Smoking and Animals: Healthy Habits for Healthy Pets

For many, pets are considered to be family members. This is why special consideration should be given when making choices concerning smoking. Second-hand smoke is a danger to the heart and lungs of your pets, as well.

family pet

Many people today are beginning to realize the harmful effects of cigarettes. They are not only hazardous to the smoker, but also to those exposed to the second-hand smoke. However, many do not realize that second-hand smoke is also dangerous in regards to the nervous systems of their cats, dogs, and other household pets. This is because of the chemicals found in cigarette smoke, some that can also cause cancer. There are at least 4000 chemicals found in cigarette smoke, altogether causing numerous adverse health issues for both, people and animals.

Pets are our Family, Too

Many would agree that their pet is not just another animal. Our pets are like family. With household pets being regarded as such, it is hard to imagine doing something intentionally that would bring harm to them. You have to remember, dogs, cats, and other household pets should be regarded as infants in some ways. They do not understand that certain things will hurt them. This is true especially when it comes to consuming things like cigarette butts or empty cigarette packs. It is our job as pet owners to ensure their safety by creating a secure, and healthy environment.

Second-Hand Smoke and Your Pet

Second-hand smoke is just as dangerous as direct smoking. If you smoke indoors, everyone is subject to the same dangers and consequences you face yourself. This includes children and pets. They cannot fend for themselves, so it is imperative that you make the right choices. Second-hand smoke can lead to lung damage, increased blood pressure, and heart disease. It is hard to know the exact dangers your pets face, but one thing you know for sure – they have lungs and a heart, too.

Third-Hand Smoke and Your Pet

Third-hand smoke is also cause for concern. According to the Mayo Clinic, third-hand smoke is the clinging of cigarette smoke to furniture, hair, carpet, and other surfaces and materials. This is hazardous to pets because of the toxins this residue contains. Many pets like to clean themselves while rolling on the carpet and rubbing up against walls. They do this daily, and over a period of time. With the presence of third-hand smoke in the home, they are repeatedly being exposed to these harmful chemicals.

Ingestion of Butts and Litter

Pets are affected in more ways than just being exposed to second and third-hand smoke. They are also introduced to the harmful effects of ingesting cigarette butts, empty packs containing trace amounts of tobacco, or sometimes, whole cigarettes. According to the US National Library of Medicine who conducted a survey on the effects of cigarette butt consumption, symptoms may include, but are not limited to, tremors, lack of coordination, convulsions, excessive salivation, respiratory failure, weakness, and in extreme cases, death.

A Safe Haven for Your Pet

The best way to keep your pets safe from these effects, is to create a smoke-free environment. If you or someone you know is trying to find a reason to quit smoking, just remember the harmful effects your habit has on those you call your family – your pets. You will be protecting not only yourself from all of the dangers of tobacco, but you will also be protecting the ones who cannot protect themselves. Remember, these are the ones who depend on you to make the right choices to keep them safe.

There are many ways to immediately reduce the harm of cigarette smoke. Read more about smoking cessation methods here and here.