Local veterinarian warns community of smoke’s health effects on pets

Smoke Health Risks For Children

As the community continues to feel the negative effects of the wildfire smoke, our furry friends are having trouble as well.

Sheila Erickson, who works at the Horse Heaven Hills Pet Urgent Care, said she sees “more and more pets coming in with respiratory distress.”

According to Erickson, the hospital is figuring out how to divide up their oxygen cages as the smoky conditions worsen.

“We’re seeing a lot of pets that are being affected by [the air quality],” Erickson said.

She advised pet owners to keep a close watch on their animals as smoke affects pets in similar ways to humans. These include eye and lung irritation, coughing, and sneezing.

Just like for ourselves, Erickson said the best way to protect them from the poor air is to keep them inside.

Most importantly, if any start to exhibit health problems from the smoke, contact a veterinarian as soon as possible.

“Treat our pets the same way that we treat ourselves,” Erickson said.