Are Dogs at Risk From Passive Smoke?


Everyone knows there are significant health risks from smoking – even inhaling smoke passively, can be bad for people. It can also have a profound effect on pets because they spend more time in close proximity to carpets and furnishings, where carcinogenic particles gather. For more information on the risks to dogs from passive smoke, read our Holidays4Dogs article.

What effects does passive smoke have on pets?

Research has shown that when pets are exposed to second -hand smoke, they are at risk of developing health problems. This can range from cell damage, cancer and respiratory problems.

Cats, in particular, often suffer most from the effects of passive smoking. This is because they spend a great deal more time grooming themselves. However, dogs are just as likely to become ill, if regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.

Dogs can suffer from respiratory problems simply from inhaling passive smoke. Allergies and skin disease can also occur as a result of exposure to environmental smoke.

Pets spend a lot more time around the home. Therefore, they are at greater risk than human household members, who may be away from the house for longer periods during the day.

‘Third-hand’ smoke.

As well as, second-hand smoke whereby a human, or pet, inhales smoke exhaled by the smoker, there is also the issue of, ‘third hand’ smoke. This refers to the particles that cling to clothing, carpets and furnishings. This is how dogs can be affected by passive smoke.

As a result, when a pet lies on the carpet or sits on a smoker’s lap, he is collecting particles in his fur. These particles are then ingested when the dog licks his fur.

Even armed with knowledge about the health risks of smoking, many people find it incredibly difficult to quit. As well as the cost to personal health and 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 accepts non-smoking carers or those who never smoke in the home.