Contributed by Angie Lewis, Alaska Animal Advocates
One would think that it would just be common sense that an environment that allows for smoking cigarettes is dangerous for dogs, cats, and other pets. Unfortunately, common sense is not always in abundance. So, let’s be clear, that cigarette smoke is as dangerous to your pets, as it is to you or other people living in your smoky home. Maybe even more so.
Our pets typically spend more time in our homes than we do. So, for them, the amount of exposure to smoke is lengthier. Also, animals often are found lying on the rug or on furniture, where toxic residue is prevalent. Our dogs and cats can often not escape the smoke infested air as we humans do. Our pets are either at home or trapped in a car with a smoking person.
Exposure to cigarette smoke or ingesting tobacco can cause nervous system problems, tremors or seizures, drooling, constricted pupils, hallucinations, rapid heart rate, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Animals exposed to frequent smoky environments often have allergies, respiratory problems, or cancer. Interestingly, dogs with longer muzzles often experience nose or sinus cancers, while dogs with medium or short muzzles can be afflicted with lung cancer.
Cats, who are meticulous about cleaning themselves, may show symptoms of mouth and lymph node cancers.
So, for the health of your family, both human and animal, please stop smoking. At the very least, if you choose to continue smoking, then smoke outside.
If you think that your pet is experiencing tobacco poisoning, please call your veterinarian or call Animal poison Control at (888) 426-4435.