by Justin KreeNewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The Midland Fire Department is warning that keeping your pets warm during the winter with a space heater could be doing more harm than good.

"They have the best intentions of keeping their dog warm. However, there is a substantial risk with providing an un-monitored heat source in a combustible space which is a dog house," Midland Fire Marshal, David Hickman, said.

The Midland Fire Department has responded to six fires already this winter season that were started from trying to keep pets warm on cold nights.

Some homeowners are not aware of the dangers when dogs are in confined spaces.

"They push bedding up against the light bulb. Any heat producing appliance can cause a fire," Hickman said.

Robert York and Dee Petz know of other options to keep their dogs warm during the winter.

"Space heater are unsafe. I don't care if they're in the house or in the shed, they're not safe," Petz said.

"We have a doggy door and they have little sweaters and little beds inside. They can come in and out as they want," York said.

If you are not comfortable with a doggy-door, Hickman gives some warming advice.