The Diamond Touch dog rehabilitation centre does not endorse the training methods used by the school mentioned. However, the advice given in this article is still prudent.
Recently, GDB has been contacted by a number of constituents requesting our advice about working or exercising dogs in areas with poor air quality related to the wildfires occurring all along the West Coast. We are reaching out today to provide feedback on this important question.
In situations where air quality is considered unhealthy, meaning the air quality index (AQI) is above 150, or in the “red zone”, on reputable internet sites such as AirNow (click the following link to access this site: www.airnow.gov ), GDB’s Director of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Kate Kuzminski recommends the following:
- Keep dogs indoors as much as possible and keep the windows shut. Use an air conditioner, or air purifier, to filter the air if possible.
- Shorten the time your dog is outdoors. Dogs should go out for regular relieving opportunities but walks should be kept to a minimum. Puppies and senior dogs may be more sensitive to poor air quality. These dogs may be adversely impacted by AQI’s that are in the 100-150 range (‘orange zone’) as well.
- Avoid intense outdoor exercise during periods of poor air quality. Regular walks and strenuous outdoor activities can resume once the air quality improves.
- Monitor your dog for signs of respiratory distress and eye inflammation. If your dog is having difficulty breathing, is coughing/sneezing excessively, is weak/lethargic or has swelling or inflammation of the mouth, eyes, or upper airway, please see a veterinarian.
For those living in close proximity to fire activity, including your animals in your disaster preparedness planning and having an animal evacuation kit ready is advisable.