Soaring summer temperatures put dogs at high risk of heat stroke, which is why veterinarians recommend running the air conditioning to keep pets safe and comfortable during heat waves and periods of high humidity. But what happens if there’s a power outage and your dog is stranded home alone while you are at work? Of what is she’s trapped in your RV or boat while the family is out sightseeing? Without air conditioning, your pet may be vulnerable to a heat stroke emergency in just hours.
For as little as $72, you can protect your pet from the effects of a power failure by equipping your home, RV or boat with a basic power outage alarm or a multi-functional temperature alarm. Both devices will send you instant alerts in the event of power outage so you can take steps to get your pet to safety. Here are some tips on choosing the right power outage or temperature alarm for your home, RV or boat.
Power Outage Alarm vs. Temperature Alarm?
To receive an alert that there is a power failure where you have left your pet, you can use either a power outage alarm or most types of temperature alarms. The main difference between the two devices is their primary function:
Power outage alarms are designed to notify you when the power goes out, whereas the primary function of a temperature alarm is to alert you of high and/or low indoor temperature extremes, however, most temperature alarms will also notify you of a power failure.
Tip: Be sure to choose a “call out” power outage alarm and not the “local alert” type which only buzz or siren. To find out which temperature alarms alert for power outages, take a look at this chart. Note that temperature alarms are also called “heat alarms” or “freeze alarms.”
Phone, Text Message or Email Alerts?
If there is a power failure and your dog is at risk of heat stroke, what is the best way for your alarm to reach you? Phone call notifications are the most popular way to be alerted. Most phone alarms, including the popular Homesitter HS-700 and the Intermediate Freeze Alarm, will call multiple phone numbers (that you program) until someone picks up.
If you prefer to be notified by text message, there are a few alarms that send SMS alerts instead of phone calls, such as the DIY Cellular Alarm for Homes. And if you are always at your computer or carry a smartphone, the temperature@lert Cellular Edition can be used to get email alerts.
Communications Compatibility is a Must
Power outage alarms and temperature alarms need a way to communicate, either a landline or cellular phone connection to make phone calls, or a cellular signal to send text messages or email messages. Be sure to choose an alarm that can be supported by the communications service available at your site.
If there is no landline phone service at your home, you can still use a phone-based alarm by hooking it up to a device called a cellular terminal, which provides a dial tone as long as there is cell service at your location.
Tip: For RVs and boats or homes without a landline phone connection, the DIY Cellular Alarm for Homes or the temperature@lert Cellular Edition are usually good choices as long as there is a strong cell signal. And an extra bonus is that they are both PORTABLE so you can use them at home too.
How to Help Your Pet if There’s a Power Outage
Once your new power outage alarm or temperature alarm is in place, plan ahead for how to rescue your dog in the event of a prolonged power outage. Give a house key to a pet sitter or reliable friend or relative that you can call on for help if you can’t get to your pet in time. Provide them with instructions on how to treat a dog suffering from heat stroke as well as the name and phone number of your vet. When leaving your pet unattended in an RV or boat, do not venture too far so if you do you receive a power outage alert, you can get back to your pet within 30 minutes.