Low temperature in the house at night? Think also of your pet

In order to save on gas consumption, many people will refuse heating in the fall of 2022. By warming yourself with a blanket, for example, it is not necessary to heat the whole house. But is this low temperature good for our pets? Especially when the temperatures drop more at night.

It is not easy to find the answer to that. He. She Companion Animals to the National Information Center (LICG) in the scientific literature. We explain the best conditions at home for each type of animal.


Dogs can generally tolerate slightly lower temperatures. But it varies a lot by species and breed. This is why there is no single constant temperature, says LICG. “Dogs with very thick fur, such as Bernese Mountain Dogs, sometimes find it too warm in our house and like to lounge outside or on cold tiles. So it’s not too bad for them if the heating goes down a bit,” says Saskia Uber of LICG. Very thin ones, like the Vizsla, are less happy in cooler temperatures.”

“And older dogs, dogs that have something wrong (illness or, for example, have joint complaints), but young dogs also need more heat. Small dogs have more difficulty maintaining their body temperature than large dogs because the space Their surface is relatively large. It is therefore necessary to provide a good place to lie in, for example, warm blankets, preferably slightly off the ground and especially on an air gun.”

It’s very different for each breed, says Marieki Dykstra, MD, an internal medicine physician at the emergency clinic and specialty clinic AniCura Medical Center for Animals. It also depends on what the animal likes. “The Akita or New Foundlander loves cold temperatures. But the Ridgeback, for example, gets cold quickly.”

the cats

Cats are warm animals. They can also find a place more easily than the dogs themselves. But make sure there are enough places to sleep and rest, with a soft, warm surface such as rugs, blankets, and baskets. Or, say, boxes with rugs to hide in,” says Saskia. Naked cats, as well as hairless dogs, need higher temperatures. They don’t have an insulating coat.

Suitable temperature for dogs and cats

according to LICG So it is difficult to name a specific temperature. dragonfly He talks about not worrying about 18-degree temperatures. A temperature in the house of 15 degrees can be alarming for sick and elderly dogs and cats. The animal also needs time to adapt. In nature, dogs and cats also have to deal with low temperatures. But because they live outside all the time, they make a good winter coat. In an animal that lives primarily indoors, this usually does not occur or occurs less frequently.

Internal medicine specialist Marieke Dijkstra also points out that it is difficult to report a stable temperature. According to her, it is still tailor-made. “People can take that into account, for example, making a nice warm hole for the animals. The cold often comes from the ground, so a thick (boney) pillow is nice for them. Especially for older, sicker animals.”

dog dicks. Photo: AniCura


If you have rabbits at home, cold temperatures don’t matter much. They can handle that well. The only thing they can not tolerate is large changes in temperature. “If you allow it to reach 15 degrees at night, but if you heat it back up to 21 degrees during the day, that’s a good difference. In this case, make sure there is enough hay and hay to hide in and of course the rabbits should be kept with a homogenizer so that they can also Keeping each other warm, says Saskia Uber.Hypothermia threatens a sick rabbit if it gets too cold in the house.Rabbits or older species with thin or short coats also keep themselves warm.

guinea pigs and hamsters

Guinea pigs do not tolerate cold well. It is better for these pets to keep the temperature above 18 degrees. It also does not tolerate greater temperature differences. A big pile of hay to wrap around and a companion to keep warm. Hamsters can tolerate low temperatures well, but they go into hibernation or hibernation. Then they lower their metabolism to conserve energy. Below 10 degrees a hamster can go into hibernation.

rats and mice

Also, rats and mice do not like cold temperatures. For this, the temperature should be above 18 degrees, but preferably from 20 degrees. Preference experiments with rats and hamsters show that animals during the day, when they are less active, prefer warmer temperatures than at night. For hamsters, a temperature of about 33 degrees applies during the day, for rats from 27 to 28 degrees. At night it is about 5 degrees cooler.

Terrarium and Aquarium

Usually the aquarium or aquarium is already heated. But they also have to maintain the right temperature at night. The colder it is in the house, the more difficult it is for the heating to work. This causes additional consumption. He. She LICG Also tips to make sure the heating of the accommodation is strong enough to also get the desired temperature at night. This also applies to other animal enclosures that require a warmer environment.

the birds

The temperature shouldn’t be too low for the birds either. Especially if you have small birds or birds from the tropics. But an old, sick or bald bird can have problems if the temperature is too cold.

keep warm

what according to LICG Another factor is whether the animal is active during the day or at night. In the period of rest, the temperature of the animal can rise. If you want to lower the temperature in the house at night, you should pay close attention to the animal that lives in the house. Pay close attention to your pet’s behavior, says Saskia Uber. Make sure they have enough places to relax and warm up. For example, shelters with hay and nesting material. And possibly heating (part of) the housing. Consider, for example, the use of a small infrared heat lamp. This way you will not disrupt the cycle of light and dark.”

For some animals, you can also use special heating pads (not electric) or hot water bottles (made of metal and with a sturdy lid). “Pay attention to safety and it is suitable for the animal species. It should not be wired, hot water should not be able to escape and it should not be able to eat. The animal should also be able to move away from the jug,” concludes Saskia.

(Source: LICG, Libelle, AniCura. Photo: Shutterstock)

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