How Pollution Is Harming Your Dog

Just like pollution is damaging to humans, it also affects pets. Read on to find out more about the effects.
How Pollution Is Harming Your Dog

Last update: 22 January, 2019

Environmental pollution affects the whole planet, as well as harming life in its various forms. Inhabitants of big cities are usually the most affected, whether humans or animals. We’ll tell you all you need to know about the link between pollution and dogs in today’s article.

The harming effects of pollution and dogs

To give you an idea as to how much pollution can affect dogs, when autopsies are performed on dogs that live in cities, their lungs are usually black with considerable damage.

The harming effects of pollution and dogs means that the animals suffer the consequences.

Dogs that live in big cities are exposed to environmental pollution and may suffer, among other things:

  • Bronchitis
  • Coughs
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory difficulties
  • Lung tumors
  • Alterations in the blood-brain barrier
  • Degeneration of cortical neurons
  • Accumulation of protein groups associated with the development of Alzheimer’s in people

Dogs and people, victims of pollution in large cities

Dogs have a respiratory system very similar to that of humans. However, as they spend time closer to the ground than we do, they suffer even more from pollution.

This happens because polluting particles, such as lead, usually accumulate on the ground that your dog sniffs during walks. And the damage is even more serious when we’re talking about homeless dogs.

In addition, when it doesn’t rain for long periods of time, this tends to increase respiratory problems in dogs. Pollution becomes more concentrated in the atmosphere.

Tips for humans and dogs that live in cities

If you live in a big city, pay attention to the following tips to help alleviate the effects of pollution on your dog. They might also help you as well.

  • Get out of the city as much as you can. Spend time in the countryside, where pollution isn’t as big an issue.
  • Don’t smoke inside the house.
  • Take your dog for walks when there’s not as much traffic.
  • If your dog is old, let her take her time. If she gets tired and breathes faster, she’ll inhale even more contaminating particles.

Other information to keep in mind about pollution and dogs

Here’s some more information relating to pollution and dogs:

  • Dogs with a history of respiratory conditions or heart problems are more affected by environmental pollution than healthy animals.
  • Walking 10 minutes through a large city with lots of traffic is more dangerous than doing it for 1 hour when there’s less traffic. Take this into account when you walk with your pet.
  • The brachycephalic (flat-nosed) breeds have more difficulty filtering polluting particles.

Noise pollution, another problem in the cities

Two dogs being pushed in a cart.

Noise pollution is another problem that affects dogs that live in large cities. This can also cause fear, anxiety, and stress.

Also, don’t forget that dogs have a more developed sense of hearing than humans. Because of this, they suffer more from the noise pollution in cities. For example:

  • Honks
  • Sirens of all kinds
  • Firecrackers
  • Alarms
  • Engines
  • Protests

The list can be endless. The truth, however, is that some dogs tolerate noise pollution better than others. This is due to them being properly socialized from a young age. Having said that, this doesn’t mean that their ears and hearing aren’t affected by the constant environmental noise.

Better quality of life for humans and animals

Pollution seems to be a never-ending problem in big cities. Because of this, you need to find ways to lessen its effect in order to achieve a better quality of life for you and your pet. If we all do our part, we might be able to enjoy a less-polluted world in the future.

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