17 Aug Fire Hazards For Pets
An Antarctic cold air blast is causing our followers in the South to light their fireplaces to keep warm. It sounds like a simple enough activity, but one that might expose pets to a number of poisonous hazards. If you do have a fireplace, make sure you are familiar with the products you use and keep the dangerous ones out of reach of pets.
- Matches – Match heads contain chemicals which if ingested in large quantities can cause changes to the function of red blood cells along with gastrointestinal upset such as vomiting and diarrhoea. The wooden stick itself is not poisonous but may be a choking hazard.
- Firelighters and starters – May contain hydrocarbons that cause irritation of the gastrointestinal tract when swallowed. The ingestion of large fragments or entire blocks may result in gastrointestinal obstruction.
- Wood – Avoid green wood (non-aged/unseasoned wood), driftwood and any timber that has been painted, lacquered, stained or treated. Burning these types of wood may release toxic chemicals and excess smoke which can be harmful if breathed in.
- Fire crystals – These novelty products can be sprinkled into a burning fire to change the colour of the flame. Whilst they may make a great party trick, they are very toxic if ingested and should be kept well out of reach of pets.
- Carbon monoxide – Last but certainly not least, carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas that can kill pets (and humans). Never use an outdoor heater or BBQ indoors and if you use a gas heater, have it serviced regularly. If your fireplace has a damper, keep it open whilst the fire is burning and until all embers are extinguished. Investing in a carbon monoxide detector is also a good idea.
If you think your pet has been exposed to any of these items, call us on 1300 869 738 (AU) or 0800 869 738 (NZ) for a tailored risk assessment and recommendation, including first aid measures. Our service is free for all pet owners.