Pets and heaters – how to keep your pets safe and warm in winter

August 19th, 2015

Appliance Talk Heaters Heating & Cooling

Pets & Heaters

On cold winter nights, my Cairn Terrier Alfred loves to snuggle up in front of the fireplace. He will stay there for hours, almost hypnotised by the orange flickering flames.


However, on some occasions his wagging tail has gotten a little bit too close for comfort and his fur is often very hot to touch.

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Household heaters may be comforting for pets like Alfred, but can be dangerous. Not only are our furry friends at risk of overheating or burning their fur and skin, but they are in danger of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning from both gas heaters and fireplaces.

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Here are some safety precautions for pets who love household heaters:

1.    The RSPCA suggests to never leave your pet alone with a heater and to consistently monitor your pet’s exposure to the heater. This includes ensuring they keep a safe distance and don’t remain in front of the heater any longer than we humans would.

2.    To protect your furry friend from open flames and searing embers, install a fireguard screen around the fireplace. This will eliminate burning and stop your pet from eating the ashes and ingesting any harmful toxins from fire starters.

3.    Carbon monoxide poisoning will cause long-term health problems and can be fatal to both pets and humans. It is important to check for gas leakages when using a gas fireplace or heater and to ensure the damper is kept open at all times for ventilation. A closed damper will cause the fireplace to release harmful gases into the household. Regular fireplaces must also be kept ventilated to stop smoke entering the room. A good tip is to install and check the batteries of a smoke detector; one advertised as a sensitive detector or one with a digital display is best.

4.    Gas space heaters can be particularly dangerous to pets as they are unvented and need to be externally ventilated. Outside air must be provided to dilute the pollutants released from the heater. Keep a window open and do not operate the heater for more than four hours at a time or in confined spaces like a bathroom or bedroom. Additionally, it is important to provide adequate ventilation for space heaters as they cause water vapour to condense, damaging paint and increasing mould growth in the room.

5.    As a final tip, make sure all games and toys remain away from household heaters. The last thing we want is for Fido’s favourite ball to end up in flames!

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Adriana has been with Appliances Online since June 2015. She loves her appliances in the kitchen and has a keen eye for anything new on the market. When Adriana’s not cooking up a storm, you will find her speaking Italian or making documentaries for her Journalism and International Studies degree. Adriana’s favourite appliance is the Cuisineart 1.5L Ice Cream Maker. In fact, you can find her recipe for Vegan Mango Ice Cream on this blog!

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