Smoking can harm pets too

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Smokers are being urged to kick the habit — for the sake of the health of their pets.

Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found a direct link between the effects on pets living in a smoking environment and a higher risk of health problems including some animal cancers, cell damage and weight gain.

Clare Knottenbelt, professor of small animal medicine and oncology at the university, is looking into how smoking affects the health of family dogs and cats.

She has discovered that cats are worse affected by smoking than dogs, while canines often gain more weight when living with a smoker.

Professor Knottenbelt said: “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.

“We have already shown that dogs can take in significant amounts of smoke when living in a smoking household.

“Our current study in cats shows that cats are even more affected. This may be due to the extensive self-grooming that cats do.”