Top Tips for Keeping Pets Safe from Household Mould: Signs, Symptoms, and Prevention

Pets enrich our lives by sharing our hearts, homes, and sometimes our beds. But just like us, they can be susceptible to hidden dangers in the home. One such danger is mould exposure, which can pose significant health risks to both humans and pets. While some moulds are harmless, others can produce harmful toxins that can make your pet seriously ill.

Thermal imaging experts at have compiled some top tips on spotting the telltale signs of mould in your home, identifying the symptoms to watch out for in your pet, and most importantly, the steps you can take to keep your pets safe from household mould.

Identifying mould growth in the home

Mould can be a sneaky adversary and often lurks unseen, silently taking root in damp corners and behind walls. Despite mould’s elusive nature, there are ways to detect its presence and protect your pets from its harmful effects.

Visible mould growth — Although this is the most obvious sign, it is essential to know what to look for when identifying the threat of household mould. Mould can appear in various forms and colours, often manifesting as fuzzy patches on walls, ceilings, floors, furniture, or your pet’s belongings. Typically, mould is black, green, brown, or white. A fuzzy or uneven texture is also a good indicator that you may have a mould problem in the house.

Musty odours — If you notice a persistent damp, earthy smell in your home, particularly in areas with poor ventilation, it’s likely to be a sign of mould growth. Mould spores release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), causing this musty odour. While the smell itself is not necessarily harmful, it’s a strong indicator that mould is present in the home and potentially impacting your pet’s health.

Water damage — Mould thrives in damp environments, so any signs of water damage are a definite red flag. Leaks from pipes, windows, or roofs and areas of the home with condensation buildup, especially in bathrooms and kitchens, can be strong evidence of mould presence. Pay attention to warped or discoloured drywall, peeling wallpaper, or any visible water stains, as even minor water damage can be the perfect breeding ground for mould.

Symptoms of mould exposure in pets

While some moulds pose minimal threat to humans, our furry companions can be much more sensitive. The most dangerous household mould is black mould, which can cause flu-like symptoms, respiratory problems, and even neurological damage. These moulds thrive in damp areas and often have a musty odour. Here are some of the symptoms that might indicate your pet is being exposed to mould:

Respiratory issues — Persistent coughing, frequent sneezing fits, wheezing (indicating airway obstruction – see a vet immediately), or laboured breathing are all signs that your pet might be struggling to breathe due to mould exposure.

Skin irritation — Skin irritation can be an indicator that your pet has been exposed to mould. Watch out for your pet excessively scratching, licking, or biting itself, as this can lead to redness, inflammation, and even hair loss (especially around the face, paws, and belly).

Lethargy and neurological problems — Mould toxins may cause digestive upset, such as vomiting, diarrhoea and loss of appetite. In severe cases of long-term exposure to high levels of mould toxins, some pets may experience seizures, tremors, or difficulty walking. These are very serious symptoms and require immediate veterinary attention.

Remember, early detection and treatment are crucial. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, especially if you suspect mould growth in your home, consult your veterinarian immediately.

Prevent & protect

If you suspect mould growth in your home, then it’s advisable to take some immediate precautions to protect your pets:

Isolate the threat — Block off areas with visible mould or suspected growth. If necessary, temporarily relocate your pet to a mould-free environment while you tackle the problem.

Establish a clean and safe environment — To create a mould-free haven for your pet, establish a cleaning routine for their beds, toys, and bowls. Store pet food in airtight containers to prevent moisture and mould growth. Finally, control humidity and ensure good ventilation in your home, especially in damp areas like bathrooms and kitchens. Doing so will significantly reduce the risk of mould exposure.

Barry Atkins, CEO of commented on the study:

“The impact mould exposure can have on pets can be devastating and early detection is crucial. If you notice any signs of respiratory issues, skin irritation, digestive problems, or lethargy in your pet, especially if you suspect mould in your home, consult your vet immediately, as early diagnosis and treatment can prevent serious health complications.

“It’s also worth emphasising the importance of professional intervention – certified mould removal companies have the expertise and equipment to safely remove mould and prevent its return, protecting your pet’s health in the long run”

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