Pet owners running up giant bills to keep their cats and dogs warm this winter

Almost half of pet owners are running up huge heating bills to keep their dogs, cats and rabbits warm, a poll found.

As many as 43% said they leave their central heating on when they leave home to keep pets warm and cosy. Half of those asked said they worry about their animals being too cold in the winter when they are out. Another 28% also said they leave the lights on to stop their animal getting frightening when they are at work or out in the evening.

DIY store Toolstation asked 1,000 UK adults if they put the heating and lighting on for their pets when they are out to keep them warm and comfortable. The company’s electrical and technology expert Simon Oram said smart thermostats could be an affordable way to help pet owners keep homes warm when they are out.

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He said “With the weather turning colder the pressure is definitely on to make sure your pets are comfortable without breaking the bank. Having a smart thermostat means you can control and monitor your heating wherever you are using your smartphone.”

Smart thermostats operate using the internet and the dial can be either turned on or off and up or down from in or out of the house using an app on phones, tablets or computers.

According to Martin Lewis’ website Money Saving Expert: Credit Cards, Shopping, Bank Charges, Cheap Flights and more they cost between £100 and £250 to install depending on the make and model and there is usually an installation cost of between £30 to £80.

But there are also some brands which do not require professional installation. They can help save on bills by offering the flexibility to switch radiators off or by turning them down if you are away from home or getting home late.

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Among the most popular smart thermostats are Hive, which is part of British Gas, and costs £280 including installation. The Nest app, which is part of Google, costs around £300 and Tado costs around £275.

Other brands include Honeywell, Netatmo, Genius and Geo Cosy.

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