Riverside Public Utilities

Tips for Pets During Outages



Tips for All Pets

  • Make sure all pets are wearing collars and ID tags. Accidents can happen when the power goes out, and the easiest way for someone to return a pet to you is via the information contained on the tags. Tags should also contain your address if your phone is not working at the time of the power outage.

  • Keep pets warm and dry in winter, and cool in the summer. Pets react just as much as we do to changes in temperature, so make sure your furry friend is staying as comfortable as possible. Open windows and shade will help them keep cool in the summer, while moving your pets’ bedding to the center of the house will help retain more heat in the winter. In the event of more extreme temperature changes, it may be wise to board your animal at a veterinarian’s office or boarding facility until power is restored. You could also reach out to friends or family to see if they are able to accommodate your pet until the power is back on.

  • Make sure dry food is being kept in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This will prohibit bugs from getting into the food and mold from growing. Fresh, clean water should always be available to your pets. Pay attention to water alerts and advisories for your pets as well as your human family members.

  • Make sure your animals are only outside under supervision and check the ground for downed power lines. There may be work crews in the area that can startle your animal, or pieces of fencing may need to be removed for repairs to begin. If you do see a downed power line, stay inside, and call Riverside Public Utilities at 951-826-5311.

  • Keep your pet as close to their normal routine as possible. This will help eliminate some of the stress they experience from the power outage and help to keep them calm. If your pet is currently on medication, seek assistance from your veterinarian if you have any concerns about being able to store it properly in the home



Tips for Reptiles

  • Hand warmers provide quick heat for reptiles, but do not allow reptiles to come in direct contact with the hand warmers.

  • Use warm water bottles.

  • Limit feeding of reptiles when they’re cold.




Tips for Aquariums

  • Check out the aquarium and other powered devices to see if the power has gone out all over your house, or if it’s only in some areas and your aquarium is still running fine.

  • If you have an uninterruptible power supply setup, ensure that it’s running properly and is supplying back-up power to your aquarium.

  • If you have a battery-operated air pump, place it in your tank, ensure that the batteries are new, and start it running (keep backup batteries nearby).

  • If you’re using a battery-operated pump and your power is out for longer than five hours, complete a 25 percent water change to help keep water quality safe.

  • During the summer, you can float bags of ice cubes to add cool water and stabilize the temperature and oxygen content.

  • In the winter, wrapping the tank with a blanket — taking care to avoid covering the top — can help to keep the water warm.

  • Avoid feeding your fish when the power is out. Most fish — especially typical aquarium fish — can go multiple days without eating, and feeding during a power outage will increase the activity level of the fish, as well as their waste, which causes an accelerated loss of oxygen and a buildup of harmful ammonia and nitrites.