CONCERNS have been raised over the damage pets could be suffering by breathing in more second and third-hand cigarette smoke during the coronavirus lockdown.

According to research carried out in 2018, third-hand smoke - the carcinogenic toxins deposited by cigarette smoke - not only lingers on carpets, walls and furniture but can be recirculated around a building over and over again.

For any smokers, and particularly for smokers in an enclosed space during isolation, the health risks that smoking brings can only be exacerbated.

Dogs living with smokers are 60 per cent more likely to develop cancers, including lung cancer and nasal cancer, among numerous other health complications – and could die younger as a result.

One in five pets belonging to smokers have even eaten a cigarette in the last year.

The average dog-owning smoker exposes their canine friend to 3,285 cigarettes every year of their life.

Around 80 per cent of cigarette smoke is invisible, so there are many ways it can harm pets.

Even moving into the home of a former smoker can have serious consequences when a dog starts breathing in the smoke particles that linger.

Dogs have a far stronger sense of smell than us, with over 300 million receptors in their noses compared to six million in humans.

Most dogs spend the vast majority of their days in the home – around 23 hours on average when you subtract walks.

Unless owners take them to work every day, dogs are spending far more time in the home environment than the human family members, exposing them to the dangers of third-hand smoke.

Because smoke particles settle on their fur, they come into constant direct contact with them by grooming themselves.

Inhaling smoke also exacerbates existing conditions in dogs, such as bronchitis and asthma.

The only way to ensure complete protection from smoke for your dog is to stop smoking.

There are too many ways that smoke can linger and cling to the insides of your home, only to be breathed in by your dog.

However, there are ways that you can significantly lessen the impact of your smoke.

Owners should ensure that they only smoke outside.

This will reduce the danger indoors, but the smoke particles will still settle on the fibres of clothes.

Make sure that windows are opened wide - not just when smoking- and during the colder months use an effective extractor fan system.

Owners can also vacuum their homes regularly.

A powerful vacuum cleaner will reduce the impact of second-hand smoke.

Make sure ashtrays are emptied and not left uncovered, in order to prevent your dog from eating their contents.

Dust all surfaces regularly, as the presence of dust can help to trap third-hand smoke and increase the dangers it poses.