DENVER (KDVR) — We have lungs, and our pets do too. So when the air affects our breathing or allergies, it can bother theirs as well.
The size of your pet matters too because of how much smaller their lungs are than ours, so it’s important to watch them as much as the air.
“It’s easy for us to see the smoke and taste it and smell it, but we forget about our friends,” veterinarian Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald said.
When humans see smoke they usually think of their breathing, but not often, their pets too.
“Their cardiovascular system and respiratory system is not that much different than ours,” Fitzgerald said.
Birds, cats and smaller dogs are particularly vulnerable.
“It can be bad, particularly for small and older dogs,” Fitzgerald said. “Older dogs and younger dogs that are compromised anyway.”
What are the signs to spot if the bad air outside is affecting “Fido”?
“A cough would be a big thing, gagging, salivating,” Fitzgerald said, “reluctance to exercise, even if they get bad enough they’re not going to eat.”
While you might be sneezing and wheezing, it’s important to keep your pets, as much as yourself, inside when the smog is out.
“The main thing is keeping them away, limiting their time, limiting exercise periods, closing the windows, not letting them outside for very long,” Fitzgerald said.
The most important thing you can do for your pets, according to Fitzgerald is to pay attention.
It can be the easiest thing to forget but just reminding yourself to watch for symptoms in your pets, can keep the smoke from hurting them.