Electrics are one of the biggest hazards in the home and can be a particular concern when you have indoor pets. In fact, electrocution from chewing on electrical cords is the single most common type of electrical injury for inquisitive household pets. These injuries can result in minor burns, muscle and tissue damage to heart conduction problems or death.
Luckily, there are many safety precautions you can take to help avoid such injuries, fire hazards or major electrical faults around the home.
1. Buy good quality equipment
Please don’t skimp on power cords, extension cords or charging equipment. Cheap = increased risk of faults and injuries to our fluffy friends. Yes, the price tags of premium may hurt but they are less likely to fray or overheat. They are usually also built more durable and some even come with a bitter agent embedded in the materials to deter chewers.
2. Never leave electricals unattended
Stand up lights, heaters and fans can pose a major risk to animals if accidently left on when you leave the room or home. All of these devices can fall over easily if your pet is running around home and pose a high fire risk amongst potential for other serious injuries.
3. Keep cords and lights away from your pets
Power cords running all over the home is an eye sore anyway so you will want to keep them away and out of sight. A great tip is tying several cords together and placing them behind your furniture (e.g. behind tv units). However, you still need to make sure that your pets can’t get access behind these furniture pieces. PowerPoint placed in the floor are great for those upright lamps if you have them. Christmas trees with all of their beautiful lights offer lots of temptations for play – it’s a really good idea to place a fence around them ore prevent your animals coming into the room at all. Cat’s especially love to play with Christmas lights and “attack” them with their mouths. Spraying your lights with a bitter spray may also help.
4. Unplug any cords that are not in use
It’s easy to keep all our appliances plugged in, especially ones that get regular use like your TV units. However, it only takes one accident when you’re asleep or away at work for our beloved animals to eat through a power cord. Using crate training is another great idea to help prevent accidents.
5. Have an electricity free area
You may want to let your animals roam around the house when you are home and can supervise them. However, when you need to leave the home creating an electrical free area may be the safest option. To do this safely cordon off an area with baby gates or pet fencing that your fur babies won’t jump over that is free from electrical cords and power outlets
6. Train your pets
The single best prevention method is quality training of your animals. It’s worth investing in long-term dog training beyond the scope of puppy school. Boredom protection is a must! Ensure your animals have plenty of toys, safe objects and food items they can play with/ chew while you are not home. Stuffed Kong’s are great for this. If you don’t provide them with entertainment, they will go looking for it – usually your furniture, blankets, pillows or power cords. Cats respond really well to offensive smells and bitter tasting things. They are also less likely to be attracted to chewing on cords. Also think about crate training when you are not home. Or creating a safe outdoor space for them to play while you are away.
7. Remember outdoor electrics
Make sure all your underground wires are deep enough that your animals won’t dig them up! We always make sure wires are running in some conduit underground or anywhere they are exposed to the outdoors for added protection.
What do you do if your pet gets electrocuted?
Sometimes accidents happen, no matter how careful or you or safety precautions you take. The important thing is, is that you respond to injuries in a calm and quick manner.
Instinct will scream for you to reach out for your pet straight away – please don’t do this!! You need to turn all power to the household off first to protect yourself from also getting a potential shock or getting “stuck on”. Assess your animals conscious state, keep the dog calm as possible and remove the cords from their mouths and around their bodies. Get your animals to your vet or animal emergency centre straight away. It’s important to act quickly as many things could be happening on the inside of your pet that you can’t see for example heart problems, liquid filling up in the lungs and muscle damage.
Prevention, Prevention, Prevention
If you train your pets well and implement some safety precautions, you greatly decrease the risk of electrical injuries to them. If you would like some more information on how to better protect your home call Triforce Electrical and Air today. We will be more than happy to offer an electrical health report and make suggestions to keep your homes and fury friends safe.