When Kirby Holmes was a boy, he spent part of his summers at his grandparents’ home in California. He’d see wildfires in the hills nearby and clouds of smoke darkening the sky. Later, he learned how very detrimental the gas and particles contained in that smoke are to people’s health.
When the California wildfires were raging in 2017 and people in California began wearing air filter face masks to protect themselves from the toxic smoke, he thought, “What about the dogs?” Dogs breathe the same air as people. The smoke and other forms of air pollution are threats to such health issues as pulmonary disease and vision problems. But there were no masks for dogs, so Kirby and his cousin Evan Daugherty joined up, founded The Good Air Team, and got to work finding a way to protect dogs from poor air quality.
Evan graduated from Texas State University—San Marcos with a BFA in Communication Design and had progressed from graphic designer to art director to principal product designer for Dell Technologies.
Kirby graduated from Texas Tech University with a BA in Communication Studies, Russian Language and Area Studies and from Fuller Theological Seminary with an MA in Global Leadership, Intercultural Studies. He has served in international non-profits and religious organizations and has a wealth of experience in managing sales representatives.
They make a great team, along with their dogs, Ginger and Sabaka, who worked with them in the development process.
The K9 Mask is designed to filter out wildfire smoke, volcanic ash, smog, emissions, pollen, dust, chemicals and bacteria. The mask is also used in more ordinary circumstances—anywhere there is a lot of dust in the air. Suppose you are woodworking. You wear a mask. Now your dog can be there with you.
K9 Mask Features
- PM 2.5 Filtering filters out the tiniest toxic particles in the air and keeps them from getting into a dog’s lungs and blood stream.
- N95 Rated Filter Layer filters up to 95% of non-oil based particulate air matter per rating standards of FDA, Centers for Diseases Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
- Replaceable air filters with four layers of air filtration to purify inhaled air.
- Activated Carbon Filter Layer bonds with harmful air molecules to prevent toxins from entering a dog’s blood stream.
- Panting Exhale Valve releases the dog’s exhaled air from the mask and releases the heat to keep panting dogs cooler.
- Muzzle adjustment strap allows the owner to adjust the tension under the snout/muzzle to reduce the risk of air pollution leaking into the mask.
- Reflector panels on the sides of the mask keep a dog safe in low-light circumstances.
- Washable to keep the mask fresh.
- Made by hand in the USA—Dallas to be precise.
K9 Mask Sizes
- Small: Muzzle circumference 4.5 – 6.5 inches
Breed Examples: Yorkshire Terrier, Shitzu, Miniature Pinscher
Note: The small size is too small for a Toy Chihuahua, Brussels Griffon, or Papillon.
- Medium: Muzzle Circumference 7.0-9.0 inches
Breed Examples: Spaniel, Schnauzer, Fox Terrier
- Large: Muzzle Circumference 9.0-13.0 inches
Breed Examples: Pointer, Dalmatian, Setter
- Extra Large: Muzzle Circumference 13.0-17.5 inches
Breed Examples: German Shepherd, Newfoundland, Mastiff
K9 Mask Doubles as a Muzzle
The K9 Mask keeps a dog from barking and biting, important since a dog gets anxious during crises such as a wildfire or extreme weather.
- The K9 Mask is designed for temporary use only.
- Keep an eye on your dog while he/she is wearing the K9 Mask. If breathing becomes labored or there are signs the dog is becoming overheated, remove the mask immediately. Your dog may be at risk for injury or death.
Kirby and Evan make no claims that the masks protect against the corona virus; however, the people in Wuhan, China (where the virus started) are taking no chances. Just in case the masks are later found to be effective against the virus, orders from there have increased around 350%. They are not going to risk supplies being depleted.
Introduce Your Dog to the K9 Mask
Your dog is unlikely to see the mask and think, “Oh, wow, I can’t wait!” He needs to get used to, slowly and gradually. Then he will be fine wearing it.
- Show him the mask and let him smell it.
- Add a treat inside of the mask for him to go in and get it. Eventually he will associate the mask with a treat.
- Try to put the mask on for only a few seconds, cheering your dog along as you do.
- Do this repeatedly until you are able to secure the mask around the dog’s neck and muzzle with the hook and loop tabs.
- Always praise the dog when he’s wearing the mask, and a treat or two surely will help.