Mold Allergy in Dogs

Mold allergy can affect dogs, although the signs of an allergic reaction in your dog differ somewhat from the symptoms you experience if you are allergic to mold. Mold allergy is an atopic allergy, or one that causes clinical signs to appear on the skin even though the allergen is inhaled.

Signs of a Canine Mold Allergy

Because dogs use their noses so often to explore the world around them, they sometimes suffer from allergies as a result of encountering mold, either from unclean food and water dishes inside or outside in decaying leaves, or overly wet spots in the lawn. Mold-allergic dogs sneeze frequently, and they may develop a cough or have watery eyes. Other dog-specific signs of a mold allergy include recurring ear infections and licking, scratching and biting at their skin because it becomes itchy. In time, your dog's skin may develop bald, crusty or oily lesions from his over-scratching.


Your veterinarian can use blood and skin tests to determine whether mold is the cause of your dog's allergy. The blood tests combine a sample of your dog's blood with known allergens to determine what reaction occurs, while the skin tests inject a small amount of the allergen beneath your dog's skin to see whether a reaction will occur. Once your veterinarian has the results of these tests, he or she can create a treatment plan that will help manage your dog's mold allergy.


Your veterinarian will probably recommend immunotherapy to treat your dog's mold allergy. The series of allergy shots deliver small doses of the allergen into your dog's body so he can create a defense against it. Once the defense is created, the allergic reaction should end.

Reduce Mold Levels in your Home

To help your dog manage his mold allergy, the first thing you should do is reduce the mold and mildew levels in your home. Check locations where mold is likely to grow, such as bathrooms and basements, and spot clean any mold you find to eliminate it. A room dehumidifier can help remove moisture from your home, which will reduce the chances for mold and mildew to grow.

Consider using an air cleaner with a HEPA filter if your dog's mold allergy is particularly severe. Consider washing air conditioner and furnace filters with a chlorine bleach solution to kill any mold that's developed in your air conditioning unit.

Another way to help your mold-allergic dog is to make sure his food and water bowls are washed daily. Mold sometimes begins to grow in bowls that aren't washed thoroughly, so be sure to wash the bowls with warm water and a mild dishwashing detergent. Rinse thoroughly before allowing your dog to use the bowl.

Reduce Mold Levels in Your Yard

If your dog spends time outdoors, there's a chance he could encounter mold spores there, too. To help prevent an allergic reaction in your dog, power-wash your house's siding, driveway or patio if you find mold or mildew growing there. Remove mushrooms and other fungi to help protect your dog's health, and take steps to improve the yard's drainage so water isn't allowed to stand.