How to Protect Your Pet From Smoke and Pollution
Smoke pollution and the related impact on worsening air quality are increasing concerns for communities on both coasts. The damaging impacts of heavily polluted air on people’s capability to breathe are well-acknowledged. However, fewer thought is given to our furry companions who share our air.
Air quality today is negatively impacted by smoke from wildfires, traffic and various other sources. Since smoke pollution is not going away, it’s essential that your poor-air-quality checklist includes a “pet pollution plan” that takes the following into account:
Pay attention to the air quality index (AQI)
It’s important to always give your dog access to “healthy” or “moderate” air, even when the conditions outside are “unhealthy for sensitive groups” (AQI 100+) or worse. Knowing the AQI will allow you to make a smart decision about whether or not the outdoor air quality is good enough for a walk or if an indoor activity is a better idea.
Use a nebulizer
Snub-nosed breeds frequently experience breathing issues, which can quickly be exacerbated by poor air quality. A nebulizer capable of sending a fine mist into the nasal passage that relieves irritation to the airways is an excellent means to sooth nasal passages and lungs.
Create activity opportunities within your home
During periods when your pet is not able to get regular outdoor exercise, it’s simple for them to feel stress and even become depressed. The best means to fight this issue is to come up with games and activities to help your dog burn off its excess energy inside (hide and seek is a great one that exercises the mind as well as the body).
Stay in control of naturally-occurring microbes
Coughing, sneezing, discharge from the eyes or nose, lethargy, paw licking, loss of appetite and noisy or labored breathing are signs that your pet is being affected by naturally-occurring materials indoors like like mold, mildew and bacteria. It's possible that animals develop allergies to house dust mites, which manifests as itching, skin issues and recurrent ear infections.
Keep pets a good distance away from campfires
Is campfire smoke bad for pets? The answer is yes! Dogs and cats can be some of the best camping buddies, but that doesn't mean that they are invincible to wildfire smoke. Our furry friends can be just as sensitive or more than humans to camp smoke, so keep them at least eight feet away from the smoke when cooking up your well-deserved meals.
For the foreseeable future, air pollution is here to stay. If you can’t eliminate the issue effectively, maintain a plan to safeguard your family (including your dog) from the damaging impact of particulate pollution. If you do go outside, consider an N95 2.5 particulate-rated pollution mask for yourself and your pet.