Quit Smoking For Your Pet's Health

By Beth Sweeney - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Sarah Harlan - email

EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - Kicking the smoking habit can be hard, and if you can't do it for yourself, maybe you'll do it for your pet.

Beth Labauve has always had dogs, but when her 8-year-old dog Otto died from cancer, she wondered if her smoking habit could have caused it.

"I smoked a pack a day for about six or seven years," Labauve said. "I knew it wasn't good for the pets, so I didn't smoke in the house, but I did smoke in my car. I tell myself it wasn't a cause of it, but from what I've read, it can lead to cancer in dogs."

She's right.

Veterinarian Dr. Mark Messal at the West Side Pet Hospital in Evansville said smoking can affect your pets much in the same way it affects you.

"Pets can get the same things humans can," Messal said. "Most people think of cancer from second-hand smoke, but they can also be prone to asthma and emphysema, pneumonia, chronic cough. They can even develop what's called abulla, which is a rupture in their lung from the chronic cough, and then develop what's called pneumothorax."

According to the medical journal Tobacco Control, nearly one in three smokers said the health of a pet would motivate them to try to kick the habit.

So, how can you quit for Fido?

Experts said start by seeing your doctor, and decide which quit method is right for you.

Pills, patches and gum can all help, but they work differently for each person, and finally, don't do it alone.

Study after study shows support is the best way to kick the habit.  If you would like to take a look at the entire report click HERE.

©2009 WFIE. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.