Are you a smoker? Or maybe you have friends who smoke? We all know what second hand smoke does to us, but have you ever wondered what it does to your dog?
What is second hand smoke?
Second hand smoke is two things. It’s the unfiltered smoke that is exhaled from smoking any tobacco products. It’s also the unfiltered smoke that burns on the end of those same tobacco products. These products include cigarettes, cigars and pipes. There’s more then 7000 toxins, approximately 70 that have been proven to be cancer causing.
Second hand smoke clings to everything!
Towels, blankets, curtains, blinds, skin, lamp shades, walls, furniture, hair and fur. It also clings to things such as our clothing and carpets. So when dogs sleep on the carpet or even on our own laps, they are once again directly breathing those dangerous toxins.
And what about their own water bowl? If you think toxins from second hand smoke won’t land in Fido’s drinking water, think again. Of course particles of fallen smoking residue land in that as well.
In short, there are no safe levels of second hand smoke. And there is no safe way to smoke in your house and protect your dog from the aftermath.
Can dogs get cancer from second hand smoke?
You bet they can! Studies have proven that dogs subject to breathing the toxins in second hand smoke are at risk of developing lung cancer and nasal cancer. The sad truth about nasal cancer is once dogs are diagnosed with it, they rarely survive more then a year.
Dogs tend to spend a lot more time at home then we do. So they’re breathing in these toxins all day while we’re away at work and all night when everyone’s asleep. And if you think segregating one room in your house for smoking protects them, think again. It doesn’t matter where in your house you smoke. That second hand smoke will seep through the drywall, heating vents and any air circulation your house was built with.
Are there any other health problems related to dogs and second hand smoke?
You bet there are! Respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis are rampant among dogs who are breathing toxic air. It can also cause eye problems and allergies.
And just when you think that’s the worst of it, think about this. What about dogs have a tendency to get into the garbage? Those guys have been known to become ill from ingesting tobacco products such as butts, nicotine patches, or gum.
We all know the health risks linked to smoking. And we’ve studied the risks involved with breathing second hand smoke. But the idea that our canine companions have been suffering in silence seems to be something of an afterthought. Well I’m happy to report that there are studies now being done on risks to domestic animals. And those studies are showing how much harm we are inflecting on our best friend. I think if I were a smoker, this thought would be enough to make me quit. How about you?
Written by Brenda McBurnie, Certified Dog Trainer and Natural Nutrition
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