Rooney the dog, from London, who developed a ‘smokers’ cough’ is now almost completely cured – less than 12 months after his owner kicked the habit.
Vets at PDSA’s Bow Pet Hospital warned Kathleen Dove last summer that her smoking was potentially contributing to a persistent cough her beloved Jack Russell terrier cross Rooney (11) was suffering from.
The 68-year-old, who had smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day from the age of 15, immediately quit and says it has made a huge difference to Rooney’s health.
She said: “I always tried not to smoke around him but the vets told me that my habit could still have been affecting him and making his cough worse.
“I took their advice on board and decided to quit straight away. I haven’t looked back since and I’m so glad I did it because the difference in Rooney is amazing. His cough is almost non-existent now and he seems much better.”
Kathleen says she hasn’t noticed much difference to her own health since quitting, and that Rooney was the main reason she quit.
She said: “I’ve had him since he was a puppy and he was named after the footballer Wayne Rooney because he was such a star player and my dog used to love playing with a football.
“As I’ve got older I’ve gradually reduced how many cigarettes I had a day but I didn’t realise that my habit could have been affecting his health.
“I would urge anyone who smokes and has a pet to consider quitting for their sake. At the very least it’s important to go outside to smoke to limit the amount of fumes they have to breathe in.”
Ahead of National No Smoking Day tomorrow (Wednesday, March 9), PDSA warned pet owners that smoking around their pets could be harming their four-legged friends’ health and cutting short their lives.
Second-hand smoke has long been linked to potentially fatal diseases in humans, including lung cancer and heart disease. However, the vet charity says the impact of passive smoking on pets may be less recognised but is just as serious.
PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones said: “Prolonged exposure to smoking can cause chronic breathing difficulties or cancer in pets as well as people. Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery we’re spending more time with clients, like Kathleen, who smoke and encouraging them to think about their four-legged friend’s health, as well as their own, before they light up.
“If people feel they can’t stop smoking or don’t wish to, then we would urge them to consider going outside to smoke.
Then their pet isn’t forced to breathe in the harmful toxins.”
For more information about PDSA or to access free online pet health advice visit www.pdsa.org.uk