Everyone knows that smoking cigarettes is bad for your health, but this hard-to-kick habit may also be hazardous to the health of your furry best friend. Pets with owners that smoke are more likely to develop cancer, allergies, and other illnesses. So if your new year’s resolution was to ditch the habit, the health of your loyal companion is one more reason to stick to it.
Pets are especially vulnerable to cigarettes because they not only inhale secondhand smoke, but they’re also at risk for ingesting the tobacco residue that collects in their fur. Since cats frequently groom themselves, their risk for developing oral cancer is high. Cats exposed to secondhand smoke are also twice as likely to develop feline lymphoma, which is oftentimes fatal.
Dogs that are frequently in the vicinity of cigarette smoke are at risk for lung, nasal, and sinus cancers. Another danger for curious puppies is the ingestion of cigarette butts, which can lead to a fatal case of nicotine poisoning.
Less life threatening (yet still very serious) conditions that your pet can develop from secondhand smoke include respiratory infections, eye irritation, lung inflammation, and asthma. For the wellbeing of both you and your pet, it’s best to ditch the cigarettes and aim for healthier habits.