There’s no doubt that 2020 has been quite the year – one most of us won’t be sorry to say goodbye to! The fires that have been devastating the West Coast are the latest of many tragedies that has rocked our country, and the effects of the smoke and fire damage will be long-lasting.
When it comes to health concerns from wildfire smoke, this isn’t just about humans. Our pets and other animals are gravely impacted by the smoke and can suffer illnesses and respiratory problems relating to these wildfires. This is why the team at East Sacramento Veterinary Center wants to help you protect your pet from forest fire smoke through some proactive measures.
Safety Tips for Pets When There Is Poor Air Quality
Poor air quality, such as pollution, dust, and wildfire smoke is detrimental to your pet’s lungs. Smoke contains small particles that can infiltrate the respiratory system and cause coughing, congestion, eye irritation, and many other health concerns.
Pets who are more at risk of negative complications from forest fire smoke are those with preexisting conditions like asthma/allergies, bronchitis, Brachycephalic breeds, young pets, and seniors.
To protect your pet from the dangers of smoke, follow some of these forest fire smoke safety tips:
- Keep your pet indoors with windows closed.
- Run your air conditioner whenever possible to filter the air.
- Keep your daily walks to short intervals, rather than one long walk each day.
- Give your pet plenty of water so they can stay hydrated.
- Look for ways to exercise your pet indoors, such as a game of fetch using a soft toy or a round of tug of war.
If Your Pet Shows Signs of Distress from Forest Fire Smoke
There are some things to watch for when it comes to poor air quality and your pet’s health. Look for the following signs of health problems:
- Difficulty breathing
- Coughing and/or sneezing
- Swelling around the mouth, nose, and airways
- Open-mouthed breathing
- Weakness or inability to exercise
If these symptoms arise, please contact us. These could indicate respiratory distress and your pet will need to be treated right away.
We know that it is a scary time out there. We also understand how important your pet’s health is and how awareness and proactive measures can make all the difference.
Thankfully, our pets provide the kind of unconditional, innocent love and joy that continues, no matter what we must contend with in our human world. If you would like more information about protecting your pet from forest fire smoke, or would like to schedule an appointment, please reach out to us.