The Humane Society of Central Oregon offers wildfire smoke safety precautions for animals

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Humane Society of Central Oregon wants to remind people that poor air quality also applies to animals.

If you have respiratory problems, itchy eyes and throat, your body is reacting to the toxins in the smoke. This smoke also affects pets, horses, cattle, and wildlife in similar ways. Animals with cardiovascular or respiratory diseases are most vulnerable when air quality is poor and should be monitored.

Keep your pets indoors and limit time spent outdoors. The Humane Society of Central Oregon rents dog crates for $5 a month if your dog isn’t fully housebroken and confinement will help.

The Humane Society of Central Oregon and the American Veterinary Medical Association offer these tips:

Tips for protecting pets

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible and keep your windows closed.
  • Birds are particularly sensitive and should not be permitted outdoors where smoke or particulates are present.
  • Allow dogs and cats outside only for brief restroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Exercise pets when dust and smoke have settled.
  • Prepare a pet evacuation kit and include your pets in your disaster preparedness plan.

Look for the following signs of possible irritation from smoke or dust in animals. If your pet shows any of these signs, please consult your veterinarian.

  • Cough or gag
  • Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
  • Eye irritation and excessive tearing
  • Inflammation of the throat or mouth
  • Runny nose
  • Asthma-like symptoms
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Disorientation or stumbling
  • Decreased appetite and/or thirst

Tips for Protecting Livestock

  • Limit exercise when smoke is visible. Above all, do not require animals to perform activities that greatly increase the flow of air into and out of the lungs.
  • Provide plenty of fresh water near feeding areas.
  • Limit exposure to dust by feeding low- or dust-free feed and spraying or misting the rearing area.
  • Plan to give cattle 4-6 weeks to recover after air quality returns to normal. Attempting to handle, move or transport livestock can delay healing and compromise the performance of your animals.

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