In response to the approaching months of bitter cold, South Fork resident “Karen” [full name excluded by request] recently shared a secret technique for using her vizsla and Australian shepherd rescue dogs as a green heat source—and she’s been doing it for years. Extensive research indicates that this practice is occurring all over the East End.
Karen explains below.
“When it is time for bed, I turn the thermostat down to 68 degrees so I am not paying to heat the entire house while I’m sleeping. This saves significantly on my heating bill throughout the winter,” Karen says. “To combat the declining temperature in my room at night, I utilize dog power,” she reveals. “Because a dog has an average temperature of 101 to 102.5 degrees, compared to 97.6 to 99.6 for a human, the dogs naturally give off a higher level of heat,” Karen notes, adding, “With both dogs nestled beside me on the bed, I stay nice and warm until morning, when I arise and turn up the thermostat.
“The key to successfully utilizing dogs as a heat source is to calculate the dog heat output, which is based on the dog heat source scale,” she continues. “This takes into account the fact that different breeds of dogs give off varying amounts of heat based on size—it also matters how many people are occupying the bedroom. Each breed reflects a heat source number in points,” Karen says. “For instance, a Chihuahua is only a 1.0 on the scale, whereas a Great Dane is a 4.0. Because it requires 5 dog points to keep one person warm with the thermostat set at 68 degrees, it would take 5 Chihuahuas in the bed to keep you comfortable. Or you could have 1 Great Dane and 1 Chihuahua,” she explains. “In my case, a Vizsla and a Shepherd are each 3 points so I have more than enough dog heat.”
When asked if using dogs as a heat source is a form of exploitation, Karen responds, “Just the opposite—it’s a win-win for all parties. Why do you think God gave dogs higher temperatures than humans?”
Let’s make using dogs as a heat source a hot topic this winter—locals would save on oil bills and improve the environment, while also promoting more dog adoptions from local shelters.