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#PetPower: is your pup pushing up your energy bills?

New research indicates that as a nation of pet-lovers we are spending £232 million on energy for dogs. Eighty percent of dog owners consider their pooch to be one of the family, so it's no wonder we don't treat them any differently.

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Energy cost of looking after a pet

In the hope of providing comfort and company for the four-legged members of their family, many of the UK’s pet owners are leaving appliances on when they leave the house. uSwitch research has revealed how the average energy spend per household for a dog is £36 a year through leaving the TV, radio, lighting, heating and fans on just for them.

This means that dog owners alone could be overpaying by £45 million per year by not switching to the best energy deal.

Although dogs contribute to household energy bills, they are not the most energy intensive pet to keep at home. Tropical fish – which require dedicated tanks, filters and lighting – top the chart, costing up to £494 of energy a year. That's almost half the average standard big six energy bill.

Energy Usage For Dogs

In the hope of providing some canine companionship 82% of dog owners leave on at least one appliance for their pets:

Usage-lights

61%
leave the lights on for 10.6 hours a week on average

Usage-heating

60%
leave the heating on for 14.4 hours a week on average

Usage-radio

47%
leave the radio on for 5.7 hours a week on average

Usage-tv

42%
leave the TV on for 4.2 hours a week on average

Dogs watch around 214 hours of TV and listen to 300 hours of radio per year:

Favourite TV channels:

Bbc-one
29% BBC One
Itv
25% ITV

And of those that leave the radio on...

Headphones
32% kept it on easy listening
Disco-ball
23% prefer pop music

Dog owners love buying gadgets and treats for their pets. Spending, on average, each month:

  • £69
    in the UK
  • £98
    in London

Popular Gadgets

It’s clear we’re a nation of pet-lovers so it’s little surprise that dog owners worry about their pets wellbeing when leaving them alone. However, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home’s Head of Canine Behaviour & Training, Ali Taylor, warns:

"Whilst owners may think that leaving a TV or radio on will provide some form of noise distraction and company the reality is that this is definitely no substitute for human company.

"Dogs in particular need to get out and about to meet and socialise with other people and animals and to enjoy all the sights, smells and sounds that our streets and parks have to offer."

dog sat on couch
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home logo

uSwitch.com is proudly supporting Battersea Dogs & Cats Home (Registered Charity No. 206394) by donating £10,000 towards the charity’s energy bills.

Facts about Battersea Dogs & Cats Home's energy usage:

  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home use solar panels to save energy and money, helping them to care for more dogs and cats
  • They do an average of 104 loads of washing daily at the London site for their animals
  • They have 83 heated beds at their London site to keep the cats warm and comfortable

Quiz!

Do you use energy for your pet?

Compare your energy bill to know how much you could save a year

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Find out more about the UK's energy habits when it comes to looking after their dogs.
Download the full uSwitch infographic.

Download infographic

For calculations and specifics on this research, visit the uSwitch media centre