The American Veterinary Medical Association has created a fact sheet for pet owners on the dangers of smoke from wildfires.
Animals are as susceptible to poor air quality as people, especially if they suffer from respiratory or cardiovascular health problems.
What are the signs of irritation from smoke inhalation in dogs, cats, and other animals? The AVMA says to watch for these symptoms:
- Coughing or gagging
- Open-mouth, loud, or rapid breathing
- Eye watering and redness
- Inflamed mouth or throat
- Lack of thirst and appetite
What can you do to protect your pets if wildfire smoke is affecting air quality in your area?
- Keep pets indoors and your windows shut (birds are especially sensitive)
- Avoid extended walks and outdoor play when air quality is poor
- Have an emergency evacuation kit ready
The AVMA notes that horses and other large animals also suffer from the effects of wildfire smoke. If you have livestock, be sure to limit exercise and dust exposure and provide plenty of water.
It can take several weeks for livestock to fully recover from exposure to wildfire smoke, so give them plenty of time before returning them to their normal routines.