For Your Health: Secondhand smoke is unhealthy for pets too | Columnists

We are a nation of pet-lovers. Two-thirds of US households have at least one pet, the majority have more than one. There are 108 million dogs living in 69 million households and 79 million cats living in 45 million households (including mine.) That works out to 54% of households with dogs and 35% of households with cats. About 10% have a bird. Pets provide companionship, emotional support, exercise, laughter, and more; many in the millennial generation say caring for a pet is a “practice run” for having children.

Generally speaking, pet-owners are very tuned into the health and well-being of the four-legged members of the family. Vast sums are spent on pet food and veterinary care. Social media and the internet are full of photos and videos of pets being clever, goofy, mischievous or just plain adorable. Dog parks are popular and make a community more attractive to residents and visitors. We want our pets to be safe and happy.

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