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Your Pets & Radon

Your furry friends are at risk for the effects of Radon in your home.

Radon and My Pets

We all love our pets. When we leave the furry, scaled or feathered members of our family at home for the day, we want them to be safe. Unfortunately, the presence of Radon in your home can make it a hazardous place not just for you and your family, but also for your pets – and pets are even more vulnerable, because they typically spend 90-95% of their time inside.

Radon is a natural gas that is created as radium breaks down in the soil. It’s tasteless, odorless, and invisible, even to your pets. However, radon can build up in your basement or home and pose a dramatic health risk for everyone who lives there, pets included.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer in Canada after smoking, and because pets are typically lower to the ground than their owners, they’re even more at risk for radon-induced lung cancer and other respiratory diseases.


Radon Symptoms: Dogs

Dogs can have their respiratory system seriously affected by Radon gas over time – especially if their crates are placed in the basement or they spend time in a basement frequently. When radon gas is finding its way into your home, it’s often alongside other carcinogenic elements, all of which can affect your dog.

Over time, exposure to radon can lead to gene mutation in your dog and eventually to cancer. These may manifest as a tumor, skin masses, or epidermal carcinomas.

Radon-induced cancer in dogs can lead to some of these symptoms:

  • Coughing & Hacking
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abnormal swelling or
  • growths
  • Breathing Difficulties
  • Fever

By the time your dog is displaying these symptoms, however, it may be too late. An early diagnosis from your veterinarian can help your dog survive, but the best way to prevent radon-related disease is simply to get your home tested for Radon. Keeping your pets and family safe is one of the reasons why we try to make our Radon testing as accessible as possible.

Radon Symptoms: Cats

Cats are smaller than most dog breeds, which means they’re even closer to the ground and more at risk for radon poisoning. Symptoms of lung cancer in cats are not always clear-cut, and can be easily mistaken for asthma. The most common symptom is a persistent dry cough, and can also include: 

  • Losing weight
  • Coughing blood
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Appetite loss
  • Lethargy

If you have any concern about your cat being in the early stages of lung cancer, take them to a vet as soon as possible. This is also the ideal time to get your home tested for radon and ensure that your radon levels are below the safe threshold.

Taking Action

For many, pets are dear friends and family members, and the action you take to understand your radon risk helps them even more than it helps you. Because they spend more time to the house, are lower to the ground, and typically cannot leave the home environment, they’re the most at risk for high radon levels. 

So what can you do? 

If you haven’t gotten your home tested for radon, that’s the first place to start. 20% of homes in Ontario are over Canada Health’s recommended radon levels, and 50% are over the World Health Organization’s guidelines. Getting your home tested is as simple as contacting a Radon professional like Kingston Radon Solutions. We’ll place a comprehensive radon test in your home to determine your radon risk. 

The standard test recommended by Health Canada takes 90 days and is processed at our lab to determine your exact radon level, but we also use a three-day digital test to spot emergency situations early on.

The health limit recommended by Canada Health is no more than 200 becquerels (a radioactivity measurement) per cubic meter of space; some Kingston homes have tested at over 700 becquerels per cubic meter, which is cause for immediate Radon mitigation. 

How does Radon mitigation work? We install a device in your home to redirect radon and other potentially harmful gasses away from your home, keeping these elements out of the way of your family, cats, dogs and other animal companions. 

There’s no better time to call us than today; our local team is happy to talk with you about guaranteeing the safety of your home.