How To Keep Your Pet Safe During a Fire

two white-and-tan dogs

One of the last things we would like is that our pets are at risk during an incident in which the flames and smoke could endanger their lives.

What should you do if your alarm goes off with your animal (or fin-bearing) family members in danger?

running white, brown, and black dog

Have a Plan in Place

The best method to protect pets in the event of home flames is to incorporate the pet into your family’s plan. Sarah Wooten, DVM, and Pumpkin Pet Insurance veterinarian suggest that leaving it to the firefighters is crucial, however, making sure that your pet’s details are documented will ensure that they’ll be taken care of and taken to safely.

A sign or decal on a door or window will alert emergency responders to how many animals and people are at home according to Maja Droz who is a vet at the Goldsmith Veterinary Clinic in Denver.

Are you lacking a family-wide plan for the event of a fire? provides a wonderful template.

Microchip Cats and Dogs

Wooten recommends that keeping ID tags as well as microchips up-to-date in the event that your pet or cat gets lost in the event of a house fire can significantly increase the chances that they’ll be located returning to your home.

It is best to count on these plans for backup in the event of separation, however, there are other methods to get your pets safe if you need to leave your home.

Have Appropriate Travel Preparations on Hand

yellow labrador retriever puppy sitting on floor

Wooten suggests keeping a variety of leashes for dogs and cats around your home for the event that you need to escape an ensuing fire.

“Carry your pet or cat using a towel to ensure they don’t breathe in excessive smoke,” Drodz adds.

Alongside carriers, Pet owners must create an emergency plan for dogs or cats. This should include extra leashes, a medical kit with a week’s worth of food litter, disposable trays and litter along with water and food bowls, and copies of medical records and toys.

Carriers are also applicable to less-sized animals Drodz declares, adding that the transport of lizards or rodents in a small kennel for transport should be a part of an emergency kit for evacuation.

The kits should also contain food items, bottles of water, an infant bowl of baby wipes to clean papers, towels as well as heat bulbs, spray bottles, and a blanket to help with stress and cold.

Make Firefighters’ Jobs Easier

Wooten warns against ever entering a home that is burning in the event that your pet wasn’t with you. It’s best to leave that to firefighters, she advises.

“If your pet doesn’t go out with you, however many times as you may be attracted, you could put your life at risk if you return to the scene your home with your pet],” she says.

Instead, make an exit point by keeping the doors and windows unlocked, and keep calling your pet’s name in order to assist them in navigating their way to safety, she adds.

How To Prioritize Fish Safety

Wooten recommends keeping two nets close to your tank, as well as several plastic bags that are the dimensions of your fish, just in case.

“That means, in the event, there is a fire you will be able to quickly remove the fish and place it and put them in bags,” the woman says. “Turning the lights off in the tank will confuse the fish, so they’re easier to catch.”

Drodz is in agreement and advises that he has the fish-safe plastic bags filled with one-third of water.

“If you’re able to spare more time then a five-gallon bucket that has a lid and a hole for an air pump that plugs into the car power adapter is an excellent item to have at hand,” she says.

Reptiles Also Need Rescuing

golden retriever inside car

Maintain a small, plastic container close to the enclosures of reptiles to use in the event of an emergency to transport your pet, Wooten says. It’s helpful to keep a stash of medicine, food, and other items to keep inside the container.

“If you’re leaving a pet that is small in size … put the pet in a large cushion case or cardboard box and take them out in an empty pillow case or box,” she says. “Pillowcases are also a great way for transporting animals down the heights by tying an end with a knot.”

Prevent Fires in the First Place

Wooten suggests securing your home against fire to ensure your active and curious pets don’t trample on objects in the first place.

She advises against burning open flames. If they’re in use and flammable, ensure they are kept away from reach and out of reach before leaving the house.

Stoves that are accidentally switched on due to the pet’s bump into a knob are the most common method used by pets to ignite fires in homes, so she suggests taking knobs off or covering them.

Wooten believes that this is the best method to safeguard your pet from flames.

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