Pet owners can waste up to £140

Worried pet owners can waste up to £140 a year by keeping lights, radio, TV or heating on when they leave the house, according the Energy Savings Trust (EST).

Animal experts warn this could actually do more harm than good. According to Rosie Barclay, chairwoman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors “Even something like leaving the television on when you go out can actually trigger separation anxiety and stress for your pet.” Pets are clever and begin to associate switching on the TV or radio as a precursor to you leaving them.

Pets have different needs when it comes to staying warm and comfortable, but a lot of pet owners humanise their pets, thinking they enjoy the same things we do. “Dogs and cats by and large are designed for the outdoors and don’t necessarily need the heating left on for them,” said Ms. Barclay.

Prior to doing this research, I would leave the TV on for my dog when leaving the house. She tends to be a fan of NCIS re-runs and also the history channel.

Most experts agree it is better to leave a toy or treats out as opposed to leaving the heating or appliances on. Some even recommend leaving a t-shirt that you have worn, as your smell will likely give them far more comfort.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive at Energy Saving Trust, said: “We do understand Brits love their pets so we’re not about to start asking people to switch things off. We just want to make sure that everyone is aware of the facts so they can heat their home comfortably and affordably.”

With a cold winter a head of us, be sure to take into account the needs of your pet, but also be wary of spending unnecessary money.

1 Express. The mistake that costs Britons £140 a year in wasted energy Accessed online 30 November http://www.express.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/619739/UK-pet-owners-waste-140-year-keep-lights-heating-cats-dogs-energy-bills

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