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Smokers urged to quit after dog develops 'smokers' cough'

If you're taking part in National No Smoking day today there may be another reason for you to quit.

An 11-year-old Jack Russell cross from London has almost completely recovered from his cough after his owner Kathleen Dove, 68, kicked the habit. Now PDSA are urging more owners to quit due to the potential risk posed to their pets.

When Kathleen brought Rooney [pictured] to Bow Pet Hospital she was warned that it may be her smoking that was contributing to Rooney's persistent cough. Kathleen, who has smoked up to 20 cigarettes a day since she was 15, immediately quit and it's made a huge difference to her beloved dog.

Says Kathleen, "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.

“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.”

PDSA is warning pet owners that smoking around their pets could be harmful to their health and cutting their lives short. Second-hand smoke has long been linked to fatal diseases in humans but the vet charity says the impact on pets is less recognised.

PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones says, “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.”