The use of tear gas is on the rise as a way to control crowds and disperse protests. While this may be an effective way to control humans, it can have devastating effects on dogs. Dogs are highly sensitive to the chemicals in tear gas and can suffer from serious health problems as a result. If you are planning on attending a protest or demonstration, it is important to take steps to protect your dog. Here are some tips on how to keep your furry friend safe.

Signs and symptoms of a dog reacting to tear gas

can include: Runny nose
Watery eyes and/or discharge
Difficulty breathing
Salivating excessively
Having a rapid heartbeat
Seizures
Blindness
Severe nausea
Vomiting
Loss of balance and/or coordination
Tearing
There are many types of tear gas agents in use today. A dog’s sensitivity to tear gas is dependent on the specific chemical used as well as the concentration.

How do you know that your dog is exposed to tear gas?

Dogs that are exposed to tear gas may be unable to open their eyes, have a rapid heartbeat, display signs of extreme anxiety, have difficulty breathing and/or have seizures. If you suspect your dog has been exposed to tear gas, the first thing you should do is take them to a vet immediately.
“Canine tear gas exposure can cause death, so it’s critical to get your dog checked out as soon as possible.”

Are German Shepherds prone to get more affected to tear gas?


Research has shown that many breeds of dog are more susceptible to the effects of tear gas, including the GSD. With their short coats and thin skin, German Shepherds are more sensitive to the effects of tear gas.

How to protect your dog from tear gas

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It is recommended that you keep your dog indoors during any protest or large gathering where tear gas may be used. If you must take your dog with you, be sure to bring a doggie bag along. This will help contain any waste your dog may release due to the chemical’s effects. A doggie bag can also prevent your dog from being targeted by the police as part of their dispersal tactics.
If your dog gets exposed to tear gas while outdoors, they should be brought indoors immediately.

How to treat a dog exposed to tear gas


If your dog has been exposed to tear gas, their eyes should be immediately flushed with cool water. This can help reduce the effects of any chemicals that may be in their eye. If your dog’s eye is visibly damaged or has a foreign object in it, do not attempt to remove it. Instead, take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. If your dog has trouble breathing, take them to the nearest emergency clinic immediately.
While waiting for the veterinarian to arrive, keep your dog calm and comfortable.

What to do if your dog is exposed to tear gas


If your dog has been exposed to tear gas and the effects are unknown, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) suggests the following:
If your dog is not reacting well to their symptoms, you should take them to a vet as soon as possible. If the effects are minor and your dog appears to be recovering well, AVMA advises waiting 24 hours before taking them back for a follow-up exam.
When to expect permanent long term effects from exposure to tear gas
There are no long-term health concerns associated with being exposed to tear gas.

Summary

If you are attending a protest or demonstration, be sure to take steps to protect your dog. Dogs are highly sensitive to the chemicals in tear gas and can suffer from serious health problems as a result. Use the tips in this article to keep your furry friend safe.