Delhi pollution: How to keep your pets safe as the air quality dips
From keeping them indoors, to hydrating them well, here's how to safeguard your pet’s health amid severe air pollution.
As air quality deteriorates in Delhi NCR and surrounding areas, people are advised to avoid venturing out in peak pollution hours. Air pollution not just affects us but also your animal companion's health. Toxic air can have an adverse impact on pets' lungs, brain and also skin health. When the AQI levels outside are 300 or above, it's imperative to keep your pets indoor. When the pollution levels are high, taking your pet outdoor for a walk can put them at risk of respiratory issues among a host of other health problems. Many pollutants also enter your house in form of dirt and dust and it's important to clean your house thoroughly to prevent your furry companions from the hazardous air pollutants. (Also read: Should we go for morning walk amid severe pollution? Dos and don'ts of exercising in pollution season)
"If you think air pollution is bad only for us, you are sadly mistaken. It affects animals too, and in more ways than one. Severe air pollution can not only cause damage to a dog/cat’s respiratory systems, but also give rise to neurological problems and skin irritations which are very common when air pollution becomes high. It is very important that pet parents take proper care of their beloved companions in times of smog and pollution," says Dr Kunal Dev Sharma, Co-Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Chief Financial Officer, MaxPetZ.
TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PETS SAFE AMID POLLUTION
Here are five important tips to keep your pets safe.
1. Keep a constant check at the AQI level
Especially in the early winter months, the air quality falls heavily in the cities. If the air quality is ‘bad’ or ‘severe’, avoid taking your pet out for a walk. You can perhaps play with them indoors and keep your pet engaged indoors during such times. In case you are staying close to the highway, make sure not to take your pet for a walk post peak traffic hours.
2. Keep the door and windows of your house closed
Insulate your house from bad quality air. It is best if you have an air purifier at home. Keep it on at all times when the air pollution level is high. One can also keep indoor plants that give oxygen at home in order to reduce the ill effects of air pollution.
3. Vacuum your homes frequently at times of extreme air pollution
This will help mitigate pollutants inside the house. Make it a point to use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter that can trap small particles too. This will keep the air free from pollutants and help your pet breathe smoothly.
4. Make it a point to change your HVAC air filter often
Perhaps change the filter every three months. Change the air filter every year (12 months) for 4-5 inch filters. If the outside pollution is kept at bay by using these filters, the pets can stay safe.
5. Avoid use of pesticides
If you have a lawn or many plants in your house, avoid the use of pesticides, especially during the winter months when the air pollution levels are very high especially in the cities. According to a medical survey done recently, it shows that if dogs are exposed to air pollution, 70% of animals are more likely to develop lymphoma.
"It is very important that pet parents spend more time with their dogs and take note of their pet’s breathing. Keep the furry companion hydrated and in case of any sign or symptoms of heavy breathing, rush your pet to the veterinarian. Though it is very difficult to stay away from pollution, following the few steps mentioned above will help reduce air pollution and keep your pets healthy," concludes Dr Sharma.