Every May 31st, the World Health Organization encourages everyone to take part in No Tobacco Day. Seeing as how we’re primarily concerned with pets around here, we like to mention the effects that second hand smoke can have on our little friends.
For many years, there have been studies dedicated to the effects of second hand smoke on non-smoking people, but there have been a few focusing on its harmful effects on pets as well. Unsurprisingly, second hand smoke is also a health risk to animals. Given their diminished size in comparison to our own, they are probably at even more risk.
Cats are especially susceptible due to their fastidious grooming – in addition to breathing in the smoke, they also lick the carcinogens from the smoke off of their fur. That’s why cats from homes with one or more smokers have an abnormally high rate of mouth cancer. Dogs are more prone to cancers affecting the nasal passages.
This No Tobacco Day, let’s take a minute to think not only of second hand smoke’s harmful effects on us, but also on our pets.