ROANOKE, Va. -

Most of us have heard about the negative effects of smoking and second-hand smoke. But how do they affect your pets?

Studies done at Tufts University and Colorado State University among others show that second hand smoke is just as dangerous to your pet as it is to you.

"They breathe the same air as we do, they have lungs just like we do," Dr. Cinthia Honeycutt of Hanging Rock Animal Hospital told Your Hometown News Leader.

The number of pets that die each year from second hand smoke exposure isn't available, but vets like Honeycutt , know from lab tests and office visits that inhaling smoke causes allergic reactions, inflammation or worse.

"They also could potentially develop lung tumors related to chronic exposure just like with humans."

Pets can also develop heart disease from prolonged exposure to many kinds of smokeables.

"They can have problems with toxicity from marijuana either getting a hold of the plant itself or the dried weed or getting into the ashtray or just being around when the owners are smoking it heavily."

Honeycutt says look for specific signs of problems.

"You may notice coughing, increased panting, appearing to have difficulty breathing."

Vets say, there are things pet owners can do to keep their pets healthier.

"Smoking elsewhere, where the pet isn't at like being outside or having a certain area of the house where they smoke," Honeycutt said.

Vets say that little sacrifice will make for happier and healthier pets.

Hanging Rock Animal Hospital has several pets who need good homes and are ready for adoption. Click here for more information.