Sheep could be best company for pets left home alone

Creature comforts cost home owners £78 million according to a survey by  the Energy Saving Trust.

A survey by the EST found that half of pet owners leave the heating on for their dog or cat while they are out for the day. While this is costing around £140 per year, a single visit to the vets’ can cost this much, so the cost of the indulgence is not a big incentive to make an energy saving at the expense of our pets’ comfort.

However, dogs and cats have thick fur coats to keep them warm in the winter, and as you may have noticed from the tufts of fur that fall out in the spring, they grow extra thick coats for the winter. They also have a knack of finding the most comfortable, draught free locations in which to snooze between mealtimes. Cats in particular, are masters at this, even following patches of sunlight as the sun moves around the house during the course of the day. They are also masters at avoiding the draughtiest spots, and unless there is a patch of sunlight to doze on will avoid sleeping on the floor as this is where the coldest currents of air are found.

A sleeping cat enjoying some creature comforts in front of the fire

It generally goes unnoticed that the worst of our cold draughts are caused by open chimneys. Over 11 million properties in the UK have open chimneys, and these are like leaving a window open all the time. Chimneys are designed to actively pull air out of a building, and carry on doing this even when a fire isn’t lit. This escaped warm air generally goes unnoticed, but it needs to be replaced so pulls in cold air from around doors and windows in its wake. This cold air passes through the house via gaps under doors, which is why we get cold feet, why your cat doesn’t sleep on the floor, and why your dog sneaks up onto the sofa.

Luckily there’s a chimney blocker that stops around 95% of airflow up the chimney, creating a noticeable reduction in cold draughts. It is made of felted sheep wool from the Lake District, and is called, appropriately enough, a Chimney Sheep. It comprises a thick layer of felt on a handle, that relies on being a little larger than the flue opening, in order to grip the sides of the chimney and hold itself in place. Reviews from customers are glowing, with many reporting a need to turn down the thermostat and having warm feet at last.  Added benefits include a reduction in wind noise and no debris coming down the chimney.

So, if you are thinking that leaving the heating on for your dog or cat while you are out for the day is just a tad too extravagant, then perhaps a Chimney Sheep® is the answer!