Caring for Your Small Pet Animal During a Power Outage

A power outage can be stressful and inconvenient even under the best of circumstances. But what are pet parents to do during a power outage? Your pets depend on you for everything, so it's important to think ahead before an unexpected situation occurs. Follow these tips to ensure the safety of your pet even when the power's out.

Keep them comfy

If your power outage is temporary and occurs when the weather is moderate, your pet will likely be unaffected by the loss of electricity. But if the outage is of significant duration and occurs during a period of extreme heat or cold, you'll need to take steps to ensure that your small pet stays safe and comfortable.

Keep your pet's habitat warm and cozy by providing an ample supply of extra bedding that can add warmth during a cold-weather power outage. For further warmth, wrap a blanket around your pet's habitat (always remembering to leave an opening for ventilation). During warm-weather outages, consider providing your pet with a frozen water bottle to provide cool relief when the air conditioner is unavailable. Provide continuous access to fresh, clean water so your pet will stay fully hydrated.

If the room in which your pet usually resides is not in the warmest or coolest part of your home, consider relocating their habitat as needed. If your house is growing warm during a summer power outage, move your pet to the coolest room, such as a basement. For winter outages, move your pet to the warmest room in the house.

Prepare an emergency kit

According to the Humane Society of the United States, if you evacuate your home due to a power outage, you should never leave your pets behind. A house without air conditioning in summer or heat in winter can quickly become unsafe for your pet, so it's important to keep them with you at all times. Pack an emergency kit that contains all of the essential items that your pet requires, including:

The Humane Society also recommends preparing a packet of information that contains a description of your pet, their medical history and feeding schedule and photos of you with your pet. Keep this information with your emergency kit. The American Red Cross suggests making a list of safe places to take your pet in the event of a power outage, so consider preparing a list of friends and family members who would be open to temporarily caring for your pet. By planning ahead, you can face a potential power outage with the knowledge that you and your pet have a plan of action that is safe, effective and easily implemented.

Keep your pet calm

All pets require special care during a power outage, as they are sensitive to disruptions in their routines and home turf. Pets often can sense your anxiety as well. Be sure to comfort your small pet and keep her routine as normal as possible.