Are Portable Generators Toxic to Dogs?

Last Updated on March 6, 2023 by Manager Access

Picture this: you’re out camping with your trusty four-legged companion, enjoying the fresh air and rugged wilderness. You set up your portable generator to power your tent or RV, but little do you know, you may be putting your dog’s health at risk.

Portable generators can be toxic to dogs due to the emission of carbon monoxide, the risk of electrocution, and potential burns. Pet owners should take precautions to protect their furry friends when using one.

In this article, you’ll get a better understanding of why portable generators are toxic to dogs. Plus, you’ll learn more about what you can do to ensure your pet’s safety when using one.

How Can Portable Generators Harm Dogs

How Can Portable Generators Harm Dogs

Portable generators can be toxic to dogs in several ways. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is among the biggest risks.

Portable generators emit CO. In enclosed spaces, this colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas can quickly build up. It’s one of the reasons it’s considered a silent killer.

When dogs inhale it, the gas binds to their red blood cells, reducing their ability to carry oxygen. This can cause a range of symptoms, including dizziness, weakness, seizures, and even death.

In addition to CO poisoning, dogs can also be at risk of electrocution if they come into contact with a portable generator’s electrical cords or components.

Dogs are naturally curious and may investigate the generator out of curiosity, leading them to chew on cords or get too close to the electrical parts. This can cause burns, seizures, and other serious injuries.

Portable generators can become extremely hot during use, and dogs that come into contact with them can suffer burns to their skin or paws. Dogs may also knock over a generator or get caught in its moving parts, which can cause severe injuries or even death.

Noise can also be an issue. Dogs have more sensitive hearing than humans, and loud noises can cause them anxiety, stress, and even hearing damage.

Therefore, it is important to choose a generator with a low noise level when using it around dogs. Inverter and propane-powered generators tend to be quieter than conventional (non-inverter) generators, and solar-powered generators produce no noise at all.

Type of Generator Average Noise Level (decibels)
Conventional (non-inverter) 70-80 dB
Inverter 50-60 dB
Propane-powered 50-60 dB
Solar-powered 0 dB

Tips On How To Safely Use Portable Generators Around Dogs

To protect your furry friend, it’s important to take steps to minimize the risks associated with portable generator use. Here are some generator safety tips to follow when operating one around your dog.

Keep the generator outside

Keep the generator outside

You should never operate a portable generator indoors or in enclosed spaces, such as garages or basements. This is done to avoid creating high enough concentrations of carbon monoxide gas, which can injure both people and dogs.

Put it in a place that has good ventilation

Even when used outdoors, generators should be placed in a well-ventilated area. For example, you can find an area in your home with open windows and doors. This ensures that any carbon monoxide emissions are quickly dispersed and do not accumulate in the surrounding air.

Keep dogs away from the generator

Dogs are naturally curious animals and may be attracted to the sound or movement of a generator. This makes it super important to keep dogs away from the generator at all times to make sure that they don’t get in contact with electrical cords, moving parts, or hot surfaces.

Secure electrical cords

Secure electrical cords

Dogs have a natural tendency to chew on things. And like your furniture items and appliances at home, electrical cords are no exception. If your dog chews on an electrical cord while the generator is running, it can result in electrocution or other injuries.

Whenever possible, use cord covers: They can help protect cords from damage and also prevent pets from chewing on them. You can purchase cord covers at hardware stores or online.

Alternatively, use tape or clips to secure electrical cords to the ground or other surfaces. This will prevent tripping hazards and also prevent cords from becoming tangled.

Supervise your dog

Supervise your dog

If possible, keep your dog in a separate room or area of the house for their safety. This can help reduce the risk of accidents and prevent your dog from inhaling dangerous fumes.

If that’s not possible, use a leash. Keeping your dog on a leash while the generator is running can prevent them from getting too close to the generator or its electrical cords. This can also help you keep a closer eye on your dog and prevent them from wandering into dangerous areas.

Turn off the generator when not in use

When not in use, generators can still pose a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and other hazards.

Also, generators can become extremely hot during use. Its heat can persist even after the generator has been turned off. This can increase the risk of fire, especially if you leave your generator near flammable materials or in a confined space.

Generators also cause electrical shock and electrocution. If the generator is left on or in a state of partial operation, it can pose a risk of electrocution to both humans and dogs if they come into contact with its electrical components.

What To Do When Your Dog Gets In Contact With A Running Portable Generator

If your pets come into contact with a portable generator, it is important to take immediate action. Here are some steps to follow:

Turn off the generator: If the generator is still running, turn it off immediately.

Assess the situation: Check your dog for any visible injuries or signs of distress, such as burns, seizures, or difficulty breathing. If you notice any serious symptoms, seek emergency veterinary care right away.

Move your dog to a safe location: If possible, move your dog away from the generator and to a safe location. This can help prevent further injuries.

Call your veterinarian: Even if your dog appears to be okay, it is important to call your veterinarian for advice. They can provide guidance on what to do next and may recommend that you bring your dog in for a check-up.

Monitor your dog: Keep a close eye on your dog for the next few hours. Look out for any signs of illness or injury. If you notice anything unusual, make sure you call your vet right away.

Safer Alternatives to Portable Generators Around Dogs

When it comes to providing backup power and electricity during an outage, there are several safe alternatives to portable generators that you can use around dogs. Here are some options to consider:

Battery backups

Battery backups

Battery backups are a great option for providing power to small electronics, such as phones or laptops. They are safe to use around dogs, as they do not emit any fumes or require the use of electrical cords.

Solar-powered chargers

Solar-powered chargers

If you need to charge larger electronics or appliances, a solar-powered charger may be a good option than using a portable generator. These chargers use solar panels to generate power, so there is no need to worry about electrical cords or fumes.

Power banks

Power banks

Power banks are another safe option for providing backup power to small electronics. They are portable and do not require the use of electrical cords.

Inverter generators

Inverter generators

Inverter generators are a type of portable generator that are designed to be more fuel-efficient and emit less carbon monoxide than traditional generators. While they are not completely emissions-free, they may be a safer alternative source of electricity to use around dogs since they greatly lower the risk of CO poisoning.

When choosing an alternative to a portable generator, be sure to consider your specific power needs and the requirements of your devices. By using a safe and appropriate backup power source, you can help ensure the safety of your dog during power outages.

In Conclusion

While portable generators can be a great source of backup power, they can also be extremely dangerous to dogs if not used safely.

By taking precautions such as supervising your dog, securing electrical cords and power lines, and placing the generator in a well-ventilated area, you can help ensure the safety of your furry friend.

If your dog does come into contact with a generator or exhibits signs of distress or carbon monoxide poisoning, seek veterinary care immediately.

By following these tips and being vigilant when using a portable generator around your dog, you can help prevent accidents and keep your dog safe. is an independent review business. I am not affiliated with any manufacturers and do not accept paid reviews. When you buy through my links, I may earn a commission which helps me purchase more generators for testing. - Scott Krager

Leave a Reply