February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and while most of us are aware of the dangers of secondhand smoke to nonsmokers, recent studies have shown that secondhand smoke also poses a significant health threat to pets.
Dogs are susceptible to lung and nasal cancer, while cats have been associated with oral cancer and lymphoma. Even birds are not immune to the dangers of secondhand smoke, as it has been known to cause pneumonia and lung cancer.
Nicotine poisoning, which is often times fatal, is another serious risk. Domestic pets, especially dogs, can fall ill when they eat cigarette butts, chewing tobacco, and nicotine gum and patches.
While it would be most beneficial for a pet owner to give up smoking altogether, even stepping outside to smoke would be an improvement in the quality of life of their pet.
The bond between a pet owner and their pet often runs very deep; it would be a shame for it to be cut short because of secondhand smoke.