Dogs – particularly smaller dogs – are more susceptible to mold than the average adult human. Your dogs are not mold-proof! If you’re a responsible dog owner, then you’ll take a few minutes to learn how to protect your dog from mold. It could save your dog’s life.
Watch for the Symptoms of Mold Poisoning in your Dog
Dogs will often start to demonstrate symptoms of mold poisoning before humans can even smell mold or mildew issues. A smaller dog will be affected by mold mycotoxins before a larger dog, and a larger dog will be affected by mold before an average adult human. That’s why it’s so important to watch for symptoms of mold poisoning in your dog. You might not just save your dog’s life – you can save your own life as well.
Common symptoms of mold poisoning in dogs include:
- Gastric symptoms like decreased appetite, vomiting, and stool changes
- Respiratory issues, including wheezing or coughing
- Excessive sneezing or nasal discharge
- Labored breathing
- Bleeding from the mouth or nose
- Excessive scratching, chewing, or licking could indicate a mold allergy in your pet
Remove your Dog from the Moldy Environment
If your dog is showing signs of mold poisoning, then it’s important for you to remove your dog from the environment as soon as possible. Prevent your dog from going in a specific room in your home, for example. Or, better yet, remove your dog from the house entirely and take him to the house of a neighbor, a relative, or a pet.
Once your dog has been removed from the moldy environment, it’s time to clean or discard your dog’s toys, bed, and other items.
Generally speaking, you can decontaminate hard surfaces – like plastic or rubber toys – and prevent long-term mold problems. However, soft fabrics – like your dog’s bed – may need to be discarded. Generally speaking, if the material is more than one inch thick, it’s best to just throw it out.
Prevent your Dog from Eating Spoiled Food
Some dogs get a mold infestation even when the home is completely mold-free. That’s because they eat items out of the trash – like spoiled food.
Make sure your dog isn’t eating anything out of the trash. Get a bin with a closing led. Lock your garbage bins away.
Alternatively, your dog’s food can become moldy overtime – say, when stored incorrectly. You might be feeding your dog moldy food every day. Smell your dog’s food and check for an expiration date. Cheap dog food might become moldy relatively quickly – especially when stored in a wet environment, or if water has leaked into the food container.
Clean your Dog’s Water Bowls, Food Bowls, and Toys Weekly
This is another common mistake made by dog owners: they avoid cleaning their dog’s chew toys, food bowls, or water bowls. These items are home to plenty of bacteria, and when left uncleaned over time, they can create a mold problem.
At the same time, you can reduce your chances of experiencing a mold problem by laundering and completely drying pet beds and plush toys periodically.
Remember: mold grows in a damp environment. Your dog’s saliva will make chew toys and other items wet. Alternatively, if you live near a lake or if your dog likes to swim, then your dog might frequently be leaving water all over the house. The more frequently you clean and dry damp objects, the less like you’ll experience a mold problem.
Dehumidify the Environment
Does your dog spend a lot of time in one particular area of the house – like a basement? If so, then consider getting a dehumidifier for that part of the home. A dehumidifier sucks moisture from the air, making it more difficult for mold to grow.
Alternatively, buy an air conditioner, which dries out the air and cools it at the same. Mold likes to grow in hot, damp environments, which is why mold hates AC units.
Contact a Veterinarian
If your dog has displayed the symptoms of mold poisoning mentioned above, then you may wish to take your dog to the vet. The vet can give a professional assessment of your dog.
This is particularly important if you’re noticing more severe symptoms in your dog – like rashes, excessive scratching, fatigue, biting, and other issues. In this case, a veterinarian may provide antibiotics to prevent a secondary bacteria infection while you figure out the mold problem at home.
Get a Mold Inspection
Ultimately, the best way to protect your dog from mold is to get a mold inspection completed in your home. A mold inspector will collect samples from your property to determine the presence of mold. The inspector may collect air and surface samples. By getting a mold inspection today, you can give yourself peace of mind. The best way to protect your dog from mold is to get a mold inspection as soon as possible – and then pay for mold remediation if necessary.