£78m spent on keeping pets warm, survey finds

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17th November 2015 17:36 - Utilities

Research published by the Energy Saving Trust has revealed that pet owners are spending more than £78 million per year on keeping their £78m spent on keeping pets warm, survey findspets warm, with many people admitting to keeping central heating, radios and televisions switched on when they are not home.

The survey of 2,521 people revealed that 43 per cent of pet owners leave the heating on for their cats and dogs when they are out of the home. As well as this, more than 25 per cent leave the radio on and 10 per cent leave the TV switched on.

The survey revealed that the extra energy used on their pets costs more than £78 million every year. The researchers found that it was heating which accounted for the majority of the wasted money (£74.5m). It was also found that £2.6m is spent on keeping TVs on and £1.3m is spent on keeping radios switched on.

Keeping central heating switched during the day for pets could potentially add up to £140 per year for the average household.

Chief Executive at the Energy Saving Trust, Phillip Sellwood, said of the research findings:

"On average we spend more than half of our energy bills on heating, so to spend more money when we're not there for pets that have fur coats isn't essential,

"We are urging householders to programme their heating to reduce energy use and save money."

Chairwoman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, Rosie Barclay, said:

"Dogs and cats by and large are designed for the outdoors and don't necessarily need the heating left on for them," she said in a statement. "It's far better to let the temperature reduce gradually when you head off to work, then gradually increase when you get back. You can do this quite easily by programming your heating."

Barclay added that switching a TV and radio on for a pet before leaving the house can actually heighten their distress, as it is a signal that their owner is about to leave them. Barclay suggested leaving toys for the pet to play with in an owner’s absence instead.

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