Electricity flows through our homes, powering appliances and machinery that help improve the quality of life. Radios, televisions, X-boxes, and even the trimmer or hair straighteners we plug into the wall make life simpler and more entertaining, but they can also be a danger to your dog.
What is it that makes electronics such a safety hazard for our four-legged companions? At the most basic level, dogs love to chew. Power cords are soft and malleable, and are perhaps the most dangerous of all. As such, there are a host of other situations to consider and prepare for. After all, you don’t want to learn when it’s too late.
Wires all around
Dangling wires can be very attractive to a dog (and especially for cats), and are potentially the most dangerous. The television, speakers, and even the cord to the vacuum cleaner all make for attractive chew toys. And whether or not they are plugged in, they can still be dangerous. The copper wires can become needles in your dog’s mouth and throat, so keep cords unavailable at all times.
Cover exposed cords. Run them under furniture whenever possible. In cases where open cords cross the floor, covering them with a rug can be a handy trick. What if they’re traveling along the wall? Try staples or tape to cover them and keep them securely out of reach.
Cords that remain exposed- such as those for power tools or equipment- can be wrapped in duct tape to make them tougher to chew on (plus it tastes bad too).
Something else to consider
The buzzing of electronics can also be attractive to a dog. Game consoles and wireless routers can be warm and stimulating for a dog, and in some cases they may not even chew on them but rather snuggle up with them. While this might not seem dangerous at first, it is always possible that they might block the cooling system or burn themselves through exposure.
There is always the possibility of a dog urinating on an electrical device as well. This makes a short circuit possible that may result in a fire or even electrocution. Keep these devices up high or out of your dog’s reach.
What about the television (or something similar) falling down? When considering the dangers of electronics, we seldom include the more obvious circumstance of a falling object. Unsecured devices can be knocked over or fall from high locations, especially if the power cord is dangling quite attractively. Take precautions in securing heavy electronics so they won’t become falling objects.
Then there is the classic situation of the missing remote control. We may lose it in the couch, put it in the freezer, or even forget it’s in your left pocket. Sometimes, however, the culprit is your faithful companion. You handle a controller regularly, and thus it smells like you and makes for a very attractive chew toy for any dog. Be sure that you have a home for your controller, such as a box or up on the entertainment center- just so long as it’s out of your dog’s sight and snout.
If you’re having trouble with your dog targeting electronics out of sheer fascination (smell and familiarity often associated with anxiety), you may have to begin limiting their space when unattended. Crates or door-gates can help keep a dog in safe areas when you’re gone. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t pursue old habits when you let them back out.
It can be difficult to train your dog to avoid electronic dangers, especially chewing habits. In these cases, certain deterrent or bittering sprays can make the item unattractive to them. But, the most effective method is proper training, since it will ensure that your dog responds to your commands- for their safety.
Additionally, when you’re done with a plug-in device, be sure to put it away. Trimmers, curling irons, and hair straighteners can all be dangerous since they are often left on the counter to cool or dry out. A tug on the cord could bring them down on top of your pup, injuring them. Unplug your items and put them in a safe out-of-reach spot (wrap up the cord) and allow them to cool.
It’s up to you as your dog’s owner and protector to ensure they are always safe. The average household is full of electronic devices, and in most cases dogs will leave them alone (unless they have their own Facebook page to update). Be sure your dog’s home is a safe place to be and you can be sure that everyone will be happy.
Keeping up with your pet supplies can be just another thing you don’t want to have to remember. After a long day at work and going to the store, the last thing you want to do is have to go “to the store” again. Consider home delivery of your pet supplies!