With various areas of the US under an air quality alert due to recent wildfires, dog owners now have a way to protect to their pets from wildfire smoke.
The K-9 Mask, which officially launched in 2019, uses four layers of air filtration to block smoke particles from entering dogs’ lungs. It is shaped like a muzzle to fit over the dog’s mouth and nose.
The masks come in four sizes and retail for $59.99 on its website.
In Fall 2018, Evan Daugherty and Kirby Holmes began testing prototypes for the mask amid wildfires in California.
After a successful test, Daugherty and Holmes used a crowdfunding campaign to fully fund the project. After 175 donors gave the duo more than $10,000, they were able to produce and distribute the K-9 mask starting in 2019.
Both the EPA and American Veterinary Medical Association say that smoke from wildfires can be harmful for pets.
“Animals with cardiovascular or respiratory disease are especially at risk from smoke and should be closely watched during all periods of poor air quality,” the American Veterinary Medical Association says.
The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends pet owners look for the following symptoms amid wildfires and times of poor air quality:
- Coughing or gagging
- Difficulty breathing, including open mouth breathing and increased noise when breathing
- Eye irritation and excessive watering
- Inflammation of throat or mouth
- Nasal discharge
- Asthma-like symptoms
- Increased breathing rate
- Fatigue or weakness
- Disorientation or stumbling
- Reduced appetite and/or thirst