Can a Cigarette Kill My Puppy?

by Naomi Millburn
    Keep their air clean and toxin-free.

    Keep their air clean and toxin-free.

    Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

    Puppies are delicate and curious creatures, so it's extremely important to be cautious regarding their surroundings -- whether it comes to plants in the garden or cigarettes in the kitchen trash. Cigarettes and puppies are in no way a safe combination -- not only is the smoke a danger, but also the consumption of inedible things isn't rare at all in young pups.

    Mouthing and Puppies

    Cigarettes are particularly risky to puppies because of mouthing behavior. This is also known as "play biting." Mouthing behaviors generally occur in puppies that are 5 months old or younger. When they're in this curious and exploratory stage, they playfully put their mouths on lots of different things, from peoples' arms to random objects all throughout homes -- think cigarette butts, for example.

    Pica and Puppies

    The eating of "inedibles" is common in puppies, according to the ASPCA. Not only do the little guys put their mouths on things and chew them, they frequently eat them, too. Puppies generally cease swallowing random objects when they get to around 6 months old. Although adult dogs might commonly swallow leftovers from last night's dinner, pretty much anything in your home is fair game to a puppy with pica.

    Effect of Cigarette Consumption

    Cigarette consumption can kill curious puppies. Nicotine is a major component in cigarettes, and it's an alkaloid that can lead to a lot of unpleasant and serious effects in canines. These effects include rapid heart rate, excessive throwing up, feebleness, heart failure, loss of coordination, blood pressure decline and depression. If you observe any of these symptoms in your puppy, get urgent veterinary treatment. Don't wait around for symptoms to pop up, either. If you think there's even a remote chance that your pet munched on cigarettes -- even if he's acting fine -- seek immediate help.

    Cancer Threat in Canines

    Consumption of cigarettes is undeniably dangerous, but puppies can also experience threats in the form of secondhand smoking, too. If your puppy is exposed to smoke, he might have a higher chance of developing both lymphoma and nasal sinus cancer. Since these ailments both can bring upon deadly results in pets, it's crucial never to allow your furry friends to breathe in cigarette smoke. Being around cigarette smoke can also cause allergies and respiratory difficulties in dogs.

    Deadly Amount

    Fatalities can occur if pets consume anywhere between one and five cigarettes, indicates the Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights organization. When it comes to cigars, even fewer are necessary -- think one to three. Take the hazards seriously and never allow your puppy near cigarettes, butts and other similar items such as nicotine patches.

    Photo Credits

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    About the Author

    Naomi Millburn has been a freelance writer since 2011. Her areas of writing expertise include arts and crafts, literature, linguistics, traveling, fashion and European and East Asian cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in American literature from Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo.

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