2001-Mon Feb 27 08:53:37 MST 2017
Vetstreet. All rights reserved.
Vetstreet does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. See Additional Information ›
As the Indian summer drifts away and cold weather marches in, we begin to anticipate long, cozy evenings in front of the hearth. Snuggling with our furry friends in front of a roaring wood or gas fire is one of winter's greatest pleasures — but fireplaces and open flames can be
hazardous to pets.
Before you light that first fire of the season, take into account the
safety of your dogs and cats. That goes double for
kittens, who don’t know the dangers of fire, and
older pets, who may want to get close to the fireplace to warm their achy bones. When sparks fly or pets accidentally come in contact with flames, the result can be painful burns or even death.
Tails, paws, long ears and long fur are especially at risk. The following tips will help you “fireproof” your pets.
Supervision tops the list when it comes to fireplace safety precautions. Never leave pets alone around fire — if a fireplace or wood stove is burning and you leave the room, take them with you. Even if your fireplace has a mesh covering or glass doors, pets can still get burns from coming into contact with those hot surfaces.
Create a pet-safe environment near the fireplace or stove. If your pet has a bed near the fireplace, set it a safe distance away, where snapping embers can’t travel. Use a baby or pet gate to prevent pets from approaching the fire. If you want something more stylish, you can find attractive fireplace hearth screens that serve the same purpose. Choose one that pets can’t climb and that has a door that closes automatically.
It’s also a good idea to keep fireplace tools behind the barrier, so they can’t get knocked over by
rambunctious animals. That includes pokers, matches and lighters, starter chips, kindling and newspapers.
You know what they say about playing with fire — but playing near fire can be hazardous to your pets, too. Put the kibosh on
roughhousing and ball chasing around fireplaces or wood stoves. It’s all too easy for pets to unknowingly run toward the flames and be unable to stop in time. Limit the tossing of
treats and toys to areas away from the fireplace.
you have cats, think twice about draping the mantel with greenery during the
holidays. It may be pretty, but it can also be incredibly tempting for your
cat to play with. So save it for your dining table or the front door.
Finally, for your own
and your pets’ safety, make sure the damper is open while a fire is lit. If it is accidentally left closed, all of you run the risk of deadly carbon monoxide poisoning. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is a good idea.
Now you’re ready to safely snuggle with your pet as you both enjoy the warmth of the flames.
More on Vetstreet:
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Take our breed quiz to find your next pet.
Get all the best pet news and information sent right to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Dogs and cats help improve our mental,
social and physical health — and we
have the science to prove it!
We asked our readers to share the funny
things and skillful tricks their dogs will do
to get Milk-Bone® Pill…
It’s more than just cute when your kitty
naps in a box — it’s an instinctive
behavior that’s hardwired in her…
Herding dog, search-and-rescue dog, guide dog, police dog, farm dog — you name it, the German Shepherd can do it.
Check out our collection of more than 250 videos about pet training, animal behavior, dog and cat breeds and more.
Wonder which dog or cat best fits your lifestyle? Our new tool will narrow down more than 300 breeds for you.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.