Dogs at risk from passive smoking.

Everyone knows that there are significant health risks from smoking; even inhaling smoke passively can be bad for people, but it can have even more profound effects on pets because they spend more time in close proximity to carpets and furnishings, where carcinogenic particles gather.

When pets are exposed to second hand smoke research has shown that they are at risk of developing health problems from cell damage and cancer to weight gain and respiratory problems.  Cats are one of the pets that can suffer most from the effects of passive smoking since they spend a great deal more time grooming themselves, but dogs are just as likely to become ill if they are regularly exposed to second hand smoke.

Dogs can suffer from respiratory problems in the same way smokers can, just from inhaling second hand smoke – but they can also develop allergies and skin disease from being exposed to environmental smoke.

Pets spend a lot more time around the home and are therefore at greater risk than other human members of the household who may be away from the house for long periods during the day.

As well as, ‘second hand’ smoke whereby a human or pet inhales the smoke which has just been exhaled by a smoker, there is also the issue of, ‘third hand’ smoke – which refers to the particles that cling to clothing, carpets and furnishings.  So when a pet lies on the carpet or sits on your lap he is collecting these particles in his fur and then ingests them when he grooms himself – because cats are fastidious groomers, they are often at much more risk than other pets.

Even armed with knowledge about the health risks of smoking, many people find it incredibly difficult to quit – but as well as the cost to personal health and to a person’s pocket, another reason to give up smoking might be the negative effects it can have on our four legged pals; after all they have no choice in the matter.

There are ways to minimise the risks if your dog lives in a smoking household;

  • Smoking outdoors will prevent particles from settling on carpets and furnishings and reduce toxic levels within the home.

  • Wash hands after smoking.

  • Don’t leave ashtrays within reach of pets.

  • Dispose of any cigarette butts so they cannot be accessed by pets.

  • Regularly steam clean carpets and upholstery to reduce toxic particles from clinging.

  • Quitting smoking isn’t always an easy prospect for those of us who do smoke – but the good news is that once someone does give up smoking the damage can be reversed over time.

Because of the risks involved with passive smoking and pets, Holidays4Dogs only accept non-smoking carers or those who absolutely never smoke in the home.