Yes, your pets are affected by poor air quality too

Air quality affect pets

Recently, bushfires have been unfolding across New South Wales, leaving many of our communities, animals and landscapes devastated. At RSPCA NSW, we’ve been incredibly disheartened to hear of these tragedies, and have been doing everything we can to assist the animals and communities affected by these horrendous events.

As you’re most likely aware, the fires have also resulted in a thick, smoky haze to descend on much of the state, causing very poor to hazardous air quality levels. It has made being outside unpleasant, especially for those with existing asthmatic or respiratory issues.

In times like these, we urge you not to forget about your pets. As our Sydney ACS Manager Sharon Andronicos said, “If it is uncomfortable for a human to breathe, then it will be uncomfortable for pets too.”

This includes most animals, such as birds, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, mice, rats, ferrets and reptiles (note: reptiles should remain within their preferred body temperature range). It’s also important to note that pets with pre-existing conditions, such as asthma, or brachycephalic breeds are likely to be at an increased risk during this time.

Here are our quick tips for ensuring your pet stays safe while it’s so smoky:

  • Keep them inside as much as possible with your windows shut
  • Ensure plenty of fresh water is available at all times
  • Avoid intense outdoor activities, like long walks
  • Have a plan in place for your pets in the event of immediate danger

While your pets are inside, we suggest using these fun enrichment activities to keep them entertained (for dogs, cats, birds, guinea pigs and rabbit):

  • Treat dispensers
  • Interactive toys
  • Food wrapped in butcher’s paper
  • Snuffle mats
  • Tunnels
  • Food puzzles
  • Ice treats

For birds, ensure their cage is large enough and filled with an adequate amount of toys.

If your pet appears to show any signs of severe discomfort or other health issues, please see a veterinarian immediately.

We sincerely hope you, your families and pets remain safe!