Spending time outdoors with your dog will stimulate your dog’s senses and keep him or her fit and healthy. As a dog owner, you’ll typically spend 300 minutes each week walking your dog outside. The problem is most owners walk their dogs in built-up areas that are packed full of traffic. Cars are a leading cause of air pollution, with each one emitting around 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. So, just what is this vehicle pollution doing to your dog’s health and how can you protect your furry companion?
Studies have found that dogs that spend large periods of time in polluted outdoor spaces typically have brain inflammation. The protein that causes Alzheimer’s disease is also more likely to be present in their brains. Another piece of research assessed stray dogs who naturally were exposed to more pollution from cars than pet dogs. They found evidence of a mild form of lung disease known as anthracosis. This shows how important it is to limit your dog’s exposure to air pollutants caused by vehicles.
Avoid congested areas
The more traffic congestion there is, the higher the levels of air pollution nearby. You and your dog may love to walk around your local dog park or exercise area, but if it’s close to a high-traffic area, it’s best to avoid it. Rural areas are generally best as there is less traffic in these areas and congestion is uncommon. Parks are usually a good choice, too.