Snuggling a furry heat source can be the antidote to a frigid day, but when that’s not enough you need extra heat sources to keep your pack toasty. If your furnace doesn’t cut it, consider your pet’s safety before taking action. These heating solutions can be hazardous:
Countless house fires are attributed to space heaters, so be sure yours comes equipped with safety features (like automatic shut-off when tipped over or in case of overheating). Heaters that use fuel pose a second threat: carbon monoxide poisoning. Use them in well-ventilated areas only.
They’re a convenient way to heat fingers when Jack Frost is nipping, but hand warmers can be deadly for pets. Many contain high concentrations of iron that can cause vomiting, bloody diarrhea, lethargy and abdominal pain if eaten. Severe cases can progress to show signs of cardiac involvement and liver failure. Vomiting may occur immediately after ingestion, but clinical symptoms can be delayed up to 12 hours. If your pet chows down on a hand warmer, don’t wait for symptoms
to develop. Call your veterinarian or the pet poison hotline.
If you have an older home with large heat registers built into the floor, never make the area home base for your pet! Crates set up near floor vents have the potential to get very hot, and pets can (and do) succumb to heat stroke on even the coldest winter day.
Flickering flames can be too fascinating for furry friends to resist, but singed fur and skin burns can be the result. Be sure your fireplace is outfitted with a properly fitted safety screen.
Small breeds, short-haired dogs and those who have trouble keeping warm because of illness can benefit from wearing sweaters or coats in cold weather. But clothing can pose a hazard. Ensure a snug fit to avoid snagging on surroundings, and make sure the neck isn’t too tight. Clothing free from zippers and snaps is best, especially for dogs who are notorious chewers.