Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” may be the soundtrack to your holiday season, when nothing sounds better than cuddling up with your pet in front of a crackling fireplace. This warm winter staple can be all too intriguing for pets, especially those who may not have seen a fire before. Our fellow bloggers at Two Little Cavaliers offer tips on keeping your pet safe around the fireplace. With a few precautions, you, your pet and your favorite hot cocoa recipe can curl up together and enjoy the warmth of a fire this season.

 
Always use a fireplace screen. This is the easiest way to protect yourself and your pets from the flames but still enjoy their warmth. Invest in a nice screen that can also serve as a decorative piece!
 
Never leave a fire unsupervised. Not only should you not leave your pet alone near a fire, but an unattended fire period is potentially unsafe. Only set a fire when you know you have time to be home to enjoy it and monitor your pet and any embers that could jump out of the fire.
 
Keep your pet’s possessions far away. If your pet’s bed, favorite blanket or toys are located close to the flames, this may invite them to get extra close to the fire. Although it’s tempting to set up a cozy bed for your pet in front of the warmth, they can still appreciate the heat from a distance where their tail couldn’t accidentally wag into the embers. As a rule of thumb, your pet should sit as close to the fire as you do.
 
Remove fireplace tools. These sharp, heavy objects can invite injury to an excited pet who gets too close. Keep these tools in a closet or in a high, nearby place where your pet could not accidentally bump into them.
 

Resist pretty (smelling) mantelpiece decorations. Although garlands and other drapery might look pretty against the backdrop of a roaring fire, they may be tempting playthings for your pet. Keep decorations taught and high out of pets’ reach.

With a few simple precautions, you and your pet can enjoy this winter weather tradition safely and comfortably. What other wintertime traditions do you have with your pet?