We’ve heard many times that smoking is damaging to our health. Many times we were told about the effects of secondhand smoke. What we haven’t heard too much about – and may not have even thought too much about – are the effects secondhand smoke has on our dogs and cats.
A recent study says that dogs and cats whose humans smoke are at greater risk of cell damage, weight gain and some animal cancers, Yahoo! News reports. Researchers at the University of Glasgow in Scotland discovered that “an examination of the testicles of castrated dogs found that a gene, which acts as a marker of cell damage, was higher in dogs living in smoking homes.” Research revealed that dogs whose humans smoked also experienced a greater weight gain after neutering, according to Yahoo! News. For those with cats, the risk is greater given that cats groom themselves, increasing the amount of smoke chemicals that enter the animal’s body.
“Pet owners often do not think about the impact that smoking could have on their pets,” Claire Knottenbelt, Professor of Small Animal Medicine and Oncology and researcher in the study, told Yahoo! News. “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.”
The researchers are expecting to publish the study in 2016.