Earthing mats (a.k.a. ElectroStatic Discharge – Safe Mats) are commonplace in the electronics industry, where sensitive components need to be protected against potentially damaging rogue electrostatic discharges (ESDs). Not so common, though, for protecting furry pets in the home. But this may now have changed. Inventors Thomas J. Gaskill (Haddonfield, NJ), and James S. Gatti (Delran, NJ) have just received a US patent for their Static electricity discharging pet bed.
“[…] loud noise and thunderstorm induced tumult take their toll on pets, it is the static electricity in the air during a storm which is a major, yet heretofore unaddressed problem. The highly electrically charged atmosphere during a thunder or lighting [sic] storm causes tingling and general discomfort through the fur of the animal. Moreover, electric shocks often accompany this discomfort during situations in which there is extreme lightening. [sic]”
Here’s how it might work :
“The outer cover is fabricated of an electrical conductive material designed to conduct static electricity from the pet bed through an electrical conductive conductor [sic], to an electrical conductive ground wire, and then to a ground only plug connected to a grounded electrical outlet. The result is that when a dog or like furry pet is positioned on the pet bed, static electricity affecting the animal is drained to electrical ground. In this same manner, an ‘Earthing’ effect provides a number of healthful benefits to the pet as well.”
Note: It’s not specifically mentioned in the patent, but it’s crucial that the earthing wire is connected to the correct pin on the plug. Alternatively, an earthing rod could be sunk in nearby ground, and the mat’s cable connected to that instead. Some guidance on such things can be found at Groundology Ltd. (UK) who are in a position to supply grounded yoga mats and grounding socks.