Pets provide a lot of happiness for their owners and are often considered a part of the family. People go to great lengths in order to keep these beloved companions safe and healthy. In fact, American Pet Products Association forecasts that pet owners in the United States will spend $55.53 billion on their pets in 2013. Today, pet owners can purchase a wide variety of medications and health supplements for their furry friends. Unfortunately, there is one major risk that is often overlooked. Cats and dogs that are exposed to cigarette smoke are at an increased risk for developing cancer.
We all know the danger of second-hand smoke for humans, but few pause and consider the ramifications for their pets. If you are a smoker and your pets are routinely exposed to smoke, they are twice as likely to get cancer. Dogs that live with smokers have a higher risk of developing nose or lung cancer.
Cats that live with smokers are twice as likely to develop Feline Lymphoma. This is a very deadly form of cancer that attacks the blood and the immune system. Until recent studies were released, veterinarians believed Feline Lymphoma was caused by a leukemia virus, but new research suggests that second-hand smoke could be to blame. Even small pets like birds will have health consequences because they are much more sensitive than humans to the toxins in smoke.
Val Mills serves as the team leader of Bucks Smokefree Support Service. She recently spoke out about the danger of smoking around pets, saying: “As a pet owner I know how important pets can be to people. Some people may not realize that smoking around their pets will affect the health of their animals.”
A 2007 study at Tuft College of Veterinary Medicine studied the impact of smoke of cats. Researchers found that cats living in an environment with cigarette smoke had a higher incidence of squamous cell carcinoma and oral cancer. Cats are much more susceptible to the toxins in smoke because of their grooming routines. When cats lick themselves during regular grooming, they are ingesting the carcinogens from cigarette smoke that have built up in their fur. Sadly, cats that develop Feline Lymphoma have a poor chance of survival. Three out of four cats die within a year of this diagnosis.
If you want your pets to stay happy and healthy for as long as possible, it is crucial to avoid smoking near them. About thirty percent of household pets share a home with smokers and these animals are at a serious risk. Do your furry friends a favor and keep them free from exposure to cigarette smoke. Never smoke around your animal and you can help lower the risk of lethal cancer taking your pet’s life.
Are you or have you ever been worried that your smoking was harming your fury friend? Do you think this will convince any friends & family you have to finally try electronic cigarettes?