Much like children, pets can be susceptible to electrical hazards as they move and explore around a home. As pet owners, taking care of animals extends to taking steps to protect your home and pet alike.
The four precautions to take with pets at home are:
- Keep wires out of the way
- Take care of cords
- Monitor electronic devices
- Maintain a safe play area
Keep Wires Out of the Way
A mild shock to an adult can be enough to kill a small pet such as a kitten or puppy. Covering wires and cords or finding methods to hide them can keep your pet safe.
Common methods to keep wires away from pets include:
- Covering them with a heavy plastic sleeve
- Coating them in a bitter tasting product (sold in pet stores)
- Tucking cords behind consoles/in areas out of the pet’s vision
- Use spiral cable wraps to cover cords
Take Care of Cords
If hiding cords and wires is not possible, taking care of cords and monitoring usage is another method to protect your pet. Make sure to unplug cords while they are not in use. Outlets close to the ground can easily be knocked out while pets are playing. Even worse, pets could pull the plug from its socket thinking it’s a toy.
Keep these cord practices in mind:
- Avoid having dangling cords where they can easily be pulled by pets
- Make sure appliances are completely plugged in when in use
- Small paws and tongues can come in contact with partially exposed prongs
- Keep cords organized and untangled
Monitor Electronic Devices
Homes have many items plugged in, including cellphone chargers, curling irons, and lamps. There are many chances for a curious pet to knock over objects or pull them for play. Item placement and overall monitoring will keep your pets away from harm.
A few tips to follow include:
- Don’t allow pets to curl up next to warm computer equipment, dryers, and other electrical items
- Avoid keeping devices plugged in near water sources
- Keep a close eye on space heaters and turn them off when not in use
- Leave string lights unplugged when you leave the house
Maintain a Safe Play Area
Pets can spend a lot of time outdoors. So, ensuring your yard is a safe play space is another factor to keep in mind. Be sure to keep pets away from decorative lighting, HVAC wiring, and underground wiring. Setting up a secure fence or play pen can be another option to keep your pet safe from harm while they’re outside.
Giving pets plenty of toys and play time can also keep them from interacting with electrical cords and equipment. Certain breeds of dogs and cats may be particularly energetic and require a lot of physical activity. Be sure to research more about your pet to learn about their needs and behaviors.
Signs Your Pet Has Been Shocked
A few common signs that indicate your pet has come in contact with an electrical source include:
- Increased drooling
- Coughing or difficulty breathing or eating
- Mouth irritation or foul breath
- Signs of pain or distress
Signs of electric shock may be immediate. However, in some cases there may be a delayed onset of symptoms. Mild injuries may not be discovered until a few days later when signs of pain show, or your pet’s burns become infected. Even if your pet seems to be recovered, carefully monitor them for the next few days.
Steps to Follow if Your Pet Has Been Shocked
If you discover that your pet has been injured from an electrical source, the three recommend steps to follow are:
- Unplug or remove the hazard to avoid further injury
- Call the police if high voltage/power lines are involved and do not approach
- Check for burns along the lips, tongue, and roof of the mouth
- Depending on your pet’s condition, contact your vet if you deem it necessary
- Be sure to keep a close eye on your pet for the next one to two days to monitor changes in breathing or behavior
Pets are a wonderful addition to your family. It’s important to take necessary steps and precautions to assure their safety. Find more pet electrical safety tips here and reach out to Lightning Bug Electric for further electric assistance.