Pets can be at a much higher risk of electrical accidents in your home than you realize. Cats and dogs may consider wires a fun toy to play with or might engage in chewing wires and other objects for stress relief. The experts for electrical installation services in Woodstock, GA, by Long View Lighting describe how to puppy-proof wires in the paragraphs below.
How Often Do Pets Suffer Electrical Accidents in the Home?
Dogs and puppies are more likely to receive electrical shocks than cats, which are less likely to chew cables. However, individual cats may have anxiety problems that lead to nervous chewing on electric cables. Watch for chewing behavior in all of your pets to determine what steps you need to take to keep pets safe.
Young puppies and kittens are curious about the world around them and may chew on anything they can reach while teething. Learn how to puppy-proof wires before bringing a young pet home.
Performing an Electrical Risk Assessment in Your Home
Vet costs to treat your pet after an electrical shock can range anywhere from $500 to over $3,000. To prevent injury to your pets, you should perform a home risk assessment to look for the potential for electrical accidents due to:
- Dangling wires
- Tangled or nested wires
- Appliances too close to water sources
- Electrical fire hazards
- Exposed electrical sources
- Damaged wires
To perform a risk assessment, walk through your home. Look for potentially dangerous situations, such as phone chargers left plugged in on a kitchen counter even when your phone is in your pocket or tangled TV and entertainment wires in the living room.
If your cat regularly jumps onto your kitchen counter, consider unplugging your phone charger after use, so it doesn’t hold a current. Detangle cables and use clips or Velcro cable straps to loop long wires and prevent them from getting tangled again.
Deterring Chewing Behaviors Around Electric Cables with Your Pets
Your pets may chew on cables for several reasons, whether because they look like a fun toy or because your pet has an anxiety condition that presents with chewing for self-soothing. You can take several steps to improve electrical safety around your home.
- Pet training. Trained dogs are much less likely to chew than untrained dogs. With enough patience and knowing what motivation to use, you can even clicker-train a cat. If you have both, you can train them together once your dog passes basic obedience training class.
- Cable management. The easiest way to prevent chewing is to block access to cables. Mount power strips on a wall or the back of your desk or entertainment center to keep cables from reaching the floor. Tie up long cables, and use clips to keep cables separated.
- Block access to rooms with several power sources. If you have a home office or workshop with several electronics or power tools, use a pet gate or close the door to the space when you need to work or when you leave your workspace for the day to keep pets out of the room.
- Offer an alternative. According to pet behaviorist Jackson Galaxy, whenever you tell a pet “no” to something, you need to give them an alternative “yes.” Offer your pet a new favorite chew toy instead of your electric cables.
- Deter chewing with a repellant. You may need to coat cables in a pet-safe bitterant spray to deter chewing with a bad smell or taste or get some plastic bite-proof sheaths for your cables.
Call an Electrical Engineer to Work Safely with Electric Sources in Your Home
If you notice exposed electrical panels, outlets missing their covers, or loose outlet receptacles, learn why DIY electrical repairs isn’t advisable. Call a professional electrician to perform an electrical safety inspection and make any necessary repairs.
A certified electrician has the training and experience to work safely around electrical sources using the appropriate personal protective equipment. Trying to do electrical work on your home yourself could result in serious injuries from an electrical arc or damage to your home, including disrupting your electrical circuits or causing an electrical fire.
Contact Long View Lighting in Woodstock, GA
Now that you know how to puppy-proof wires for your furry family members, make sure your home is safe from electrical accidents for all inhabitants. Call Long View Lighting in Woodstock, GA, to schedule an inspection of your home’s electrical systems.