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Dogs Cause 1,000 House Fires Every Year: How to Keep Your Home (And Pets!) Safe

After NBC’s post Super Bowl episode of This Is Us, in which Jack dies from smoke inhalation of a house fire, many people are rethinking the dangers of house fires. Nearly 1,000 fires are caused by dogs every year.

house fires

Obviously our family pets are not arsonists, devising a plan to burn our homes down. However, it can easily happen by accident. Just recently, a Golden retriever was captured on camera stealing pancakes off the stove and igniting the gas range in the process, starting a fire within minutes.

Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee that this will never happen to you, but there are certain things we can do to try and prevent a house fire. Properly teaching and training your dog is at the top of that list.

One of the first things I do with puppies, is to make sure I puppy proof any electrical wires that might be within their reach. At that stage in development, they will bite anything and everything. So prevention is key in stopping behavior issues from developing. If my puppy starts to investigate electrical wires, I will tell them “No” and consistently correct and guide them away.

As with raising a child, direct supervision is critical to preventing unwanted behaviors. If I am not completely confident that my dog can make appropriate and safe choices when I am not around, I do not give them free roam of the house. I will either let them rest in their crate, put them in a “puppy proofed” room, or be there to immediately intervene and correct if they start to get into mischief. One of the best ways to stop unwanted behaviors is to never let them develop in the first place.

A common way for dogs to start house fires is by accidently turning on a kitchen appliances or stove. They usually do this while trying get food or object off the counter. Counter surfing, is when your dog steals items off elevated surfaces (tables, kitchen counters, etc.). Not only is this annoying and destructive, but also very dangerous. There are many ways to correct this behavior, but one that is simple, easy, and effective with many dogs is an alarm. Use this instructional article and video for more info:

S.R. Dog Training provides at-home dog training in Westchester NY.  To learn more: www.srdogtraining.com. Also “Like” us on Facebook: www.Facebook.com/SRDogTraining

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