How secondhand smoke harms your pets
Our furry, feathered and finned little friends bring so much love and joy into our lives; that’s why they become an important part of our family.
Most of us know that secondhand smoke (also called passive smoking) can be dangerous for our human family and friends,1 but you may not have stopped to think about the harm it can cause our pets – from man’s best friend to your fluffy bunny.2–9 Understanding how secondhand smoke affects our pets could give you another powerful reason to give up smoking.
Exposure to secondhand smoke puts your best mate at increased risk of lung cancer2 and nasal cancer.3 This is especially true for some of our long-nosed companions, like greyhounds.2,3
Research from the University of Glasgow also found that a gene marker associated with cell damage and certain dog cancers was higher in dogs who live in smoking homes than dogs who live in non-smoking homes.9
Feline friends who live with a smoker are more than three times as likely to develop feline malignant lymphoma compared to cats that live with non-smokers.4
The University of Glasgow research showed that cats are even more affected by household smoke than dogs, and that this may be due to extra smoke they ingest into their little bodies from smoke particles on their fur when grooming themselves.9,10
A bird's respiratory system is very sensitive to any pollutants in the air, and the most serious affects of secondhand smoke include pneumonia and lung cancer. Secondhand smoke can also cause eye, skin, heart and fertility problems in birds.5
Cigarette smoke can affect the arteries in the lungs of snuggly bunnies.6
Secondhand smoke creates a less-than-friendly swimming environment for your pet fish living in your home aquarium.7 In fact, the chemicals from just one filtered cigarette butt is enough to kill a fish living in 1 litre of water.8
As well as thinking about your own personal reasons for quitting, you might find it helpful to think about what the animals, who depend on you for their care, will gain from your commitment to quitting smoking. Your whole family — furry, feathered and finned friends included — will thank you for it!
Take the first step
The first step to quitting starts with a doctor. Find out how you can get the help you need.