Besotted pet owners spend up to £584.7 million extra on energy a year

With the temperatures dropping, many of us have the health, safety, and warmth of our pets at the forefront of our minds.

But what lengths do you go to, to keep your beloved animals’ cost? New research from Confused.com reveals the average energy spend per household is £121 a year.

Many pet owners are guilty of leaving the radio on when they go out or even powering up the heating on cold days for their pet, but how much is this costing us? And how can we reduce it without sacrificing with comfort of our pet?

Confused.com surveyed 2,000 UK pet owners to find out just how often they’re powering up electricity for their pets. This alongside costs for each appliance has revealed just how much electricity we’re using each year on our pampered pets.

Latest figures from PDSA reveal that there are 10.9 million cats and 9.9 million dogs living in UK households but how much these pampered pets are costing us.

It is revealed that cat owners across the UK are spending £584.7 million extra on energy by dog owners who spend slightly less at £514.7 million to keep their pets comfortable at home.

The survey results showed that 22% of Brits are willing to send more money on energy bills to provide comfort for their pets with 13% of pet owners admitting to powering up an electric heating source for their furry friend 3-7 times a week.

It also revealed that 35% of pet owners were conscious about their pet’s comfort at home when they are not there – so it comes at no surprise that 28% of pet owners put the radio on every day while 25% leave the television on every day.

The main difference between cat and dog owner’s energy usage was the use of electric fires and radiators. Cat owners use the most energy to keep their pets pampered at an average cost of £858 per cat over their lifespan while dog owners spend slightly less at £675.

Expensive creature comforts

The survey revealed that 21% of pet owners care more about their pet’s welfare and comfort than their own. A further 6% admitted to being unsure about how to look after their pet without spending lots of money on energy. But how much is too much?

Powering up an electric heater/radiator was the most expensive creature comfort costing up to £1,753 per year.

Reducing the energy we use

Pets are domesticated creatures, but they might not need as much pampering as we think. For some, £50 is a significant percentage of their annual energy bill being spent on their pets.

But how can this be reduced? While more than a third (35%) of pet owners are conscious of their pet’s comfort while they’re not home, nearly one in 10 (8%) are confused about what they can do to keep costs down.

To help pet owners make servings, Confused.com has partnered with Caroline Wilkinson, certified animal behaviourist and founder of BarketPlace. Caroline has explained how people can reduce the energy they use for their pets, without sacrificing their comfort.

Here are some of her top tips:

Rely on natural light – pets are less accustomed to artificial light than us humans. By switching on a light, you may be disturbing their rest.

Reposition your pets’ bed – have your dog’s bed placed in a warm corner of the room where they’ll also get access to natural daylight.

Use layered blankets – if your pets’ bed is well insulated, you shouldn’t need to switch the heating on or use an electric heating source!

Opt for low-energy background noise – if your pets don’t react well to silence, use a radio or low-energy white noise machine, instead of a TV.

Bath your pet on warm days – if you’re bathing your pet, ensure they’ll be able to dry naturally rather than using a blow-dryer.

Max Green, energy expert at Confused.com comments: “We’re a nation of animal lovers, and it’s clear from our research that some of us are spending a significant amount of money to keep them happy, giving them extra comforts, we may not even consider for ourselves.

“We shouldn’t have to cut back on giving our pets these extra treats to save on energy. There are other ways we can reduce our bills without sacrificing their comfort. But how can we do this? We’ve partnered with an animal behaviour expert to highlight ways we can still pamper our pets and save the pennies. Relying on natural light instead of leaving a lamp on, or using blankets for extra heat could ultimately save money on your bills each year.”