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8 Signs Your Dog Has Carbon Monoxide Poisoning And What To Do About It

Did you know that dogs are more prone to carbon monoxide poisoning during winter?

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Winter means we're spending a lot of time indoors and keeping our homes heated by turning our furnaces on for more extended periods. As you settle in and enjoy the cozy warmth, make sure you're monitoring your air quality to avoid carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, which can have long-term effects on your health.

If you have a dog at home, be extra careful! Dogs and other small pets are also susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning during this season. In fact, they may experience its effects much faster than humans due to their smaller size.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of unintentional poisoning deaths in people in the US. There are no recorded statistics for carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs, but since 67% of U.S. households own a pet, it is likely that in some homes where cases of poisoning happened, pets were victims, too.

Read on to find out how to protect your home and your beloved pet from carbon monoxide poisoning, even before it happens.

What Is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is emitted by vehicles, household fires, stoves, and heaters. It is said that winter is the "peak" season for carbon monoxide levels at home because of home furnaces.

This gas has no smell, color, or taste. However, it is very toxic - that is why it's been called a silent killer, especially for pets. Once inhaled, carbon monoxide impairs the red blood cells' ability to carry oxygen around the body, affecting vital organs such as the heart and brain the most. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to your pet's hypoxemia - and even death.

Most carbon monoxide poisoning cases happen due to human error, such as an accidental fire or if a dog is left in an enclosed garage with a running vehicle.

How will you know if your dog has carbon monoxide poisoning? Here are some common symptoms to watch out for:

  1. Lethargy: Your dog is sleepier or drowsier than usual.
  2. Irritable behavior: Your dog displays sudden, unusual behavior such as aggression or anxiety, especially towards noises from children or other pets.
  3. Difficulty breathing: Your dog is panting or taking in short, shallow breaths.
  4. Vomiting: If your dog did not eat anything unusual recently, this symptom might be due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
  5. Uncoordinated movements: Carbon monoxide poisoning in dogs affects the brain, so their movements might be clumsier than usual
  6. Refusing to enter the house after being taken outside: If your dog is already bothered by the toxic air, they might refuse to return indoors.
  7. Cherry red skin, nostrils, lips, ears, and gums: This is a common side effect of carbon monoxide exposure, but not animals exhibit it.
  8. Loss of exercise stamina: Your dog is less enthusiastic about playtime lately and displays an unusual tolerance to their favorite activities.

What To Do If Your Dog Has Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning requires immediate medical intervention. If your dog is exhibiting any of the above-mentioned symptoms and you suspect exposure to the toxic gas, the first thing to do is to get your pet away from the source of carbon monoxide immediately.

Bring your dog to the veterinarian right away. Depending on their diagnosis, the veterinarian might do oxygen therapy to bring your dog's oxygen levels back to normal. They may also conduct other tests to assess your dog's overall health and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning At Home

To protect your family and pets from carbon monoxide poisoning, install carbon monoxide detectors around your home, especially in areas like the kitchen, garage, and living room. A good carbon monoxide detector must be able to detect carbon monoxide concentration levels automatically and in real-time.

A carbon monoxide detector can keep you and your dog safe at home

We recommend X-Sense carbon monoxide sensors. These sensors are easy to install onto any wall or ceiling without hardwiring. X-Sense's devices are equipped with Figaro electrochemical sensors and have a digital LCD so you can check your home's carbon monoxide levels regularly. You won't have to worry about frequently replacing its batteries because these sensors come with 10-year battery life.

Aside from monitoring your home's carbon monoxide levels, take preventive measures to reduce your dog's exposure to the gas. Here are some dos and don'ts:

  • Don't leave your pet in an enclosed garage while your car is running.
  • Do schedule regular checks on your gas appliances and equipment.
  • Don't operate portable stoves or generators indoors.
  • Do store gas such as propane in well-ventilated, preferably outdoor, areas.

Sniff out the threat before it harms your beloved pets. Install a carbon monoxide detector at home for your peace of mind. Enjoy free shipping from X-Sense and get 10% off when you use the code XSENSE10 at checkout.

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