The Georgia Shih Tzu

Second-hand Smoke

shih tzu outline
Dogs and Smoking
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2016
As with every other page on this site, my goal is and always will be education. I respect your decisions and hope you do not make them lightly. I never make a permanent decision without spending a large amount of time in research. As many have noticed, this site evolves with time as I learn more and as new information is found. I am not above correction. I am human and I have been wrong before and I do not mind being told so, especially when it is done in kindness and not anger or spite. I, obviously, have a good reason for adding such a page. Recently the amount of phone calls and emails on this subject has escalated. I hate that I have to judge, but if I allow every person who contacts me to take a dog from my home I am considered a puppy mill; only breeding for monetary gain. If I set up strict standards for the owners of my puppies and stand by them I anger those who disagree. I believe in what I do and I love what I do. There is nothing so sweet as to hear someone tell me they were blessed with 15+ years with their pet before the end. That is my goal and a home filled with passive smoke has the ability to shatter that goal.

Information on the Web

Below I have provided a few sites on the harm of passive smoke. Most are pet related, one or too are human related. Trust me, there are many more.
Cancer Foundation
US Department of Health
Huffington Post
Science Daily
Tobacco Free Utah
Live Science
To prove I really do want to educate I also have found a site pertaining to the other side of this debate. I honestly, spent many hours hunting down more, but this was the only one to be found. To be fair it is quite large. If you disagree with me and know a site that represents a good argument, please take the time to send it to me rather than hate mail.


Affects of Passive Smoke

Second hand smoke does not guarantee a shorter lifespan for your pet nor future health problems. Nothing is guaranteed when it comes to health. Nature still has the power to change any rule. It is possible for a dog to live a full or extended life span after living mildly to constantly around passive smoke. However, the risk you place on your dog is high. The risk is so high that the current lifespan of the Shih Tzu is 10 years when it once was 16 years. As I said before, I am prone to human tendencies as is everyone else on the planet. That is why we are human. What makes us the masters of our world is our ability to learn from our mistakes. Smoking is an addiction and those who are not willing to put their pets before their wants are not returning the love, companionship, unwavering devotion, complete trust and serenity God's most wonderful creatures so freely give to us. There are not enough words to describe the blessings they bestow upon our lives and such charity deserves a healthy environment, respect and protection. Dogs living in smoke filled environments are capable of developing many problems. Studies show a rise in severe lung irritation, bronchitis, many types of cancer, and all types of allergies. The amount of smoke a dog is subject to on a daily basis will affect how fast they may develop problems, but it does not lower their risk. The most common types of cancer are lung and nasal tumors. Dogs with longer snouts suffer from nasal tumors because their long sinus cavities will filter out most of the poison before it can reach the lungs. It is the opposite in pug faced dogs because their nasal cavities are not as capable of cleaning out the air. You may not notice suffering in large snout dogs until it is too late, since their sinuses take the brunt of the poison. In pug faced dogs you may notice problems very quickly. Though breeds like the Shih Tzu are naturally prone to make all sorts of nasal noises, a clean environment would keep these noises down to a minimum. Kept in a smoking environment they will snore, snort, sneeze, and wheeze much more often if not on an almost constant basis. Though more common in cats, dogs are also capable of getting stomach cancer from licking the chemicals settled on the carpet and furniture tracked onto their paws and bottoms. Since most dogs do not lick their paws it is not as common an occurrence. Many smokers do not realize that allergies are an effect of their habit. It could form as skin rashes, hot spots, hair loss spots, food intolerance, lung irritation and even brittle hair. Most of these allergies are not only from inhaling the smoke, but also from ingestion like licking their paws or bottoms, eating food contaminated with smoke or playing with toys exposed to smoke. Just having the smoke come in contact with their skin and hair can cause many irritations and discomfort.

Smokers & Dogs

Can a smoker keep their dog's environment healthy? A resounding yes! It requires a few changes and plenty of love. The first start is to quit smoking in the house. I mean completely. Sectioning off an area is not good enough. Cigarette smoke moves through your vents and clings to everything. Smoke outside or in a well ventilated room that is not vented with the main house and keep your dogs out of this room. Do not smoke outside while your dog runs around you. The weather can easily kick up a breeze that will send the smoke to your dog or they will run into it simply because they do not know better and the smoke happens to be where they want to be. Once you have stopped smoking in the house, it will need a very thorough cleaning. The walls, draperies, furniture and carpet will all carry smoke in the fabric. Scrubbing the walls will send it streaming out with the water. A good cleaning will remove traces of the chemicals that have built in your home. The long you have been smoking in your home, the more cleaning required. The means are not complicated, it only requires a little discipline. What is a little change in return for a healthier pet who can grace your life for many more years to come? As I have been breeding for eight years now, I am sure I have hurt many people by not allowing them the chance to adapt for a dog or by my own ignorance in past years. I doubt I will ever be able to make up for those mistakes, but I do my best to be willing to listen and take everything into consideration. I once received an angry email from a shih tzu breeder who smoked. As upset as I was that I had made someone so angry, they had helped me by pointing out contradicting information on different pages I had failed to update with the years. I thank them for that and I can only hope that we will all learn not to be so quick to take offense, quick to help others and quick to apologize when our human frailties get in our way.
For more information on keeping your dog free from the effects of tobacco smoke by quitting, you can also visit Quit