Pets exposed to smoke or ash from fires can experience potential harm and injury in a number of ways: eating, breathing, through their mouth and nose, through the eyes and skin exposure. Ash collected on your pet's coat may be swallowed through grooming. Deposits of ash on the ground may also be picked up on their paws and may be licked off.

If you are evacuating:

  • Take your pets and any medications with you.
  • If your pet has been outdoors and exposed to smoke or ash in the air or on the ground, wash them with an appropriate shampoo designed for pets. Make sure you clean the feet of pets if they have run through ash.
  • If you have any concerns about the health of your pet, contact your local vet.

If staying at home

Minimize the likely exposure of pets

  • Keep pets confined inside when smoke is at its worst.
  • Minimize the time pets spend outdoors.
  • Exercise pets in a location away from areas affected by smoke.
  • Take pets away from the affected area regularly.

Reduce the risk of your pets consuming ash through grooming

  • Manually groom with a brush.
  • Wash pets with an appropriate shampoo designed for pets.
  • Clean the feet of pets as they come back indoors if they have run through ash.
  • Avoid leaving pet food and water bowls outdoors; clean and fill them daily.

Higher risk pets

  • Animals with heart or breathing conditions will be at higher risk of being adversely affected by the smoke.
  • Animals with pre-existing skin conditions that makes them more prone to licking and grooming.
  • If your pet has one of these complaints then speak to your vet.
  • Consider having higher risk pets stay outside of the smoke affected area for the time the area is affected.

Outdoor animal facilities

  • When smoke is at its worse, cover outdoor fish ponds, and bring caged birds indoors into cleaner air.


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