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Protecting your dog from smoke

The end of Winter and the start of Spring, signal the start of the backburning season for 2021 as the RFS attempt to remove the fuel sources that sent us into despair in 2019. At times, bushfire smoke can turn the sky red, make it hard to see long distances, and also impact air quality.

During this time, you should also spare a thought for your greyhound as they too are affected by bushfire smoke and deterioration in air quality. They will rely on you to reduce the risk to their health.

In periods of heavy smoke, dogs can experience coughing, eye and throat irritation, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, and fatigue. They can also suffer from stomach irritation from consuming ash in their water or whilst grooming their fur.

Breeds with a shortened snout (like French bulldogs) are also more susceptible to the harmful effects of smoke due to their shortened air paths. And if you have a puppy or older dog they will more be likely to feel the effects.

Here are a few things you can do to help protect your pooch:

1.     Keep your dog indoors: This one is fairly obvious. The easiest and most effective way to protect them from the smoke is to bring them inside until air quality improves

2.     Keep them occupied: If going for a walk isn’t an option, find ways to keep them occupied and entertained indoors. This can include treat puzzles, hide & seek, tug of war, etc

3.     Recycle inside air: Check your airconditioning settings are set at 'recycle' so that it's not drawing outside air into your home.

4.     Hygiene: Ensure you have cleaned their coats from any ash they may have collected from outside. You can do this by simply using wipes or a brush to tease up any debris that may have collected in their coat.
You should also keep an eye on any warning signs such as extreme coughing, difficulty breathing, irritated eyes, and lethargy. If you notice any of these signs it is best to call your vet for professional advice.