Winter weather is dangerous.
Severe cold, snow, sleet, and freezing rain can make driving treacherous and can lead to other problems such as water pipes bursting in your home.
Winter is also the time when you’ll use more energy to heat your home causing heating costs to increase.
However, winter is also a dangerous time for your pets, particularly when it comes to potential hazards related to heating your home. What should you know about winter heating options and pet safety?
Let’s take a closer look at the topic.
Keep Them Indoors
Before we discuss how your heating choices will affect your pet’s health, we need to cover a different topic.
One of the most important winter tips for pet health is this – if it’s cold outside, make sure you keep your dogs and cats in the house.
While outdoor time will be necessary to let your pet do their business, exposure to the elements should be limited to ensure safety.
Never leave pets outdoors in subzero temperatures. Yes, while they do have fur to keep their body temperature regulated, that will not necessarily keep them safe from the chill of winter. In serious situations, exposure to cold temperatures can lead to frostbite, dehydration, and even death.
If you frequently groom your pet, consider slowing down or taking a break for the winter.
Let your pet’s coat grow, as this will help keep them more comfortable when the temperature plummets.
Of course, longer hair is more easily matted, so you’ll need to make sure you at least lightly brush your pet’s coat to prevent this. Matting is more than just keeping the fur from being tangled – matting actually prevents your pet from regulating their body temperature correctly.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s consider how your choices in home heating affect your pet’s health.
The Envi Heater
When it comes to heating your home and ensuring your pets are happy and healthy during the winter, the Envi Heater is an excellent option.
This powerful yet energy efficient heater helps ensure you can keep your pet warm during the winter without any safety issues. It’s completely safe to touch, has no forced air component, and can be run 24-hours per day without any harm to your pet.
Forced Central Heat
Forced central heat is perhaps the most common means of heating a home in the US, but it’s not so great for your pet’s health. The furnace heats up (generally by using electricity, natural gas or heating oil), and then air is blown across the heater elements. This air then travels through the ductwork in your house, warming each room as it goes.
The problem here is that forced central heat can cause the same conditions in your pet that it does for you.
The most obvious being that it dries out the air, causing dry, cracking, or broken skin. However, because your pet is covered with fur, you may not notice this problem until it becomes an issue and he or she starts to chew, creating painful skin rashes known as hotspots. Before this becomes a problem, in addition to light grooming of your pet, consider using a moisturizing shampoo to help combat wintertime dry skin.
Radiators also use electricity, natural gas, or heating oil to boil water, which, as you can imagine, is far less safe for your pet than the Envi.
Radiators don’t dry the air out the same way that forced central heating systems do, but they can be problematic for your pet in other ways – they’re extremely hot. If your pet comes into contact with them, they will be burned, despite their fur.
Other Space Heaters
Space heaters come in a number of different styles and types, ranging from convection to radiant heat designs, but they all suffer from flaws not found with the Envi Heater. You might be tempted to use a space heater to keep your pet warm, particularly if you keep your pet in the garage, or if their kennel is in a cooler part of the home and you want to warm them while they sleep at night. A space heater is not the way to do this, though.
While you can find space heaters with a number of safety features, they are all hot to the touch, which means that if your pet were to brush up against it, they would be burned.
In the end, the Envi heater is proven to be the safest and most effective option to keep your pet warm and safe during the winter.