Negative Effects of Second-Hand Smoke on Pets


January 11, 2016

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Negative Effects of Second-Hand Smoke on Pets



Most of us are well aware the dangers second hand smoke has on us, but how many of us stop and think about the negative effects of second-hand smoke on pets?  The leading cause of death from cancer in Canada is lung cancer.   According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smoking causes approximately 90% of all lung cancer deaths among men and women, and it is also a leading factor in the development of heart disease and stroke.

With that in mind, it is not only smokers who are at risk. The Canadian Cancer Society states that every year more than 800 Canadians die from second-hand smoke.  Non- smokers take in the same harmful chemicals as smokers.  The same must apply for our pets.

Research from Professor Clare Knottenbelt, professor of small animal medicine and oncology at the University of Glascow, has shown that animals living in a smoking household ingest a dangerously high amount of tobacco smoke and are at greater risk for cell damage, some cancers and weight gain compared to pets living in non smoking households.

Cats are more at risk because they ingest more than dogs, possible because they self groom causing them to ingest more toxins. Researchers identified a gene that represents a sign of cell damage related to cancers.   Additionally, they have found that dogs that lived in smoking households gained more weight than those of non – smoking households after being neutered.

The team suggests that pets may actually be at more risk to health problems due to second-hand smoke than children, because they are so low to the ground, they are likely to ingest third hand smoke as well. While you can reduce the amount of smoke your pet ingests by reducing the levels of indoor air pollution by smoking outdoors, stopping smoking completely is said to be the best option for not only yours, but your pets health and well-being.



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