It seems like the haze situation is not getting any better. Although it is very important to take care of our own health during times like these, let us not forget about our furry companions.
Just like us, our pets are at an equal risk of suffering ill effects from the ongoing haze. As animals have an increased sensitivity to foreign particles, the constant exposure to a polluted and smoky environment may irrefutably put them in a position to develop medical conditions.
Haze-related problems for our furkids include respiratory difficulties, coughing, asthma and breathing complications. More specifically, smoke haze can cause your pets to have:
- An irritated nose and throat
- An increased mucus production
- A tendency to cough
- Eye irritations (e.g. redness and discharge)
- Skin irritations (e.g. rashes and allergies)
- Lung problems if severe (e.g. bronchitis and asthma)
According to Dr. Dawn Chong from The Animal Clinic (Singapore), younger animals and breeds that are flat-faced or have shorter snouts (e.g. Persians and Pugs) are more vulnerable to haze-related diseases. The same applies to animals with a history of heart, lung, kidney and eye problems. Eegads!
So, how can we take care of our furry friends? How can we help make them feel a little more comfortable and less susceptible to haze-related diseases?
6. Keep Them Indoors.
If we are personally having breathing difficulties even when we’re indoors, what more our pets if they’re outside. Dr. Chong advises us to keep our pet’s outdoor activities at minimum, especially if the PSI readings goes above 100. To check on the current API reading of your town/state, click here or here.
However, if it is necessary to bring your pets out, be sure to wipe them down with a damp cloth or baby wipes to get rid of allergens and pollutants from their fur. This will minimise their risks of getting skin allergies. Conversely, it is not really advisable to give your pet frequent bathes as this will dry his or her skin out. As an alternative, try adding two to three drops of lavender and eucalyptus oil into a basin of water, soak a piece of clothe in it and wipe your pet clean. This is especially applicative to cats as they have a tendency to lick their fur.
5. Immediate Medical Attention.
Pay close attention to your furkids. If they show abnormal signs of redness in eye, eye discharges, excessive sneezing or coughing, it is suggested to bring them to the vets immediately. Remember – the quicker your pets get medical treatment, the less discomfort they will be in.
4. Honey To Soothe Coughs.
The haze may cause your pets to have dry, hacking coughs. To minimize their distress, you could try giving them some honey. One or half a teaspoon of honey, three to four times a day can do wonders in soothing their throat and ease inflammation symptoms. Plus, your pets will definitely enjoy the honey’s sweet taste!
3. Eye Drops.
Eye drops and artificial tears can help flush away any possible irritants, thus preventing any eye issues. Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre recommends Tears Naturale II.
2. Be Wary Of Their Food and Drink.
You should be careful of your furry companion’s food and water bowl – make sure that the contents are clean and free from any dust particles or pollutants. Dr. Chong also shares that if your pets are more susceptible to falling sick, giving them vitamins and antioxidants such as Vitamin C can help boost their immunity. Unsweetened Barley water is also believed to be able to help cool them down and get rid of toxins from their body. Just like us eh!
1. Play With Your Pet.
It is important to understand that even with the haze, you shouldn’t deprive your pets from important stimulation – they would still need their daily exercise. Perhaps you can play hide and seek with them, or try and teach them new tricks?