Updated on 11 June 2013
PET ALERT: Passive smoking can make your four-legged friends doubly prone to cancer of the lungs and nose
Singapore: While health alerts issued about the dangers of passive smoking elaborate the harm that being exposed to tobacco smoke can cause in humans, seldom do they mention the dangers it could cause to our four-legged friends.
A new alert issued by the Buckinghamshire SmokeFree Support Service stresses on how passive smoking can give pets cancer. Ms Val Mills, team leader of the support group, said that pets whose owners smoke are twice as likely to get cancer. Further, she added that dogs that are exposed to tobacco smoke are more likely to get nose and lung cancers.
Earlier, Tufts University near Boston, US, too found in their research that cats that live with smokers are twice as likely to develop feline lymphoma, a serious cancer of the blood and immune system.
Contrary to what was discovered in earlier feline leukaemia virus studies, this study revealed that second-hand tobacco smoke has serious consequences for cats. It is believed that when cats groom themselves they ingest contaminated dust, soot, ash and nicotine which was caught in their fur.
Obesity is another main problem that has put the lives of many pets in danger. A study conducted by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention and Mars Incoporated's Banfield Pet Hospital revealed that half of cats and dogs in the US are overweight or obese. The study pointed out that this is because pets are overfed and not given enough exercise. This makes them more likely to develop cancer, diabetes, arthritis and kidney failure.