|For years, humans have known that smoking is bad for them. They have known that secondhand smoke is bad for humans that do not smoke. This also applies to your four-legged friends. In fact, they can be more at risk for cancers due to secondhand smoke than humans exposed to the same risk. In fact, it is a “triple threat” for canines and felines that live in a smoker’s home.
The significant health threat secondhand smoke poses to pets is through oral cancer and lymphoma in cats, lung and nasal cancer in dogs, as well as lung cancer in birds. There is also a strong correlation between secondhand smoke and certain forms of cancer in cats. There are higher incidents of mouth cancer in cats living with smokers over cats living in a non-smoker’s home. Dogs living in a home with secondhand smoke have a higher risk of nasal tumors. This increase was specifically found among long nosed breeds (like me, Golden Retrievers). Dogs with medium or short noses did not escape, as they showed higher rates for lung cancer! Typically, dogs affected with nasal cancer do not survive more than one year.
Be aware that animals may also pick up discarded butts off the ground and ingest them. This creates a problem with nicotine poisoning, which can be fatal.
Smoking is also a very costly habit. Do you know how many homeless animals could be fed in one year if just one person quit and gave their savings to a shelter or a rescue?
June 1st, 2009