Power Outages & Pets

August 21, 2023
By: Adriana Valle

Last week, we shared how hurricanes affect pets when it comes to transportation, water, and sanitation. Today, we want to finish up our pet-related hurricane discussion by highlighting weather-related power outages and pets. We hope that these two posts will help our friends and followers understand why hurricane prep is so important and how having pets adds a layer of importance.

Storm-Related Energy Interruptions

Families are frequently impacted by storm-related power outages. Because high winds, fallen trees, and debris can easily knock out power lines, you should expect that the power will go out at some point before, during, and after the eye of the storm. You should also plan for days without power because that is, as we have seen with many storms in the US and our territories, quite common until crews can safely reach affected areas.

Keeping Pets Cool During a Power Outage

When the power goes out and HVAC units stop, things can start to get very hot. Keep that in mind when caring for your pets. As we shared in this post, dogs and cats don’t cool themselves off as efficiently as humans do, therefore may need extra attention in extreme temperatures, both inside the house and out. Cooling mats, ice packs, wet towels, and battery-operated fans can help.

In addition, keeping an eye on your pet’s hydration will be critical during steamy post-storm days. Consider adding previously-frozen chicken broth ice cubes or ice to encourage pets to drink. And, keep your pets’ water and bowls clean and fresh to prevent illness. The last thing you want during a weather emergency is a visit to the emergency vet, assuming they are even open.

Feeding Pets During a Power Outage

Speaking of preventing illness during a weather emergency, power outages impact food safety. Transition raw-fed pets to a canned or dry food diet when their food is no longer safe to eat. Filling a large ice chest or cooler with ice before the storm hits is a great way to ensure you have enough ice for at least a few days. If prolonged power outages occur, you may need to replenish your supply as soon as it’s safe to venture out.

Even with canned food, keep uneaten portions in a cooler to prevent it from going bad. And, make sure you have kibble in your hurricane prep kit, even if your pet isn’t accustomed to eating it; kibble may be the safest (and only) way to feed your pet in a weather emergency.

Storing Pet Medication During a Power Outage

Have a contingency plan for medication that requires refrigeration, like antibiotics and insulin. Because the efficacy of the medication is compromised by a lack of refrigeration, speak to your veterinarian to ensure you know the limits. And, have a back-up plan in place long before a storm watch has been issued to be sure your pet gets the medicine they need no matter what Mother Nature sends our way.

Exercising Pets During a Power Outage

Finally, power outages affect lighting. And, exercising pets even during the day can be dangerous due to down power lines, flooding, debris, etc.

In preparation for a storm, compile batteries, flashlights, and at least a couple of radios to ensure that your family can keep your home, self, and pets safe until things return to normal. Remember that weather emergencies are not the time to enjoy your typical long walks. Limit walks to potty breaks until local authorities confirm that it’s safe to venture further out.

While planning, invest in enrichment toys, puzzles, and shelf-stable treats, and exercise your pet’s brain. Practicing tricks, cues, and skills that you’ve been meaning to teach your pet will keep your pet engaged and entertained. While they may not be burning as many calories as they would on a walk, dogs and cats will enjoy and appreciate having an outlet for their anxiety, concern, or confusion, as will you.

Connecticut Shoreline Hurricane Resources

As a Connecticut Shoreline-based business, we stay up-to-date on our local government’s instructions, recommendations, and alerts. Our goal in a weather emergency is to meet the needs of the pets in our care while also ensuring the safety of our employees and the community. The best way to keep in touch with us during storm warnings and watches is to check in on our social media. We will post announcements and schedule changes to our Facebook and Instagram pages to ensure that everyone is on the same page. We may also contact our clients via an email blast or individually by phone and email.

When inclement weather approaches our area, please contact us by phone or text at 860-964-0464 or via email at info@cthappypaws.com to confirm our current operating schedule. And, always make sure your client and pet profiles are updated to include pet guardians, emergency contacts, and inclement weather contacts that can access your pet if we cannot safely or legally reach them due to a weather emergency.

connecticut shoreline dog walker pet sitter

Shoreline Happy Paws offers professional in-home dog walking and pet sitting services in the following Connecticut Shoreline areas:

  • Old Saybrook
  • Essex, Ivoryton & Centerbrook
  • Deep River
  • Chester
  • Westbrook
  • Clinton
  • Old Lyme
  • East Lyme
  • Niantic

Certain Parts and Certain Service Hours in:

  • Lyme and Madison
  • Waterford, New London, Groton
  • Uncasville, Gales Ferry, Mystic, Noank

We look forward to caring for your pets and wish you a safe and uneventful hurricane season. We hope all the hurricane planning and preparing is for naught but urge you to start today – just in case!

Please contact us by phone or text at 860-964-0464 or via email at info@cthappypaws.com to learn more.

By Adriana Valle

Adriana is the owner and Chief Pet-Loving Officer at Shoreline Happy Paws. She has been a Professional Pet Sitter for over 10 years.

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