooling than their feline counterparts. This is due to a variety of reasons. Mostly it’s because they tend to create more heat as a result of their increased muscle activity. Cats are more likely to simply lay around, while dogs are more active.

In both animals, you’ll find that species with shorter muzzles overheat quicker. Examples would include bulldogs, pugs, and Persian cats. This is because of their reduced ability to pant, so these pets, in particular, can benefit from air conditioning.

To find out more information about whether air conditioning should be left on with pets alone in the home, the American news outlet Mother Jones asked a number of vets and veterinary associations for their expert opinions.

Their conclusions suggested that, far from making pets sick, air conditioning can prevent dogs and cats from getting too warm.

As overheating is far likelier to be dangerous for a cat or dog, it helps to err on the side of caution.

Make sure your furry friend is kept cool and comfortable.

 

PETS & AIR CONDITIONING: THINGS TO REMEMBER

However, that’s not to say that installing air conditioning is a one-stop-shop for anyone with pets. There are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re worried about your pets in the summer months. These include:

  • Air conditioning is at its most effective and efficient when it is set at an optimum temperature for your home and left to gently tick over through the day. Ask our team about our iFeel feature to ensure that the unit is used to its greatest effect. 
  • Humidity can be just as uncomfortable for pets as the heat. Thankfully, our fully internal air conditioning solutions have filters to dehumidify and clean the air, which can be very helpful in these situations.
  • It’s important to make sure that your pet always has access to water, especially when the temperature rises.
  • Finally, remember never to leave a pet alone for too long, even if the air conditioning is on.
  • If you keep these factors in mind, you can make sure that your pet is as comfortable as possible.

If there’s anything, you’d like to ask about air conditioning and how your pets will react, call us today, and we’ll be more than happy to answer any questions you have.

By setting up a system to set the right temperature, you can have peace of mind that your little friends are comfortable at home.