If you have a pet, you most probably consider it to be more than just an animal, a member of your family. You want it to be healthy and live as long as possible. But pets are curious and you can’t always keep an eye on them. That’s why it’s best to keep their environment as safe as possible so accidents don’t happen, especially electrical ones.
Cats and dogs don’t know that electricity is harmful and that they should avoid it. By the time they know to avoid it, it would have already caused them great pain and damage to their bodies, or worse.
Here are seven ways you can protect your pet from electrical hazards at home.
Both cats and dogs love chewing on cords. Give a discouraging scold if you catch them doing this to try and make them understand that they shouldn’t do it. Then immediately tuck these cords away where their teeth can’t easily get to it or use protective covers to make chewing difficult. There are also pet-safe coatings you can apply that give a bitter taste so your furry friends lose interest completely.
When you plug in anything from your phone to the fan or the nightlight, make sure that the prongs are fully enclosed within the socket. Exposed prongs have electrical current running and can give harmful and painful shocks when touched. Additionally, if your phone or anything you’re charging is done, don’t leave the cord plugged in and hanging loosely. Always unplug and store safely away.
Keep blow dryers, curling irons, and other bathroom electronics unplugged when not in use and away from any source of water. Your pets knocking them over can create a deadly situation. Outlets in the bathroom should be equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter that stops the flow of electricity when it detects a problem.
When you’re having electrical work done in your home or in the yard by professionals, your pets can get curious about the strangers, or territorial of their home. Keep your pets tied or locked in a room or their cage in the meantime so they don’t disturb any electrical work being done and cause harm to themselves or the crew working.
Pets don’t just stay at home. If you have a dog, you probably take it on walks a lot and there are electrical hazards on the street you also should be aware of. During wet weather such as the rainy season or winter, contact or stray voltage is present on sidewalks or street equipment such as manhole covers or street light posts. Don’t let your pet walk through puddles and lead them away from metal surfaces. For extra precaution (and humor), you can buy them rubber booties to wear on your walks.
Cats are notorious for taking down Christmas trees and getting into the Christmas lights. If you have a feline friend that you just can’t control during the Yuletide season, it’s best to leave the holiday decorations for the neighbors and passersby to enjoy instead. Get creative and decorate your home with something else that doesn’t involve electricity.
Sometimes pets can just be stubborn no matter how many times we train them and how careful we are. If you notice any signs of cord chewing or an appliance that has fallen over, check your cat or dog for possible signs of an electric shock. Look for evidence of burns on their bodies or if they’re drooling and having difficulty breathing. You will want to apply cold compress to the burns and it’s best to know CPR. Call your veterinarian for instructions or immediately take them to the nearest clinic.