Health advisories issued for air quality also apply to animals. Smoke, ash and dust from wildfires affects pets, birds, horses, livestock and wildlife. Pet birds are particularly susceptible to particulates in the air.
Signs of Smoke or Dust Irritation in Animals
- Unusual coughing, sneezing or gagging
- Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing
- Eye irritation and excessive watering
- Inflammation of throat or mouth
- Nasal discharge
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Increased breathing rate
- Weakness and lethargy
Tips to Keep Animals Safe from Wildfire Smoke
- Keep pets and pet birds indoors with the windows shut.
- Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Exercise pets when dust and smoke has settled.
- Limit time outdoors for pets on days designated with a red air quality alert to quick potty breaks.
- Pet birds need to remain indoors as much as possible during the highest level advisories.
- Animals that have cardiovascular or respiratory disease are at increased risk during periods of poor air quality and should be watched closely.
- Include animals in your care in planning for possible evacuation.
If your pet is experiencing breathing difficulties or eye irritation, please consult with your veterinarian.
This situation is an important reminder of the need to be prepared for emergencies as well as potential evacuation. Please include your animals in your disaster preparedness planning.