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    Air Pollution Dog Blog — urban smog

    Effects of Air Pollution on Pets and Dogs

    How Air Pollution Effects Your Pets

    People aren't the only ones who can suffer ill effects from exposure to air pollution. Many pet owners have concerns about the effects of air pollution on their animals, and scientists are beginning to study the potential risks for pets that have exposure to air pollution.

    Research has confirmed the dangers of air pollution for humans. People who are exposed to excessive air pollution have an increased risk of developing respiratory issues such as wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Cardiovascular disease is another potential health issue connected to exposure to air pollution. Those with pre-existing cardiovascular disease as well as elderly people and young children may even be at risk for premature death from pollution exposure.

    Urban Air Pollution and Pets

    Sources of Air Pollution

    Air pollution originates from many different sources. Fumes from wildfire smoke, vehicle traffic, power plants, construction, the burning of coal and gasoline. Homes can be filled with pollution from sources such as wood-burning stoves and fireplaces, tobacco smoke, and cooking. Pets living in urban areas have a higher exposure to and risk from smog and exhaust pollutants, while animals living in rural areas may be exposed to chemicals due to the spraying of herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides.

    Scientific Studies about Air Pollution

    Studies have shown that pets living in homes with cigarette-smokers have increased health risks, perhaps even greater than those for humans living in the same homes. This is because pets spent more time near the floor, where smoke concentrations are higher. Cats exposed to secondhand smoke have been shown to have reduced lung function when compared to felines living in smoke-free homes, according to scientific research. Scientists are also exploring links between common indoor activities such as smoking and the use of cleaning products and certain cancers in dogs.

    Pets are also at risk from outdoor air pollution. In a recent study of dogs in Mexico City, scientists examined the brains of local dogs to compare them with the brains of dogs in cities with less pollution. The brains of dogs living in Mexico City showed inflammation, amyloid plaques, and neurofibrillary tangles, which are associated with Alzheimer's disease in humans.

    Another study conducted by the University of Massachusetts and the Tufts University Cummings School of Medicine involved 700 dog owners and their use of pesticides. The results showed that about a third of the dogs had canine malignant lymphoma, a type of cancer. The study also showed that the dogs had a 70 percent higher chance of developing lymphoma if the owners used pesticides in their yards.

    Affect of Air Pollution on Animals and Pets

    Cats have also been found to be more likely to develop asthma when exposed to indoor or outdoor pollutants. Felines living in homes where a wood-burning fireplace is in use or smoking occurs are often found to have a marked decrease in lung function.

    Taking Steps to Reduce Pets' Exposure to Air Pollution

    Because many pets spend the majority of their time indoors or in their yard, it's important for owners to take steps to minimize exposure to air pollution both inside and out.

    • Change air filters often.
    • Vacuum frequently to remove hair and other pollutants.
    • Avoid smoking indoors.
    • Choose chemical-free cleaning products when possible.
    • Reduce carbon emissions when possible by carpooling, taking a bus, or biking.
    • Choose areas for outdoor exercise of pets where the air is cleaner (away from highways).
    • Use chemical-free products in the yard whenever possible.

    Dog Air Pollution Filter Mask

    Our dog pollution mask is engineered for extreme environments. We use N95 and PM2.5 dog pollution mask air filter protection including Activated Carbon air filters. K9 Mask dog muzzle filter technology protects against smoke, smog, emissions, mold, allergies, toxins, chemicals, and bacteria. Created for dogs to uniquely fit the shape of a dog muzzle and protect a dog from extreme air pollution. K9 Masks are washable and have air filter refills for pure air every time your dog wears it. Choose clean air for your dog.

    More About Pets and Air Pollution:

    7 Harmful Effects of Air Pollution on Your Beloved Pets

    7 Harmful Effects of Air Pollution on Your Beloved Pets

    Do your pets get affected by toxic air pollution the same way as people do? The answer is "Yes." Animals do get affected equally by air pollution. Degrading air quality is something to blame for the ever shortening life spans of our beloved pets. While we do care for our pets, what we commonly overlook is the effect of pollution on them.

    Continuous and prolonged exposure to degraded air quality can give rise to a variety of lung, throat and nose diseases in your pets, such as bronchitis or even asthma. Here we present you some ways in which degraded air quality affects our furry friends and what all we can do to resist that.

    Wildfire smoke effects on health of dog lungs

    Smog affects the health of your pet

    Smoggy days are bad not just for you, but for your furry friend too! Smog causes severe ailments because of the quality of air they breathe in. It may cause breathing troubles leading to suffocation. This can be fatal for our pets in periods of intense and prolonged exposure.

    • Remedy: Keeping your pets indoors during phases of smog would greatly help the cause. It is advisable to not take your pet out for a walk during one of those smoggy days. Using a dog air pollution mask is a helpful way to take your dog on a short walk to stretch the legs and go to the bathroom

    Passive smoking affects pets

    Passive smoke from cigarette smoking is an air quality problem for your dog and pets. A recent study showed that pets in smoke-free homes have healthier lungs than their counterparts living in smoke-prone homes. The passive smoking is detrimental to their lung health as they tend to spend most of their time on the floor.

    Smoke from cigarettes effects indoor air pollution for dogs

    • Remedy: Smoking isn’t just bad for your health; it affects your pets as well. Establish a separate smoking zone in your homes where your pets won’t have access, or better still, quit smoking for good!

    Indoor activities can cause cancer!

    You might think that being clean is great, and indeed it is, but the fact also depends on certain other factors to be true. Certain indoor activities like cleaning with artificial chemical cleansers and smoking cause adverse effects on your pet’s health. These contain carcinogens which can be directly attributed to causing illnesses like mesothelioma, lung, bladder and nasal cancer in your pets!

    Remedy: Go green. Block out artificial carcinogen-laden cleansers and go for more healthy choices so that your pets have all carcinogen-free air to inhale.

    Outside pollution affects your pets

    Outside pollution also affects your pets. In a survey, it has been observed that dogs in areas of high-pollution levels show increased inflammation of the brain than those living in areas with a relatively low pollution. Pollution may even cause your pet to acquire certain Alzheimer-like illnesses.

    Smog from industry effects air quality for dogs

    • Remedy: Taking pets out for walks is obviously essential, but you need to keep in mind to choose an area less polluted by contaminants. Either shift your base to cleaner zones or take out your pets in areas away from roadsides and industries to reduce the effects of pollution.

    Using pesticides can be deadly for your dogs

    It has been observed that the use of artificial pesticides in personal farms can prove to be deadly to your dog. According to a study, around 30% of the dogs living in homes with artificial pesticide use are diagnosed with canine malignant lymphoma which is a form of cancer. It has also been observed that around 70% of these dogs do actually have a chance of acquiring this deadly disease.

    Pesticides effect air quality for dogs

    Remedy: Artificial pesticides do more harm than good. With its severe health effects on humans as well as animals, it is better to steer clear of them and opt for the more eco-friendly ones. Your furry friend shouldn’t be subjected to such needless risk factors.

    Indoor pollution decreases your pet’s lung capacity

    It has been found that houses with owners who smoke and pollute the air from burning wood are detrimental to the heath of pets. Cats and dogs in such houses are more prone to catch health problems like asthma and decreased lung functionality.

    • Remedy: Install a good air purifier, or air filters for central heating and cooling systems, in your house that limits indoor air pollution. The fresher and purer the air inside, the healthier your pets will be.  

    Using artificial room fresheners affects your pets

    While we may want our houses to smell good at all times, this comes with a price. If we go for artificial fresheners containing aerosols, these contaminants aren’t good for your pet’s health and result in various illnesses of the heart and lungs.

    • Remedy: Natural flowers work way better than artificial fragrances, and you should opt for them to give your furry friend a well deserved extension of good health.

    K9 Mask dog pollution filter

    Safety Plan for Your Dog During Wildfire Smoke

    Safety Plan for Your Dog During Wildfire Smoke

    With all the recent wildfires in California, Washington, Oregon, and Montana we would like to remind you of proper fire safety and prevention for families with pets. Statistics show that half a million pets are affected and 40,000 pets are killed by fires annually. So before a fire starts, here are some preventative measures to take:

    1. Create a fire escape plan.
    2. Set up a meeting place and multiple routes in order to exit your house safely and quickly.
    3. Put a Pet Rescue Fire Safety Sticker on your window. This will indicate what species of pets you have, and how many, so that firefighters will know who to look for. You can pick up these stickers (normally free of charge) at any humane society or veterinary office.
    4. Free your home (and spaces surrounding where your outdoor pets live) of brushy areas. This will help deplete the fire sources around your home.
    5. Know your pets hiding places. The smell of smoke and sound of burning substances are scary for pets. Most often they will become frightened and hide in a place where they feel secure. Knowing your pets hiding places will help you find them quickly so that everyone can exit the home.
    6. Create a pet emergency kit. This kit should supply your pet with an adequate amount of food, any prescriptions your pet needs and his/her vaccine history in case they need to be boarded.
    7. Be aware when lighting candles. Puppy tails and pouncing kittens can make a harmless candle an extreme fire hazard. Be aware of your pets’ location when candles are lit and place them out of harms’ way.
    8. Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors twice a year.

    Prepare-For-Wildfire-Smoke-Dog-Pollution-KitIn the event of a fire in or near your home always remember to secure your pets on a leash or in a carrier to prevent them from running away in fright. Don’t forget to bring your pet emergency kit, enough food for one week, their favorite toy and/or blanket, a food and water bowl and their ID tags.

    Unfortunately, many families do not have enough time to get to a safe place before the fire is upon them. For this reason, Aspen Grove would like to teach you how to properly care for your pet if they are suffering from smoke inhalation. Smoke inhalation is a serious medical condition and should not be taken lightly. Chemicals released from burned materials such as carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and cyanide are dangerous and poisonous for your pet. Inhalation of these chemicals can result in severe lung injury, burnt airways and death. The signs of smoke inhalation can include but are not limited to:

    • Severe coughing Red,
    • inflamed eyes
    • Weakness/lethargy
    • Depression
    • Bright Red, blue or pale mucous membranes
    • Singed or burnt hair
    • Respiratory distress and/or difficulty breathing
    • Gagging/vomiting
    • Open-mouth breathing
    • Foaming at the mouth
    • Seizures Squinting Skin and/or ocular burns

    Assessing the situation is important, but taking your pet to clean, oxygenated air is your priority. If your pet is still inside the building, loosely drape a wet towel over his/her eyes and nose to prevent further smoke inhalation. Once out of the burning area, ask the fire personnel for an oxygen mask for your pet; this will reduce your pets’ risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are not able to take your pet to a veterinarian right away, than place your pet in a steamy room or near a humidifier in order to increase the amount of moisture in their lungs. The amount of damage to your pet may not be apparent for several hours, so take your pet to a veterinarian as soon as possible for assessment and stabilization.

    Hopefully you will never have to deal with the trauma of a fire taking your home. However, certain preventative measures should be taken if you and your pet are near a wildfire even if you think you are not in harms’ way. First, decrease the amount of exercise time your pet gets outside. Avoid dog parks and long walks.

    As we all know, pets have a keen sense of smell. They will be able to smell the smoke from far away and may become irritable or frightened. Depending on the distance between you and the fire, your pets’ respiratory system may become stressed and gagging/coughing or other symptoms may occur. Always offer your pet ample amounts of fresh water and of course, give them lots of love!

    Dog's Suffering from Intense Smoke with Respiratory Problems

    Dog's Suffering from Intense Smoke with Respiratory Problems

    All residents in major urban areas where this summer's wildfires hit, including all their furry pet friends, are facing the brunt of the dense blanket of smog and smoke that has engulfed many Northwest cities.

    Pet owners, especially those of dogs, complained that the animals are having difficulty in breathing and have turned lethargic. Animal lovers said that their pets have developed wheezing and coughing.

    “My 5-year-old Pitbull, Pluto, has just been lying in a corner and not responding to anyone since Diwali. He does not respond even when my mother or I try to play with him. We have reduced his walk time and are hoping he gets better soon. We urge people to stop bursting crackers; it has been days that the festival is over,” Priyanka, a 22-year-old student, said.


    air-pollution-effects-on-dogsResidents said that their pets’ appetite has also reduced due to the loud noises and smoke from the crackers. They said that the moment a cracker is burst, their pets get scared, go to a corner and stop eating. Some are force-feeding their pets so that they do not become weak. Also, the eyes of some dogs have turned red, discharging water due to irritation from the pollutants.

    Neha, a 29-year-old executive, said, “The eyes of my American Cocker Spaniel, Zoro, have turned red and tear-like substance flows from them. We have been washing his eyes with cold water and putting eye drops but it is not helping.”

    Doctors said that the increasing wildfire smoke pollution is having adverse effects on animals. They said that the owners should try and keep their pets indoors, under air-conditioners, to reduce their contact with the unclean air.

    “Air pollution has increased the risk of pets developing cardiovascular diseases or respiratory symptoms such as a persistent cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest. Owners should reduce the time of the morning and evening walks as pollutants are closer to the ground in these hours,” Dr Ashok Kumar, veterinary doctor, said.

    Doctors also said that the pets should be comforted by owners. Dr Vinod Sharma, a city-based veterinary doctor, said, “It is important to that the pet owners ensure that the dogs are not scared as they risk of going into depression due to noise and air pollution.”

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