Protect Yourself and Your Dog From Harmful Fires

By August 12 | See Comments

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Protect yourself and your dog from harmful fires
Protect yourself and your dog from harmful fires

Given their naturally enhanced senses of smell and hearing compared to humans, dogs make for great guards. But robbers aren't the only danger that canines can thwart in the middle of the night.Newsday reported that a sleeping Long Island family was saved from a

raging fire in Huntington, New York, by Roxanne, their 5-year-old English bulldog

. According to homeowner Michael Herlihy, they were awakened in the middle of the night by Roxanne's incessant barking in their son's room. Once the son was roused, he quickly alerted his parents to the fire and they fled their home.By the time that firefighters arrived, the flames had engulfed the first and second floors of the Herlihy?'s home. With the fire reaching through the roof, 50 firefighters from Huntington and the nearby towns of Halesite, Cold Spring Harbor and Greenlawn all helped fight the blaze. It took roughly 90 minutes to get the flames under control.While the house may have been left uninhabitable by the raging fire, the family has Roxanne to thank for no one being injured.

How fires can affect dogs

Although they can be saviors during house fires, dogs can be harmed by the elevated temperatures and flames. Embrace Pet Insurance explained that canines are susceptible to the same potentially fatal elements as people, including carbon monoxide, smoke inhalation and burns.As fires grow, one of their byproducts is the rapid production and accumulation of carbon monoxide. Once inhaled, the molecules pass through the bloodstream and attach to hemoglobin. This could lead to serious complications such as lethargy, weakness and collapse. If exposed, pets may need supplemental oxygen to recover.The development of smoke can be one of the most lethal aspects of fires. Due to their smaller airways and

lung capacity, dogs are very sensitive to smoke inhalation. They don't know to crouch underneath the smoke, leaving them vulnerable to overexposure. Dogs might even become frantic when trapped in a fire and pace around, extending the time they spend inside. In turn, their respiratory rates can climb and increase the amount of smoke they inhale.This can be extremely damaging to their lungs, as soot and ash get deposited within the tissue. With breathing becoming more difficult, pets that survive fires can still succumb to smoke inhalation days later. The best treatment is immediate supplemental oxygen, and if necessary, hospitalization.The best thing to do as owners is keep your house free of potential fire hazards

. When it comes to wall sockets, try not to overload them with computer and television plugs. If you're leaving your house for days at a time, be sure to turn off all of your electrical appliances and remove all combustible and flammable materials. Make sure you let your neighbors know that your pets are home if you go on vacation, and ask if they can take care of them in your absence.

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