Daniel E. Grayson, DVM
doc@theHomeVet.com
1-855-KIND-VET

SecondHand Smoke Exposure

LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Starting Tuesday, March 1, go to your local Petco for a FREE collar charm, while supplies last.

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Fact: Dogs and cats are twice as likely to get cancer if their pet parent smokes.

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While not smoking is in the best interest of both humans and pets, if youíre a smoker with pets, Petco recommends the following five ways you can protect your pet from the harmful effects of second and thirdhand smoke: 

  1. Wash or change your petís bedding regularly. If you smoke in the home or around your petís things, wash or change those things frequently. This includes your petís beds, leashes, collars, dishes, clothing, toysóeven your own furnishings, carpets, floors and clothingóanything that can collect tobacco residue left behind after smoking and become harmful to your pet. 

  2. Take your pet to a veterinarian for regular wellness checks. Just like regular check-ups with a doctor are important for us, regular visits to your veterinarian are the best way to stay on top of your petís overall health and wellness. A full veterinary evaluation at least twice a yearóor more often if specific health concerns ariseócan also identify signs or symptoms of health issues, including pet cancer, sooner rather than later. 

  3. Groom or bathe your pet regularly. Just like your own clothing and hair, your petís fur is another place where tobacco residue can build up over time and be inhaled or ingested by your petparticularly those who groom themselves by licking. Regularly grooming or bathing can help reduce the presence of harmful toxins. Petco recommends bathing or grooming every 6-8 weeks, but if you smoke, your pet may benefit from greater frequency. Between grooms and baths, or immediately after smoking near your pet, you can use a wet cloth or pet wipe to quickly clean the surface of your petís fur. 

  4. Dispose of cigarette butts properlyódonít let your pets eat them. This should be a no-brainer, but cigarette butts, ashes or any other leftover tobacco products can be harmful to your pet if chewed, licked or swallowed. If you or anyone else smokes around your pet, be sure to properly dispose of the remnants so theyíre not accessible. Never leave ashtrays within your petís reach and be on the lookout for stray cigarette butts improperly disposed of by others, especially when walking outside with dogs. 

  5. Donít smoke around your pet or better yet, quit smoking! To more significantly reduce your petís exposure to harmful carcinogens found in secondhand and thirdhand smoke, donít smoke near your pet, around their things, or in their home environments at all. If you must, smoke outside and wash your hands and faceóeven change your clothes if you canóbefore handling or touching your pet after smoking. This wonít eliminate your petís exposure altogether, but it can reduce the amount of smoke or tobacco residue they take into their bodies. Cut back if you can. Quitting is ideal.
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