We are all familiar with the term “baby-proofing” – keeping dangerous things out of reach from curious kids. But people often overlook the electrical hazards facing their pets, especially in the form of cables and cords.
Cables powering electronics and other devices are so common around the home that people seem to hardly notice them. But to pets, cords might seem like the perfect thing to chew on. If that happens, a pet might get an electric shock that can lead to injury, or even death.
Here’s a step-by-step electrical safety guide to help you Pet Proof the cables in your home.
Out of sight/ out of mind
Hide as many cables as you can behind furniture or large appliances. If cords run along the ground, cover them with an area rug or floor mat. Animals don’t have the best object permanence so if they can’t see the cables, they simply won’t be tempted by them.
Hide them high
Depending on how big the pet is, keeping cords high enough so they can’t get their paws on them is enough to ensure electrical safety.
Behind the walls
If the cables are going to be a permanent fixture, you can always cut open the walls and run the cords behind them. Especially if you are doing renovations or are planning on touching up the walls. If you don’t like having cords all over for aesthetic reasons, this is a great option.
Wind them up
If you still have an excess of cords lying about, wind them up in either a circle or figure eight, then secure them. (This is a good suggestion for dangling curtain cords as well.)
These handy devices act as a cover and protection for cords. You can purchase them from a building supply store, mount them to the wall, and run the cords behind them. They often blend in with base boards and walls and simply become a part of the decor.
Use un-tasty deterrents
Some pet owners have found that spray-on mixtures are what is needed to keep cords out of pets’ mouths. There are safe options you can buy from pet stores. Or you can try a home-made concoction:
2 parts apple cider vinegar with one part regular white vinegar OR
Lemon juice, hot sauce, or pepper mixed in water
Shake the ingredients in a spray bottle and apply. Be careful not to spray directly into outlets and reapply every week.
Keep your pet engaged with other interactive dog toys and treats to chew on. To take it a step further, you can train your pets to chew on toys using food. There are toys on the market that you can stuff food inside, which will encourage pets to seek them out instead of chew on cables.
There are mixed opinions on this but some pet owners have success crate training their pets. This means that the pet will stay confined to a crate (a spacious one!) when its owners are out. Many pets are perfectly happy to chill out in a crate, while others display signs of anxiety. Pet owners will have to read the signs and make that call.
In the end, pet safety from electrical hazards is an important thing to consider. Pets are part of the family and keeping them shielded from electrical dangers is an important part of responsible pet ownership.