Smoke from over 430 active Canadian fires is saturating populated areas like New York City. Experts say that pets may also be at risk as parts of the East Coast will experience poor air quality for at least the weekend. Winds could even move the dense smoke further south, into the Mid-Atlantic.
Dr. Gabrielle Fadl is the director of primary care for Bond Vet Clinic, located in New York City. She said that her office has received a "significant influx" of calls from clients who are concerned about how to protect their pets from the poor quality of air outside. Patients, especially pregnant women and the elderly, also called to request rescheduling of appointments.
Fadl stated that exposure to air pollution can have a significant impact on the health of our pets, causing respiratory problems, allergies and exacerbating conditions like asthma.
Fadl recommended that you take the following precautions to ensure your pet's well-being:
Restrict the amount of time that your pet spends outdoors, particularly during times when air quality is poor. She said that this can reduce their exposure to harmful allergens and pollutants.
Peter DeCarlo is an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University's department of environmental engineering and health. He said that you shouldn't also run outside with your dog. He added that if you can, walk more slowly to reduce your breathing. "That can help."
New York City Emergency Management recommends wiping your dog's muzzle and feet with a wet cloth after it has been outside.
Create a safe indoor environment. You should ensure that your home is properly ventilated. Close the windows to keep out outdoor pollutants such as fine particles. These tiny particles, which are among the most harmful pollutants, have been linked with health issues such as asthma, heart disease and other respiratory diseases. Improve the air quality in your home by using air purifiers and filters.
Watch the symptoms of your animals. Keep an eye out for signs of respiratory distress in your pet, including coughing, sneezing and wheezing. Fadl advised that if you notice any symptoms of concern, it is important to seek immediate veterinary attention.
Consult a veterinarian. Contact a veterinarian who can provide expert advice tailored to the needs of your pet. They can recommend preventive measures and treatments.