Source: CBS News (Extract)
Posted: June 28, 2023

As wildfire smoke continues to blow over parts of the U.S. from Canada, creating dangerous air conditions, experts are warning pet owners about the health problems poor air quality can cause in animals.

The smoke conditions can be especially dangerous for puppies and senior dogs, as well as for brachycephalic breeds — those with shorter snouts — such as pugs, Boston terriers and bulldogs, according to the American Kennel Club. Smoke can be especially tough on pet birds, according to, a government-run site on air quality data.

Organizations advise keeping your pets inside as much as possible, keeping your windows closed and avoiding long walks and outdoor activities.

If your cat or dog needs to go outside, let them outside for a short period of time, pet organizations advise. Once they’re back inside, vets suggest wiping down their fur, especially around their mouths and eyes, to remove ash and smoke particles.

While inside, AirNow suggests not doing anything that would contribute to indoor air pollution, such as burning candles, smoking, vacuuming or frying food.

There are some signs of smoke inhalation that you can watch out for in pets. advises calling a veterinarian if your pet is coughing or gagging, has red or watery eyes, is experiencing nasal discharge, has inflammation of the throat or mouth or is reluctant to eat hard foods. Other signs include breathing difficulty, fatigue or weakness, or reduced appetite or thirst.

While some people braving the outdoors are wearing masks to stay safe, face coverings are not always a good idea for dogs, according to the pet-sitting website Rover. Coverings should only be considered in severe situations, such as being in direct proximity to a wildfire. If a dog needs a mask, Rover suggests keeping it on for only a short period of time.

Masks can cause problems for dogs that are even more dangerous than breathing in smoke. Face coverings can stop a pet from panting, which can increase the risk of heat-related injuries.