The Dangers of Smoking Around Your Pets

Everyone knows, or should know, that smoking is unhealthy and can lead to serious health consequences.  You also may have heard of some of the dangers of second-hand smoke to other people. But what about your pets?  It is logical that they can be harmed as well by second-hand smoke. Lung cancer is an obvious risk to pets, but there are additional dangers. Here are a few specifics.

smoking dangers to your pet

Photo Credits: Valentin Ottone and Bailey Weaver

Cats in Particular Are at Risk

Second-hand smoke is particularly hazardous to cats because of their grooming habits. Because cats constantly lick their fur, a cat in a smoking household will continually ingest the cancer-causing agents that adhere to its fur. This makes cats specially prone to oral cancer. Lymphoma has also been highly associated  with smoke exposure in cats. Learn more here: Tobacco, Secondhand Smoke, and Pets .

Dogs and Nasal Tumors

smoking and dogs

Photo Credits: Valentin Ottone and Jer Thorp

A study from Colorado State University found higher incidences of nasal tumors in dogs that were exposed to second-hand smoke. Dogs with long noses are more at risk because it provides a longer area for carcinogens to accumulate. Meanwhile, shorter-nosed dogs showed higher rates of lung cancer because there is less nasal area to filter out the smoke.

Risks to Birds

Pet birds are also at risk.  Birds have a respiratory system that is hypersensitive to air pollutants, making them particularly susceptible to pneumonia and lung cancer.  Learn more at: Tobacco, Secondhand Smoke, and Pets 

Additional Risks


Photo Credit: Mark Vegas

Second-hand smoke can also cause eye and skin irritation in pets. Pets with pre-existing respiratory issues also are strongly affected by second-hand smoke.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to give up smoking or move to smoking outside when educated about the risks to their pets. So share this with those you know who smoke. Perhaps it will provide some motivation! For more, see: Another Reason to Stop Smoking, Your Pet’s Health.


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