How poor air quality affects pets

AVON LAKE, OHIO (WJW) – Northeast Ohio remains under an air quality advisory as record-setting wildfires in Canada continue to blow plumes of smoke stateside.

Concern among some is growing about the safety of pets outside for prolonged periods.

“We really don’t know what’s coming in that air, so I guess that’s the reason to be a little bit more concerned,” said Dr. Frank Krupka of Avon Lake Animal Clinic.

Krupka said so far, he has not seen an increase in pets being treated for air quality issues but advises people as well as pets with breathing issues to take precautions during extended periods outdoors.

“The more active you are the deeper breaths you’re taking; you’re going to take air deeper into your lungs,” said Krupka.

“For the pets that are just going outside to go to the bathroom probably not much of a concern but our pets that are used to four, five mile walks they’re exchanging a lot more air through their lungs I’d probably be more cautious of that.”

He advised pet owners of dogs with short snouts to be especially cautious.

“For those dogs that don’t have the normal muzzle length their filter is much shorter so those are the dogs that are going to get the pollutant deeper into their lungs,” Krupka said.

Jim Puffer, a dog owner visiting Canine Meadows in Kirtland said he noticed a change in air quality this week and said he had limited time outside when the haze was thicker.

“Not so much with the dog, I’ve noticed it in myself,” said Puffer. “I walk the dog like five miles a day and my eyes have been watering more during the walks, my nose running and stuff, so probably due to the smoke I’m not really sure.”

The current advisory is classified as “minor” and remains in effect until midnight Friday.

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