Residents throughout the state are experiencing poor air quality due to ongoing wildfires. For many areas, air quality has reached hazardous levels. Poor air quality is just as much of a concern for animals as it is for humans, and we should take the same precautions for our dogs that we do for ourselves. If you live in a area that is affected by wildfire smoke, the following safety tips may help you and your dog stay safe and healthy.
The main danger of breathing smoke comes from the inhalation of fine particulate matter. These fine particles can reach deep into lungs and cause a variety of health concerns, including congestion, coughing, and burning eyes.
Keep pets indoors with you. Close windows, and keep doors closed as much as possible.
If possible, keep your air conditioner running to filter the air.
Keep your potty breaks short and avoid long walks or other outdoor exercise.
Be on the lookout for signs of respiratory stress or eye inflammation.
Brachycephalic dogs, like Bulldogs or Pugs, are more susceptible to respiratory distress.
Puppies and senior dogs are also at higher risk.
Any dog with a pre-existing condition, such as asthma or bronchitis, should be monitored closely.
Signs of Respiratory Distress in Pets:
Difficulty breathing, forced or labored breathing.
Unusual coughing, sneezing, vomiting, or loss of appetite.
Swelling or inflammation of the mouth, eyes, or nose.
Unusual open-mouthed breathing.
Weakness and Lethargy.
While we may brave the smoke for a walk, we do do have the benefit of being able to wear masks to help filter the air. Keep in mind that your dog may suffer the same poor air quality symptoms as you, and that we need to be proactive in keeping them safe and limiting their exposure.
Air quality for your location can be checked on the Airnow.gov site. If the air quality is anywhere above 150, you should be concerned about your exposure as well as your pet.
Always check the Air Quality Index before taking your pet outdoors. If the AQI is between 100 and 150, it is likely safe to take your pet outdoors for limited periods of time. If the air quality is compromised, avoid prolonged exposure and outdoor exercise. Find a different way to burn off excess energy, such as Scent Games .