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Statement from the State Veterinarian’s Office on Air Quality and Animal Health

Animals can also be affected by poor air quality; take steps to protect them

LANSING, MI – Today, the State Veterinarian’s Office released the following statement due to the recent air quality alert issued for Michigan. The alert was issued because of elevated levels of fine particulate matter due to wildfire smoke from Canada.

“Similar to humans, animals are also affected when there are issues with air quality, especially birds, animals with underlying respiratory and heart conditions, and other sensitive populations—such as young or senior animals,” said Assistant State Veterinarian, Jennifer Calogero, DVM, PhD. “If animals are being negatively affected by breathing poor quality air, they could exhibit various signs of illness, including coughing, wheezing, having difficulties breathing, eye drainage, lethargy, changing the sound of their vocalization, decreased appetite, and thirst. For any concerns related to the health of your animals, please contact your veterinarian.”

To best protect animals from poor quality air, follow these three easy tips:

  • Keeping animals indoors with doors and windows closed and limiting the amount of time they spend outdoors. 
  • Avoiding strenuous activities/exercise.
  • Ensuring clean air flow when indoors by using fans, air conditioners, air purifiers, etc.  

If you have additional questions related to the health of your animals, always be sure to contact your veterinarian.

For more information on air quality in your local area, please visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s interactive air quality map and sign up for alerts through the EnviroFlash system


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