Category Archives: toxins

Does Second-Hand Smoke Affect Pets?


By Ruthie Bently

Second-hand smoke (also known as ETS or environmental tobacco smoke) comes from anything that is smoked: cigarettes, cigars and pipes. Second-hand smoke is a carcinogen that can cause cancer in both dogs and cats. Dogs that live with smokers in a building that is not well ventilated have a higher risk of not only lung cancer but nasal cancer as well. Dogs with short noses like Pugs, French and English Bulldogs and Boxers are susceptible to lung cancer, while dogs with long noses like Afghans, Collies and Labrador Retrievers are susceptible to nasal cancer. The difference is where the carcinogens accumulate in a dog’s body.

Second-hand smoke can also be associated with cardiovascular and respiratory disease, chronic lung infections, asthma, and eye problems. ETS has been extensively researched where humans are concerned, but not as many studies have been done for our companion animals. Studies have shown that tobacco smoke contains up to twenty different carcinogens which can be inhaled by non-smoking bystanders. ETS consists of the smoke released by a burning cigar, cigarette or pipe as well as the smoke exhaled by the smoker themselves. There are over 4,000 chemicals contained in second-hand smoke including arsenic, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, nickel, benzene, chromium and vinyl chloride.

If you are not ready to quit smoking, or are having a hard time accomplishing it, there are several things you can do to help minimize the dangers to your pet. Using air purifiers around the house and air filters on your furnace will help but not alleviate the problem as it takes so long for ETS to clear. Consider smoking outside the house, or make a smoke-free room or two in your house where your pet can go to get away from the smoke.

If it is too cold for you to smoke outside, choose a room to smoke in that can be shut off from the rest of the house. Crack a window in your “smoking room” while you are smoking to help vent the ETS from the house faster. Another important way to help your pet is to brush and groom them regularly; this can remove the smoke residue that collects on their coat. They clean themselves with their tongues and can ingest the toxins as they are grooming their coats. Your veterinarian may suggest an anti-oxidant to minimize the cancer causing effects. If you are concerned and want to learn more about the dangers of second-hand smoke to pets, give your veterinarian a call.

Read more articles by Ruthie Bently

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.

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Plants for Pets To Avoid

Spring is in the air and with this beautiful season follows the arrival of new flowers and plants. But beware – there are certain plants that just don’t belong in a home with pets. These are the plants that can cause everything from allergies to poisonings.
I can tell you from experience that it doesn’t matter how old or how smart your dog or cat is, they can still find a way to get themselves into trouble. If that happens to include chewing on household plants, you’ll want to ensure that you are taking the necessary precautions to help your pet avoid temptation.
You will also want to make note of a few phone numbers, or better yet –consider printing this list out and hanging it on your refrigerator. The way we react in the first few minutes can make a lifetime of difference for our pets and children.  Your first call should be to your veterinarian, so be sure to have his or her number written down in plain view. If, for some reason, you can’t reach your vet, these are some other numbers you can call.
ASPCA Poison Control Hotline
1-888-426-4435
Note: There is a $60 charge for this service.
The National Animal Poison Control Center (NAPPC)
1-800-548-2423
1-900-680-0000
Note: If you call the 1-900 number, the charge is $20.00 for the first five minutes, then $2.95/minute thereafter. If you use the 800 number, the charge is $30.00 per case (VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express only).
Whomever you call, be sure that you’re ready with the following information:
  • The species, breed, age, sex, weight and number of animals involved.
  • The animal’s symptoms.
  • Information regarding the exposure, including the agent (if known), the amount of the agent involved and the time elapsed since the time of exposure.
  • Have the product container/packaging available for reference.
If your animal is having seizures, losing consciousness, is unconscious or is having difficulty breathing, telephone ahead and bring your pet immediately to your local veterinarian or emergency veterinary clinic. If necessary, he or she may call the APCC.
Over 700 plants have been identified to be toxic to our pets. Unfortunately, some of the most toxic plants are also the more beautiful plants. So before you start adding them to your yard or home décor, take a look at this list from the Humane Society or visit the American Animal Hospital Association website.
Additional Resources: 

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The personal opinions and/or use of trade, corporate or brand names, is for information and convenience only. Such use does not constitute an endorsement by CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods of any product or service. Opinions are those of the individual authors and not necessarily of CANIDAE® All Natural Pet Foods.