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“Paws” And Take Steps To Keep Pets Safe From Electrical Hazards This Holiday Season

Every year thousands of pets around the country are given as gifts during the holiday season. If you are thinking about joining this tradition, please “paws” (pause) to prepare your home before bringing a furry friend home for the holidays.

Puppies and kittens are naturally curious and tend to turn unexpected household items into play or chew toys. A frisky dog or curious cat can cause an electrical hazard or fire in ways you may not have thought about. Safe Electricity offers this safety checklist:

  • Keep electrical cords away from puppies and kittens so they don’t chew on them and receive a severe shock. What may seem like a mild shock to an adult may be enough to kill a small pet. Cover the cord with a heavy plastic sleeve or ask your pet store for a bitter tasting product you could put on the cord.
  • Do not leave charging cords plugged in (and especially hanging down and accessible) when not in use. Toddlers, children or pets could put these in their mouths and get burned or shocked.
  • If you believe your pet has chewed on a cord or made contact with another electrical source, look for evidence of burns, increased drooling, coughing, breathing difficulties, mouth irritation, or signs of pain or distress. If you detect any of these, seek veterinary care for your pet immediately.
  • Check to be sure night lights and appliances are completely plugged into wall outlets. Small fingers, paws or tongues can easily find partially exposed prongs and are a hazard for curious children, puppies and kittens.
  • If you have a curious and playful pup or kitten, look around your home for dangling cords that pets could get entangled in and pull down lamps or small appliances or devices.
  • All appliances near sinks or bathtubs should be plugged into an outlet equipped with a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). Never keep small appliances or electrical devices, such as curling irons, blow dryers or plugged-in cell phones, near water. Playful pets can knock them into the water, creating a dangerous and possibly deadly situation. GFCIs stop the flow of electricity if there is a problem, and when properly used, can save lives. Check GFCIs monthly to make sure they are working.
  • Do not allow pets to curl up for a nap behind warm computer equipment, clothes dryer or other electrical items. Keep an eye on your pet and steer  your furry friend away from electrical connections.