Our pets are an integral part of our family and we always strive to keep them safe and well cared for. However, many people are unaware that passive smoking poses a serious health risk to our loyal friends. Dogs, cats, birds and other pets cannot escape second- and third-hand smoke and suffer from the same illnesses as humans due to air pollution.
Harms of tobacco smoke
Tobacco smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, most of which are toxic and 69 of which are considered carcinogenic. Just by breathing in the smoky air, our pets are exposed to secondhand smoke. According to Justas Kantoravicius, head of the CanisFelis veterinary clinic, passive smoking is no less harmful to pets than it is to humans, but even more so, especially when it comes to smoking in cars. Animals’ sense of smell is much more sensitive, so they have a higher risk of developing various diseases.
Birds are the most sensitive to the effects of tobacco smoke. If we smoke near a parrot, canary or other bird, they have a multiplied risk of developing lung cancer, pneumonia and heart disease. Dogs with long noses have an increased risk of nasal cancer, and short-legged dogs are more likely to suffer from lung disease.
Tobacco residues on cats’ fur are particularly dangerous for cats, as they can be ingested during grooming. Tobacco smoke and other toxic substances remain on the pet’s coat and are ingested through licking. This can lead to the development of mouth and jaw cancer and other dangerous diseases. Doctors confirm that smoking is bad for your pet’s health, and even tobacco residue on their coat can cause serious problems.
To protect our pets from the harmful effects of passive smoking, we need to take some basic precautions. Firstly, it is important not to smoke around animals. If the smoking owner cannot do without a cigarette, it is better to smoke where the pet is not, and to wash your hands thoroughly after each cigarette before stroking your faithful friend.
It is important to note that the use of alternative smokeless tobacco products, such as e-cigarettes, can reduce the harm of smoking to pets. However, you should be careful not to leave the capsules or other elements of e-cigarettes in areas accessible to animals, as accidental ingestion of such items can pose a health risk to your pet.
The health of our pets is our responsibility
Remember that secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for pets and can cause a variety of health problems, including cancer and respiratory problems. By taking simple precautions, we can ensure the safety and well-being of our pets and provide them with a healthy and comfortable living environment.
Prepared by Mary Clair