Protecting pets in winter from heater and fireplace burns

Protecting pets in winter from heater and fireplace burns

ENSURING the safety of children around heaters and fireplaces is essential during winter but protection from these dangers needs to extend to pets too.

Pet Insurance Australia’s Nadia Crighton said claims for burn-related issues rose by 300 per cent in winter.

“It’s important for all pet owners to treat heater and fire safety like they would with their children,” Crighton said.

“Pets can quickly become burnt and injured when getting too close to hot surfaces.

“This big spike in burn-related claims can be anything from scalding due to hot drinks or bursting hot water bottles, to backs, bottoms and pads needing medical attention from getting too close to the roaring fireplace.”

She also advised against using cheap electric heat pads from overseas that could pose a fire or injury risk.

Instead, safely warm a pet’s environment with a heat pack, identifying warm spots in the home and investing in safe dog coats.

“Pets are masters at finding the sun and the warm spots in your home,” she said.

“Adding some warm soft bedding into these areas will ensure your pet is warm throughout the day when you are not at home without the use of possibly dangerous items.”

Crighton said all pet owners should consider the following tips:

Use a fireguard around your heaters and fireplaces to prevent your pet from getting too close.

Never leave hot drinks unattended and in reach of wagging tails or curious cats.

Train your puppy not to sit on top of the fireplace. Have a clear distance and be consistent.

Teach your cats not to perch on tables, benchtops and side tables where hot drinks are commonly placed.

Discourage cats from jumping on heaters.

Buy safe heaters that turn off when knocked over.

Never leave electric blankets on when you are not at home.

Do not use hot water bottles with pets; instead, consider pet-friendly heat packs.

If your dog is spending their day outside:

Pick your dog kennel up off the floor and turn the door away from the weather.

Place the kennel in a warm area and out of the harsh winter weather.

Add warm bedding or straw under your dog’s bedding inside their kennel.

Ensure your dog has ample weather-protected areas to keep warm and dry during the day.

Consider using a kennel with a flap for extra warmth.

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