Dogs and the Fireplace

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Now that it’s winter, many of us build fires in the fireplace (or flip the switch on the gas fire) to help ward off the cold. Who enjoys that fire most in your household – you or the dog?
We are only able to have a gas fireplace in our house. Our chimney would have had to be rebuilt to accommodate a wood burning fire and while I would have loved that, the convenience of a gas fireplace is hard to beat. Jack pretty much ignores it, but Maggie loves her place by the fire.
My sister’s dog Taj insisted her bed be moved closer to the fireplace on cold day not too long ago. She stood next to the bed, which was by the TV, and pointedly looked at the bed and then to the fireplace and back and forth until my sister moved the bed. She then climbed right in and fell asleep.
While it is perfectly okay to allow your dog to sleep in front of the fire, there are a few safety tips you should be aware of:

  • If it’s a wood burning fire, be careful of sparks and be sure to keep the glass door or screen closed.
  • Keep your dog’s toys and other flammable materials away from it. Dogs like to toss toys in the air…make sure they don’t play that game near the fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended.
  • At this time of year, be careful of stockings or other decorations getting too close to the fire.
  • Make sure your smoke detectors are in good working order.
  • Be sure and get your chimney checked and/or swept each year to prevent soot build up and a potential hazard.

Dogs (and humans) love curling up in front of the fire – enjoy, just be safe about it.

Additional Readings:

Fireplace Safety for Children and Pets
Pet Safety Around the Fireplace
Tips for Keeping Your Dog Safe Around the Fireplace

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  1. These are excellent tips, thanx for sharing! I hadn’t thought about how the dogs love to throw their toys around and how that can be a danger, for both our indoor fireplace & the outdoor fire pit. Phoebe loves to curl up close to the warm fire, but my Husky will nap far away from it; she doesn’t need the heat!
    Cathy Armato recently posted…FUN At The Holiday Pet Festival!My Profile

  2. In front of the fire is my favorite spot too!

  3. The smell of a wood burning fireplace and the crackling sound is great, but it is such a mess, so much work, and more dangerous, so we are happy to have a gas fireplace. Sometimes I lie in front of it, but most evenings it is just cat bro Bert and Bailie jockeying for the best spot. They roast themselves until they can’t take it anymore!
    Emma recently posted…Time for Christmas ShoppingMy Profile

    • Our Sally would lie in front of it too and get so hot – I couldn’t figure out how she could stand it!
      mkob recently posted…Dogs and the FireplaceMy Profile

  4. Great tips. Storm likes to stand in front of our heater at the cabin. It looks like a gas stove. She is weird. We converted our wood burning fireplace at home to gas because of the convenience. I had it on a couple of times this year but today it is going to be 50 so no added heat needed….lol.
    2 Brown Dawgs recently posted…Make Staying In A Hotel With Your Dog Hassle FreeMy Profile

  5. I’m with Taj, the fireplace is MY place in winter… and in summer my staff can occupy that place, because I’m generous… we have a screen to avoid that I turn into a Hot Dog and my sofa has a security distance :o)
    easy rider recently posted…easyblog MOANDAY MISCHIEFMy Profile

  6. We don’t have a fireplace, but I know at my moms house when she gets the fire going, both her kitties lay by it all day long!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!
    Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady recently posted…Helping Change lives; one pet at a timeMy Profile

  7. Gosh, I can smell a wood burning fireplace in my sleep. They are/were the best. Hard to find in our neck of the woods. We’ve had glass inclosed gas ones for years. Good tips to share, many times we forget these things until an accident/tragedy occurs. Thanks!
    Groovy Goldendoodles recently posted…PHOTOS WITH SANTA | MONDAY MISCHIEFMy Profile

  8. Nothing beats curling up by the fire with the pups. I swear my two would lay directly in the fire if there wasn’t a great, they can never be close enough for their liking.

  9. We don’t have a fireplace in our house, so not sure who would enjoy it more.
    Callie, Shadow, and Ducky’s Mom recently posted…Peace at Home, Good Will to DogsMy Profile

  10. Thank you! Our big dogs have always loved the fireplace, but I never considered Chewy and his toys. He loves to throw them in the air, across the room, wherever. It’s like having a toddler.
    Flea recently posted…Begging Dogs, FBM 102My Profile

  11. Cuddling by the fire with your pup during the holidays is always the best way to warm up.

  12. A fire in the fireplace seems to warm the house the way no furnace ever could.
    jan recently posted…Afghanistan Veteran reunited with his dog four years after she was given awayMy Profile

    • Especially when you can stand in front of it for that extra oomph!
      mkob recently posted…Dogs and the FireplaceMy Profile

  13. Great reminder. I love fireplaces, but we had to remove ours. The flue was so damaged from a fire that the previous homeowner had in the chimney that it would have cost thousands to fix. I love how Taj knew just how to make her needs known.

    –Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats.
    Susan and the gang from Life with Dogs and Cats recently posted…Pussycat pussycat, where have you been?My Profile

  14. We have both a gas and a wood burning fireplace and Buddy prefers to lie on the tile floor. Go figure!
    Buddy recently posted…Almost Got HimMy Profile

  15. We miss our gas fireplace. We don’t have either right now. My three pets were almost always curled up sleeping in front of it. I guess one safety tip I would add with the gas fireplaces is the glass really heats up. At least it did on ours. I’ve been dumb and bumped against it before. Ouch! A few visiting dogs bumped their tails or butts against it too, and they learned quickly to stay back a few inches.
    Lindsay recently posted…Kacy, my first golden retrieverMy Profile

  16. Great tips! Rita loves to lay by the fire. So cozy.
    Jackie Bouchard recently posted…Monday Mischief: Everything Is IrresistibleMy Profile

  17. Nellie loves the fireplace. She will sit on the hearth and let the fire warm her up, I hope that the fire will melt some fat off but it hasn’t happened yet.
    Sand Spring Chesapeakes recently posted…Monday Mischief~#PrideBites In The MailMy Profile

  18. Everyone here loves the wood stove….Cricket will often lie right in front of it until she is panting! We really only use it when we’re home so we can monitor all of those things you mentioned.
    Jan K recently posted…‘Tis the SeasonMy Profile

  19. Our pack loves to spend cold winter nights (& days!) in front of the fireplace! We had one in our previous place, but unfortunately don’t have a working one currently. BUT, we will be moving into our own place soon, and you bet that it will be equipped with a (functional) fireplace!
    Barbara Rivers recently posted…Our Pack’s Resolutions for 2015My Profile

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