Most of us are aware of the dangers associated with cigarette smoking and the hazards that secondhand smoke creates for humans. But this smoke also presents a real health concern for the pets that live in our homes.

The cancer-causing ingredients in cigarettes has been found in high concentrations on furniture and in carpeting/flooring in homes of people who smoke. Recent studies show that dogs and cats, whose noses are closer to the ground, breathe in these toxins and are at a higher risk for developing nasal and lung cancer. Pet birds found in homes of smokers are also more likely to develop lung cancer.

But cancer is not the only concern for our beloved pets. Asthma, allergies and coughing are all seen in animals who live in a home where they’re exposed to secondhand smoke. The answer to reducing these risks, is of course to quit smoking. Veterinarians say yearly physicals for pets to detect for possible health changes is also highly recommended.