This bad habit that can cost your dog’s life

This bad habit that can cost your dog's life

An American study shows that dogs exposed to cigarette smoke have a risk of cancer that can be multiplied by 6! So for your health but also for that of your four-legged companion, it is time to stop.

We knew passive smoking was harmful to non-smokers, and to children in particular. We are now discovering that it is also dangerous for our pets. This is the conclusion of an American study which observed the consequences of exposure to cigarette smoke in Scottish Terriers, a breed of dog particularly susceptible to bladder cancer whose aggressive form is similar to bladder cancer. muscular invasive bladder in humans.

6 times more risk of cancer in dogs exposed to smoke

The team followed a cohort of 120 Scottish terriers over a three-year period, assessing their health, environment, diet, activities, locations and anything else they could think of that might affect their cancer risk.

Researchers analyzed the dogs’ urine for a nicotine metabolite, cotinine, and its presence indicated that the dog had been exposed to significant amounts of tobacco smoke. With a glaring result:

Dogs exposed to cigarette smoke at home have six times more risk more likely to develop bladder cancer than others.

“When a dog (or human) is exposed to tobacco smoke, either by breathing it or licking clothing saturated with the smell, their body absorbs the chemicals in the smoke and eliminates them through urine. . This leads to urinary tract cancer, but also provides a way to assess smoke exposure” explains the author.

However, some dogs also had cotinine in their urine when their owners did not smoke. In this case, the dog could have been exposed far from the house, in a public place for example.

Protect your dog from surrounding smoke… And yourself?

Researchers hope to open the eyes of dog owners to a risk that they do not always assess. Most love their dogs, sometimes like a member of the family, and certainly have not knowingly put them at risk of cancer by smoking near them.

The idea is also to simply reduce smoking: by stopping smoking around your dog, or simply stopping this habit.

“We hope pet owners take away from this study that if they can reduce their dogs’ exposure to smoke, it can benefit their dogs’ health. We hope they stop smoking completely, both for their health and to continue being there for their dogs, but any measures to keep smoke away from dogs will be helpful,” explains Deborah Knapp, veterinarian in charge of the study.

These results of this study could feed into another study which showed that on social networks, the anti-smoking campaigns which have the highest engagement rate are those presenting the risks of passive smoking on pets.

So if you don’t do it for yourself, do it for the good health of your dog!