Mold Can be ‘Ruff’ on Your Furry Friends

Your pets at home could be feeling the effects of serious mold growth or mycotoxins, if they happen to be close to it often.

While scientific research is limited, and while “black mold” scares abound, many mold remediation professionals, and doctors, have commented on the effect some molds appear to have on pets.

The FDA in July 2023 issued a notice loosely relating to the effects of certain mold toxins on pets, if ingested (eaten.)

“Aflatoxins are toxins produced by the mold Aspergillus flavus that can grow on pet food ingredients such as corn, peanuts, and other grains. At high levels, aflatoxins can cause illness (aflatoxicosis), liver damage, and death in pets. The toxins can be present even if there is no visible mold on the pet food.” – U.S. & and Drug Administration, “Aflatoxin Poisoning in Pets,” July 26, 2023

Raising concerns or awareness on the effects that mold can have on pets is interesting to say the least: One doesn’t wish to leave pet owners in fear, but to simply inform them of the possibilities.

Some instances where mold could reasonably be considered to have an effect on pets are:

  • If a cat, dog, or other household pet ingests mold, or certain types of mold, it might affect them if in high enough concentrations/frequencies. (Though your dog is likely to be just fine if they eat moldy bread for example, most pet owners are advised to at least consider making a trip to the vet if they catch it, have concerns, or are uncertain.)
  • A pet’s moldy bed is probably best clean, if only for the hygiene and health benefits to your pet and others in the home.
  • A caged bird or other animal might reasonably be possibly affected by mold or mycotoxins if in high enough concentrations/frequencies. After all, the bird, hamster, or lizard can’t really move elsewhere. Maybe the shredded paper they walk and poop in is old or moldy?

Mold is a natural part of the Earth’s ecosystem and has been since the beginning of time.

But again, why not clean and remove any known problematic mold from your home and theirs, if only for the overall improvements it could bring to your air quality and health, as there are definite effects of mold recorded by many reputable sources, including the Mayo Clinic, U.S. CDC, and U.S. FDA.


To reduce the potential effects that mold can have on pets, these simple solutions are worth strongly considering. Most should take all of five minutes, or five bucks.

  • Remove any known sources of mold.
  • Replace any obviously moldy pet mattresses or beds.
  • Toss out moldy food, and clean out water bowls that look mildewy.
  • Open windows on days the weather is fresh and breezy (not humid or muggy) to improve air flow and reduce mVOCs and other household particulate matter—dust, pet dander, dead skin, etc.

Black Mold Believed to Affect Fido & Furry Friends

Black mold has a known and widely-acknowledged effect on the health of humans, so it may have the same on pets. Again, just lacking the solid science, we want to helpful, not fear-inducing.

What’s typically referred to as “toxic black mold,” also known as Stachybotrys chartarum, can be dangerous to pets. Pets can suffer from a range of illnesses due to exposure to black mold, it’s believed, just as humans can. While the term “black mold” is often used, many molds can be black, not all black molds are toxic, and not all toxic molds are black!

However, Stachybotrys chartarum—what most call Black Mold—is known for producing mycotoxins that can cause health problems.

By David F. Kramer, writing for PetMD (a Chewy brand), says that while mold has been part of the world for millennia, “some molds can lead to serious consequences for our pets, as well as for us.”

“In all cases, getting to the vet is crucial,” Dr. Kramer says.

Obviously, getting to the vet is advised for pets believed to be affected by mold, but prevention might be the better play long-term.

And the above tips—from cleaning, to improved indoor air quality—should help you keep both your loved ones and your furry loved ones healthier and happier.

Potential Effects of Mold on Pets

Some of the most common signs that mold might be affecting your pet are:

  • Sneezing
  • Excessive scratching
  • Wheezing, trouble breathing
  • Tremors
  • Loss of fur
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Skin infections or blisters.
  • Vomiting
  • Behavioral changes
  • Convulsions

If there’s anything we can to do help you help your pets live in a fresh, mold-free home, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Call Mold Solutions for a Free Environmental Consultation.

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