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Is Your Dog or Cat Giving You Clues About Household Mold?

pets-and-moldOne of the most frustrating things about residential mold is that it’s not always obvious when you’re living with it. Mold loves to grow and flourish out of site, and it prefers to remain undisturbed as long as possible. The evidence is all around us. Mold is discovered beneath the floorboards and behind the walls of millions of homes each year. Often times, this unpleasant discovery is not due to visible evidence, but due to other factors that alert homeowners.

Could your pet be one of those factors?

It’s hard to believe, but the way your pet behaves may actually lead to the discovery of a residential mold invasion. Most household pets are just as susceptible to the adverse affects of mold exposure (if not more susceptible) than people. The trick is knowing what to look for in your pet.

Clue #1: Your pet is scratching itself a lot

The fur on your dog or cat is actually a perfect hiding place for harmful mold spores as they try to spread around the house. Your pet will usually respond to excess mold spores in its fur by constantly scratching itself. This is due to the skin irritation caused by mold spores. You might also see some hair loss, and a few sore spots as a result of incessant scratching. There could be other causes (such as fleas), but mold is a definite possibility. And if your pet is being exposed, so is the rest of your family!

Clue #2: Allergic reactions

Skin irritation is just one of the ways mold affects people and pets. It also causes significant respiratory irritation, including sneezing, coughing, runny nose, watery eyes, and other reaction. Some people and animals are more allergic to different types of mold than others, so your pet may be exhibiting more symptoms than you are — but toxic mold exposure is definitely harmful, even if the effects aren’t immediately noticeable.  

Clue #3: Respiratory issues

Exposure to toxic mold can lead to breathing ailments and respiratory distress, as the throat and respiratory system are especially vulnerable to the effects of mold exposure. Pay attention to signs of wheezing or labored breathing in your pet. Obviously you’ll need to take him or her to the vet if the situation seems serious. Either way, the presence of mold is a consideration, and can be confirmed with professional mold testing.

Clue #4: Low energy

Mold is highly stressful on your pet’s body. Given all the side effects of toxic mold exposure (especially the respiratory and neurological effects), the animal will often become tired and less active than it normally is. If your pet is exhibiting lower energy levels on a consistent basis, it may be time to call in for a professional mold assessment.

Keeping mold away from your pets and your family

Mold is not just a danger to people. It also has adverse affects on our animal friends. By looking for signs of mold exposure and seeking the help of a qualified mold remediation specialists, homeowners can stop minor mold problems from becoming major ones.