Secondhand Smoke Harms Pets
By now, most of us know that exposure to secondhand—and thirdhand smoke (smoke residue on clothing, furniture, carpets, and other household items)—can cause a number of health problems. According to the FDA, secondhand smoke and smoking residue also pose a danger to pets.
Dogs and cats—like young children—spend a considerable amount of time on or near the floor, where smoke residue often accumulates. Not only do pets breathe in secondhand smoke in the home, they also ingest thirdhand smoke that has settled onto their fur when grooming themselves. Studies show that other pets—including guinea pigs, birds, and even fish—are affected by secondhand smoke.
According to the FDA, cats living in a home with smoking have an increased risk for lymphoma—a type of immune system cancer. In dogs, the cancer risk from secondhand smoke is related in part to nose length—those with longer noses are more likely to develop cancer of the nasal cavity and sinuses and those with shorter snouts are at increased risk for lung cancer.
Image Credit: Thinkstock