CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4)– Firefighters rescued a dog on Thursday trapped inside a home that filled with smoke when the furnace was turned on for the first time this season. That created a potential danger for the pet and the homeowner.

(credit: South Metro Fire)

“We need to remember with this cold weather that pets can be affected whether they’re indoors or outdoors,” said Maia Brusseau with the Dumb Friends League. “There are things you can do to make sure your pet is safe during this cold, cold drop.”

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South Metro Fire Rescue tweeted out video of the dog safe outside the home on Thursday afternoon. The agency said this case was a good reminder to get all furnaces, fireplaces, and chimneys checked before you turn them on in the cold weather.

Staff at the Dumb Friends League in Denver say there are so many potential hazards for animals inside along with the more commonly known threats to them outside.

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“When temperatures drop like they did today, it’s really important to remember that your pet does need to be protected when they’re outside,” Brusseau added.

Maia Brusseau

Maia Brusseau (credit: CBS)

Pets may need extra layers when they are outside but they will also potentially need their feet wiped because of the wet, cold surfaces they encounter while you walk them. Another issue with their feet to check, any small balls of snow or ice that get stuck under their paws.

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Back inside your home, not only large sources of heat can be harmful. Even space heaters could become a problem for pets and your house, especially if they are home alone.

“Pets can so easily knock those over and that can obviously harm the pet as well as your house,” she said.

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The dramatic drop in temperatures this week was a shocking change to the body for many Colorado residents but the forecast gave them an advanced notice pets did not enjoy.

One other area to keep in mind besides the inside of a home or outside it, cars can also cause trouble. The cold is just as much of a threat to pets as the heat so do not leave them inside a car during the winter. A challenge unique to the cooler weather is the source of heat and shelter cars can provide to cats. Drivers should check to make sure one isn’t hiding by honking or shaking the car before moving it with a running engine.

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“There are dangers both inside and outside of your home and if you just take a couple of extra steps, you can ensure your pet is safe whether you’re home or not,” Brusseau said.

LINK: Dumb Friends League Cold Weather Tips