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How to keep your pets safe in unhealthy air quality

Poor air quality from wildfire smoke can cause health issues for pets.

The unhealthy air quality in Washington from wildfire smoke can take a toll on your pets, and even cause some serious health issues.

Dr. Jessica Reed, medical director for Seattle Humane, says pet owners should keep animals inside and limit their exercise when the air quality is at unhealthy levels.

Keeping your windows and doors closed and using an indoor high-efficiency HEPA filter can help keep indoor air as clean as possible.

Also see | This DIY air filter for wildfire smoke is less than $20

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“Make sure to keep a real close eye on your pet for any signs that they’re having a hard time with the air quality,” Dr. Reed said.

Smoke inhalation can cause disorientation and confusion, fainting, lethargy and seizures.

Some signs that your pet might be having difficulty include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Pet is quieter than normal
  • Not wanting to eat or drink

Dr. Reed said some older animals and certain animals – like pugs, Boston terriers, or animals with shorter noses - are at a heightened risk for respiratory issues.

WATCH: What different air quality levels mean