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Mold Inspection and Testing

Mold Sniffing Dogs: Gimmick and Cruelty to Animals


Everyone here at Mold Inspection & Testing considers themselves animal lovers. So much so that I actually feel bad that it took us so long to address this situation and put out our opinion on the subject. Perhaps because there are such a select few offering the service that we rarely hear about it but we feel that we must voice our opinion on this topic. The issue at hand is that there are certain companies are offering “mold sniffing dogs” on their inspection. While dogs may be trained to smell mold, an experienced and qualified mold inspector will not need the service of a dog. Armed with the proper equipment like moisture meters and/or thermal imaging cameras, a person doing a thorough visual assessment will be able to find the same things a mold sniffing dog will. Lets say a dog does find a potential problem area, the inspector will still have to perform air sampling to determine what is truly happening. If a company is saying all that is needed is the dogs it is extremely likely that it is a scam. If dogs can be trained to smell for mold, don’t you think that same dog could be trained to give false alerts? Some of the companies offering mold sniffing dogs also offer the remediation which makes us even more skeptical about their service. Also, Dogs can not tell you what species of mold is present or the quantity. Considering that the more common problems are that of elevated allergenic molds, the presence is not a clear indication of a problem. Without testing there is no way to tell whether or not a problem is present. So even if a dog is alerted by a presence of mold, it can not necessarily distinguish the difference between normal growth and a problem. With the above being true, it is pretty obvious to us that the testing is far more important than the dog. So even if an inspector knows what they are doing and is operating without a conflict of interest (no removal), the use of a dog is a major Gimmick! What better way to separate themselves than putting pictures of cute dogs all over their website and claiming these dogs will find things humans can’t. That is just simply not true if the inspector is properly trained. The main point of this article is to express our displeasure with exposing dogs to mold on a regular basis. Part of the reason we made the decision to enter the mold industry was to help people prevent health complications from indoor mold growth. While some people doubt how dangerous mold is, we have seen and experienced what it can do first hand. We feel that people training dogs to detect mold either do not believe in this or have a blatant disregard for the health of the dogs they are using. We are trying to find allergenic and toxic species of mold. In order to teach dogs how to find this, they must intentionally expose the dogs to each of these time and time again. This is the main reason why here at Mold Inspection & Testing we are 100% against “Mold Sniffing Dogs.”