If your dog or puppy likes to chew everything in the house, they might at some point turn their attention to the power cords and leads for your other equipment too, such as the spaghetti junction that most of us have at the back of the TV! While any form of inappropriate chewing comes with problems, chewing power cords is not only highly inconvenient and potentially expensive to fix, but it also comes with the risk of electrocution or injury, making it a very serious business.
If this is a problem that you face at home, read on for our tips to protect your pet. While these tips are firstly aimed at reducing canine chewing and protecting dogs, they are also helpful for other household pets that like to chew when they are let out too- such as ferrets or rabbits.
While the ideal solution is to remove or re-route problem cables entirely, this is of course not always possible, unless you are happy to rearrange your furniture and possibly the locations of your power sockets too! However, if you can re-route cords or run them around the room above dog level, this is one way to tackle the problem.
Here are some more.
Do what you can to keep your dog from seeing and approaching the cords in the first place; don’t leave trailing cables out, roll up any unused wires, and conceal cables where you can, such as behind book cases or desks. Use rugs to cover cords on the floor, or if possible, run them around the sides of the room behind the skirting board or under the carpet.
If your pet likes to sleep on or near cables, for instance, behind the sofa if there are cords running there, try to keep them away and stop them from doing it. Even if they are not chewing on the cords while they are sleeping, the temptation will be there for avid chewers!
Anything that is hanging loose or dangling down will offer temptation for your dog to grab hold of, so try to tidy up loose ends and loops of cable.
There are various products on the market designed to cover and protect electrical wiring, both to keep it safe and to keep masses of tangled cables tidy. PVC piping, tubing such as hosepipe or electrical cord protectors should offer an additional layer of interference between your dog’s teeth and the live wire, and give you longer to react before chewing becomes dangerous!
As a short-term of emergency solution, use double sided Sellotape on cables; when your dog tries to chew it, they will stick to it, which is enough to put most dogs off! This trick is handy for very short patches of exposed cable; remember to replace the tape regularly as it begins to lose its stickiness.
There is a huge range of bitter and nasty tasting deterrent sprays that you can use to discourage your dog from chewing on things that are not theirs, such as pepper sprays or bitter apple, all of which can easily be bought from pet shops and larger supermarkets.
You can even make up a simple, safe solution at home with cupboard ingredients, such as lemon juice, pepper and water.
If you intend to go this route to discourage your dog, make sure that the cables you intend to spray are in good condition and fully sheathed in their protective coating; small cracks and gaps in the wire, or previous teeth marks, may mean that liquid gets into the cabling itself.
When spraying the cables, make sure that your solution is concentrated enough to make a difference, and that you cover all of the cables that are within any range of your dog liberally and completely. You should also bear in mind that you will need to go around re-spraying on a regular basis, to make sure that your solution proves effective in the long term!
All dogs enjoy chewing, and this is never more true than with puppies and young dogs when they are teething, and need to find something to relieve the build-up of pressure on their gums as the teeth break through. Ensure that your dog, puppy or other pet is not chewing the power cords due to a lack of viable and suitable alternatives; provide plenty of chew toys made of hard rubber or other suitable materials, or rawhide chews, and you might find that your problem resolves itself.
Remember that dogs and other pets will also sometimes chew because they are bored, so review your dog’s living situation, and ensure that they are receiving enough stimulation and not being left to their own devices for long periods of time, which can lead to problems such as chewing within the home.