How to tackle pets’ separation anxiety while managing your home’s ‘carbon pawprint’

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26 May 2021
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E.ON teams up with expert vet and TV presenter, Dr Scott Miller, to reveal the sustainable ways pet owners can help minimise their home’s ‘carbon pawprint.

With a sharp rise in the number of pets over the past 12 months3, it’s little surprise that our ownership of pets may have had an adverse impact on our energy use, creating pets’ own ‘carbon pawprints’.

With lockdown now easing and Brits slowly heading back to normality, new research from E.ON with 2,000 pet owners has found more than half have adopted various habits to help keep their pets calm and comfortable. Many of these habits can increase households’ carbon emissions – something which almost half of pet owners surveyed are unaware of. Six in ten put devices on , including the TV and radio. When asked why they leave devices on for their pets, they say it’s to keep their pet company.

When choosing which TV shows to leave on, Line of Duty, EastEnders and Planet Earth were among pet owners’ favourites. Other popular shows included Blue Planet, Coronation Street and This Morning.

To help pet owners across the country care for their pet more sustainably, E.ON has teamed up with expert vet and TV presenter, Dr Scott Miller, to provide his top five tips:

 

1. Keep it cool – Stress and anxiety can lead to an increase in your pets’ body temperature, something which is exacerbated by a warm house.

And make sure that you have an energy efficient boiler for those colder days when you do need the heating on – you’ll save both energy and spend less on your heating bills while still keeping your pet comfortable. E.ON’s tado° smart thermostat is another great way to manage your home’s temperature when you’re not there. It not only monitors the weather forecast for you, but also allows you to control your heating from your phone.

2. Turn on the TV – Outside sounds and strange noises can worsen separation anxiety, so use gentle background noise, such as a radio or TV to muffle these and reduce any negative reactions to them. While this is an energy-consuming way of soothing your pet, you can cut down how much power you use simply by turning down the TV screen brightness.

Keep an eye on your energy use with a smart meter to help make sure you’re only using the energy you need to when keeping your pet calm and comfortable. And ensure you’re with an energy supplier that provides 100% renewable electricity6, like E.ON.

3. Enrich their environment – From toys to interactive food gadgets, there are so many great ways to entertain your pet when you leave the house. Encouraging your pet to ‘work’ for their food, stimulating their problem-solving abilities and engaging them in a task are all great ways to focus your dog or cat on something positive rather than the negative feelings of your departure.

4. To light or not to light – Many owners like to keep a light on for their pampered pets, something which can use up a lot of energy over time. But many pet owners might not be aware that dogs are naturally nocturnal and can see better in the dark than you can.

5.Practice makes perfect – If your pet is suffering with the common issue of separation anxiety as lockdown eases, you must try to keep some separation from them even when you’re in the house together.