Secondhand Smoke And Pets

secondhand smoke and petsDo you have pets? Do you smoke? Do you think that secondhand smoke only applies to humans?  Think again.  According to, when it comes to secondhand smoke and pets, the chemicals found in cigarette smoke can adversely affect pets. Let’s face it. They spend a lot more time in the home than you do, thereby increasing their exposure to all of those nasty cancer-causing substances that make their home in cigarettes and in cigarette smoke.

Because the lungs of dogs and cats are very similar to those of humans, pets are just as susceptible to the dangers of secondhand smoke that humans are.

Upon further research, I discovered that a dog’s muzzle length could determine the type of cancer a dog might develop from exposure to secondhand smoke.  Dogs with long muzzles are more likely to develop cancer of the nose and sinuses since there is more surface area. Dogs with shorter muzzles are more susceptible to developing lung cancer as a result of exposure to secondhand smoke.

As for cats, well, they are prone to develop cancers of the mouth and lymph nodes from secondhand smoke. Why?  When they groom themselves, they lick up all of those nasty and toxic substances that have made a home in their fur. Through the process of grooming, the mucous membranes of the mouth are exposed to those heinous, cancer-causing carcinogens.

Even pet birds are at risk. They are extremely sensitive to pollutants in the air and can develop lung cancer or pneumonia when exposed to secondhand smoke.

Have a pet rabbit? That evil secondhand smoke can be a contributing factor in heart problems.

And if any of your pets accidently gets into a pack of cigarettes and ingests the contents, the result can be lethal.  This applies to the increasingly popular e-cigarettes as well.  The number of poisoning cases for pets is rapidly increasing due to ingestion of the liquid contained in e-cigarette cartridges.

Bottom line? As a pet owner, you have a responsibility towards the good health of your pet. Their job is to offer you plenty of unconditional love. Your job is to give them every opportunity to embrace a healthy lifestyle. They can’t do it alone and are counting on you to do everything in their best interest!

This post originally published on our sister site,

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.