Secondhand Smoke Affects Pets, Too

Secondhand Smoke Affects Pets, Too

By Bryan Le 06/07/13

Dogs and cats exposed to smoking are twice as likely to develop nose or lung cancer.

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Humans aren't the only ones who can get
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Most everyone knows that secondhand smoke comes with a slew of health risks, but sometimes it's easy to forget our furry friends are just as susceptible to the same smoky dangers. Val Mills of the Buckinghamshire SmokeFree Support Service wants to make sure people don't forget that. “As a pet owner I know how important pets can be to people,” she says. “Some people may not realise that smoking around their pets will affect the health of their animals.” Dogs that breathe in smoke are twice as likely to develop nose and lung cancers, and smaller pets like birds and mice are also heavily affected. But the effects on cats are especially devastating: When they lick and clean themselves, they ingest the chemicals and ash burned off from the cigarette, leading to feline lymphoma. And it's not just the smoke to be worried about—if pets manage to eat a cigarette or butt, Mills warns, it could be fatal.