Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Secondhand smoke can cause cancer in your pets

Everyone knows smoking is bad, but it's not an easy habit to kick. Today, most people know that secondhand smoke can be dangerous too, and hopefully people don't smoke around their children anymore. Many still forget about their pets. If you are a smoker, consider going outside when you light up, so you don't subject your beloved pets to dangerous substances.

No one has measured how many pets in the USA die from secondhand smoke each year, but vets can tell from lab tests and office visits that inhaling secondhand smoke causes various cancers, inflammations, and allergic reactions in pets.

Colorado State University and Tufts University's School of Veterinary Medicine in Massachusetts have researched the connection between cancer in pets and secondhand smoke. Breathing in smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer in dogs, lymphoma in cats, and respiratory illnesses in both cats and dogs.

Cats are more susceptible than dogs. A cat subjected to repeated smoke exposure has double the risk of getting cancer than a cat from a smoke-free home. The risk increases quickly; if a cat lives with a smoker for five years or more, the risk of lymphoma quadruples. Lymphoma is one of the leading causes of death in cats.

Dogs are not safe either; cancer kills more dogs than any other disease.

Symptoms of cancer include problems eating or breathing, coughing, weight loss, drooling, vomiting, nasal discharge, sneezing, and bleeding.

Many smokers turn to e-cigarettes, and that can be a great alternative, but be mindful how you store the cigarettes, fluids, and similar. The shape and plastic in the e-cigarette can be tempting for many dogs, and some dogs have been known to take nicotine cartridges out of the trash. Nicotine is a strong poison and very dangerous for cats and dogs.

~ Maria Sadowski ~


  1. Smoking around any living creature is totally selfish and should not be done. We are avid non-smokers.

  2. I agree with Emma - whenever I see someone who smokes and they have pets or children, I'm bummed out. I now that it's addictive, but the risks you take with your health shouldn't also include the people and creatures around you.

  3. I absolutely agree. I don't think people understand just how dangerous it is - and pets and children can't choose to leave or say no.