Why Quit Smoking for Your Dog?
By Arlo the Hound with help from Honor Tarpenning
The US media thoroughly covers the dangers of cigarettes to human health, not to mention the warning information on the packaging and in antismoking commercials. However, many people don’t realize that smoking is dangerous to their pets as well. There are many hazards to the pets of smokers. According to one study, 30% of smokers will consider quitting if their pet is at risk.
50,000 human deaths in the U.S. are attributed to second hand smoke every year (and that doesn’t include the high numbers of those who die from direct smoking)--don’t leave your dog without a family, give up the smokes.
According to the American Journal of Epidemiology, dogs are 60% more likely to develop lung cancer when regularly coming in contact with secondhand smoke. According to the same study, some breeds are twice as likely to develop nasal cancer under the same conditions. Nasal cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer of the respiratory system in dogs. There are 4,000 chemicals in secondhand smoke, according to the American Lung Association, 43 are known to cause cancer. Learn more about Preventing Cancer in Dogs
Some dogs are allergic to cigarette smoke. This allergy is characterized by scratching, biting, and chewing of the skin. This reaction to the irritation can result in a secondary infection. Many owners do not realize their dog is allergic to their cigarette smoke, and instead think the symptoms are a result of seasonal allergies or fleas. If you smoke in the home and your dog is scratching, biting and chewing at his skin, try not smoking indoors for a few weeks and see if there is a change in his condition.
Excited tails can knock cigarettes and cigars out of ash trays and onto combustible objects. Entire homes have been burned to the ground as a result of this very happening. Happy dogs jumping on those smoking can also be burned by the cherry of the cigarette or cigar.
Those who smoke in the home always have cigarettes around, and tend to have an ash tray or two around as well. Dogs are curious and love to experience the world around them with their mouths. Pets of the users of tobacco products are significantly more likely to ingest cigarettes or other tobacco products. Ingesting cigarettes can cause nicotine poisoning. Symptoms of nicotine poisoning include rapid breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, tremors, loss of coordination, lethargy, excessive salivation, dilated pupils, seizures, collapse, slow heart rate, high heart rate, cardiac arrhythmias, coma, and cardiac arrest
5 milligrams of nicotine per pound of body weight is the toxic level. One cigarette contains up to 25 milligrams of nicotine, nicotine gum contains up to 4 milligrams per piece, nicotine patches contain up to 114 milligrams, a cigar contains up to 40 milligrams, snuff contains up to 17 milligrams per gram, and chewing tobacco contains up to 8 milligrams of nicotine per gram. Bottom line—one cigarette has enough nicotine to be toxic to a 5lb dog!
Take your smoke breaks outside, or designate one room in the home for smoking, a room the dog isn’t allowed in.
Keep ashtrays clean. This will help keep your pooch from ingesting butts.
Dispose of nicotine gum and patches in trash canisters with tight-fitting lids so your dog can’t get to them.