Your pets can be affected by wildfire smoke. If you feel the effects of smoke, they probably do, too! Smoke can irritate your pet’s eyes and respiratory tract. Bring your pets inside, and closely watch them during all periods of poor air quality.

Know the Signs

If your animals have any of the following signs, call your veterinarian: 

  • Coughing or gagging

  • Red or watery eyes, nasal discharge, inflammation of throat or mouth or reluctance to eat hard foods

  • Trouble breathing, including open-mouth breathing, more noise when breathing, or fast breathing

  • Fatigue or weakness, disorientation, uneven gait, stumbling

  • Reduced appetite or thirst 

Recommended Actions 

Even if the risk of fire is not imminent, heavy smoke may force you to stay indoors for a long time or even to evacuate. Reduce your pet’s exposure to smoke as you would reduce your own. 


  • Whether you have a central air conditioning system or a room unit, use high efficiency filters to capture fine particles from smoke.

  • Think about creating a clean room in your house with a portable air cleaner. 

When it’s smoky

  • Keep pets indoors as much as you can, with doors and windows closed. 

  • Bring outdoor pets into a room with good ventilation, like a utility room, garage, or bathroom. Move potentially dangerous products, such as pesticides, out of the reach of pets.

  • Smoke is especially tough on your pet birds. Keep them inside when smoke is present.

Keep indoor air clean 

  • Do not fry or broil foods, vacuum, burn candles, use a fireplace or woodstove, or smoke tobacco products. These activities add particles to your home.

  • Spend less time outdoors and limit physical activities when it is smoky. For example, when it’s smoky, it’s not a good time for you and your pet to go for a run. 

  • Let dogs and cats outside only for brief bathroom breaks if air quality alerts are in effect.

This information can also be found 

Prepare pets for evacuation

While there are no evacuation orders in Multnomah County, now is a good time to prepare in advance, if you need to leave at a moment’s notice.

Sign up at

Stay in the know by signing up for public alerts in your local jurisdiction. This is the best way to receive important notifications and evacuation information for your specific location. Currently, there are no evacuation orders in Multnomah County. 

Update your pet’s license and microchip information

If you and your pet are separated, having a license and a microchip are the best precautions to help others contact you in an emergency.

Prepare a 72-hour kit for pets

In addition to clothing and emergency supplies you’re packing for yourself, be sure to pack enough supplies for your pet.

Remember to Pack:

  • Food

  • Bottled water

  • Any medication your pet may need

  • Treats

    • For dogs, something to chew on in a stressful environment. 

    • For cats, several cans of high-value wet food.

  • A favorite toy

  • A crate where your pet can be comfortably confined if needed in any environment you may be staying

  • Bedding

  • First aid & sanitation supplies

  • Collars and leashes

  • Proof of ownership - a copy of vet records, adoption or breeder documentation, licensing records, and photos of you and your pet together.

Plan where to stay with pets

Identify pet-friendly lodging in the area you plan to go in an emergency.

Emergency Shelters

A teen and her Chihuahua evacuated from fires in Clackamas County. Sept. 11, 2020

If you plan to stay in an emergency shelter, find out what arrangements they may have for your pets before arriving.

Most Red Cross shelters are unable to welcome pets into the shelter. The Red Cross has partnered with RedRover, which can help you find out where pets can safely stay during an emergency.

In limited locations, in conjunction with local partners, some Red Cross shelters may have a designated, separate area where small pets can stay. These locations and their pet policies may change over the course of an emergency.

In shelters that allow small pets, owners are expected to care for and spend time with their pets - shelter volunteers and attendants will not be able to care for them in your place.

Most regional animal shelters will not have the capacity to provide emergency boarding for your pets in an evacuation. In the event that emergency shelters for people aren’t able to accommodate pets, emergency personnel and regional shelters may establish a separate emergency shelter for pets.

Plan ahead with neighbors 

Plan ahead with neighbors who can take pets in an emergency if you’re unavailable. Make arrangements with a trusted neighbor in advance to find and bring your pets to you, or provide temporary care in the event that you are away from your property during an evacuation.

More resources on pet preparedness