Can Dogs Smell Carbon Monoxide? (Pets and Cats)
Pet dogs and pet cats cannot smell carbon monoxide. In fact, no animal can sense or detect carbon monoxide. Although dogs have a superior olfactory system compared to humans, carbon monoxide gas in odorless to all dogs. However, although they cannot smell carbon monoxide, dogs, cats and other small animals are more sensitive to the adverse poisoning affects when carbon monoxide gas is inhaled. Watch for abrupt or unusual pet behavior, such as anger or anxiousness, refusal to cooperate, vomiting, unusual actions, breathing difficulty and redness in the gums, ears, and lips.
Best Carbon Monoxide Detector for Pets?
Animals can more easily be poisoned to carbon monoxide gas than humans. That being the case, we advocate low level carbon monoxide detectors for you and your pets. There are various low level carbon monoxide detectors on the market. The top brands are listed:
- Forensics Detectors Low Level Carbon Monoxide Detectors
- Defender Low Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor
- CO Experts Low Level Carbon Monoxide Health Monitor
- Kiddie Ultra Sensitive Carbon Monoxide Monitor
- Pro Tech Safety Low Level Carbon Monoxide Monitor
Carbon Monoxide Pet Protection CO Detector
Early and low level carbon monoxide detectors will help protect your dog and cat from early carbon monoxide poisoning. The smaller the pet the more sensitive to the adverse health effects of carbon monoxide.
Small animals with less lung capacity are more sensitive to high levels of carbon monoxide than larger animals. In fact, the first carbon monoxide alert was a canary in a coal mine since birds are particularly susceptible and often show carbon monoxide symptoms first.
Can Birds Detect Carbon Monoxide?
Indeed they can.
Birds are very small and are affected by carbon monoxide very fast and even some pet birds have saved lives due to dying first before the indoor occupants.
Low Level CO Detector versus a Normal CO Detector?
A UL2034 carbon monoxide detector purchased is not a low level CO detector. Normal CO detectors comply with UL2034 and are not designed to alarm at low levels of CO gas.
For example, the Forensics Detectors low level CO detectors trigger an audible alarm when CO levels over 25 ppm are detected. Such low-level CO alarming is closer to recommend exposure limits and will provide you and your pets with early warning and much faster than a typical UL2034 CO detector.
Do Pets Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
Most often when there is a carbon monoxide tragedy, most often a pet dog or cat is also harmed. There have been instances where dogs and cats have been left in garages with the car running and have suffered and died. Pets are also exposed to carbon monoxide in home fires or when there is smoke and smoldering int he vicinity.
How Do Cats Save Humans from Carbon Monoxide?
There are various reports that cats have actually saved humans from carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning. Since cats are adaversely affected by carbon monoxide, they may react in ways that alerts humans. Such was the case in Michigan, where the family cat was irritated and woke the family, hence acting as a early alert to carbon monoxide exposure.
How Do Dogs Save Humans from Carbon Monoxide?
Dogs are sensitive to carbon monoxide adverse symptoms. In the case of a Iowa family, their gas fireplace was defective leaking carbon monoxide. The family dog started to act unusually, by jumping on and off the bed late at night. Soon after the CO detector was alarming.
What to do if my Pet is poisoned by Carbon Monoxide?
Oxygen exposure is the best therapy for carbon monoxide poisoning. Take your cat or dog to the vet and ask for oxygen therapy. Continue oxygen until signs resolve or carboxyhemoglobin levels are low.
How Does a Gas Leak Affect Dogs?
When there is a gas leak, the natural gas can displace the oxygen and reduce oxygen supply, poisoning you and your pet via hypoxia.
Can Dogs Find a Gas Leak?
Typical gas used in the home is supply with natural gas which is mainly made up of methane. Methane is odorless to humans and dogs, and as such cannot be detect. However, natural gas is laced with mercaptan, which is a very smelly sulfur gas. Dogs are sometimes trained to sniff mercaptan. In fact, there are specialized sniffer dogs to sniff mercaptan to identify gas pipeline leaks.
- Do not depend on the sensitive olfactory system and nose of a dog to save you from Carbon Monoxide
- Carbon Monoxide Gas is odorless to all animals including pet dogs and cats.
- Carbon Monoxide is more prevalent during the winter months - be attentive and make sure all appliances are well ventilation and annual inspections have been done.
- Always make sure you live with or travel with a carbon monoxide detector.
About the Author
Dr. Koz is the President of FORENSICS DETECTORS, where the company operates from the scenic Palos Verdes Peninsula in Los Angeles, California. He is a subject matter expert on gas sensor technology, gas detectors, gas meters, and gas analyzers. He has been designing, building, manufacturing, and testing toxic gas detection systems for over 20 years.
Every day is a blessing for Dr. Koz. He loves to help customers solve their unique problems. Dr. Koz also loves spending time with his wife and his three children going to the beach, grilling burgers, and having a cold beer.
Read more about Forensics Detectors here.
Phone: +1 424-341-3886