Mold and Pets: Health Issues for our Furry Friends

What about mold and pets? We know that mold carries health risks for humans. Ordinary mold in ordinary amounts can cause problems like:

  • Lung infections that can lead to pneumonia
  • Allergic reactions
  • Irritated eyes, ears, nose or throat
  • Chronic cough
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Rashes
  • Tiredness

But you are probably not the only living creatures in your home. No, not bed bugs or dust mites today–we are talking about pets.

Here is a list of symptoms–anything sound familiar?

    • Lots of scratching, but no fleas
    • Sores and/or bleeding from scratching
    • Excessive licking
    • Hair loss from licking and/or scratching
    • Coughing and sneezing
    • Runny nose and eyes
    • Difficulty breathing or wheezing
    • Loss of appetite
    • Lethargy

Our pets are members of our family and their health is a high priority. Just like our human family, pets can get sick from mold–and not just black or “toxic” mold, but the typical mold found in any home. Mold spores are everywhere and are just looking for the right conditions to grow: moisture, food and warmth. Especially during damp and rainy weather like that in the winter here in Southern California and spring elsewhere, keeping mold in check has to be a conscious activity.

How can you prevent mold from harming your pet? Prevent mold growth:

  • Run the fan in the bathroom during and after showering
  • Use a dehumidifier to keep humidity in your home at levels which do not promote mold growth
  • Inspect your home for leaks often
  • Repair leaks promptly
  • Replace water damaged materials like drywall and flooring
  • Remember if you see mold, there is more you can’t see–take it seriously!

If you are aware of a mold problem in your home and have pets, it’s a good idea to take them to the vet. And if they are exhibiting the symptoms listed above, have them checked out even if you don’t know about a mold issue. Maybe you will find out you have a problem you didn’t know you had!