I love my dog, Malcolm. Love love love. Ask anyone and they will tell you. He, along with my two cats, Lamar and Johnny, are the closest my husband and I ever plan on getting to having children and we will do anything to keep them happy and healthy. Most pet owners I know feel the same way about their “fur babies” as I call them. That is why when Vanessa sent me this article, I wasn’t surprised at all by what I read.
Turns out that smoking around your pets may actually prove hazardous to their health. Makes sense, right? After all they have lungs and breathe oxygen just like we do. But not every person thinks about this. I’ve been bugging my own mom for years to quit smoking, referring her to quit smoking resources here and there. And after she got her dog, Jake, I was even more adamant. I figure if she is reluctant to give it up for her own health, surely she will consider the health of her fuzzy friend. Unfortunately we know how addictive smoking is and it is not always easy to quit nor do I think she realizes the impact her smoking can have on her dog.
But unfortunately dogs and cats don’t have built in air filters in their nose and mouth and the studies have show increased risk of lymphoma and oral cancer in cats and of lung, nasal and sinus cancer in dogs. And currently, studies are being done to asses the levels of nicotine found in the fur of dogs.
I mean think about that: Cats and dogs have fur. Fur traps in nicotine. Cats and dogs groom themselves by licking their fur. Cats and dogs are exposed to oral cancer. I don’t mean to be rude but DUH.
In addition to enlightening pet owners, researchers hope that this research will be a tool to help demonstrate the levels of secondhand smoke exposure in homes. I hope it does that. And I hope that it finally starts to drive home the fact that if you smoke, you should not do so around anything you love and value – whether they have two legs or four.