10 ways to keep your dog cool without burning your budget

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Pack up your parkas and break out your bathing suits because warmer weather is finally here! Finding ways to save money on your energy bills is trickier in the spring and summer, when all we want to do is blast the A/C and run the ceiling fan while we’re home.

But what about when we’re not home? They’re called the “dog days of summer” for a reason! Remember, your fur-ever friend is stuck inside while you’re on vacation or at work, so it’s important that they’re comfortable, too.

Luckily, keeping your pup cool won’t cost you extra on your monthly energy bills – as long as you follow these simple tips:

1. Be mindful of your dog’s ‘do

A thick coat is your furry friend’s best defense against the cold, but what happens when warm weather rolls around? For single-coated breeds like poodles, terriers and doodle-mixes, a short haircut or shave could help them beat the summer heat. But be careful: double-coated breeds like Australian shepherds and huskies actually need their long fur to keep cool and avoid sunburn.

2. Turn off your ceiling fan

While a [counter-clockwise rotating] ceiling fan provides a cool indoor breeze for humans, your friend’s fur keeps him from feeling such light wafts. Therefore, there’s no need to waste energy by running your fan all day – your pup won’t notice the difference, we promise.

Pug dog in bed

3. Make sure your pup’s bed is warm and cozy

Just like humans, dogs can get chilly at night – but they don’t have down comforters to keep them warm. If you like to turn up the A/C at night, make sure your fur-baby has a cozy blanket he can snuggle up with for bedtime. Consider draping a blanket or towel over his crate as well to create a warm, den-like feel.

4. Cool your pup from the paws, up

If your dog looks like he’s suffering from the heat, cool him off quickly by spraying water on his paws and belly. A cool towel won’t do much where there’s lots of fur, so set it down for him to lie on instead of draping it over his back.

puppy high five

5. If your dog is in his golden years, maintain a regular indoor temperature

Older dogs and dogs with ailments can get achy and itchy if the indoor temperature fluctuates too often, especially if it gets too hot. If you have a programmable thermostat, set it at 76 degrees or cooler when you’re out – your resident senior will thank you.

6. Check your doggy door for air leaks.

Doggy doors are great for homes with enclosed backyards, but people often don’t realize that precious A/C they’re paying for is following Fido outside. If you’re in the market for a pet door, consider this energy efficient design. If you’re looking for a cheaper fix, try adding weather stripping and magnets to keep the door from blowing open with the breeze – this upgrade alone could save you upwards of $7 per month on your energy bill.

dog with bone

7. Opt for natural light

Your doggy’s DNA is programmed to regulate its day by the sun, so leaving the lights on can actually mess with your pup’s sleep schedule (not to mention, your electricity bill.) Instead of leaving the hall lights on when you leave in the morning, simply open the blinds and let nature do its thing.

8. Shut off your electronics.

I know what you’re thinking: “my dog gets bored home alone all day” or, “he likes to watch Animal Planet while I’m gone”; many people think leaving the TV on for their dog provides them entertainment, but it can really be a waste of electricity – and money. Plus, TVs and radios can disturb your puppy’s much-needed naptime, so let him amuse himself with a chew toy or bully stick instead.

puppy outdoors

9. Keep fresh, cool water on ~paw~

Whether your dog is lounging on the couch or sunning outside, access to a cool bowl of water is essential for staving off heat-stroke and dehydration. Toss in a few ice cubes as a crunchy and refreshing bonus (p.s. there’s no need to splurge on Evian – tap will do just fine.)

10. Plan outdoor playtime for the morning or evening

When the mercury rises, mid-day playtime can become unbearable for you and your pup. To exercise your dog without the fear of heat-exhaustion, schedule longer bouts of outdoor play in the morning and evening hours; the temperature will be moderately cooler and there will still be enough light to enjoy a good game of fetch.

The most valuable money-saving energy tip? Switching to a deregulated energy plan with Choose Energy. Enter your ZIP code above to shop plans before the summer rate-hikes begin!

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