PDSA warns that passive smoking can be harmful to pets too
Wednesday 8 marks National No Smoking Day and PDSA is giving animal lovers an extra reason to quit – for the sake of their pet’s health.
The effects of second-hand smoke on humans are well known, but the impact passive smoking can have on our pets is something that smokers often underestimate, or don’t consider at all.
Studies show that animals who are exposed to smoke are at a higher risk of developing respiratory disease and some cancers.
PDSA vet, Rebecca Ashman, said: “Sustained exposure to cigarette smoke can cause severe breathing difficulties or cancers in pets, just as it can in people. So on National No Smoking Day, we are asking pet owners to think of their pets’ health as well as their own before they think about lighting up.”
Passive smoking in dogs is linked to the onset of breathing problems and there are links between breathing in passive smoke and nasal and sinus cancers, which are very difficult to treat.
Cats’ grooming habits mean that once smoke lands on their fur, they can swallow the harmful chemicals through licking. Cigarette smoke can also be harmful to pet birds and small pets like guinea pigs and rats, as they have sensitive respiratory systems.
Rebecca added: “Passive smoking in pets can create serious long-term health problems that are difficult to treat. Knowing that you could be harming your pets through smoking as well as yourself is an added incentive to give up.”
While smoking outside lessens the effects of passive smoking on your pets, it will not eliminate the risk completely. Dispose of butts safely as nicotine and tobacco can be poisonous to animals if swallowed – and sometimes even fatal. Signs of poisoning can include vomiting, tremors, weakness and fits, which can happen just 15 minutes after eating tobacco.