We already know that second-hand smoking can be harmful to the people around us, but sometimes we forget about our furry, feathered and scaly friends – our pets. They are the ones that spend the most time in our homes and they have usually smaller lungs than humans, which is making them more vulnerable. Let’s have a look at what smoking can do to our pets and how smoking and pets go together.
How smoking harms your pet?
We are constantly influencing pets with our habits, smoking being one of them. It is true that smoking harms your pet as it can bring them a lot of diseases including heart problem, cancer or nicotine poisoning. Let’s have a look at what does smoking and pets really mean.
Cats are notorious for their grooming habits. Instead of having a shower like us humans, they lick themselves throughout the day to keep clean. Someone that is smoking and pets his or her cat directly after without washing hands ends up rubbing harmful chemicals directly onto cat’s hair.
The smoke from cigarettes sticks to the furniture and then to cat’s fur. Cats lick off these substances during grooming which can result in deadly oral cancer.
A study published in 2002 has shown a bigger chance of developing a malignant lymphoma (a form of cancer) in cats exposed to second-hand smoke opposed to those living in smokefree households.
Dogs don’t like cigarettes.
Nicotine is a toxic substance that seriously harms your pet if ingested. In just one cigarette, the amount of nicotine can cause various health problems, particularly for small dogs. The signs of nicotine poisoning include seizures, odd behavior, vomiting, diarrhea or tremors.
As dogs are likely to chew on anything, it is advisable to keep nicotine products out of their reach. If you suspect your pet might have suffered a nicotine poisoning, seek veterinary help immediately.
Birds deserve clean air.
The smoke that comes out of a cigarette contains thousands of chemicals that mix with the air your pet breathes. Many of them are known to cause cancer. The amount of harmful substances is even higher in second-hand smoke than amount the smoker is inhaling directly.
A bird’s respiratory system is different to ours. It is slower than that of mammals of similar size and more effective in transferring oxygen. This also means that birds breath in more toxins and are sensitive to air pollution as a result.
Smoking around your parrot also causes smoke to fall down on its feathers. This can lead to feather plucking, a harmful habit that is hard to get rid of.
What about rabbits, fish, guinea pigs…?
No animal is safe from the health risks caused by second-hand smoke (inhaling fumes from someone else’s cigarettes) and third-hand smoke (smoke sticking and falling on home furniture, fur etc.).
You can make certain precautions to help them lead a healthy life and lengthen their life span. You can even save money on vet bills by not smoking at home. We suggest you step outside to smoke and wash your hands before cuddling with your furry friends.
However, sometimes smoking harms your pet no matter how much you try to eliminate the risks, so you may still want to consider quitting as the best option. Pets can be a great help when it comes to tackling cravings. Having nice long walks with your dog or cuddling a cat can both help to keep your mind off cigarettes. And remember – a smokefree pet is a happy pet.
Sources: http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/can-pets-get-cancer-owners-smoking https://www.petfinder.com/cats/cat-health/pets-and-second-hand-smoke/ https://www.livescience.com/7378-secondhand-smoke-cancer-pets.html