Home > Pet Proof Your Home > Electrical Safety for Pets

Electrical Safety for Pets

By: Hsin-Yi Cohen BSc, MA, MSt - Updated: 29 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Electrical Hazards For Pets Electrical

Just as with children, pets should be protected from electrical hazards around the household. This is particularly important with young animals such as kittens and puppies that are insatiably curious and inclined to chew anything they can get in their mouths. Small mammals with continuously growing teeth - such as rabbits - also enjoy gnawing on things and even some birds, such as parrots, can be a danger to themselves and others as they use their powerful beaks to rip electrical components apart.

Electrical shock is a serious emergency and any animal that has suffered a shock must be rushed to the veterinarian immediately. The symptoms include burns, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rhythm, loss of consciousness - all of which if left untreated could result in death. For example, if a puppy chews on an electrical cord and receives a shock, its mouth will be severely burned, followed by inflammation and peeling of the tissues. The electrical current may also travel into its body and cause damage to the lungs, which then fill with fluid, effectively "drowning" the puppy if left untreated. Remember, before you approach any animal which has been injured by electrical shock, make sure there is no danger to yourself from live wires or electric fires.

Safety Tips to Follow:

  • Secure all loose electrical cords - dangling pieces may tempt young animals to pounce on them or present a choking hazard. Tape any slack to the wall or tuck them out of sight, behind appliances.
  • If a portion of cords have to remain in sight, block access to them by wrapping flexible safety cable (from hardware stores) around them or encasing them in plastic tubing (PVC pipe) if possible. Some places do sell "pet-proof' cords which will protect an animal from shock if it does chew on the cord.
  • If your pet shows interest in the cords, coat them with a bitter substance or pet deterrent to discourage chewing.
  • Ideally, unplug all accessible electrical cords if you have to leave a young animal unsupervised.
  • Be particularly vigilant during holidays (eg, Christmas) as the novel presence of decorative lives and electrical wiring can spell disaster for pets.
  • Check any wiring frequently for fraying and replace immediately.
  • Make sure any plugs are fully plugged into the socket - a partially exposed prong can be dangerous to a curious paw or nose.
  • Do not allow your pet to nap behind electrical appliances, such as computer equipment, stoves, fridges, washers and dryers.
  • Be careful with freestanding lamps and exposed bulbs - some can reach very high temperatures (eg, halogen lamps) and if knocked over by a pet in play, could easily start a fire.
  • If you have an aquarium, make sure all the electrical cords coming out of the aquarium are equipped with drip loops, which will ensure that any water running down the cord will fall to the floor rather than travel up the cord and into the electrical outlet.
  • In the case of an electrical storm, bring all your pets indoors. Although being struck by lightening is rare, wind, rain and lightening can bring down power lines which are a serious hazard.
  • If your pet has an outdoor fenced area, be careful of any underground electrical or cable lines running through that area - make sure they are buried at appropriate depths, especially if you have a dog which likes to dig.
  • Make sure you fit correct fuses and circuit breakers and allow air space around appliances to prevent overheating.
No matter how diligent you are, it is impossible to supervise your pet all of the time and young animals have a habit of getting into trouble the minute your back is turned. Therefore, prevention is better than cure and a bit of time and effort spent pet-proofing your home and garden is far preferable to the trauma of an accident and expensive vet bill.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Alita
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Hi. There is a neighbour who takes his dog labrador size to play ball in the area where all the garages are. This area is an L shape so this…
    13 October 2019
  • Skink
    Re: How to Train Your Pet Lizard
    My gargoyle gecko (think crested gecko) has been mine for several years. During which she has always been easy to handle, though…
    8 October 2019
  • Chi
    Re: Treating Poisoning
    Pls I mistakenly feed my baby bunnies grass with weed killer and I don't know what to do. I can't contact a vet plssss help me
    29 September 2019
  • Hogan
    Re: Cat Proof Your Home and Garden
    I recently moved, there are about 6 or more cats in the neighborhood, they leave feces all over lawns. Although 2 neighbors…
    15 September 2019
  • leslee1961
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    Can anyone help...I have a 2 year old cat that has started "huffing" at me, she has never really been what I call a…
    28 August 2019
  • Stormcat
    Re: The Dangers of Cat Fights
    Hello I wonder if anybody can help my cat came in yesterday with blood on his neck when we bathed this with salt water it was bleeding…
    27 August 2019
  • gabby
    Re: Introducing a Kitten to Other Cats
    i have an eight year old female cat& i recently got a 3 month old kitten& my older cat keeps hissing and spitting and…
    25 July 2019
  • Paige131
    Re: Introducing a Puppy to Other Dogs
    Hi i have a 8week olf puppy he has had no vaccinations yetbis it ok to take him to my mums where her dogs are fully vaccinated.
    19 July 2019
  • Sylveon
    Re: Keeping Mammals in an Aviary
    Hi I only just discovered this page! I just wanted to ask could there be possible parasite risk between rabbits and birds? As I…
    6 July 2019
  • Osar
    Re: Dog Laws in the UK
    Where can I find the law/by law about my dog entering a local river. There is private fishing (no access to public) and a long stretch of river…
    5 July 2019