The PDSA has launched a campaign urging smokers to stop lighting up around their pets – because the toxic fumes could kill or harm them.
Second-hand smoke has been long been linked to potentially fatal diseases in humans, including lung cancer and heart disease. However, PDSA vets say the impact of passive smoking on pets is just as serious – and just as avoidable.
PDSA vet Olivia Anderson-Nathan said: “Many pet owners are unaware of the risks that smoking can have on their pets’ health. If they knew, I’m sure they would want to protect them.
“Our vets and nurses regularly see the devastating impact smoking can have on pets. Problems range from issues like asthma and chronic coughing through to fatal conditions. Cancers such as lymphoma, for example, are twice as likely in cats exposed to cigarette smoke.
She added: “Recent studies highlight that this is a really serious issue, and we want pet owners to know that they can make a real difference by simply choosing to smoke outdoors away from their pets.
“Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’ve launched a campaign to raise awareness of the issue. We want pet owners to realise that, if they smoke, their pets smoke too.”