Dogs, elders and carbon monoxide; what is the connection?

Do you have a pet in your home? Many elders love to have cats or dogs live with them to provide a sense of love and caring in the home. Over time, the pets may not be getting the care that is essential like walking outside, going to the potty safely or eating food that is nourishing or correct for them. Veterinarians see pets all the time and rarely know the whole story of what is going on in an elders home yet if there was someone who was able to evaluate living conditions, there would be many signals of the elders health just waiting to be discovered.

One signal that is always overlooked is carbon monoxide. Did you know if a pet is ill, it may be the first sign that the air quality in the home is not safe? Many times, the pet will become sick, find someplace to hid and pass on or the pet will get outside and just not come back. Over time, someone may share a story similar to this: ‘John’s pet died and then soon afterwards, John died.  It was so sad’. What did you perhaps miss? Maybe the pet detected carbon monoxide in the home and the level poisoned the pet and eventually took out the elder living in the home. Perhaps this is something you may never have considered.

If you have an elder and find out a pet is sick, immediately, send in emergency personnel to evaluate the home for carbon monoxide leaks. The life of the elder depends on it. Ask Dr. Jeanette for a senior lifestyle evaluation.

Here is a guest blog post sent to us by Matthew Cole, spokesman for npower:

Pet Owners Claim Their Cats and Dogs Have Saved Their Life

  • A third of owners have been alerted to danger – by their pets, according to a study.
  • Researchers who polled 2,000 pet owners found their furry friends have alerted them to hazards including fires and carbon monoxide leaks.
  • The study was commissioned by npower to raise awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and what symptoms to look out for.

21st November 2018: CO poisoning often affects pets first and if their owners spot the symptoms – which include vomiting, tiredness and erratic behavior – their furry friend could alert them in time. One in 10 even claimed their much-loved cat or dog has directly saved their life or the life of someone they know. Further to this, four in 10 admit they wouldn’t be able to recognize the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carried out through, the research also found one in 10 are not aware a leak can be fatal. A third of those polled don’t own a CO detector in their home. A fifth of those without one simply don’t think they need one, 27 per cent said they haven’t gotten round to purchasing one and one in 10 think they are too expensive.

Matthew Cole, spokesman for npower said: “You can’t see, smell or taste a carbon monoxide leak so it’s important to be aware of this potentially fatal danger in the home. Common household appliances like boilers, gas fires, log burners and cookers can all cause accidental exposure. So it’s important that people understand the symptoms of CO poisoning and if you notice any symptoms in combination go outside immediately and seek help.”

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Headaches
  • Breathlessness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Collapse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tiredness
  • Drowsiness
  • Vomiting
  • Pains in the chest
  • Stomach pains
  • Erratic behavior
  • Visual problems

Examples of Animals Saving Their Owners

Those polled also revealed some of the ways their animals have saved them or their loved ones from potentially fatal injury.

One parent called for an ambulance after their pet barked repeatedly to let them know their one year old baby was having a convulsion. Another owner revealed their dog woke them during the night while they were having a potentially lethal hypoglycemic attack. A grateful respondent said their dog became agitated following a CO leak – alerting their owner to the leak, saving the life of the owner and their family.

Matthew Cole, spokesman for npower said: “Log burners are really popular at the moment and they’re especially dangerous – one of the most dangerous things you have in your house. But the easiest way to keep your family safe is to install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of your home, which will alert you if it detects the presence of gas.”

“You should also make sure to keep your household appliances regularly serviced and maintained.”

For further information about carbon monoxide safety:  click here.

About npower
npower is one of Britain’s leading energy companies and is part of the Innogy SE group. We serve around 5 million residential and business accounts with electricity and gas (full year 2017). Innogy SE is Germany’s leading Energy Company, with revenue of around €43 billion (2017), more than 40,000 employees and activities in 16 countries across Europe. With its three business segments Grid & Infrastructure, Retail and Renewables, Innogy addresses the requirements of a modern, decarbonized, decentralized and digital energy world. Its activities focus on its 23 million customers, and on offering them innovative and sustainable products and services which enable them to use energy more efficiently and improve their quality of life. For further information about npower please visit

For health and lifestyle evaluations for elder/seniors, request a session with Dr. Jeanette.