One of the biggest things you can do for your pets is limit their outdoor exposure while the air quality is hazardous.

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Thursday, June 8, 2023 3:05AM

How to protect your pets as smoke from Canadian wildfires fill region

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) — A dangerous smoky haze filled the Philadelphia region on Wednesday due to wildfires burning in Canada.

Experts warned residents in the area that air pollution concentrations were unhealthy, and outdoor activity should be avoided.

This warning applies not just to people, but to pets as well.

READ | Why is smoke from Canada impacting the Philadelphia region and when will it go away?

Experts say that fine particles of burned debris in the air can be harmful to humans and animals alike.

If you go out, officials say you should consider wearing an N95 or KN95 mask to reduce your exposure to pollutants.

But for animals, experts say the rules are a bit different.

READ | Air Quality Alert: Hazardous air from Canada wildfires hangs over Philadelphia region

One of the biggest things you can do for your pets is limit their outdoor exposure while the air quality is hazardous. This means keeping pets indoors as much as possible and keeping windows and doors shut.

Cats and dogs should only be taken outside for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are still in effect.

Birds are particularly susceptible to poor air quality and should not be allowed outside during hazardous conditions, experts say.

Owners are also advised to keep a pet evacuation kit available and include their animals in any and all disaster preparedness training.

Here are some symptoms to watch out for in pets, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

– Coughing or gagging

– Difficulty breathing

– Asthma-like symptoms

– Eye irritation and excessive watering

– Inflammation of the throat or mouth

– Nasal discharge

– Increased breathing rate

– Fatigue or weakness

– Disorientation or stumbling

– Reduced appetite and/or thirst

To learn more about what you can do to protect your pets during hazardous conditions, click here.

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