Sharing your home with your dog involves taking responsibility for his safety around electrical outlets and other potential hazards in the house. Dogs are curious creatures, especially when young or bored, and while an electrical outlet may not seem like an obvious toy of choice -- then again, neither does a remote control -- all it takes is one claw into an outlet or a bite through a power cord to shock or even kill him. You can easily prevent this by thinking ahead and dog-proofing your electrical outlets.
Just as thorough baby-proofing safeguards a child, the same common sense applies to protecting your dog. Go through every room in the house to identify potential problems with each room's electrical outlets. Place plastic covers on every outlet -- they are inexpensive, fit standard outlets and are an effective way to protect your dog from shocks. You can find a variety of outlet covers at any hardware store or where child safety products are sold.
Block Access to Power Cords
Outlets that are not in use and protected by safety covers are one thing, but if you have unprotected power cords plugged into an outlet, you have a potential hazard on your hands. Lights on a power strip may attract a curious pooch, so it's important to hide cords that are out in the open. Move a piece of furniture in front of the outlet, if it's practical. Block access to areas behind entertainment centers, televisions, computers or other areas where multiple power cords are plugged in. Use organizational cable ties to tuck power cords out of sight, or invest in a baby-proof power strip cover that snaps over the entire unit and keeps power plugs away from interested dogs.
Restrain When You're Away
Electric shock can occur when dogs bite through power cords. It's always a good idea to contain your dog in one room or a crate when you're away. An open mesh- or solid-style crate keeps your dog away from hazards in the home and provides a secure den for dogs who are anxious, young or not yet housebroken. If you do not want to crate or contain your dog to an specific area, provide appropriate, safe chew toys that will keep your dog occupied and satisfy his urge to chew.
Dogs who have suffered electrical shock require emergency veterinary care; only minor, superficial burns may be treated at home. If your dog is in contact with an electrical outlet and suffering from electrical shock, use a wooden instrument to push cords away from the dog before you touch him. Shut the power off and pull out the plug. If your dog is not breathing or unconscious, administer CPR; when the dog is revived, transport him to the vet immediately. If your dog is burned, he needs intensive care to prevent shock. If your dog is burned superficially, apply cool compresses on the dog's body to lessen injury and provide relief. Use a topical antibiotic and bandage the burn, then take your dog to the vet. Always consult an experienced veterinarian regarding the health and treatment of your pet.
- Photo Credit power sockets image by Aleksandr Lobanov from Fotolia.com