Therefore, Rachael has come up with some helpful tips for you and your dogs during prolonged power outages.
- - Stock up on extra food and double-check medications: your vet and/or dog food store might also be without power. Not to mention potential road conditions. In my case, only the emergency vet three towns over was open. Very grateful we didn't need anything.
- - That made me think of another one I didn't think of before: have doggie first-aid supplies in addition to people ones just in case (every dog owner should have one regardless--maybe you could do a blog post on that some day?)
- - In addition to regular winter paw care (such as wiping off road sand & salt, etc), towel off dog from wet snow. Wet fur in a cold house dries much more slowly. It’s like your great-aunt telling you to not go outside with wet hair…
- - I am not sure if this is common but our house was much dryer than normal. I was drinking water like crazy and still felt like I couldn’t get enough. I noticed that Kumbe was, too. I made sure to keep an extra eye on his water bowl and used slightly warm water instead of regularly cold water. (Thankfully, we have a gas heater and always had hot water)
- - My springer, Kumbe, seemed fine during the day with the colder than normal temperatures inside but night was a different story. He was getting cold, too, and he got an extra blanket to curl up with and I double-checked for drafts near all his beds.
- - Survey yard for falling limbs and icicles before letting him outside. Huge scare one night with a falling tree. Really glad I decided to go out with him for “break-time,” instead of just letting him out the back door or something.
- - Throughout the neighborhood, tree limbs and downed wires cluttered the sidewalks and we had to walk on the poorly plowed street. Since cars can see a person before a dog, I kept myself between Kumbe and the cars. He didn’t always like it because he walks on the left but I felt it was the best way to avoid any catastrophes with skidding cars and slippery paws.
- - Check for downed wires in snowbankings before your dog lifts his leg on it! No, seriously. Really, really glad I was paying attention.
- - If road and weather conditions leave any doubt in terms safety concerns, consider another way to exercise: playing inside with the dog might just end up being a really fun way to both stay warm and break-up the monotony of being house-bound and cold.
- - In case the power stayed out for even one more day, I made sure I had a place to stay that allowed dogs. Leaving Kumbe at home alone was never an option.
- - Our neighborhood didn’t have any issues with water contamination but I figure that you can’t drink your water, neither should your dog (a sick dog and no power = 0 fun at all). When I stocked up on extra water before the storm, I factored in water for him, too. I didn't need to go out and get bottled water or anything, I just collected perfectly good tap water in bottles I already had.
- - Spoiled food is an unfortunate by-product of extended power outages. As soon as the food spoiled, it went straight to the outside garbage can to avoid even the slightest temptation of doggie dumpster diving. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Use these tips however you like. Hopefully it will help you if you are stuck in severe weather with no power!