Passive Smoking & Dogs

As New Year's resolutions go, giving up smoking is an annual favourite. As people across the country consider stubbing out once and for all, leading veterinary charity, PDSA, is encouraging owners to consider their pet’s health when lighting up.

Research* shows cats exposed to second-hand smoke are twice as likely to develop feline lymphoma, a potentially fatal form of cancer, in smoking households. It can also make them sneeze, cough and wheeze.

Dogs are also very susceptible to smoking-related respiratory problems and their exposure to tobacco smoke has been linked to nasal and sinus cancers**.

Cigarette smoke can also be extremely harmful to pet birds, which have very sensitive respiratory systems.

“The effects of passive smoking on humans are well known, but many people don’t realise their pets are also affected by breathing in second-hand smoke,” says PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sean Wensley.

“Studies have shown that animals dislike toxic fumes in their living environment, it causes their day-to-day life to become extremely unpleasant. As with people, the effects of cigarette smoke eventually take their toll on our pets, who then have to suffer the pain and distress of life-threatening cancer or chronic breathing difficulties.”

So next time your cat cuddles up to you on the sofa or your dog brings his ball for you to throw, please think about their health and don’t light up!

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Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine

Jasmine Kleine is the the online editor at She is an experienced dog owner and professional writer who lives with her two beloved dogs, Mabel and Charlie.

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