Helping your pets in an air quality advisory - BC SPCA
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Helping your pets in an air quality advisory

May 6, 2024

As air quality advisories come up across the province due to wildfires, it’s worth taking precautions to ensure our pets are as comfortable as humans are in the haze and summer heat. When air quality advisories are issued, many of the same warnings for humans tend to apply for cats, dogs and other animals. This would include avoiding any vigorous exercise, and continuing to stay cool and hydrated. As most animals tend to spend their time closer to ground, they are usually spared – since smoke is likely to hover higher in the air.

  • Cats can be exposed to smoke by how they groom themselves, with smoke potentially sticking to their hair. Keeping cats inside as much as possible is important.
  • Brachycephalic dogs are already at risk for respiratory complications, so anything that could compromise their breathing could be a serious concern. Avoid outdoor exercise and keeping them cool and hydrated inside is key.
  • Got to get outside: If you must take your dog outside, it’s best to do so in the hours where the sun isn’t so high – be that early in the morning, or later on in the evening.
  • Animals should always have access to fresh, potable water and plenty of shade, especially if they tend to spend much of their time outside.
  • Some dogs don’t know their own limits – use caution with exercise such as running and fetch as you may need to stop your dog from overdoing it.

You should also be watching for any unusual signs or behaviours. If you need more information, or have any concerns about your animal’s health, please contact your local veterinarian for assistance.

Hot weather pet tips:

Download the emergency checklist to make sure you are pet-prepared!

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