Remember when you were a kid and your parents did everything possible to keep your curious fingers out of electrical sockets? You didn’t know any better, and, if no one was watching you, the curiosity easily could have gotten the best of you as a young child just trying to learn about your environment. The same principles apply to electrical equipment and your pets!
The most common electrical injury in pets comes from chewing on wires. While you might think your pet would never do such a thing, you might want to take precautions in case your pets (especially those under two years of age, or puppies and kittens who are teething) sneak around your supervision. The best way to keep your pets from chewing on wires is to hide the wires from them. This is why the holidays pose a special risk to our pets—we have strings of lights and electric cords all over the place!
If you’re like me and have young animals, you might consider keeping your lights and decorations unplugged and tied up high on the tree or mantel or stair rail when you are not home. Another option is kenneling your young animals during the day while you are at work or school—this is easier with puppies and dogs, but even cats can be confined to a room where you have managed the electrical cords more appropriately until you can get home to supervise.
Above all else, be vigilant of your pet’s goings-on when you are at home with them. Do not let them chew cords, take them away and unplug immediately if you see this happening. If your pet is acting strange, and you know they’ve got a tendency to chew on wires, check their mouths for burns, and take them to a veterinarian immediately. Electric shock can lead to serious respiratory distress and fluid build-up in the lungs, but on a more positive note, this is such an easily preventable condition with a few minor changes in your holiday lights routine!