Does Cigarette Smoke Harm Your Dog?
It is well know that second-hand smoke is harmful to humans but new research suggests that it can also increase the risk of cancers in pets.
The British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the British Small Animal Veterinary Association (BSAVA) have unearthed evidence that exposure to nicotine and other toxic substances in tobacco smoke can increase the likelihood of certain cancers in pets.
Smokers are being urged to take smoking right outside as many are unaware that smoking indoors, even at an open window or standing at the back door, can be damaging for both people and pets. With 85 per cent of second-hand smoke invisible and odourless, the harmful chemicals move around and linger for up to five hours after the cigarette has been put out.
BSAVA President Katie McConnell said: “The potential detrimental effects of smoking on our pets are of great concern. Animals may be exposed to these toxins not only in the air but also through grooming, as nicotine levels have been shown to be higher in the hair coats of animals exposed to tobacco smoke. BSAVA have been delighted to be able to fund important research in this field through our charitable arm PetSavers.”
Professor Clare Knottenbelt, a specialist in Small Animal Medicine and Oncology at Glasgow University has been leading on sponsored research: "We've been analysing the impact of second-hand smoke on pets for years, and the facts speak for themselves. Dogs have a 60 per cent increased chance of developing lung cancer in smoking households, and one of our studies revealed that dogs could in effect be smoking up to 11 cigarettes per day.
"It's grim news for cats too. Moggies exposed to smoke are almost three times more likely to develop lymphoma, an incurable blood cell cancer which requires chemotherapy to keep them alive. And if two people living in the house smoke, the cats are four times more likely to contract the cancer.
"Many owners don't even consider the impact of smoking around their pets, so here's the opportunity to change by remembering that pets are entitled to fresh air too."
Symptoms of cancer in animals include coughing, trouble eating or breathing, drooling, weight loss, vomiting, nasal discharge, bleeding and sneezing.
For more information and advice on how to protect pets and people from second-hand smoke, visit rightoutside.org