Dog poop is an organic material and therefore an ideal habitat for mold. Dog droppings can grow mold even if your dog eats properly and isn’t given human food. Mold growth is part of the natural decomposition process that breaks dog poop back down into the soil. If you’re seeing white harry-looking mold growth on poop, then something is probably speeding up this process and that doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with your dog.
In general, mold grows best in humid conditions. If you live in a warmer climate, you’ll want to make sure that you dispose of poop properly.
Those who have their own property might want to set aside an area that they can take all of their dog’s droppings to. You could pile them up in a place that’s far enough away from where your dog runs around.
Normally, the pile would then decompose on its own. Covering dog dropping with earth or sand could help the process along, depending on what kind of area you live in.
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Why Does My Dog’s Poop Mold?
When dog droppings get wet and are left out, they provide a breeding ground for mold spores. These grow into a fuzzy fungus that lives off the dog poop and can eventually consume it.
Warm and humid environments make for an ideal setting when it comes to mold growth, which is why it’s important to take care of droppings as soon as you can. Mold is very often a sign that you’re not picking up after your dog.
If your dog’s stools tend to be left in a shady area, then there’s an even better chance that your dog’s poop will produce mold. Sunlight tends to kill mold spores, so you won’t normally see fuzz growing on dog droppings that are left out to bake.
Giving dogs rich human food that’s full of minerals they can’t digest can help to encourage mold growth. It might even increase the odds that your dog will want to eat their own feces since they could smell undigested food in it.
If you notice a sudden increase in mold or your dog trying to go after his or her own poo, then you probably need to rethink their diet.
Is Mold Dangerous for Dogs?
Mold growth on any surface can cause respiratory harm to dogs and it can also poison them if they eat it. Dog poop that’s become moldy is especially dangerous because dogs may chew on poop if it gives off the smell of undigested food.
Some dogs have bad allergies, and they’ll start to sneeze if exposed to mold. The same goes for humans, which is why it’s important to keep mold spores out of your home.
If your dog went inside and their droppings are now moldy, then you want to make sure to clean it up as soon as possible. Open the windows if you can, since this can help to bring fresh air into your home and displace any mold spores that might have become airborne.
Moisture can encourage the growth of mold on walls and ceilings. In a worst-case scenario, basement flooring tiles can become moldy.
When that happens, always be sure to keep your dog away from the area until you’ve gotten things cleaned up. Dogs might try to eat at moldy flooring, especially if they’ve ever done their business on it before!
They might also be attracted to standing water that’s collected in the corners of the room, which is a big issue if there’s any mold growing in it.
What Do I Do If My Dog Ate Moldy Poop?
Watch your dog see if they start vomiting, developing a high fever, or showing any signs of abdominal pain. All of these are a sign of mycotoxin poisoning, which requires prompt attention from a vet.
Some dogs might start to have tremors or, in a worst-case scenario, seizures. If that’s the case, then you really need to stop whatever you’re doing and get your dog to a medical professional for observation as soon as possible.
The good news is that dogs have to consume a fair amount of mycotoxin before it sickens them to this point. Mycotoxin is a class of digestive poisons generated by mold and other fungi.
If your dog hasn’t eaten moldy feces but seems to have suddenly developed these symptoms anyway, then it’s still a good idea to rush him or her to a doctor. Garden variety mushrooms that grow wild in lawns and under logs can also produce potentially lethal levels of mycotoxin, which can cause a serious reaction in dogs.
Can Moldy Poop Kill a Dog?
Moldy poop can kill a dog if they eat enough of it. Mycotoxins found in moldy poop can cause liver failure, resulting in jaundice and killing a dog if left untreated.
Fungal poisoning moves slowly, so you’ll generally have some time to address the issue. It may take a day or longer for mycotoxins to actually kill a dog, depending on how much they were able to eat before you had the chance to stop them.
Dogs who sniff moldy poop might have a bad reaction too, but this normally won’t kill them. Mold contains spores that can trigger a dog’s allergies.
While this is certainly uncomfortable for a dog or even a person who comes into contact with moldy feces, it will normally correct itself in a manner of hours.
If your dog seems to be having an allergic reaction to something he or she took a whiff of, then you might want to try washing their eyes out with plain water. Don’t be too rough, since most dogs don’t really like this.
By only feeding your dog a healthy diet of foods that are actually meant for dogs and are digestible by them, you can dramatically reduce the risk that your furry friend will ever want to eat his or her own poop in the first place.