By the end of the week, Odin is never going to come near me again.
Almost every time he comes in for a kiss, he gets zapped and he’s starting to judge me for it.
He gives me that look like, “OMG, you hurted me.”
I feel bad so I’ve taken some steps to cut down on the shocks before he backs his bags and leaves.
Where Does Static Electricity Come From?
According to Discover,
“Static electricity comes down to the interactive force between electrical charges.
At the atomic scale, negative charges are carried by tiny elementary particles called electrons.
Most electrons are neatly packed inside the bulk of matter, whether it be a hard and lifeless stone or the soft, living tissue of your body.
However, many electrons also sit right on the surface of any material.
Each different material holds on to these surface electrons with its own different characteristic strength.
If two materials rub against each other, electrons can be ripped out of the “weaker” material and find themselves on the material with a stronger binding force.
We notice static electricity more in the dry months of winter when the air has very low humidity.
Dry air is an electrical insulator, whereas moist air acts as a conductor.
This is what happens:
In dry air, electrons get trapped on the surface with a stronger binding force.
Unlike when the air is moist, they can’t find their way to flow back to the surface where they came from, and they can’t make the distribution of charges uniform again.
A static electric spark occurs when an object with a surplus of negative electrons comes close to another object with a less negative charge – and the surplus of electrons is large enough to make the electrons “jump.”
The electrons flow from where they’ve built up – like on you after walking across a wool rug – or with the case of our Newfies, when they shuffle across a rug or carpet-to the next thing you contact that doesn’t have an excess of electrons – such as a doorknob’ or our face.
So How Can We Reduce The Static Shocks In Our Dogs Fur?
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You need to add the moisture back into the house and the most effective way to do this is with a whole-house humidifier such as something like Aprilaire.
We have Aprilaire and it does help a lot but it doesn’t seem to work effectively throughout the whole house so we still get some static electricity.
You can also get room humidifiers that will help add moisture back into a single room.
Spraying a light mist of water or grooming spray on your dog’s coat can also be effective as well as making your own DIY grooming spray by diluting your dog’s conditioner with water and putting it in a spray bottle.
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Adding an Omega 3 such as fish oil supplements can also help improve your dog’s coat from the inside out.
Speak to your veterinarian about choosing a good fish oil supplement.
Metal or wood grooming tools.
If you use a pin brush, use one that has metal or wood pins over plastic ones.
Plastic insulates electrical current whereas metal conducts it.
I have this wooden pin brush and it claims to be 100% static-free so while you might not use it all year round, it can help in the winter when the air gets dry! (it has an impressive 5-star rating too!)
Some people also choose ionic pet brushes to groom dogs and guard against static.
Ionic brushes emit positive ions to easily clean your pet and remove smells from its fur.
It works by releasing safe levels of ozone.
Eh……I’ve never tried one so I can’t comment on its effectiveness.
Do not rub your dog’s coat with a dryer sheet or spray fabric softener on them.
These products can contain chemicals that may be harmful to your pet if ingested.
Shocks happen to most of at this time of the year but there are ways to reduce the zapping going on!
Tuesday 29th of March 2022
My Jack, a Cockapoo, started nipping and gr9wling at me when I petted him. We'd only been together 7 months. I thought he was sick! Took him to the vet and he was given a clean bill of health. I found out my carpet and Jack's fur interacting and shocked him whe n he was petted. Used different soap on carpet cleaner and spray him with diluted dog conditioner. All woofs and wag now!
Tails Around the Ranch
Thursday 5th of March 2020
Poor Odin. When my old house had a forced air furnace we had that issue. Now with hot water heat, it rarely happens. Here's yet another reason for cheering for spring to arrive.