Is Secondhand Smoke Dangerous for Pets?

Key Takeaways

  • If you’re a smoker, smoking inside will create unhealthy secondhand smoke, which impacts people and pets equally.
  • When folks smoke cigarettes, they launch a spread of dangerous chemical substances into the air, together with carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and particulates.
  • Pets uncovered to secondhand smoke can develop many harmful situations, together with bronchial asthma and most cancers of the lungs, nasal passages, and lymphoid tissues (lymphoma).
  • Eliminating smoking is the easiest way to guard your canines and cats from secondhand smoke.

As pet dad and mom, we wish to present our furry pals with a protected and wholesome setting. Nevertheless, it’s straightforward to overlook that our unhealthy habits can considerably influence their well-being. Some of the frequent and dangerous habits is smoking round our pets. Smoking, particularly indoors, creates secondhand smoke, affecting everybody within the house, together with pets.

Secondhand smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes might be simply as harmful for our pets as it’s for us. Secondhand smoke from marijuana can be unhealthy and carries some further dangers. We’ll discover the results of secondhand smoke on pets, why it’s important to keep away from it, and the way it can have an effect on cats and canines in another way.

Secondhand smoke from tobacco

When folks smoke tobacco, they launch a spread of dangerous substances into the air, together with carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, and small particles that may journey deep into the physique. The chance of secondhand smoke to people is why states banned smoking in places of work, eating places, and different public areas beginning in 1995. Simply as we do, our pets inhale these toxins, main to varied well being issues and, in some circumstances, a shortened life span.

A pet residing in a home with a smoker is topic to respiratory points, most cancers, and a weakened immune system. A current examine by the Veterinary Journal discovered that Scottish terriers who lived in properties with people who smoke had been six instances extra more likely to develop most cancers than those that didn’t.

“Pets have very delicate respiratory techniques,” provides Dr. Zac Pilossoph, a consulting veterinarian and professional on pets and hashish. “Smoke can irritate your pet’s lungs, probably inflicting a cough or exacerbating current situations like bronchial asthma.”

Protect your pet

How canines and cats are affected in another way

Cats are notably delicate to secondhand smoke. These in smoky properties usually tend to develop most cancers of the lungs or lymphatic system (lymphoma) and respiratory issues akin to bronchial asthma.

Additionally, cats undergo well being penalties from “thirdhand smoke” — the residue that adheres to furnishings, rugs, and pet fur lengthy after the air within the room clears, in line with VCA animal hospitals. When cats groom, they’ll develop tumors of their mouths from licking off poisonous particles that accumulate on their fur from smoke-filled air. These tidy felines expose the mucous membranes of their mouths to carcinogens that trigger oral tumors.

Canines uncovered to secondhand smoke have extra eye infections, allergic reactions, respiratory points, and lung and nasal most cancers than these not uncovered, the VCA says.

Research present that long-nosed canines (collies and Labradors, for instance) are particularly prone to nasal most cancers as a result of the elevated floor space of their nasal passages traps inhaled particles. In reality, the incidence of nasal tumors is 250% increased in long-nosed canines residing in smoke-filled environments, the VCA hospitals report. Quick-nosed canines usually tend to develop lung most cancers as a result of inhaled particles have a neater time making it to their lungs.

Person smoking next to dog

Indicators your pet is affected by secondhand smoke

Whereas cancers and different well being issues develop over time, there could also be earlier indicators your pet is affected by secondhand smoke. When you can odor the smoke, your pet is uncovered and affected by it.

Some signs are:

  • Eye irritation
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath

Risks of marijuana

With extra states legalizing marijuana during the last decade, pets are being uncovered extra to hashish, each in secondhand smoke and unintentional ingestion. As one indicator, the Pet Poison Hotline has seen a 448% enhance in reported hashish circumstances over the previous six years, with the vast majority of these circumstances involving canines or cats ingesting meals merchandise which have some type of hashish spinoff added to them (i.e.,”edibles”). If a pet consumes any merchandise containing THC, the “high-inducing” ingredient in pot, name your vet instantly. Different non-intoxicating parts of the marijuana plant, akin to hemp and CBD, will not be harmful for pets. In reality, CBD is changing into well-liked with pet dad and mom to assist ease nervousness in pets.

The indicators to search for in cats and canines which were uncovered to marijuana smoke carefully resemble marijuana ingestion, in line with Sugar River Animal Hospital.

These indicators might point out your pet has ingested THC or absorbed it by means of heavy smoke:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drowsiness
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors
  • Vocalization
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Drooling

Secondhand marijuana smoke can also include increased ranges of a number of potential toxins and be extra dangerous to pets than cigarette smoke.

Nicotine poisoning in pets

Dog with cigarette butts

Along with the hazards of a smoky house, pets also can get nicotine poisoning in the event that they swallow tobacco. Signs can embrace:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Quick or gradual coronary heart price

When you suspect your pet has ingested tobacco merchandise, together with nicotine patches, smokeless tobacco, or e-cigarettes, contact your veterinarian instantly. Relying on the quantity and signs, therapy might embrace fluid remedy, anti-nausea treatment, sedation, blood stress monitoring, and extra supportive care, in line with the Pet Poison Helpline. Low-dose ingestions usually have a superb final result. Nevertheless, the prognosis for high-dose ingestions is poor except therapy is initiated early, the helpline states.

Avoiding pet publicity to secondhand smoke

Now that we all know how dangerous secondhand smoke is for pets, we wish to keep away from it. The very best resolution to eliminating secondhand smoke is to stop smoking, but when it had been that straightforward, most people who smoke would have stop by now. Issues concerning the damaging influence on a pet’s well being may present an additional incentive. A 2009 examine by the Nationwide Library of Medication, demonstrated that 28% of people who smoke stated they’d attempt to give up smoking after studying that secondhand smoke was detrimental to their pets’ well being.

There are numerous sources to assist folks stop smoking, together with nicotine alternative remedy, help teams, and counseling. Listed here are just some sources:

If quitting fully isn’t an possibility, simply chopping again can be more healthy for you and your pet. If you’re smoking, restrict consumption to exterior the house, away out of your pets. The smoke will dissipate exterior and enhance your indoor air high quality. All the time wash your arms and alter your garments earlier than dealing with your pets to keep away from any residual toxins in your pores and skin and clothes.


In conclusion, secondhand smoke is simply as harmful for our pets as it’s for us. It’s important to take the mandatory steps to guard our furry pals from the dangerous results of tobacco and marijuana smoke. When you’re a smoker, quitting is the most effective factor you are able to do in your well being and the well being of your pets. Shy of that, attempt to restrict smoking to exterior the house.


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