Smoky air is also a concern for Okanagan pets | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Smoky air is also a concern for Okanagan pets

Drew and Mattie won't be visiting the dog park today.
August 16, 2018 - 1:30 PM

It's not just humans that need to take precautions because of the poor air quality across the province, the region's pets also need to follow suit.

Creekside Animal Clinic veterinarian Dr. Sietske Rijnen says people should apply the same rules to their pets as they would to themselves. Puppies and kittens, as well as older animals,  should stay inside when Air Quality Health Index is seven or above, Rijnen says. Just like humans who should avoid strenuous exercise during times of poor air quality, Rijnen says not to throw sticks for dogs or doing anything that would make them breathe fast and pant.

The size of the pet doesn't make any difference but Rijnen says some breeds of dog already prone to respiratory problems such as pugs, boxers and bulldogs will be more affected by the smoky air so owners should take extra precautions.

The B.C. SPCA says because most pets are physically lower to the ground, they have a slight advantage when smoke tends to hover higher in the air. Cats, in particular, can be exposed to smoke as they groom themselves, as smoke can potentially stick to their hair. The association says pets should always have access to fresh clean water and if they do go outside, make sure they have access to plenty of shade.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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