If you are a smoker and smoke around your dog , then the answer is YES. Most people nowadays would already know that smoking around your pets can’t be good. But just how harmful is it? After all, your pet’s not getting that much exposure to cancer-causing chemicals, right?
Second-hand smoke (also called Environmental Tobacco Smoke or ETS) is just as dangerous to pets as it is to people. If you smoke in the home the ETS linger in the air a long time and you dog for example spends more time at home than you do and is therefore exposed to the carcinogenic elements for longer periods of time than the humans in your home who go out more often. ”Dog and cat lungs are essentially identical to human lungs.” states Dr. Jan Bellows, DVM, a vet at All Pets Dental Clinic in Weston, FL.
Have You Tried The New Electronic Cigarettes?
Many smokers have embraced the new healthier, cheaper alternative to smoking, an electronic cigarette (often called “e-cigarette” or “e-cig”). This amazing new gadget allows the smoker to “go through the motions” of traditional cigarette smoking, by inhaling a simulated “smoke” (vapour) which tastes like real smoke! My Sister has been using the H2 clearomizer from Ecigwarehouse with great results so that may be something you want to try if you’re serious about reducing the risks from smoking..
Health Risks of Second Hand Smoke To Pets
Studies show that in pet dogs, second-hand smoke has been found to be linked significantly with nasal sinus cancer as well as lung cancer. Research performed at Colorado State University reveals that there is a higher occurrence of both nasal cavity tumors and lung cancer in pet dogs that were exposed to second hand smoke as compared to pet dogs that stay in homes with non-smoking members.
Interestingly, the increased nasal cancers were more prevalent among among long nosed breeds such as Collies. There was no significant increase in nasal growths in dogs with short to medium length noses. However the short to medium nosed dogs had an increase in lung cancer instead.
Researchers conclude that the long-nosed breeds are more likely to get nasal cancer simply because their long noses have more surface area for the carcinogens to be deposited and because their nasal passages have more cells, there is a greater possibility that some of these cells get mutated by carcinogens into cancer cells.
The same study showed that while dog breeds with short to medium noses do not have a greater nasal cancer risk than dogs unexposed to second hand, they do, however, have a somewhat greater occurrence of lung cancer cells. This is likely due to their much shorter nasal passages being less efficient at filtering the carcinogens from inhaled air prior to it getting in their lungs.
We humans spend so much time with our beloved pets that we expose them to the same ecological threats that we face. Lots of human practices, including smoking cigarettes, can impact animals just as they can harm other members of the household (particularly children). In addition to trying an e-cigarette you could try designating a different room in your house or cigarette smoking outside the home so you can reduce exposure for your pooch as well as the other non-smoking family members.
All Animals Are At Risk With Secondhand Smoke
Cats exposed to second hand smoke are more likely to get cancers of the mouth and lymph nodes. The poisons build up on their fur and they lick it up when they groom themselves exposing their mucous membranes the cancer-causing chemicals.
Birds are very sensitive to air contaminants and are at danger for lung cancer and pneumonia when exposed to secondhand smoke.
Secondhand smoke has also been found to cause heart troubles in bunnies.
The nicotine in cigarettes is also extremely hazardous to your pet dog if they eat it (either cigarettes or nicotine patches), so keeping them out of the home entirely is ideal but certainly out of reach of your pet is a must. Luckily, in a 2008 research in the journal Tobacco Control, almost a third of pet-parent smokers surveyed said knowing about the risks of secondhand smoke to their pet dogs would motivate them to try to stop smoking.
Be sure to share this information with anyone you know who smokes. Believe me, they don’t want to one day get the call from their vet that we all fear– “We’re sorry – it’s Cancer and there’s nothing we can do!”