Protect your pets from wildfire smoke

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – Smoke continues to pour into the Tahoe Basin from the Mosquito Fire. The poor air quality we see doesn’t just affect your family, it can also be harmful to pets.

“If air quality is unhealthy for humans, it is also unhealthy for animals,” said Rebecca Goff, clinical director at the Nevada Humane Society.

Poor air quality can make it difficult for dogs and cats to breathe.

“It can cause coughing, sneezing, runny eyes, itchy eyes,” Goff said.

The Nevada Humane Society recommends keeping your pets indoors if you can.

“Permanently restrict high energy outdoor activities, no walks, no runs, nothing that would exert a lot of energy,” she said.

“Keep your doors and windows closed. If you have air conditioning, run that air conditioning to also filter the air.

Smoke like this also impacts wildlife. The Nevada Department of Wildlife says that some animals might be wandering around your neighborhood trying to escape smoke or flames.

“It’s really important to be aware that there might be animals in the area and to give them their space,” said Jessica Wolff, NDOW Wildlife Education Coordinator.

Wolff says wild animals shouldn’t be encouraged to stay in residential areas by feeding them.

“Make sure you don’t have any food or water resources that are going to hold them there,” she said.

“Just like us, they are looking for food, water and shelter.”

As the smoke continues to build, watch your pets carefully. You can always ask your veterinarian for more information.

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