Simple Ways to Keep Dogs From Chewing Electrical Cords
Chewing comes naturally to dogs. It’s one of the ways dogs relieve boredom and loneliness, as well as stress and anxiety. So, allowing your dog to chew on his toys is an excellent way of keeping medical conditions like separation anxiety at bay.
Also, chewing is a dog’s way of releasing his pent-up energy. In the process of chewing, a dog can burn plenty of calories, which is instrumental in keeping him fit. Chewing is also a perfect way of redirecting your dog’s aggression. It can serve as a welcome distraction to overly aggressive dogs.
Not to mention, chewing helps to reduce plaque buildup in a dog’s teeth.
Evidently, chewing comes with tons of health benefits to dogs. Your only concern should be what your canine friend chews. If you’ve owned a dog long enough, you must have observed a tendency in him to chew electrical cords.
Why Are Dogs Attracted To Electrical Cords And What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
First up, it’s important to remember that a dog can chew on just about anything within his reach, ranging from his toys to furniture, indoor plants, etc. But while chewing comes naturally to all dogs, certain situations may aggravate the behavior.
For instance, dogs that aren’t properly trained tend to chew more than their well-trained counterparts. Certain medical conditions, like canine obsessive-compulsive disorder, may also exacerbate chewing among dogs.
Now, the fact that electrical wires generally occur right within reach of most dogs is already a problem in itself. Also, power cords have a distinct appearance, at least from a canine’s perspective. These cords resemble chew sticks and chew sticks look like bones.
As a loving and responsible pet parent, it’s important to understand the dangers associated with your dog chewing on electrical cables.
According to PetMD, chewing power cables' immediate risk is that your dog could get shocked in the process. Some of the tell-tale signs of shock from chewing electrical wires include burns around the dog’s mouth, elevated heart rate, shortness of breath, and muscle tremors. In severe cases, the dog might also develop seizures.
Besides the injury to the dog, chewing on power cables might also trigger house fires. You can only imagine the extent of damage that could occur if these fires were to start without anyone at home.
Even if any of the above risks don’t occur, continued chewing of electrical cables could expose the wires. When that happens, it can be very dangerous trying to perform extension cord repair. Your only recourse would be to replace the plug.
Tips to Prevent Your Dog From Chewing Electrical Cables
Train the dog
It’s convenient to dismiss chewing as an instinctive behavior among dogs. However, the intensity of chewing on power cords usually has a lot to do with a dog’s lack of training.
As you shall find, properly housetrained dogs tend to chew less intensely than untrained dogs.
Hide all cables
Your dog’s chewing instincts will usually kick in at the moment he spots power cables. So, the most effective solution here would be to keep the cables out of the dog’s reach.
Fortunately, you don’t have to be a certified electrician to know how to put power cords away from plain sight.
You can consider hiding the electrical wires behind your furniture or run them around doorways. Alternatively, you could purchase cable management boxes and use them to store electrical cables and other accessories, such as chargers and adapters.
There’s also the option of clipping the cables onto the wall. That will prevent them from dangling carelessly and attracting your dog’s attention.
Block access to the cords
It’s difficult to hide all the electrical cables from your dog. However, you can still block his access to the remaining cords.
One way to do that is to close the door to the room containing the wires that your dog loves the most.
You might also install a pet gate that’s high enough for the animal to jump over or simply keep the dog safe in his crate.
Offer your dog positive stimulation
As we already indicated, some dogs chew on power cords out of boredom and loneliness, which usually result from inadequate stimulation. This is why experts advise offering your dog adequate mental and physical stimulation.
First, exercise the dog regularly to ensure he has no pent-up energy, which he might choose to release via chewing on power cords.
Also, offer your pooch enough toys to keep him stimulated even in your absence. Some of the toys experts recommend include interactive ball launchers and food puzzles.
Make the cords unappealing
Last but not least, you can apply a suitable deterrent on the power cords to prevent your dog from chewing on them. Common deterrents include spicy-hot or bitter sprays.
However, note that dogs react differently to smells and tastes. While the smell of a spray may repulse some dogs, others may enjoy that very smell.
Most importantly, go for products containing pet-safe ingredients. Shun the temptation of spraying your power cords with common pesticides or insecticides, as most of these products contain ingredients that are toxic for dogs.
There are inherent risks associated with dogs chewing on electrical cables. Fortunately, there are equally numerous tips that you can implement to stop or redirect this aberrant behavior.