Poor air quality dangerous for pets, too

American Humane has shared tips for how to protect pets in smoky conditions

As hazy skies caused by Canadian wildfires continue compromise air quality in the eastern U.S., American Humane is reminding pet owners how they can keep four-legged family members safe.

“Smoky conditions triggered by wildfires can affect cats and dogs just like humans, and pet owners should act accordingly,” says the organization’s chief veterinary officer, Thomas Edling, DVM, MSpVM, MPH.

To help keep pets safe, American Humane offers these tips for veterinarians to share with clients:

  • Limit your dog or cat’s time outdoors
  • Keep doors and windows shut
  • Avoid strenuous exercise (i.e. playing fetch, jogging, long walks)
  • Take your pet outside for short bathroom breaks and come immediately back inside
  • Bring outdoor water bowls inside so they do not collect airborne particles associated with the smoke
  • If you must go outside, mornings are best when the weather is cooler

“Shorter walks to avoid strained breathing and monitoring your animal for coughing, sneezing, and general respiratory issues is recommended,” Dr. Edling says. “Animals with inherent breathing problems—including French bulldogs and pugs—or older animals should be under even closer observation. Americans should take precautions to keep all members of their family safe—even the furry ones.”

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