When remodeling, drywall dust can be a major concern for your health and the health of your dog. Drywall is made from a variety or products that may include gypsum, silica, talc and mica. It is known to be associated with various eye, nose and throat irritation in people, but your dog can experience the same problems. Dogs with weakened immune and respiratory systems, should not be around drywall dust, as it can cause breathing difficulties. In general, drywall dust is made of various minerals so it is not poisonous, but if you think your home has asbestos in the walls, you want to have a professional evaluate your home before you renovate.
Like people, your dog can develop mesothelioma if there is asbestos in the drywall. The asbestos fibers can be inhaled and damage cells in your dog's body, which can lead to cancer, but the fibers aren't only stirred up during renovations, they can be released into the air and vents as the drywall ages. If you think your dog has inhaled drywall dust that may have asbestos, consult your vet and watch for signs of difficulty breathing, pain in the abdomen, excessive coughing and lethargy.
Control the Dust
Try to keep the work area confined and protected, so that your dog cannot get in and stir up the dust. Use a plastic tarp to cover doorways to keep the dust confined, and try to work in short intervals so that the dust doesn't build up too quickly. You want to vacuum the dust in the room to keep it at a minimum; vacuum your shoes and clothes before leaving the area, as well. When you're finished for the day, make sure to cover your work area and clean up.
- Center of Disease Control: Control of Drywall Sanding Dust Exposures
- Angie's List: How to Eliminiate Drywall Dust
- Dr Glass, DVM: Sept 3, 2013. Phone Interview