A woman walks her dog along the Ottawa River in...

A woman walks her dog along the Ottawa River in Ottawa as smoke from wildfires obscures Gatineau, Quebec, in the distance on Tuesday. Credit: AP/Sean Kilpatrick

Pet owners should keep their companion animals inside during the air quality alert, experts said.

“Smoke can irritate their eyes and respiratory tract,” said Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County SPCA. “Their noses are so sensitive to smell, it could even be worse for them than for us.”

Gross said pets should not be left outside and should be taken out only for regular bathroom breaks, not for exercise.

“Older pets and those with heart or lung disease should be closely monitored,” he said. “Dogs like pugs and bulldogs are more at risk than others for breathing problems.”

The American Veterinary Medical Association said owners should speak to their veterinarians if their animals experience any of the following symptoms: coughing or gagging, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, eye irritation and excessive watering, disorientation or stumbling.

Birds are particularly vulnerable and should not be allowed outside when smoke or particulate matter are present, the association said.

Newsday LogoCovering LI news as it happensDigital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months