We are all relatively aware of the dangers of smoking cigarettes and marijuana around humans and our pets. But, did you know that second and third hand smoke pose a risk to our animals health as well? Second-hand smoke is the the chemical odor that lingers in the air after smoking. Third-hand smoke are the toxic chemical compounds that are left behind on skin, clothing, furniture, floors, etc. I don’t know about your dogs, but my Shih Tzus love to give kisses. Third-hand smoking compounds left on the face and skin may be inadvertently harming your dog when he or she licks your skin after smoking.
To make matters worse, studies show that brachycephalic breeds like Shih Tzus are at an even greater risk because of their short nose. This increased risk in short nosed dogs puts Shih Tzus at an elevated risk for contracting nose cancer, lung cancer and respiratory illnesses. In my opinion any type of smoke exposure is not worth the risk.
Furthermore, nicotine and marijuana are dangerous if your dog accidentally ingests either of the two substances. If your Shih Tzu ingests marijuana it is important that you take him or her to the veterinarian immediately. Your Shih Tzu may need IV fluids and other medications to help detoxify from the poisoning.
Pet intoxication with marijuana or nicotine can cause symptoms such as:
- Loss of balance
- Low heart rate
- Frequent urination
The moral of the story here is to keep your dog away from cannabis and nicotine in the first place. Try to smoke outdoors if you’re a smoker. When you come inside from smoking wash your hands and possibly change out your clothes to protect your pet. Make sure to keep all cannabis and nicotine products out of reach in order to prevent accidental ingestion. In the end, it is our job as responsible pet owners to protect or dogs from harm even if it may be inconvenient to us humans. Our pets trust us to take care of them in the best way possible.