In humans, second-hand smoke has been associated with respiratory problems ranging from coughing and sneezing to asthma and shortness of breath. Respiratory infections like bronchitis and pneumonia are also more prevalent in people breathing tobacco related toxins. The danger extends to an increased risk of lung cancer, stroke, and heart disease.
Our pets breathe what we breathe. So, second-hand smoke is not only bad for humans but also bad for our pets. Living in a house with a smoker puts dogs, cats, and especially birds at greater risk of many health problems. Your pets share some common physiology with you, so many things that are toxic to you are also toxic to them. Even very small amounts of inhaled smoke can have damaging effects on your pets.
Not only is your pet breathing smoke-filled air, but he is lying directly on the carpet and furniture, on your lap and picking up anything clinging to it.
Dogs exposed to second-hand smoke have more eye infections, allergies, and respiratory issues including lung cancer. Interestingly, the length of a dog’s nose is associated with the type of cancer incurred from inhaling second-hand smoke.
Cats that live in a smoky environment are at greater risk of developing lung cancer, which makes sense because cats have short noses. Cats exposed to smoke are about 2 times more likely to develop lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes that carries a poor prognosis for survival. That rate increases with the length of time a cat lives in a smoky household.
As if second-hand smoke isn’t bad enough, cats suffer health consequences from “third hand smoke”, which is the residue that clings to furniture, rugs, and pet fur long after the air in the room is cleared. Cats develop tumours in their mouths from licking off toxic particles that accumulate on their fur from smoke-filled air.
Birds are other pets that are affected by second-hand smoke. Birds have respiratory systems that are extremely sensitive to airborne pollutants making them very likely to develop respiratory problems (pneumonia) as well as lung cancer when exposed to second-hand smoke. These feathered pets also have a higher risk of skin, heart, eye, and fertility problems when housed in smoky environments.
In most households, your cats and dogs can’t get away from polluted air, unless they are fortunate enough to have a “doggie door” that leads outdoors. Most animals are trapped, victims of their pet parents’ habits and opening a window is not enough simply because their noses are a lot stronger than ours.
However, all is not lost. Here are some ways that will prevent your pet from inhaling second hand smoke.
Take it outside
Simply take your cigarettes outside. Your pets will not have to inhale the air filled with smoke then. Also don't squash that cigarette butt with your shoes as it will come back inside your home anyway.
Air purifier, as the name suggests helps purifying the air of your surroundings and also remove the invisible particles that your body carries with you. On another positive note, it will help you get rid of some of the invisible pet hair floating around you.
Wash your hands
Make sure you wash your hands after a smoke before touching your pets. Again, this removes the particles that are stuck on your hands even if you cant see them.
Keep your Ashtrays Clean
Your pets can easily play around the ashtray, or the fan can simply fill the air with residue dust, which is why keeping your ashtray clean is important. Dispose off cigars, cigarettes so they can’t be accessed by pets.
Having a pet inside your home means you need to be careful just like you would be around a small baby. You don't need to give up, though that would be great, but just be mindful of how much harm your habits can cause to your voiceless pets.