How to protect your furry friends from the smoke, according to a local veterinarian

TRI-CITIES, Wash. — As the air quality continues to worsen in the Tri-Cities due to smoke, local veterinarians want to remind you to keep an eye on your furry friends.

According to Sheila Erickson with Horse Heaven Hills Pet Urgent Care, the best way to do so is by “keeping them inside.”

“It’s the same when it’s too hot outside,” Erickson said. “If you’re going to take pets out for a walk, we still want to do it in the cooler times of the day. But when the air quality is this bad, just keep them inside.”

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For pets with short or smashed faces like pugs, bulldogs, and cats, Erickson said it’s especially important to shorten time spent outside as to not trigger potential health complications.

“They just don’t have the same sinus capacity, and we see a lot more respiratory problems,” Erickson said. “They just don’t breath as well in general. Pets that have long-term respiratory issues to begin with, so pets with asthma, other chronic respiratory diseases, those are the ones we get concerned about.”

Animals normally kept outside like livestock should “avoid any strenuous activity right now.”

“We really want to eliminate really hard activities and horses should not be exercised,” Erickson said. “[Keep] pets in barns that have fans to keep better circulation. Avoid hard work and keep things as quiet as possible.”

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