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To the Editor:

Now that the warmer weather is here, a few tips to keep your dog(s) safe!

Warm weather and heated vehicles: It is a known fact that the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 100 degrees or more even if the temperature outside is 75 degrees or above if the vehicle is parked in the sun. Even a vehicle parked in the shade can heat up quickly if the temperature is above 85 degrees. Leaving the windows down a crack or even halfway, does not eliminate the need for a dog to cool down from the heat that rises in the vehicle which escalates when sitting still. If the dog cannot reduce its body temperature by panting, and if it is breathing in hot air from inside and/or outside, it cannot cool down. After a brief period of time, (within minutes) the dog’s body temperature goes up and very quickly this can be the start of heat exhaustion. Once this happens, the brain is affected, and this can result in “brain frying” and is common among animals (and children) left in hot vehicles in a very short time! If the animal is not taken out of the vehicle, given cool water, cold towels applied, and the chances of getting to a veterinarian clinic quickly are not an option, the dog may die. My word of advice—-let Fido stay home where it is safer for him or her. If dog (s) are housed outside, please provide cool water several times a day, and also shade to keep the dog (s) from exposure to the sun and dehydration.

 Another factor to consider: While the owner is in the store shopping or wherever they have gone, the dog is on alert for anyone approaching the vehicle, which further excites the dog(s) and increases the need to pant. The dog(s) can be jumping around inside and barking, and again, further escalates the need to pant as their excitement increases. How many times have you seen dogs or children left in vehicles in parking lots! It is so sad to see that dog (s) or child in distress!

Another factor to consider: If the pavement is too hot for you in your bare feet, it is too hot for your dog(s). Their pads can be burned terribly.

Letting a dog(s) head hang out the window while driving! I have known dogs who have died and lost their eye because while the dog’s head is out the window, a bee can go down the throat of the dog, sting the dog, and cause swelling in the throat and tongue in a matter of seconds! The driver may not be aware anything has happened, until it might be too late. Dogs like people, can have allergic reactions to bee stings, and unless medical help is nearby, it could be fatal. It happened to me a long time ago, and luckily, I was able to get my dog to a vet right away. The vet gave her a shot and it saved her. From then on, I had to have an antihistamine handy, in case she got stung at home outside as the reaction to the other bee sting would be more severe!

 Then the cases of a bug going into a dog’s eye traveling at even 25 mph or more, can enter the eye and can cause the dog to suffer irreparable damage and it may have to have the eye removed. I have known of cases of stones doing the same thing from passing vehicles. So, beware, be alert, and keep Fido safe!

Eileen Rohrer


Carroll County Animal Protection League

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