If you’ve kept up with our posts, you know how much we at Lift Your TableⓇ love our pets! July 15 is National Pet Fire Safety Day, and so we’ve rounded up some tips on keeping pets safe.
You’ve probably seen all the articles about how the American West is suffering from extreme drought. Wildfires are fairly common in southern California, but with climate change fire season is now longer than it used to be. As the drought continues, other areas are more likely to see wildfires too. Prepare to evacuate with your pets.
In wildfire conditions, being able to bail when necessary is key. Just as you prep a go bag for yourself and members of your family, keep one for the pets too.
They’ll need food and water just like humans, and any meds that they’ll need to take as well. You might put some extra bowls to put the food and water in to make it easier for them to eat and drink.
If you have cats, you’ll want to bring the litter box and litter too.
- Preparing to go on short notice
This is often easiest with dogs and animals that you normally keep in a cage or aquarium, such as hamsters and snakes or lizards. Pop the leash on your dog (and harness on your cat if you’ve trained them to it) and they’re ready to go.
Cats might be harder to deal with. Leave their carriers out at home so they’re used to having them around. If there’s a fire near you but you haven’t been evacuated yet, consider keeping them in one room of the house where their water, food, and litter is. That way if you do get the order to leave, you can get them in their carriers more easily.
Fire in the home can be dangerous too. Just as you keep young children away from the fire so they can’t hurt themselves, do the same for your pets.
- Fire safety screen & fire extinguisher
Preventing them from sticking a nose or a paw into an ember is easiest with a screen. Also make sure you have a fire extinguisher on hand, because even a small ember can set something nearby on fire.
Train your pets to avoid getting too close to the fire. (Even if you’ve trained them, keep the fire screen & extinguisher.) When it’s cold out they may want to snuggle close, and cats enjoy the warmth at any time.
If you’re having trouble training them or keeping them away, you might want to block access to the room with a pet gate.
Even a well-trained pet can get excited by the flickering of a flame, or just the toastiness on cold days. Don’t leave them too long by themselves in front of an open fire.
Don’t leave pet bedding or toys on the hearth, because a stray ember or ash could set it on fire. That also takes away some incentive for your pet to get too close.
- Keep tools safely out of reach
Pokers, tongs and spades can be dangerous if your pet knocks into them or steps on them. If you keep them in a holder, make sure it’s sturdy and won’t tip over on your pet.
- Consider skipping the mantle decorations
Depending on your pet, this may or may not apply. Cats in particular love dangly and sparkly things, so they may want to jump onto your mantlepiece and smack things right into the fire. Or fall behind the screen themselves.
If the decorations are too tempting for your pet, you might want to avoid putting them out, or arrange them in a safer place.
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Lift Your TableⓇ… SAVE YOUR BACK!