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Keep pets safe during wildfires: Toronto Humane Society offers pointers

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Pets are not immune to the wildfire chaos causing air quality issues throughout Canada.

With that in mind, the Toronto Humane Society has come out with some practical tips to ensure the safety of household pets.

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Wildfire smoke can pose serious health risks to animals, just as it does to humans,” the humane society said in a news release. “Toronto Humane Society is dedicated to promoting the welfare of animals and is here to provide you with practical information on how to protect your pets from the effects of wildfire smoke. By following these guidelines, you can help keep your furry family members safe and healthy.”

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Staying informed is key, the humane society said, and that can be done by regularly monitoring updates on local air quality advisories and area wildfire conditions. Environment Canada and the Air Quality Health Index are reliable resources, the society said.

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Limiting exposure by minimizing your pet’s exposure to smoke when air quality is poorest can be done by keeping pets indoors as much as possible while keeping windows closed at these times. Air purifiers or filters can help reduce indoor pollutants.

Common sense can’t be overlooked. Dogs require the enrichment and exercise of outdoor activity, but regular walks during cooler times of day when air quality is better is advised.

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Veterinarians should be consulted if any unusual symptoms turn up, including coughing, sneezing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, unusual tiredness or eye irritations.

For more information, visit www.torontohumanesociety.com.

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