Dogs are a man’s best friend; that’s a true statement indeed. Many families have canines as their family pet and treat them as a family member. Unfortunately, many homeowners do not realise that we share the same environment and diseases with our pets. Scientific research shows that there is a link between a pet’s environment and their health. Similar to humans, dogs are impacted by air polltion and may suffer from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, thyroid disorders, and asthma as a result. The only difference is that canines aren’t able to properly communicate the problems they are experiencing.
Indoor air pollutants tend to sink towards the ground leaving our pets more exposed to harmful contaminants
By treating our pets like family members, they share the same environment and food as us as well. When this happens, people do not realise that pets are breathing in the same air as us and may experience similar health effects to that of humans. Additionally, our pets have smaller bodies than us, meaning small amounts of air pollution may harm even more. To make the issue even worse, many air pollutants settle towards the ground, and so our pets may be breathing in even more of it.
The University of Massachusetts and the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine did a study with 700 dog owners regarding the use of pesticides and the results were astounding. According to this study, approximately 33% of the dogs were diagnosed with with canine malignant lymphoma, a form of cancer. The study also revealed that dogs had a 70% higher chance of getting lymphoma if their owner used pesticides in their yard.
Cat lover instead? Scientists in one study found that one in ten cats have asthma related to indoor and outdoor air pollutants. Cats who lived with owners who smoke or burn wood fires were found to have severely decreased lung function.
But it's not all bad news, there are many easy and simple things we can do to protect our loved pets. Here are some tips on how to reduce the amount of air pollution your pets are exposed to:
- Change your home's air filter regulary
- Don't smoke indoors
- Most heavy duty cleaning products contain large amounts of VOC's, a harmful air pollutant to pets - try to use less powerful and safer household cleaners.
- Vacuum frequently to remove dust, pollen, and pet hair
- Try to avoid exercising your pet near busy roads or industrial areas
- Try to avoid using pesticides in the yards your pets play in
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