Last week my husband was sitting in his easy chair and all of a sudden, a poof of smoke appeared by the side of his chair. He thought what the heck! He proceeded to get out of his chair and another one with a pop. Our dog Murphy had urinated on the extension cord plug in under his end table. My housekeeper had forgotten to tuck it back under the table. This prompted a topic for Pet Talk.
Pets are naturally curious and can make unexpected household items into play or chew toys. A playful dog or curious cat can cause an electrical hazard or fire in ways you never dreamed.
Here is an electrical safety checklist for your home: Make sure electrical cords are out of range of chewing pets, they can get quite a shock when they bite into the cord, cover the cord with a rug or plastic sleeve, do not leave charging cords plugged in and hanging down for your pet to grab and chew, make sure that night lights and appliances are completely plugged into wall outlets as paws and tongues can easily find an exposed prong and get a nice shock, look around your home for dangling cords that pets could get entangled in and possibly pull down a lamp or small appliance or device, any appliance near a sink or bathtub should be plugged into a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI), do not keep small appliances or electrical devices, such as curling irons, blow-dryers or a plugged-in cell phone near water as playful pets can knock them into the water creating a dangerous situation, be sure and check your GFCIs monthly for safety, do not allow pets to curl up for a nap behind warm computer equipment, clothes dryer or other electrical items, try to keep your pet away from electrical connections.
If you think 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, call your veterinarian immediately.
If you have questions regarding care of your pet, contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of the Trumann Animal Clinic at firstname.lastname@example.org.