Can Mold Make Your Dog Sick?

Can Mold Make Your Dog Sick?

Mold growth often goes unnoticed until severe health symptoms or home damage appear. And unfortunately, breathing in mold spores is bad for everyone – even pets. If you have a dog at home, you’ll want to make sure that there’s no mold anywhere around. Like humans, dogs can experience health problems when they’re around the mold. Here’s what you need to know about mold around pets.

Canine Immune System

If you own a dog, you’re probably aware that canines are not the most discerning diners. From drinking out of the toilet to rummaging through the garbage can, a dog’s curiosity can lead him to ingest some unpleasant bacteria and other contaminants. The good news is that a dog’s immune system is evolved to withstand many things that we humans can’t. That means that most dogs won’t have a very strong reaction to mold exposure unless the exposure is severe or long-term. Dogs with weakened or sensitive immune responses may also react more strongly.

How Mold Affects Dogs

Your dog may have different responses depending on how he was exposed to the mold. Keep an eye out for these three exposures:

  1. Breathing

Breathing in the spores of active mold in the home contributes to respiratory symptoms in both humans and dogs. Like people, dogs have lungs that aren’t great environments for bacterial infections to take hold, especially since the immune system is ready to attack any intruders. However, If the mold is widespread or goes unnoticed for a long time, your pet could be breathing in more mold spores than his lungs can handle. In addition, dogs with shorter snouts, like pugs and bulldogs, are more susceptible to respiratory infection than longer-nosed pups.

In severe cases of respiratory malfunction from breathing in mold, your dog could develop a fungal infection in the lungs, leading to coughing, weight loss, diarrhea, and difficulty exercising.

  • Touching

Mold tends to grow in dark and damp areas of the house, like attics, basements, and closets. However, it is possible that if your dog makes contact with mold, it can begin to grow on the dog’s skin! Keeping your dog clean and dry at all times will deter this, but if your dog has long fur and is kept outside most of the time, the heat and moisture could lead to mold problems on the skin. It’s especially important to keep any wounds clean and dry as well since they offer a warm, wet habitat for mold to thrive.

If you think your dog has a mold infection of the body, look out for the following symptoms:

  • constant licking
  • losing fur
  • presence of pustules
  • Red, scaly, itchy skin
  • bad odor coming from the skin or fur
  • ear infections
  • Eating

As we mentioned above, a dog’s digestive and immune systems can handle a lot more than humans. Like other carnivores, dogs have an extremely acidic stomach to help digest tough bones and cartilage. This acidity doesn’t usually allow bacteria or mold to survive. Generally, a dog that eats mold will only have mild immediate symptoms, like gas, diarrhea, and vomiting, or dry heaving.

If your pup is having these symptoms, but you don’t have a mold problem at home, you may consider changing his diet. Many grain-based dog foods have an abundance of mold. This isn’t usually a problem, but if your dog has a weak immune system, you may want to check out grain-free foods.

Taking care of a mold problem as soon as you find it is the best way to protect your dog – and the rest of your family. If you need help getting rid of mold in your home, Bay State Mold Removal can help. As experts in mold identification and removal, they’ll help you get your home back so you and Fido can stay healthy and happy.

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