Not only is smoking bad for your health, but the secondhand smoke can be very dangerous for those around you and can cause cancer in dogs.
Now, while that is something that has been known for a while, what many people aren’t aware of is that the dangers of secondhand smoke extend to our pets. It is now believed that cigarettes are responsible for a number of cases of cancer in dogs and cats.
A number of studies are coming out, one from Colorado State University and one from Tufts, stating that cigarette smoke can be tied to various cases of cancer in dogs and cats. The tests have linked smoke to both nasal and lung cancer in dogs, and lymphoma and allergies in cats. Both species respond to smoke with intensified respiratory problems.
As it stands, cancer in dogs and cats has the highest mortality rate among any veterinary condition. The Morris Animal Foundation and veterinarians everywhere have known this for years. So if exposure to cigarette smoke increases their chances of contracting this life threatening disease, why smoke in front of them?
When Cancer in Dogs Hits Home
Shirley Worthington had been smoking for the better part of her life. She started when she was a young teen, and continued to smoke heavily — and indoors — throughout her dog’s entire life.
One day when her dog Tigger started bleeding from the mouth, Shirley rushed over to the vet only to find out that the diagnosis was cancer. Unfortunately, Tigger did not make it. And what is worse is that Shirley knew that the disease was brought on by her habit.
A silver lining to this story exists, however. Shirley, along with her mother and sister, all quit smoking after Tigger’s passing. And while her mother still passed after a lifetime of smoking, Shirley and her sister are both cancer free.
While it will take a few more years to uncover just how large a role second hand smoke plays in the development of cancer in dogs and cats, we can be certain that it is a substantial amount — where there is smoke there is fire.
So if you smoke cigarettes, for the sake of your pet’s (or anyone’s) health, keep it an outside habit. Their tiny lungs will thank you.
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ABC News – Second Hand Smoke as Harmful to Pets as People