Safeguarding your furry friend in polluted air

Safeguarding your furry friend in polluted air

We adore our furry companions and want to provide them with the best life possible. However, some things – such as outdoor air quality - are simply out of our control. When pollution levels skyrocket as they have in Iowa over the last few days (due to the wildfires in Canada), it's important to tailor your outdoor activities to keep your pup safe.

Stay vigilant by monitoring local air quality indexes, easily accessible online or through mobile apps (like this one made possible by the Iowa DNR and AIRNow). If the air quality dips, adjust your plans accordingly. Keep potty breaks short and avoid running with your dog or engaging in any strenuous activity that will cause them to breath deeply or heavily. For extra protection, schedule outdoor activities during early morning when pollution levels tend to be lower. (Bonus – in the hot summer months, mornings are typically cooler, too.)

After any trip outside, treat your dog to a refreshing post-outing ritual. Grab a damp cloth or dog wipes and give their muzzle, paws, and coat a gentle wipe-down. This simple step helps remove any pollutants that may have settled on their fur.

When outdoor air quality is poor, you can create a clean indoor sanctuary for your beloved companion. Keep windows closed and maintain adequate ventilation. Supercharge your dog's environment by investing in top-notch air purifiers with HEPA filters. These helpful machines will help eliminate harmful particles, offering your dog a breath of fresh air right at home. For added charm and air purification, consider incorporating pet-friendly houseplants, like spider plants or lush Boston ferns.

Just like humans, dogs can be prone to respiratory issues triggered by poor air quality. Regular veterinary check-ups are a paramount part of safeguarding your dog's well-being. Share any concerns about your dog's breathing or respiratory symptoms with your veterinarian. They can provide invaluable guidance on preventive measures, recommend suitable supplements or medications, and advise on managing your dog's overall health during periods of compromised air quality.

Watch for skin and/or eye irritation, and be aware of signs and symptoms that may indicate respiratory problems in your dog. Symptoms may include excessive coughing, wheezing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, or labored breathing. If you notice any of these signs, consult your veterinarian promptly for an evaluation. They can provide accurate diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment options to alleviate your dog's respiratory distress.

Remember, your energetic efforts make all the difference in keeping your four-legged friend safe and happy, even amidst challenging environmental conditions. Together, let's create a world where our dogs can thrive in every breath they take.

See our post on indoor activities to do with your dog for some ideas on burning off that energy!

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