In 2018, it was reported that among all of the dogs owned in the United States, “1 in 3 will need emergency veterinary treatment every year.” Many of these visits could be prevented if proper safety measures are followed. That is why it is so crucial to take steps to ensure a safe home environment for your dog(s). One feature of the home that can become particularly hazardous is the fireplace. Between the sharp and heavy tools that are used to tend to fires, to the actual flames, it is incredibly important to know how to keep your pup safe. If you have and use a fireplace in your home, learn more about the must-follow steps for making this feature safe for your dog.

Keep your fireplace blocked off when in use

As you may already know, one of the biggest dangers of a fireplace is the fire. Not only can flames pose a fire risk, but they can also injure humans and dogs alike. If you have a puppy or a dog that is particularly energetic, it is often best to have them play in another part of the house while the fireplace is in use. In all other cases, use a sturdy glass gate or fireplace screen to deter your dog from getting too close. Although gates and screens are an excellent way to protect your dog, it is also helpful to train them to stay away from the fireplace. In your training, establish clear physical boundaries for how close you want your dog to get to it. If you are about to install a new fireplace, consider choosing an elevated ventless option. These fireplaces not only look incredible, but they are also lifted off of the ground. This makes it much easier for you to enjoy the look and warmth of a fireplace, while keeping your dog safe.

Ensure that your dog plays appropriately around the fireplace

If your dog begins to play in the same room as the fireplace, be sure that he or she does not become too energetic. Although dogs may seem far enough away one moment, they can quickly end up too close to the fire. If they are playing roughly or energetically, they can easily knock down fireplace screens, and pose an injury risk to themselves, to you, and to other family members. Additionally, they even have the potential to start a fire in your home. Even when you are not actively using your fireplace, your dog could end up injuring him or herself on any sharp tools stored nearby. Therefore, it is best to encourage your pup to be calm and to play gently when in the same room as the fireplace. If they insist on energetic play, it is always safest to move them to another area of the home.

Never leave your dog unattended

Even if you have the most secure protection available, never leave your dog unattended near an in-use fireplace. Since it can take a matter of minutes for dogs to get around barriers, or to knock decorations and other household items into the fire, your presence is of utmost importance. If you need to leave the room for any amount of time, take your dog(s) with you. This is true even when you only need to step away for a few minutes. Although it may seem like an unnecessary precaution, accidents with fireplaces can happen within seconds.

Despite the high number of emergency vet visits that occur in a given year, you thankfully have the power to prevent almost any injury that your dog could sustain. This is especially true regarding fireplace-related injuries. By blocking off flames, encouraging your dogs to be calm around the fireplace, and never leaving them unattended, you can keep them, yourself, and your home safe.