A nationally recognized Utah veterinarian and a health department educator maintain that secondhand smoke has dangerous effects on pets. They believe educating pet owners about the dangers of secondhand smoke will encourage them to give up the habit.
If pet owners learned secondhand smoke harmed their pet, nearly 30 percent who smoke would try to quit. Studies show that less than 2 percent would quit smoking for the health of their children.
Secondhand smoke has been associated with allergies, cancer, and respiratory problems in both cats and dogs. Other small animals such as rabbits, guinea pigs or any bird species are also vulnerable to breathing in dangerous secondhand smoke.
A study by U.S. veterinarians found cats of smokers were twice as likely to develop feline lymphoma, a form of cancer that kills three out of four cats within a year of diagnosis. The risk is four times greater if two people smoke in the house. Cats living with smokers also had higher rates of mouth cancer. The carcinogens from the smoke accumulate on their fur and are ingested during grooming.
Dogs living with smokers were found to have cancers of the nose and sinus area, as well as lung cancer.
Quitting smoking is not only healthy for you, but for your fur and feathered family members too.