Elderly pets often suffer some of the same issues as elderly humans. Their bones and joints ache during cold weather, and a nice warm fire hits the spot. The only problem with this scenario is that a fire is unpredictable. The embers give no warning when they’re about to pop out of the fireplace, so we have to be diligent when it comes to protecting our home and our elderly pets from harm.

Do you remember the Elmer Fudd cartoons? Elmer was quietly rocking in an old wooden rocking chair while his dog naps nearby, when suddenly a burning hot ember pops out and burns the dog. The dog quickly jumps up and runs to a nearby water bucket while scooting its bottom along the floor and sighs as steam evaporates from his fur when he sits in the bucket. This was funny in the cartoons because the dog’s reaction made it so. It isn’t funny in reality when your dog is in serious pain because an ember has burned its skin.

Popping embers pose a threat to your children, carpet, and furniture as well. An unattended fireplace fire can easily and quickly turn into an emergency situation. Embers only need fuel and oxygen to continue to burn. A small draft can blow life into the smallest ember and catch your furnishings, carpeting, or rugs on fire.

Fireplace Doors: Many people worry that installing glass fireplace doors will reduce the effectiveness of the fireplace or diminish its ability to heat the room. This is not the case at all. All they do is add a lovely aesthetic to the fireplace and keep embers from jumping out and causing burn marks on your mantle or flooring. Embers that cannot pop out of the fireplace cannot cause a house fire or hurt your pet either.

Gate: Parents of small children often resort to using baby gates to protect their toddler from falling down the stairs, entering rooms that are off limits, or to keep them away from the fireplace. This also works with elderly dogs.

Crate: A big comfortable dog crate is a good option for keeping your dog at a safe distance from the fireplace. Some pet supply companies sell metal crates that allow visibility and air flow unlike travel crates that are hard plastic with slits for air. Add a nice thick memory foam mattress to your dog’s crate to minimize pressure on already-aching bones and joints, and this will likely become their favorite place to nap.

Lou Curley’s Chimney Service provides all types of chimney services to Delaware County and the surrounding areas. We offer special deals every month on specific services. This month, for example, we’re offering $20 off of a chimney cleaning. Check in with us in September to see what money-saving offer we’ll have available then. Call us any time at 610-626-2439 to schedule a chimney inspection or cleaning.