Does air pollution affect a dog’s health? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!” Just as humans even pets and other animals are facing a tremendous danger to their existence due to the offensive air quality that is only deteriorating by every passing day. It is like an epidemic engulfing every nook and cranny in the globe.
A 2011 study on the effects of passive smoke on cats found that such cats began to suffer from reduced lung functioning when compared to cats that lived in a home inhabited by non-smokers. Airborne toxins have an extremely negative impact on animals too, especially stray dogs living on the city streets. Animals in general too, show higher sensitivity to pollutants. Cats, dogs and other pets develop asthma, diseases of the nose and throat, and bronchitis when exposed to year round air pollution.
What are the Sources of Air Pollution?
Vehicular fumes, burning of coal & diesel (fossil fuels), industrial emissions, pesticides, power plants, livestock & landfill related methane and rapid urban construction are major culprits to cause an air pollution of an extreme level, the way we are experiencing in the major Indian Cities today. Recent findings claim that dogs residing in heavily polluted cities have brains which show increased inflammation and neural changes that are responsible for Alzheimer’s disease in human beings. Indoor sources like smoking tobacco, fireplaces, cooking, is also bit harsh on pets and special care must be taken in case of brachycephalic dog breeds like the Pugs, Pekingese, boxer and Shih-tzu dogs.
Well, we can’t run away from the very air we are breathing but we can definitely infuse some habits and home add-ons to minimize the effect of air pollution on dogs, cats and furry rabbits. A well ventilated Green Home can help you and your pet breathe in air that is detoxified. Beautify your home interiors with indoor plants that will purify the air such as Philodendrons, Massangeana cane (sucks formaldehyde from air), Pothos (clears the air of carbon monoxide and formaldehyde), Anthuriums (frees the air of ammonia), `Song of India’ (absorbs toxins like xylene), Parlor Palm and Phalaenopsis orchids.
It is not advisable to clean homes with chemical solvents rather the use of natural preparations that consist of white vinegar and baking soda should be encouraged. One must opt for wall and floor coverings and other furnishings that are made with eco friendly elements. Use paints that have a low volatile organic compound density.
Further smoking indoors should be avoided. Use organic cat loungers and dog beds. Also go for pet accessories such as leashes, sweatshirts and dog collars that are made using natural and eco friendly materials. Taking your dog for a walk? Learn how to tackle the outdoors? It is important to be well informed of the air quality in one’s area on a day to day basis. The days when atmospheric pollution reaches the red mark it is advised for pets to stay indoors or at least away from the high traffic areas. Use of less toxic chemical pesticides should be promoted in our gardens.
While walking the dog, make sure you stay away from high traffic zones as these tend to be laden with foreign toxic particles. Opt for open spaces away from busy roads. Believing that you alone can make a change is a good beginning. An intelligent approach to human life style is to be acutely conscious of our planet earth as a living being and work towards un-polluting the exotic planet we all call home.