Can Dogs Smell Carbon Monoxide?

By John Martin - May 3, 2021

Carbon Monoxide detector on ceiling

We all know that those furry little creatures are always concerned about their owners and try to warn them prior to any danger. The emission of carbon monoxide is one such danger. It is a serious issue that every pet owner should know about.

These are all still mysteries. Some say that dogs can do it, while others disagree. In the same way, some dogs have smelled carbon monoxide while others have not.

What Is Carbon Monoxide, First of All?

Carbon Monoxide or CO is a type of poisonous gas that is released when flammable items like oil, coal, or wood don’t break down as usual. The gas is said to be colorless, odorless, and tasteless.
So, it isn’t easy to know if the gas is around us. It can be poisonous to all living beings, especially small animals like dogs.

What Will Happen If the Dogs Inhale Carbon Monoxide?

There are so many myths surrounding the abilities of dogs. Such as,

  • Can dogs smell cancer?
  • Can dogs sense the presence of a ghost?
  • Will dogs be able to differentiate between good and bad people?

One such belief is with smelling Carbon Monoxide. Carbon Monoxide is much more lethal to dogs than humans. Dogs are small and have petite lungs, so that they can be very sensitive to poisonous gas. Some dogs might alert the owners while some others succumb to the poison. It depends upon the dog.

What Are the Symptoms in A Dog Affected by Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The symptoms in dogs affected by carbon monoxide are as follows,

  • Difference in usual behavior
  • Breathlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Reddening of gums, skin, and paws
  • Laziness
  • Frequent yawning
  • Drowsiness
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If your dog is unresponsive, you should immediately take it to the vet. As dogs can’t communicate, they show their sickness only by separating themselves from their owners and being inactive. These can be your clues.

As a pet owner, you should be responsible and take care of your dog. If it is unusual in its actions or showing erratic behavior, you should search for the reason rather than ignoring it.

You can check the dog’s mouth and gums for reddening and check its paws as well.

Related: How Long Do Dogs Remember Your Scent?

How to Prevent My Dogs from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

First and foremost, you can install a carbon monoxide detector in your house. It will alert you if the gas is leaking, and you can safeguard yourself and your pet. The other thing you can do to prevent this is not to let your dogs be locked in the garage with vehicles running.

There is a heavy chance that it will risk the health factor of your dog. You can often inspect the gas emitting products in your home if they are in proper condition. You should also be careful with your portable fuel objects like a burner, barbeque grills, and much more.

As the gas is colorless and odorless, it isn’t easy to identify, but you should take extra measures to protect your dog.

What Will Dogs Do If They Can Smell the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

There is a minor chance that your dog may identify the carbon monoxide emission, but it is not impossible. They might smell the burning oil or coal or might hear the alarm before you. The first thing that occurs in their mind when this happens is that it is something bad.

As usual, if something around them feels wrong, they will come running to their owner. The owner must be responsible enough and check for the reason rather than just brushing it off as nothing.

How to Help My Dog If It Is Exposed to Gas Poisoning?

Dogs have a very low immune system and are much more sensitive to gas poisoning. They can fall ill as fast as 10 minutes after the gas is emitted.

You have to immediately take it to the vet if your dog is exposed to the gas. It will take a lot of time for your dog to get better, and it will need a lot of therapies and medical attending.
Oxygen and physical therapy are a must for gas poisoned dogs.

In this way, they will restore their strength and abilities and be much more agile and naughty like they have been before!

Related: Why Are Dogs Afraid of Vacuums?

Have Dogs Alerted Their Owners of The Gas Emission Before?

Yes, a handful of times! There are various reports claiming that the dogs have alerted their owners on the poisonous gas emission.

A UK based gas supplying company named npower did a survey with 2000 per owners. In the survey, one-third of the pet owners said their dogs had alerted them on the break of carbon monoxide.

Cathy Jessop, a 53-year-old dog owner of a seven-year old dog called Candy, said that her dog woke her up from her nap by licking to alert her of gas emissions. She found that out later using the monitor, so she was able to get out of the house and get fresh air.
This is just one among many stories!

Your four-legged friend will risk his life to save you from potential danger. It is your responsibility to take care of that innocent animal that only depends upon you for literally everything!

Related: Why Do Dogs Pee On Fire Hydrants?

To Sum Up

In conclusion, dogs can’t smell carbon monoxide but the leading factors up to it like the burning of fuels or identifying the detector’s alarm. Also, not all dogs can do it. Only a lucky few will be able to identify it and alert you.

This is a serious issue and must be considered seriously by everyone, especially pet owners. Take the prevention steps and apply them applicably. You can be safe rather than being sorry.