askST: Forget masks, keep pets indoors and monitor their symptoms

To mitigate the risks that pets face during hazy periods, pet owners are advised to keep pets indoors and ensure they stay cool by turning on the air-conditioner and frequently changing their water bowls.
To mitigate the risks that pets face during hazy periods, pet owners are advised to keep pets indoors and ensure they stay cool by turning on the air-conditioner and frequently changing their water bowls.PHOTO: ST FILE

It is not just people who may suffer long-term damage from exposure to polluted air. Pets also face health risks to their eyes, nose and throat.

In fact, smaller animals are at greater risk of smoke inhalation when it is hazy due to their smaller lung capacity. With images circulating online showing animals wearing masks, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has cautioned pet owners against putting makeshift masks on their animals.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 21, 2019, with the headline 'Forget masks, keep pets indoors and monitor their symptoms'. Subscribe