If your pet is healthy then there really isn’t much to worry about. Like people, pets have built-in mechanisms to help us filter-out particulate matter from the air. However, you may notice that your pet is lethargic, has watery eyes, and may occasionally cough or sneeze more often. As is recommended for people, avoid strenuous exercise at this time.
If your pet suffers from respiratory, cardiovascular or eye conditions (e.g. dry eye), they are more at-risk of adverse reactions from poor air quality. Look for symptoms such as coughing, increased respiratory rate, difficulty breathing, eye redness, irritation or discharge. Definitely avoid strenuous activity / exercise and also situations that may cause your pet’s respiratory rate to increase (e.g. things that make them anxious).
Finally, if your pet is taking medication for a respiratory illness or an eye condition, ask your Veterinarian if their dosage needs to be adjusted until the air quality improves.
To see what the current and future air quality forecast is in your area, visit the BC Air Quality Health Index.
Dr. Renee Ferguson
Mountain View Veterinary Hospital
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