Effects of a Gas Leak on Animals

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A gas leak in a home can threaten the health of both humans and animals. An undetected leak may even lead to fatalities. In some cases, animals have been able to detect a leak and have been responsible for saving their families lives.

Not all animals are able to sense leaks, though, so take steps to protect your pet companions and yourself.

Irregular Breathing

Although being exposed to low levels of natural gas in the home is normally not harmful to pets, anything more than that can be considered harmful to their health as well as to human health. Note any irregular breathing and take your pet to your veterinarian immediately if it has any breathing difficulties or seems dizzy and unbalanced. Gas leaking rapidly reduces the amount of oxygen that's available in the house, and can quickly lead to dire consequences.


A serious gas leak can cause an animal to be extremely tired, but this type of fatigue is more than just regular tiredness. If a gas leak is severe enough, it could be slowly killing your pet. Nausea and refusal to eat often will accompany the fatigue. These are also symptoms of the asphyxia associated with gas leaks, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders. Make sure that your pet gets fresh air and medical attention immediately.

Poisoning and Death

A severe gas leak can lead to fatality if an animal does not receive veterinary care. Time is of the essence in a situation involving a leak. A leak that slowly seeps into a home can poison both humans and animals slowly over a period of time. Pets may be ill for extended periods of time without explanation, even after being checked by a veterinarian, according to the website Gas Leak. A gas leak may be the reason for the unexplained illness.

Spotting and Preventing Gas Leaks

A gas leak may produce a smell that's similar to that of rotten eggs. If you detect such an odour, gather your family and pets, leave your home right away and notify your local gas company. However, do not rely solely on smell to detect a gas leak, since a slow leak may not produce an odour. Make sure that you have a natural gas detector installed in your home and check it regularly to make sure that it works properly. Also ensure that your home is well ventilated. Take advantage of a free yearly inspection that your local gas company provides. If you have a gas stove, use it only for cooking; do not use it to heat your home.