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Category: Health (Page 2 of 3)

Friendly Friday – dogs, homes, diet and vets


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3 ways to keep dog safe from haze

Are you walking your dog in the haze when you shouldn't?
Haze is in the air again. You smell it’s smoky presence. You feel the dryness in your throat.  And all the while, the dog seems unconcerned. He happily sniffs the all but dried up grass that has spread across our landscape.

1. Know the signs of smoke haze effects on dogs

Is your dog affected by the smoke haze already?
Here are some of the symptoms you should be looking out for:

  • Skin irritation, rashes
  • Eye irritation – redness or abnormal eye discharge, squinting, eye rubbing
  • Increased mucus production
  • Respiratory problems – sneezing, coughing, wheezing, harsh or laboured breathing sounds.

See the vet if you notice these above symptoms are prolonged or excessive.

You will need IMMEDIATE medical assistance if your pet displays the following:

  • collapse, unconscious
  • uncoordinated movement
  • blue/pale gums
  • gasping for air

2. Help your dog feel better

These are some of the tips shared by vets during the haze last year to help your dog/pet:

  1. Forget the long walk.
    • Go out more often for short toilet breaks only especially if PSI is unhealthy and PM2.5 is above 40.
    • Wipe down face, body and paws thoroughly with damp cloth after walks.
  2. Keep pets indoors.
    • Keep your home dust-free! Vaccuum and mop often.
    • Turn on air conditioner/air purifier/fan where possible
    • Keep the air moist! A cool mist humidifier is a great resource. Otherwise, try these tricks:
      • Lay out damp laundry or a wet towel to dry over night
      • Houseplants can add water in the air through transpiration. Easy to maintain plants like the sansevieria or snake plant and the money plant are great options before they clean the air naturally as well.
  3. Use artificial tears 2-3x daily to flush away possible eye irritants
  4. Increase water intake of your dog
    • Increase water intake by making meat or fish broth for your dog. While no single food can boost immunity, meat and fish can be significant sources of omega 3 fatty acids, which may help respiratory infections.
    • Plenty of cooled water will soothe the irritated and dehydrated mucous membrane.
      The immune system can protect the lungs and respiratory tract efficiently by produce a good amount of phlegm to trap the dust particles and then subsequently force them out through coughing.
    • Change water bowls often.
  5. Pay more attention to the following pets with higher risks:
    • pets with heart/lung disease
    • pets with debilitating conditions, e.g. kidney, liver problems
    • pets with eye conditions
    • young pets less than 1 year old
    • geriatric pets above 6-7 years old

3. Walk your dog when the air is healthy for him

Are you walking your dog in the haze when you shouldn’t?
Here’s a quick checklist to decide,

1. What is the latest reported PSI?

The new PSI incorporates PM2.5 into the PSI, along with the existing five pollutant parameters – SO2, PM10, , NO2, CO and O3. The 3-hour PSI is calculated based on PM2.5 concentration levels, as the PSI incorporates PM2.5 and PM2.5 is the main pollutant of concern during periods of smoke haze. – source

PSI Value  Can you and the dog go out?
0-100  Healthy to Moderate range
– dog walking is OK ;)
– at home: remember to air your rooms!
101-200  Unhealthy,
– go for short loo breaks only
– humans should wear the N95 face mask if outside for a long time
– at home: close doors/windows; circulate the air with a fan or air conditioner
200 and above  Very unhealthy
– best for dog to stay indoors
– at home: close doors/windows; circulate the air with a fan or air conditioner

2. What is the latest reported PM2.5?
(PM2.5 concentrations measure smaller particles that can settle in the lungs, which means it is more harmful than PM10.)

PM2.5 Value  Can you and the dog go out?
0-39  Safe
– dog walking is OK ;)
– at home: remember to air your rooms!
40 and above  Unsafe
– best for dog to stay indoors
– at home: close doors/windows; circulate the air with a fan or air conditioner
Note:  It is possible for the PM2.5 to be at Unsafe levels, even when the PSI is reported in the healthy to moderate range. PM2.5 is more harmful, which is why I always check both values to be safe. I have an updated article here on more about the PSI and PM2.5 information.

Updated 13 Sep 2015:
You can  find the 1 hr  PM2.5 concentrations can be found here.
You can find the 24-hr PSI charts here. You can find historical PSI readings here.

Keep all pets indoors during the haze and if your rabbits or small pets are kept in balconies, bring them in. They are especially at risk for smoke inhalation due to their small lung capacity. Smoke inhalation can cause chronic pneumonia and can be fatal if the animal is no longer able to compensate. Note any signs of breathing difficulty and bring them to your vet immediately.

stay safe stay healthy

References

 

 


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