How Mold Affects Your Pets, And How A Dehumidifier Can Help….
Anyone can suffer from living with mold especially infants, senior citizens, persons with immune deficiencies and our beloved pets. Pets are especially susceptible to the harmful effects associated with mold because and their noses go where mold likes to grow and in many cases, their lungs are smaller.
Some examples of mold induced illness include sinusitis (sneezing, runny nose), dermatitis (itchy, scaly patches), otitis (ear infections), nervous conditions (increased anxiety, barking) and even pneumonia. Often, mold induced illnesses are mistreated for allergies; unfortunately, as long as the mold stays, the symptoms dont go away.
Pet owners must caution that both indoor mold and outdoor mold can negatively affect your pet. If you take your pet, such as your cat or dog, outdoors, beware that mold spores are plentiful during late fall. Concentrations of decaying matter, such as fallen leaves, are a haven for mold growth. In most of Florida (considered a hot spot for mold growth and allergens), especially in the Tampa Bay, residents tend to experience a long fall season with the absence of a true winter. Thus, the possibility of your pup running into mold-infested decaying matter is quite high. In addition, lawns that are not mowed can be a great hiding spot for mold spores.
How can you protect your pet from mold while outdoors? First off, talk to a veterinarian about managing your pets allergies. Ensure that your pet is not suffering from any other allergen or issue (food allergies often cause symptoms similar to mold-induced illness). Next, limit exposure and keep your pet indoors if possible. If you have a dog and must venture outside, keep to mowed lawns and packed dirt for potty time. During a walk, keep your furry friend on the sidewalk if possible. Finally, upon returning from a walk, brush your dog and bathe often. Just as much as fleas love to hide in your puppys coat, so do mold spores and other outdoor allergens. A good rule of thumb is to brush the dog upon returning from a walk and bathe weekly. In addition to taking these extra precautions for your pet, in general, homeowners can create a less mold-friendly environment by cleaning up decaying leaves as soon as possible. As well, mow the lawn as necessary.
Pet owners must also take precautions indoors to help protect their pets. Mold and dust mites are two of the top indoor allergens that affect both pets and people alike. To help protect your pets from reactions to indoor mold, there are several things you can do. First off, wash all of your pets beds and bedding weekly in hot water. There are laundry additives you can use that kill dust mites in cold water as well. Make sure to completely dry the bedding before giving it back to your animal. If the pet bed cannot be washed, experts recommend that you throw away all stuffed dog beds after a year (i.e. foam). Use a HEPA filter to clean the air. Vacuum often and use a vacuum with a HEPA filter in it. Use a dehumidifier to prevent mold growth and dust mites. Bathe your pet regularly if possible. Some pets are not supposed to be bathed so check with your veterinarian. If you have a dog, for instance, there are several anti-allergy shampoos available. Experts recommend natural shampoos and conditioners because many ingredients in commercial products can actually stimulate an allergic reaction. Be aware of your pets food: t is best to dispose of your pets uneaten food daily, especially if it is fresh or wet. In the case of birds, remove uneaten bird food and fallen plant matter from the room or cage each day. Such items are prone to quickly grow mold. Finally, take notice of the pet-safe anti-dust mite treatments that are available. From furniture sprays to carpet powders, there are several effective allergy reducing treatments that you as a home owner can take to make your home a safer home for you and your pets.
Further to allergies, if your home has any black mold, it can prove to be fatal. The first case of toxic black mold in pets was documented in 2007 when two Florida cats died because of exposure to black mold. It was later learned that the home the cats had lived in had black mold growing in it due to unremediated water damage sustained in a hurricane a few years before. The bottom line to black mold is if your home or property has ever suffered severe water damage, contact a restoration company immediately. Furthermore, if your animal is suffering any symptoms of illness at all, make sure you speak to your vet about the possibility of mold in your home, especially if you live in a high-risk area like New Port Richey, Sarasota or Fort Walton Beach
If you find or suspect mold anywhere in your home, contact a mold remediation specialist immediately. An expert remediation company will inspect your home completely, test it for mold and finally, remediate it so it can be a mold-safe place for you, your family and your pets to thrive. For more information on how to protect your pets from mold, please contact Advanced Restoration, Inc. or call 1-800-DRY-ME-OUT. Some of the areas we proudly service are Hillsborough county (Wesley Chapel, Town and Country, Brandon, Ruskin and more), Pinellas County (Oldsmar, Tarpon Springs, Largo, Pinellas Park and more), Pasco County (Trinity, Springhill, Zephyrhills and more), Manatee County (Bradenton, Palmetto, Anna Maria and more) and Okaloosa County (Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Shalimar and more).