Non-smokers can attest, breathing in a big puff of tobacco smoke can make you feel queasy. It’s no secret that secondhand smoke is bad for you, but did you know that it’s also bad for your pets?

The short answer is yes, pets that inhale smoke are at risk for more health problems and cell damage. Secondhand smoke is the same for pets as it is for humans, even walking into another room within your home can cause issues for your pets.

According to Professor Clare Knottenbelt of the University of Glasgow, “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.”

Victoria Smith, a veterinarian who is actively investigating the link between smoking and lymphoma in pets, says, “Our work so far has shown that cats take in significant amounts of smoke, and even having outdoor access makes very little difference.”

The same study from the University of Glasgow found that a gene that acts as a marker of cell damage was higher in dogs living in homes where people smoke than those in homes with no smokers.

The team at El Gato Veterinary Hospital is here to remind you that secondhand smoke can cause serious issues for your pets and can lead to certain kinds of cancers. If you do smoke, please do it far away from your pet and wash your hands before making contact with them after returning. If you have any questions, we’re here to help!