If you smoke, you should have first thought about its adverse effects not only on your health but also on your pet’s health. Besides the obvious danger of lung cancer, cats and dogs lick the residual tar and nicotine from their coats, which can contribute to throat and mouth cancer. If you want to have this be your emotional support animal then care for it. It can help you if you can’t help yourself or keep it away from smokers because it will begin suffering.
Nosy animals also face potentially fatal nicotine poisoning from eating any tobacco products they meet. Did you know that cats living in homes with family members who smoke are more than twice as likely to acquire feline lymphoma cancer as compared to other cats? This kind of cancer was earlier thought to ensue because of feline leukemia. As per an Associated Press report, the results showed that in households where cats were exposed to smoke for five years or more, they became 3 times more exposed to the risk of developing diseases.
In a two-smoker household, the risk shot up by a factor of four. In some cases, felines are at a higher risk of developing cancer as compared to their human counterparts living in the same home. Dogs living with smokers showed an increased risk for nasal cavity and lung cancers. Long-nosed dogs, like Retrievers, have a bigger nasal surface area, which can lead to the accumulation of carcinogens emitted from the smoke. On the other hand, shorter-nosed breeds, such as Pugs, show an increased risk of lung cancer.
What is second-hand Smoke?
In a nutshell, second-hand smoke is when someone smokes, and the waste products of the cigarette (or pipe, cigar or another delivery method) are burnt off and not inhaled into the lungs of the smoker themselves. So this waste is subsequently released into the air and can be inhaled by non-smokers like pets or humans. Third-hand smoke is the residue that is left behind on fur, skin, clothing, or furniture, even once it has cleared.
The health risks associated with second-hand smoking are almost as acute as those attributed to actual smokers, and second-hand smoke is responsible for a wide range of health problems in non-smokers such as the development of asthma, and other chronic health conditions.
Second-hand Smoke Effects On A Dog
According to PetMD, some signs of a dog that’s inhaled smoke are:
- A Smoky odor
- Soot in the nasal or throat passages
- Rapid breathing
- Increased Breathing Effort
- Reddened eyes
- Hoarse cough
How To Protect Your Dog From Second-Hand Smoke
In order to protect your dog from the risk of their developing a smoking-related illness, you must take steps to end their potential exposure to all forms of tobacco smoke. Smokers who share their homes with pets should smoke outside and take extra caution when disposing of cigarette butts so that their pets can’t later consume them. Ask anyone who takes care of your pet about their smoking habits, and makes sure to tour any pet-sitting or pet daycare facilities keeping in mind tobacco awareness.
Many people seeking to stop smoking or reduce the impact of their nicotine habit on the people and pets around them turn to e-cigarettes in place of tobacco, and whilst the safety of e-cigarettes on the whole is something that is still not definitively understood, vaping rather than smoking is widely thought to pose a much lower risk to others than combustible smoking.
However, if you do vape e-cigarettes, take care to keep the liquids that you vape well out of the reach of your dog; some of these liquids are sweetly scented or flavored, which can encourage dogs to try to eat them, and if ingested, can quickly lead to poisoning and again, a significant health risk.
Now, if you are trying to quit smoking, you can also take a number of precautionary steps to minimize the presence of second and third-hand smoke in your pet’s environment, such as steam cleaning your carpets, upholstery, and curtains to remove any collected smoke from your house. Another thing you can do is bathe your pet to get rid of any leftover from her fur and smoke outside to avoid the re-accumulation from your house.
The best thing you can do for your dog is to try and decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke and eventually you will be able to cut this habit out entirely. When you stop smoking, the damaging effects of smoking will also abate with time, and this is why you should take some serious steps towards quitting smoking. You will also be saving your furry friend’s life too!