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Pets May Also Suffer From Secondary, Passive Smoking

Update Date: Jan 12, 2016 10:57 AM EST
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It is commonly known that passive smoking poses health hazards to non-smoking people. But a startling Ireland-based report published by the University of Glasgow has proven that household pets are precariously affected too by constant exposure to secondhand smoke- as a matter of fact pets suffer more than humans.

Scientific experts seemed to have found a causal link between household animals' smoking environment and pet illnesses such as cancer, cell damage, and weight gain.

"Our findings show that exposure to smoke in the home is having a direct impact on pets. It risks ongoing cell damage, increasing weight gain after castration and has previously been shown to increase the risk of certain cancers," said Prof. Clare Knottenbelt of the University of Glasgow Small Animal Hospital as quoted by The Telegraph.

The study also revealed that cats suffer much from secondhand smoke because of their instinctive self-grooming behavior- they are likely to absorb more nicotine from their fur.

Also, neutered dogs have higher chances of gaining weight in a smoking environment than in non-smoking households. Their low height also means that they exposed to a more toxic 'third hand smoke'.

Some more pet-conscious owners try to spare their cats or dogs from health risks caused by secondhand smoke by smoking outdoor. But scientists warned that while it may reduce the amount of smoke, it does not remove carcinogenic particles completely.

"Owners who consistently smoked away from the cat did not protect their cat from exposure but did reduce the amount of smoke that was taken into the body," told Victoria Smith MRCVS who studies the link between passive smoking and lymphoma in felines as mentioned by The Science Times.

Now that science establishes the causal relationship between secondhand smoke and diseases, experts advise owners to rethink about the negative impact of their smoking habits on their beloved pets.

"Whilst you can reduce the amount of smoke your pet is exposed to by smoking outdoors and by reducing the number of tobacco products smoked by the members of the household, stopping smoking completely is the best option for your pet's future health and wellbeing," commented Prof. Knottenbelt as quoted in a news report by The British Journal.

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