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Humane Society of Greater Rochester

Keeping pets safe during a power outage

Fairport, N.Y. – During an extended power outage, many people wonder how to keep their families warm including their pets. As temperatures drop, pets may require additional care while your home is without electricity and heat. Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester, has helped compile a list of tips to help keep pets safe during a cold-weather power outage.

  • Keep your pets warm with extra bedding. Providing your pet with extra bedding can add warmth during a cold-weather power outage. For small animals, consider wrapping a blanket around the pet’s habitat leaving an opening for ventilation.
  • Towel-dry pets coming in from the snow or rain. When your pet comes in from the weather, use a towel to dry them thoroughly to keep them from getting chilled.
  • Move bird cages to prevent chill and irritation. Bird cages should be moved away from drafty windows and doors as well as space heaters and fireplaces. Smoke and vapors from a space heater can cause irritation to a bird’s respiratory system. As with small animals, cover your bird cage with blankets leaving a space for ventilation to keep the interior warm.
  • Keep reptiles warm. Reptiles can be especially sensitive to decreasing temperatures. You can help them with heat packs for hands and feet that you can purchase at the store. Place the heat packs under the habitat just like you would an electric heating pad. Do not place the pack in the habitat.
  • If you can, consider taking your pet to a safe location. Keeping your pet with a knowledgeable friend or family member while your home is without power is a great option if possible. Make sure you give detailed instructions for care and contact information for their veterinarian.
  • Choose a pet-friendly option if you have to leave your home. If you have to evacuate your house, consider a pet-friendly hotel. Boarding may also be an option to keep your pets safe and warm while you are away from your home, but make sure you call in advance to ensure you have the vaccinations required.


If you have concerns that your pet’s safety or health is in jeopardy, contact your veterinarian immediately or take them to an emergency veterinary hospital.


About Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester
Established in 1873, Lollypop Farm is the largest animal welfare organization helping pets and people in the Greater Rochester area. The Humane Society is committed to building lifelong bonds between people and animals through education, community outreach, and the prevention of cruelty. With a main campus in Fairport and four other adoption centers throughout the community, the organization provides shelter, care, and adoption for dogs, cats, small animals, birds, reptiles, horses, and other farm animals. Lollypop Farm is an independent nonprofit organization supported solely through contributions, grants, investments, proceeds from retail sales, and fees for programs and services. For more information and to meet adoptable animals, please visit