Wildfires have been on our radar as of late with the rampant activity across the West, Pacific Northwest, and Canada. Our pet’s health is a top priority. We want to be able to provide the very best care in the wake of these natural disasters. Smoke inhalation is a disastrous side-effect of Wildfires that often gets overlooked. We wanted to provide guidelines and safety resources in regards to the effects of smoke inhalation and your pets.
The effects of Wildfires on your pet
The best way to prepare for an active wildfire is to evacuate and have an evacuation plan in place. In contrast, many of those affected by the air quality of the wildfires are not in the vicinity of the actual fire. According to www.weather.com, “Wildfires burning in western North America have sent their smoke plumes across much of the United States.” Seems like most people and pets this week have experienced hazy air conditions in their region which are not good for your health.
Detection of smoke inhalation is key in regards to the pet’s health. “If your pet has been subjected to smoke and you start to notice the pet acting off or not as active, take your pet in to vet”, states Aubrey Halvorsen, one of Trupanion’s on staff vet technician and claims specialist. The pet could show several signs or symptoms of possible smoke inhalation including “Any kind of respiratory distress, increased respiratory rate, labored breathing, coughing, lethargy, and wheezing.”
It is important to have the most up-to-date information in regards to weather alerts with wildfires. Because it is imperative to know what the air quality is in your region. Likewise, you can check the air quality through several apps like NOAA, The Weather Channel, and website airnow.gov to get up to the minute information and air quality ratings.
When the air quality is questionable, is essential to limit your time outdoors. The air quality conditions range from good to hazardous. While poor air quality can not only be unhealthy, but it also is extremely hazardous for your pet. So use precautions when choosing to spend time outdoors until conditions have stabilized. Likewise, stay indoors with air conditioning and close windows to safeguard your air.
Seek veterinary care if you have any questions or concerns in regards to smoke inhalation. “Your pet should be evaluated as soon as possible by a veterinarian and monitored closely for many days afterward” according to Trupanion on-site veterinarian, Dr. Sarah Nold, DVM.
The health and wellness of our pets is a top priority. We want to able to provide the best care and resources during natural disasters. Therefore, if we are able to detect the effect of smoke inhalation, stay informed, and limit outside time we are ensuring safety for our furry family members.