“Keeping them indoors is the biggest thing, just indoors as much as possible. Keeping windows shut and if you have some sort of air purifier in the home that’s generally the best way to go or otherwise running air conditioning, keeping air flowing through the house and stuff,” she says. “But we don’t want a lot of that outside smoky air coming in. When they do have to go outside keep it brief. Just go out to go to the bathroom and bring them right back in.”
Just like humans, animals that are elderly, young or have respiratory issues are most at-risk.
Schotanus says breeds with squished-in faces like pugs, shih tzus and bulldogs that already have breathing issues on a good day are also at a higher risk due to the smoke. She says 10 minutes is the maximum time any dogs with respiratory issues should be outside, and healthier dogs could maybe go a little bit longer.
“But it’s kind of the best time to prioritize maybe some puzzle mats inside the house or toys and games that you can play inside to still keep their mind working and still keep them entertained,” she says.
Giving your animals a bath to get the smoke off their bodies when they come in from outside will also help their breathing.
Cats with asthma are at a high risk in these conditions and birds are extremely sensitive to any changes in air quality, she adds.
The smoke is the big concern today and with temperatures potentially reaching 30 C in the next few days heat will be a concern
Schotanus says she hopes by now everyone knows to never leave your dog in a vehicle, even if the air conditioning is running in these temperatures.
Their paws on the hot pavement is another thing to consider.
“Very similar to when you’re taking your dog out on a really cold and icy day you put their boots on, you want to do the same on a really hot day,” Schotanus says.
“If you put the back of your hand onto the sidewalk and you can’t keep it there for more than like a minute that means your dog is not going to be happy after taking a 15-, 20-minute walk on really hot pavement. So putting booties on dogs can help just keep their paw pads safe and make sure that they’re not getting burned or anything like that.”
Like with heatstroke, breeds like pugs, shih tzus and bulldogs are most susceptible to heatstroke.
Schotanus says excessive panting and drooling and pale dry gums are signs to watch for when it comes to a dog’s dehydration as well as lethargy and disorientation.