Dirty white colored pug unhappily facing the camera

How Cigarette Smoking Affects Your Pet’s Health

It is now common knowledge that smoking cigarettes can severely damage your health, causing a number of psychological and physiological issues that could impair your well-being. For this reason, it probably comes as no surprise to imagine that anyone else who is exposed to the chemicals produced from smoking cigarettes will also be affected. Our pets are often the unwitting victims of our smoking, which can have dire effects on their health with exposure over time.

Exposure to Chemicals from Surfaces

Unlike humans, our pets groom themselves by licking their fur, which means that whatever chemicals are on their fur can be ingested very easily. Because cigarette smoke and its residue lingers upon all surfaces where the smoking is taking place, this means that carpets, furniture, curtains and other fabrics of the house will absorb the chemicals.

Your pet spends a lot of time brushing past, lying and sitting on these surfaces, which allows the residue to be picked up on their fur. When they groom themselves, by licking their fur, they are likely to ingest whatever chemicals they have picked up. Over time, this can lead to a very sick animal as its body is strained from the effort of cleansing the chemicals out.

Ingesting Cigarettes and Nicotine Products

One thing about pets is that they are very inquisitive and will literally put their noses into anything to discover what it is, and how it works. Unfortunately, ingesting cigarette butts, nicotine replacement gum, patches or drinking water that has become contaminated with nicotine can be a fatal mistake for your pet.

Diseases and Allergies

In addition to all the risks of ingesting the nicotine chemicals, inhaling the second-hand smoke from your cigarette can cause pets to develop allergies and other respiratory diseases that can cause them pain and misery. Second-hand smoke has been shown to cause lymphoma in cats, as well as nasal tumours and sinus problems for dogs that are living with a smoker. Dogs that have shorter noses (and living with a smoker) have been found to have a higher risk of lung cancer also, due to the second-hand smoke being able to reach the lungs a lot easier.

Reducing the Risks

At Durack Pet Motel, we encourage all of our pet owners to minimise harm for their pets in any way possible. One way to reduce the risks of your pet being affected by your smoking is by making the inside of the house a non-smoking zone. Smoking outside allows for the smoke to be dissipated into the air, where it cannot linger on carpets and other surfaces, thus becoming a hazard for your pet.