Winter warning – don’t let your furbaby burn


Pet owners know only too well that increased affection from your furbaby is a sure sign that the weather is getting colder.

These animals become heat-seeking missiles as Autumn turns in winter, discovering that your hot bod is the perfect source of warmth.

But it can also be a tricky time for them as they are drawn to other sources of heat. And some of the ways to keep them warm can even lead to injuries.

“We do see an increase in burn claims from the months of May until October,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “This suggests that it could be linked to an increase in warming devices used for pets, and pet owners.” 

Many pet owners will invest in extra products when it comes to helping pets keep warm. However, it is always important to only use any heating products under supervision. 

“Heating pads and heaters should only ever be utilised under supervision,” Crighton suggests. “It is not uncommon to hear of pets accidentally burning themselves trying to inch closer and closer to a heat source.” 

There are some basic and very safe options to keep your pet toasty and warm this winter including: 

  1. Move bedding into sundrenched areas around the home. 
  2. Allow your pet access to an indoor area when you are not at home, like a laundry room or garage. 
  3. Use heat packs instead of hot water bottles. 
  4. Consider purchasing a good-quality dog coat. 

“Another good tip is; exercise,” Nadia says. “Getting your dog moving no matter the weather will not only help keep them warm, it is also paramount for their health and wellbeing. Invest in a good quality waterproof dog coat and get moving.” 

Pet Insurance Australia also recommends the use of baby gates for use around fireplaces and heaters to protect your pet from getting too close. 

“It’s not unusual to hear of dogs burning their backsides on heaters and fireplaces as they search out the warmth of the fireplace,” she says. “Having a barrier up may seem unsightly, but it could save your pet from serious injury.” 

And it’s not just the pets that are at risk.  Close proximity to you and your warming mug of hot chocolate, coffee or soup could be a recipe for disaster

“Another burn complaint is scolding caused by hot drinks and unruly swishing tails,” Nadia says. “Ensuring the drinks are kept up high or making sure your dog is happily lying in their bed while you warm up with a hot cuppa is an easy way to prevent scolding caused from hot drinks.” 

With some simple steps and treating your pet’s safety as you would a small child, many of these incidents can be reduced. 

“Our most expensive claim for burn-related incidents tallied up to $5,000, so not only can it be hugely painful for your pet it can be a very costly and stressful experience for pet owners.” 

Common Burns: 

  • Hot water bottles 
  • Scolding from hot drinks 
  • Fireplace/heater burns/BBQs 
  • Chemical burns 
  • Faulty pet heat pads/electric blankets

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