Americans spend almost 22 of 24 hours of their day indoors, which indicates the impact that poor indoor quality can have on human and pet health.
Chihuahuas need up to 30 minutes a day of exercise, so they are less likely than terriers or other ultra-active breeds to be out in the open air.
Every day, your chi is exposed to pollutants you may not even be aware of – including herbicides, flame retardants in soft furnishings, and chemicals in cleaning products.
In one EWG investigation, scientists found that four-pawed inhabitants had 2.4 times the levels of per fluorinated compounds (PFCs) that humans did.
Chis who stay at home while their owners are away can indeed be more subject to the effects of poor indoor quality to a far greater extent than their owners. How can this fact harm your pet, and how can you prevent it?
Health Consequences Of Poor Indoor Quality
Humans living in polluted interiors can experience everything from itchy, watery eyes to coughing and respiratory difficulties.
Pets can also encounter these problems, as well as many additional ones.
One study, for instance, found that the risk of bladder cancer was significantly increased in household dogs by the use of topical insecticides.
If you are spraying insecticides in your home, chemicals can also make their way into your dog’s lungs – and those of a chihuahua are small, and therefore very susceptible to any chemicals they inhale.
Research has also shown that smoke from burning wood is detrimental to pet respiratory health, as is tobacco. In one study by researchers at Oklahoma State University, it was found that secondhand smoke is particularly harmful to pets because they lick their fur, thereby ingesting as well as inhaling a plethora of dangerous chemicals.
The Effect Of Mold On Pet Health
Another danger to human and chi health is mold, which releases spores that can be breathed in. Inhaled mold can cause a wide range of symptoms in your pet, including labored breathing, sneezing, coughing, and a runny nose and eyes. It can additionally cause fever and lethargy.
Meanwhile, ingested mold can cause its own array of problems in the digestive tract. Ensuring spaces are mold-free is a matter of thorough cleaning, good ventilation, and inspection of potential problems in HVAC systems and pipes.
How To Improve Indoor Air Quality
As much as you can, opt for natural furnishings. Because pressed wood can emit fumes, choose solid wood furniture instead.
Consider removing carpets, since these can accumulate mold, dust, and pet dander, and if your chi loves lying down or rolling on the carpet, it could come into very close contact indeed with dangerous chemicals.
Ventilate your home frequently, and clean with natural products so as to reduce your chi’s exposure to bleach and other harsh chemicals.
Finally, try not to burn anything indoors; if you love candles, opt for soy or beeswax, since paraffin candles contain harmful compounds when burned.
Your chi is bound to be a homebody unless you take him with you everywhere you go.
Make life a breeze for him by opting for natural furniture, flame-retardant-free soft furnishings, and wooden or laminate flooring instead of carpets.
Finally, consider investing in a good HEPA filter; this traps tiny dust and other particles that are invisible to the human eye, yet harmful to respiratory health when ingested.
Dr. Sara Ochoa
This article has been fact-checked and approved by Dr. Sara Ochoa DVM. You can read more about her on our About page.