Long walks, endless games of fetch, and more belly rubs than you can count: Dog parents will do anything to keep their dogs happy and healthy. Why? Because our dogs bring us immeasurable joy. It’s no wonder ensuring your dog’s safety is always a top priority!
July 15th is dedicated to just that: helping humans protect their four-legged friends from the danger of house fires. Half a million pets are affected by house fires annually, and pets accidentally start around 1,000 fires each year. That’s why the AKC and ADT partnered to start National Pet Fire Safety Day.
We hope that these tips will further reduce the number of pet-started fires, keep dogs safe, and help save dogs’ lives if faced with a tragedy like a house fire.
The burning question all dog owners ask: Will firefighters save my dog?
Firefighters have hearts as large as Great Danes! Not really, but they are some of the most compassionate people around. During the hottest days of summer, you'll often see news reports about firefighters breaking car windows to save dogs from unbearable heat. So, it’s not surprising that most fire departments have dog-friendly rescue policies.
While fire rescues teams must save people before considering saving pets, firefighters will often enter a burning home to rescue dogs, cats, and iguanas if the conditions are right.
Most fire departments now carry respirator masks engineered for dogs making it easier for firefighters to save dogs!
What can you do to protect your pooch? Stop and make a plan
Planning can prevent countless fire-related complications. If your family doesn’t have a plan, make one.
Gather your family and discuss a fire response plan. Make sure your plan includes your dogs and other pets. This is the best way to protect them in case of an emergency. Make sure your plan addresses who will take which dog, where your fire extinguishers are located, and where the family will meet once out of the house.
Practice your plan to reduce any issues.
Fire prevention and your pup
While it’s good to know that firefighters have our best friends in mind, dog parents can play a big part in helping prevent these accidents.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use to help prevent your dog from unintentionally starting a fire:
Remove stove knobs or cover them before leaving your house. If you have a Houdini hound or a larger dog this is a must; the stove is responsible for more pet-started fires than anything else in your home according to the Red Cross.
Replace candles with flameless candles.
Keep your dogs crated while you’re away.
Move all cords and wires out of reach. A dog can easily trip over a cord and puppies might chew wires.
How can you help firefighters help your dogs?
Because accidents happen, preparing for a fire can save your dog’s life and protect firefighters from unnecessary danger. While you're running errands, at work, or enjoying a night out, help safeguard your home. Here's how:
Keep a collar on your dog. (Breakaway, or safety, collars can help prevent injury if the collar gets caught on something.)
Hang leashes next to your front door.
Create an area near the entrance of your home for your dog to relax while you’re away
Use a pet alert window cling near your front door so firefighters are aware of how many dogs and other pets are in the house. Update this number if you're fostering a dog or your pet family grows.
Keep smoke detectors in operational condition.
While it may be tempting, never go back into your home to save your dog. Wait for fire rescue workers to arrive and assess the situation.
Have a safe and mindful National Pet Fire Safety Day!