Recognize the effects of poor air quality on pets

As a pet parent, you have a lot of control over what your four-legged friends eat, drink, and play throughout the day. However, some things are less in your control. For example, the air quality in your area could be poor or harm human and animal health. What can you do in this situation? How Does Poor Air Quality Affect Your Pets? Here’s a guide to air quality and what you can do in your home.

How does air quality affect pets?

Poor air quality can arise from many reasons, including wildfires, smog, and poor environmental practices. How does this affect your pets? These three effects demonstrate why you should be aware of pollutants in your area.

Increase the risk of disease

The primary responsibility of pets is to increase their risk of disease. Like humans, your pets are susceptible to lung problems if stale air enters their bodies. Inhaling stale air can have devastating long-term effects if you’re not careful.

A 2020 Veterinary Medicine and Science article examined the association between indoor air pollution (IAP) and bronchial and pulmonary diseases in dogs and cats. Although there is no correlation between AIP and serious clinical signs, the researchers found a positive association between the hypercellular response and poor indoor air quality (IAQ).

Change in intestinal composition

Although pollutants directly affect the lung health of animals, there are other parts of the body that you need to be vigilant about. For example, monitor your pets’ gut health if your area experiences pollution and poor air quality.

A 2020 Environment International study finds that air pollution causes less microbial diversity in an animal’s microbiome. Your pet’s microbiome is essential for fighting disease and digesting the food you give it. The study particularly notes that the area (O3) negatively affects air quality and animal health.

Intensification of diseases

While it’s clear that bad air negatively affects your pet’s long-term health, it can also impact their short-term quality of life. If your pet has illnesses like asthmapoor air quality will only intensify them and make the situation worse.

For example, animals with asthma will have a more difficult time when air quality decreases, as the disease makes it more difficult for them to breathe due to the narrowing of the airways. Poor air quality can also lead to asthma and bronchial problems, even if your pet did not previously suffer from them.

Walkin' Wheels Dog Wheelchair
Walkin’ Wheels Wheelchair
Dog uses rear support harness for weak rear legs
Walkin’ Lift Rear Harness
DM harness for German Shepherd
Buddy Up Harness

How to keep your pets safe outside?

It is essential to protect your pets living outdoors, as they are directly susceptible to pollution when air quality deteriorates. Use these three tips to keep your pet safe outside.

1. Choose the right time

Many owners leave their pets outside to go to the bathroom, get some fresh air, and play. Experts recommend approximately one hour of daily exercise for your pets to ensure they get the necessary physical activity.

However, it is important to get your timing right. If air quality is poor in your area, try taking your pets outside when it is safest to do so. Air quality will likely be at its best in the morning, but you should check local reports to inspect current levels. Experts say air quality is acceptable 35 micrograms per cubic meter (µg/m3). However, from 50 µg/m3, you must keep your animals indoors.

2. Walk, not run

If you must take your pets outside, it is essential to keep them on a leash to ensure they walk and not run. Running at high speeds around the yard may be tempting for your four-legged friends, but it could be detrimental to their health. Your pet’s lung capacity is not as pronounced as that of humans, so they need to take it easy. Strenuous activity causes your pets to breathe harder, which is not conducive when air quality is poor.

3. Change Their Food and Water

Fresh food and water are essential to your pets’ healthy lifestyle. In fact, they can let you know when these resources aren’t up to par. When air quality has deteriorated, changing food and water bowls becomes even more critical.

Make sure your pets always have fresh water if they have to be outside for any length of time, as pollutants can compromise it. Some animals may be sick requiring increased water consumptiontherefore it is vital to have water readily available.

How to keep your pets safe indoors?

Some animals are happy to live a life indoors. Staying indoors increases protection from dirty air, but they can remain vulnerable if you don’t take proper precautions. Follow these three tips for pets that stay primarily indoors.

1. Sealing windows and doors

Being indoors protects you from poor air quality, but your home could compromise your pets if it has cracks and holes around the structure. These crevices allow circulated air to escape and poor air to enter your home, so taking care of these issues is essential. Inspect your windows and doors for air leaks and use caulk to seal leaks wherever possible.

2. Use air purifiers

Your pets deserve the best, so consider using air purifiers to improve the air quality in your home. These devices filter the air in the room they are located in and return purified air every hour. Check the air purifiers you are considering for O3 due to its harmful effects on pets. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are a smart choice for your home.

3. Reduce exposure to chemicals

Poor air quality can come from unexpected places. Some household items and accessories increase exposure to chemicals even if you try to tidy up. Many cleaners on the market contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are harmful to human and animal health. All-purpose cleaners, air fresheners and other substances can cause cancer in animals and irritate the nose and eyes.

Instead, opt for low-VOC or all-natural cleaning products. You can purchase these products in stores or make them yourself at home. Either way, they are a better option for you and your pets.

Proudly protect your pets

As a pet owner, you take pride in providing your four-legged friends with the best home possible. Factors like outdoor air quality may be out of your control, but you can protect your pets indoors and outdoors with these strategies.

If local air quality deteriorates, monitor your pets very carefully to ensure they do not exhibit symptoms. Some warning signs you should watch for include wheezing, sneezing, and difficulty breathing. If they seem unusual, consider contacting a veterinarian to diagnose the problem. When in doubt, keep your pets indoors and away from areas with poor air quality.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *