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Smoke can have health impact on pets too, Humane Society warns

(iStock Photo)

CALGARY – With Calgary expected to see a return of wildfire smoke settling over the city, the Humane Society is sending out a warning to monitor your pets.

Animals are impacted by heat and smoke just like people are.

Brad Nichols, director of operations and enforcement with the Calgary Humane Society, says pet owners should keep an eye on the air quality index.


“Their respiratory systems are affected by smoke just like ours are,” he explained.

“There are some breeds of dogs that are even more so– the brachycephalic breeds tend to have a bit more trouble with the heat and with the smoke as well. [If the AQI is at] seven, eight, nine, 10 out, it’s probably not a great idea for our animal to be spending a lot of time outside.”

He also says to make sure you’re watching your pets in the heat and the hotter it gets, the more you need to trim the length of walks.


“Make sure the outside time is relatively short and that there’s access to shade and water. And, of course, avoid leaving animals in vehicles,” he said.

Nichols says dogs don’t sweat in the same way humans do, so watch for increased panting, or, better yet, only bring them outside when you need to.

You can also use fans and water to help them keep cool at home through the summer.

No alerts are currently in effect for the Calgary area, but Environment Canada does expect a haze to return to the city with fires burning in B.C. and south of the border.