6 ways to protect your pets from electrical hazards

Pups donning winter boots, bunnies with a bow, and cats wearing santa sweaters - who doesn’t love spending the holidays with a furry friend? While adopting a pet is no new trend, adopting a pet during a pandemic is.

With families spending more time at home these days, breeders and pet shops across the country are facing demands like never before. In fact, one Barrhaven dog breeder stated that she had more inquiries in April than the number she had sold in 12 years. Whether you are among the families looking to adopt a pandemic pet, or a seasoned pet owner, we wanted to make you remain alert to some electrical safety considerations during this holiday season.

1. Tuck away those delectable dangling cords

There’s just nothing more tantalizing to chew on than that dangling power cord in your living room - for your pet, that is. To prevent an unwelcome (and potentially fatal) electric shock, tuck your cords away using a twist-tie or cover them with plastic tubing whenever possible. Otherwise, try pet-proofing these cords by lightly wiping a small amount of an unpleasant tasting substance (like lemon juice or vinegar) to deter the appeal.

2. Unsafe areas to cat-nap

That warm area behind your dryer, computer or other electrical device - while appealing to your pet, is not the safest place to doze off. Steer your pet away from areas where there are electrical connections or block these areas off completely if you fear the temptation will be too strong for your cuddly creature to resist.

3. Practice socket safety

Whether you’re plugging in holiday lights, night lights, or your vacuum, be sure that the plug prongs are fully enclosed within the socket. Otherwise, curious noses and tongues may receive a harmful shock by any exposed prongs.

4. (Safe) space heaters and other hot devices

As cold weather sets in, you may be pulling out some space heaters to stay warm and cozy. Be mindful about placing them in areas that your pet won’t trip on them, and potentially burn themselves, as they blitz around the house.

5, “Who’s that stranger in our front yard?” - Max

See us working in your neighbourhood? Keep your pets inside whenever possible. While our crews love some good furry fanfare, they also want to be sure that they will remain a safe distance away from any dangerous electrical work they are performing.

6. Hazards on your walk that might shock you (or your pet)

‘Contact voltage’ or ‘stray voltage,’ most commonly occurring during wet weather conditions, is when electricity or voltage can become present on sidewalk and street equipment (like metal maintenance hole covers, storm drains or street light posts). While exposure is possible at any time of the year, it is most likely to happen in the winter with the presence of water, ice and salt - enabling electricity to conduct much more easily from places that it shouldn’t. Cases of electric shock are rare, but to help protect your pet, do your best to lead them around metal surfaces and to avoid walking through puddles (particularly in denser urban areas). As an extra precaution, you can also buy rubber-soled booties to add an extra layer of protection - and humour.

It’s been a ‘ruff’ year... As you cozy up with your pet during this unusual pandemic holiday season, we hope these tips help you feel a little more safe and secure. There’s a lot to learn when integrating a new pet into the home, but we hope you enjoy plenty of laughs along the way.

From all of us at Hydro Ottawa, wishing you a doggone purrfect holiday season!

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