In honor of National Dog Day on August 26, Safe Electricity offers these tips for pet-proofing your home.
Puppies and kittens are cute and curious. But cute won’t help them if they begin to chew on or play with electrical equipment— doing that can put your pet in serious danger of injury or death and create a shock or fire hazard in the home. Spending a little time pet-proofing your home will help you avoid a pet-related accident.
- Make sure all plugs are inserted completely into their wall sockets. Small paws, noses and tongues can easily find their way into the partially exposed prongs.
- If your pet demonstrates an interest in electrical cords, check the cords frequently for signs of fraying and replace any damaged cords immediately. If you must leave your pet unsupervised, make sure any loose electrical cords are unplugged or tucked out of sight. If your pet continues to seek them out, coat the cords with bitter-tasting pet deterrent available at your local pet store. If that fails, you can wrap the cords in flexible cable, or encase them in PVC. Some stores also offer pet-proof cords that serve the same purpose.
- Appliances near sinks and bathtubs should only be plugged into outlets equipped with ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) protection in case an electrical appliance is knocked into the water. If your cat enjoys playing in the sink, make sure no electrical appliances (like radios or curling irons) are left unattended on the bathroom counter.
- Lamps with exposed bulbs— especially halogens— can reach very high temperatures. Do not allow pets to play near lamps.
- Some pets will often seek out warm, secluded spots in the home. Do not allow your pet to hide or sleep behind your computer, or TV equipment where electrical connections are housed.
- If you have an aquarium, make sure you create a drip loop on every electrical cord that enters the tank.
- If you have a fenced, outdoor area for your dog, be mindful of any underground electrical or cable lines running through that area. Make sure the lines are buried at appropriate depths, especially if your dog likes to dig. In the event of an electrical storm, bring all pets indoors immediately.
- Take special care during the holiday season.
If you think your pet may have suffered an electrical shock, approach it with caution to keep from being injured by the same electrical danger, and to keep from being bitten. Inspect the animal for injuries and take your pet to an animal care center as soon as possible.
Speaking of dogs, Holly and Olive invite you to submit a picture of your favorite dog by emailing us by August 23. Follow us on Facebook for more information on the prize.