Health care

According to Dr. Paola Cuevas MVZ | Veterinarian at Excited Cats, the smoke and air pollution that comes as a consequence of fires may cause “eye irritation and respiratory issues which are often consequences of bad air quality due to wildfire smoke”, especially affecting pets with “respiratory conditions such as asthma as well as Brachycephalic dog breeds”, who may suffer during a fire, so they must be protected.

As soon as people notice that a fire is close, the first measure must be to keep the pets inside the house, with windows closed, avoiding the smoke entering the house, and keeping the animals safe from toxic air. The fires may affect the air quality, so owners must take into consideration the air quality risk – these can be checked online.

Paola Cuevas mentions that when the air quality is ranked as unhealthy, owners must limit the time of pets outside to the minimum. In more extreme cases, for example, when a pet suffers from respiratory conditions, owners may train them to “do their business in specially designated areas” inside the house, using resources such as “pee pads or turf potty pads.”

When the fire risk is high, people must pay attention to every detail and protect all their belongings at all costs, having, if possible, different supplies to avoid unhappy situations. In this case, if the pets are medicated for diseases like asthma, the owners must make sure that they have extra medication in the house.

HEPA filters will keep the air clean, cleaning the toxins in the air. This is especially useful for those who have pet birds as they have a “highly sophisticated respiratory system.”

Keeping your pet safe

In the case of high-energy dogs, that require a larger amount of physical activity, Paola Cuevas suggests having “an automatic ball dispensing machine”, when there is enough space at home, which besides helping the animals to burn some energy, will prevent them from developing “destructive behaviours.”

It is also very important to keep the animals tracked, as in very stressful times the animals may run away, looking for safety. By having a microchip implanted and vaccines taken, the pet will be safer and easier to find if it ever gets lost.

According to the veterinarian, some emergency shelters do not allow pets, so if that is the case, owners may leave “enough drinking water and food scattered around different areas of the house”, making it easier for pets to find resources in several areas of the house, if in the worst case scenario, it becomes impossible to reach.


Deeply in love with music and with a guilty pleasure in criminal cases, Bruno G. Santos decided to study Journalism and Communication, hoping to combine both passions into writing. The journalist is also a passionate traveller who likes to write about other cultures and discover the various hidden gems from Portugal and the world. Press card: 8463. 

Bruno G. Santos