How To Care For Your Pet: Haze Tips For Animal Lovers

While we are busy protecting ourselves from the haze, don't forget that the pets in our house are also breathing in the same polluted, smokey air. Here are some tips on how to protect your pets from the haze.

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How will the haze affect my pet?

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.

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)

, Dr Dawn Chong from The Animal Clinic said this week owners have been bringing pets to her veterinary clinic for haze-related symptoms, including respiratory problems, asthma, coughing and breathing difficulties.

Ricky Yeo, President of Action for Dogs (ASD) noticed that some of the dogs at the adoption and rescue centre have been tearing up more than usual.

Kucing Terbiar Anjing Jalanan (KTAJ) volunteer Rina Zahid noticed that her cats did not seem to be affected as they stay indoors but she has seen a marked difference in her dog, which seemed to be more lethargic.

Veterinarian Dr S. Vellayan observed that birds, especially the free-flying painted stock, are getting up about an hour later than usual to look for food. “This could indicate interference in their vision due to the haze”.

Which pets are more at risk?

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According to Dr. Dawn Chong from The Animal Clinic, younger animals and breeds that are flat-faced or have shorter snouts (e.g. Persians and Pugs) are more vulnerable to haze-related diseases.

Younger animals are more vulnerable to haze-related diseases.

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The same applies to animals with a history of heart, lung, kidney and eye problems.

How to protect your fur kids this haze season (Click to view)

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.

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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!

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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. Change water bowls frequently.

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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. Use it 2 to 3 times a day to flush away any eye irritants.

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For dogs that are more susceptible to falling sick, give them antioxidants such as vitamin C to boost their immunity.

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Wipe your pets down with a damp cloth or baby wipes after walks. Here's a good concoction for a daily wipe-down: Add two to three drops of high grade lavender oil and eucalyptus oil to a basin of water, soaking a cloth in it and using the cloth to wipe the dogs.

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Take your dogs out for quick toilet walks and avoid taking them out for walks entirely if the reading goes above 200.

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How do I know if my pet is sick?

Monitor your pets for redness in the eye, abnormal eye discharge, excessive sneezing or coughing.

Monitor your dogs and cats for any eye problems during this haze season.

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This is cute, but might harm your dog

This is cute, but might actually harmful for your dog

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While some animal lovers might want to protect their pets with makeshift masks such as these, Dr Chong warns that it is in fact dangerous for the pets as such masks obscure their mouths, not allowing them to dispel heat, which might lead to a heatstroke.

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