Pandemic-driven changes in our routines have benefited some animals—our pets get to spend more time with us and wild animals have more space to themselves. That said, animals face threats from an unlikely source: face masks.
Masks are enticing to some pets—especially dogs. And once ingested, face masks cause lots of problems. They don’t dissolve readily in the stomach and when they start to pass through the intestinal tract, the ties or elastic loops can cause blockages and tears. At that point, the remedy is usually surgery.
Face masks cause additional problems in wildlife when the ties or elastic bands become tightly wrapped around an animal’s limbs or neck.
So, after you remove your mask, be sure to store it or discard it far from the reach of animals. That way, the means to your safety won’t be a cause of their pain.