(CNN) In the United States and Canada, millions of people are dealing with potentially noxious air as smoke from more than 430 active wildfires in Canada permeates areas like New York. Poor air quality is expected to persist in some areas of the East Coast through the weekend, with winds likely to move smoke south into the Mid-Atlantic.
Dr. Gabrielle Fadl, director of primary care at Bond Veterinary Clinic in New York, says her practice has received a “significant influx of calls” from concerned clients seeking guidance on how to protect their animals from poor air quality. abroad. She has also received a few calls from patients, especially pregnant women and the elderly, requesting that their appointments be rescheduled.
“Exposure to polluted air can have a profound impact on the health of our pets, causing respiratory problems, allergies and even exacerbating existing conditions like asthma,” Fadl said.
To ensure the well-being of pets, Fadl advises taking the following precautions into account:
Limit outdoor activities. Reduce the time your pets spend outdoors as much as possible, especially during periods when the air quality is unhealthy. This can help minimize your exposure to harmful pollutants and allergens, he said.
You also shouldn’t be running your dog outside, according to Dr. Peter DeCarlo, an associate professor in the Department of Environmental Health and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. “If you can, walk a little slower so you don’t breathe as deeply,” he added. “That may help.”
Create a safe environment inside your home. Make sure you have adequate ventilation in your house. Keep windows closed to prevent the entry of contaminants such as fine particles. These particles are the smallest and most dangerous pollutants, and have been linked to health problems such as heart disease, asthma and other respiratory diseases. Use air purifiers or filters to improve indoor air quality.
Monitor the animals for symptoms. You should watch for any signs of respiratory distress or discomfort in your pets, such as coughing, sneezing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing. “If you see any worrying symptoms, get to the vet right away,” says Fadl.
Consult a vet. Go to a trusted veterinarian to advise you on the specific needs of your pet. They can also recommend preventive measures or appropriate treatments.
CNN’s Amaya McDonald and Jen Christensen contributed to this report.
Source: CNN Espanol