The Dangers of Secondhand Smoke For PetsThe Animal Rescue Site
Though the dangers secondhand smoke poses to humans are well documented and understood, many smokers still subject their pets to these hazards on a daily basis. It is becoming increasingly apparent, however, that doing so puts our furry friends in harm's way as much as it does us. As recently as 2006, the Surgeon General's Annual Report stated that secondhand smoke puts pets at risk, and numerous professional organizations have issued statements encouraging pet owners to keep their homes smoke-free for the benefit of their animals. If you're considering quitting smoking but need a bit more motivation, think of the health benefits that your pet could gain.
Secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer and other diseases in many pets, but cats are at a higher risk than dogs. According to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, that fact has largely to do with the grooming habits of felines.
"One reason cats are so susceptible to secondhand smoke is because of their grooming habits. Cats constantly lick themselves while grooming, therefore they lick up the cancer-causing carcinogens that accumulate on their fur," Dr. Carolyn MacAllister, a cooperative extension service veterinarian with Oklahoma State University, told the source.
In addition to dogs and cats, birds have been known to acquire cancer and disease as a result of secondhand smoke.