Can I Smoke Around My Rabbit? (All You Need To Know)

Owning a pet makes its owners naturally want to spend time with their pets and share their daily routines. But, it’s crucial to consider any possible consequences smoking might have on pets when it comes to smoking. For example, if you own a rabbit, you might be unsure whether smoking around is okay. So, the question is, can I smoke around my rabbit? Is it safe? How to keep them healthy and safe? Let’s find it out all of these in this article.

Smoking around your rabbit is toxic to their health as it causes asthma, respiratory issues and lung cancer. However, if you want to smoke, separate them in the other room from the smoking area, use an air purifier or open the windows. Instead, smoke outside the house or consider quitting smoking.

This article will briefly discuss how poisonous smoke is for rabbits, what happens when you smoke around your rabbit, what other toxic scents are, and how you prevent your rabbit from inhaling the smoke. So, let’s get into it.

Can I smoke near my rabbit?

It is recommended not to smoke around or near your rabbit as it could be toxic for your rabbit and could cause severe health issues.

Rabbits are small creatures and have very sensitive respiratory systems.

Smoking near your rabbit can cause various health issues, such as respiratory infections, lung cancer, and other respiratory illnesses.

In addition, secondhand smoke, which can be just as dangerous as smoking directly, is exposed when you smoke next to your rabbit.

Carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene are some of the harmful chemicals in secondhand smoke that can irritate and harm your rabbit’s lungs.

These substances can make rabbits develop cancer, eye discomfort, and respiratory issues.

If you smoke in your house with your rabbit, take the appropriate safety measures to reduce their exposure to the smoke, and consider quitting smoking entirely.

In addition, it would be best to smoke in a separate room and keep your rabbit away from the room where you smoke, as this will lessen the amount of smoke they are exposed to.

Also, open windows and doors to help the room breathe and lower the smoke concentration if you smoke near your rabbit.

Consider using an air purifier in the area where you smoke, as it helps reduce air pollution by removing hazardous particles from the air.

Are rabbits sensitive to cigarette smoke?

Rabbits are very sensitive to cigarette smoke as they have a very delicate respiratory system, and exposure to smoke can quickly develop health issues for your rabbit.

The potential for respiratory infections is among the most severe risks associated with cigarette smoke for rabbits.

Numerous dangerous substances in the smoke can irritate and harm rabbits’ lungs and airways.

Smoke from cigarettes increases the risk of respiratory diseases in rabbits, including bronchitis, pneumonia, and upper respiratory infections. 

In addition, these infections can be severe and life-threatening if not treated on time.

Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are some respiratory issues that could develop due to exposure to smoke.

These health issues can substantially negatively influence a rabbit’s quality of life by causing breathing problems, coughing, and wheezing.

According to research in the Journal of Exotic Pet Medicine, rabbits exposed to secondhand smoke for just 30 minutes daily for three weeks displayed respiratory distress and reduced lung function.

Additionally, the oxidative stress in the rabbits appeared higher, which can damage its cells and causes other health issues.

Another illustration is a case study written on a rabbit that experienced significant respiratory distress and pneumonia due to exposure to secondhand smoking written in the Journal of Small Animal Practice. 

To recover from the sickness, the rabbit needed intense care and treatment, which included oxygen therapy and antibiotics.

So, to keep your rabbit healthy and safe, take them away from the smoking area and take precautions to reduce their exposure to secondhand smoke.

What happens if you smoke around your rabbit?

Rabbits are very sensitive animals with the delicate respiratory system.

Smoking around your rabbit could cause severe health issues and even life-threatening conditions.

In addition, smoking can have a negative impact on your rabbit’s health and well-being. 

The following are some possible consequences of smoking near your rabbit:

Respiratory issues:

Since rabbits are prone to respiratory disorders, cigarette smoke can make them worse. 

Smoke can irritate and inflame the lungs, resulting in coughing, wheezing, and breathing difficulties. 

Chronic smoke exposure over time may raise your chance of developing respiratory infections and other lung conditions.

Reduced lifespan:

Smoking near or around your rabbit can cause long-term health issues that could shorten its lifespan. 

Smoking has been related to several illnesses, such as cancer, heart disease, and respiratory conditions, all of which can shorten your rabbit’s life expectancy.

Rabbits can live ten years or more, but being around smoke can drastically reduce that longevity.

Eye irritation:

Due to their sensitive eyes, rabbits may experience redness, wetness, and even corneal damage if exposed to smoke. 

In addition, reduced eyesight and pain may result from this. 

Your rabbit may experience discomfort from this, which may require medical attention.

Increased risk of cancer: 

Smoking around or near your rabbit can also increase the risk of cancer.

Smoke inhalation can alter cells in ways that could result in cancerous growth in rabbits.

Decreases immune function: 

Exposure to smoke can weaken the immune system, making rabbits more susceptible to infections and diseases. 

In addition, this can lead to frequent illnesses and a decreased quality of life.

Secondhand smoke exposure:

Smoking next to your rabbit exposes other animals and people in the house to secondhand smoke, which can have a similar negative impact on their health.

It is crucial to remember that rabbits are delicate creatures and that smoking can impact them even if your rabbit is not in the same room as you. 

Even if you smoke outside, it’s still a good idea to wash your hands and change your clothes before handling your rabbit because smoke particles can stick around in the air for a while and land on things.

Behavioural changes:

Smoking around your rabbit might make them anxious and stressed, which can cause behavioural changes. 

Due to their sensitive respiratory system, rabbits may find the smell of smoke overbearing and unpleasant. 

Aggression, stress, depression, reduced appetite, reduced activity, anxiety, decreased socialization, coughing, lethargy, and wheezing are some behavioural changes that could occur due to exposure to smoke.

The health and happiness of your rabbit may be significantly affected by these behavioural changes. 

As a result, it’s essential to smoke outside and away from your pets if you want to keep them from being exposed to secondhand smoke.


Rabbits can become hazardous if they consume nicotine or other compounds in cigarettes and other tobacco products. 

Your rabbit might experience this if they munch on used tobacco leaves or cigarette butts.

Is tobacco poisonous to rabbits?

Tobacco is poisonous for rabbits as it contains many harmful chemicals, including nicotine, which could lead to severe health issues and even life-threatening conditions.

In addition, the sensitive body of a rabbit can be harmed by even a tiny amount of tobacco, and being around tobacco smoke can be very harmful.

The poisonous chemical nicotine can make rabbits experience various symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, convulsions, and even death. 

A rabbit’s risk of developing cancer is increased by exposure to tobacco smoke because tobacco includes a variety of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) compounds. 

It can include tumours of the lungs, such as lung cancer, and other cancers, like lymphoma.

You should keep your rabbit away from all tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco. 

Also, seeking veterinary care is crucial if you believe your rabbit has consumed or come into contact with tobacco smoke. 

What scents are toxic to rabbits?

Certain smells or scents can be toxic for your rabbit as they have a sensitive sense of smell, which can be easily affected by specific odours.

In addition, some specific odours can harm them as they can cause skin irritations, eye irritation, respiratory issues, or other health problems.

To keep your rabbit happy and give them a healthy lifespan, it is essential always to keep them away from these toxic odours or scents and avoid exposing them to these harmful chemicals that are listed below:

  • Strong cleaning products: Various household cleanings, such as bleach and ammonia, contain toxic chemicals, which should be avoided as they could cause respiratory issues for your rabbit.
  • Tobacco smoke: Rabbits can become ill from exposure to secondhand smoke from cigarette smoke or other tobacco products. The smoke can irritate the rabbit’s eyes and nose, in addition to causing respiratory issues.
  • Perfumes and colognes: Rabbits may be harmed by the synthetic chemicals and smells included in perfumes and colognes. Strong fragrances and colognes may be overpowering to rabbits due to their acute sense of smell. In addition, the compounds in these smells can irritate rabbits’ respiratory systems, resulting in coughing, sneezing, or breathing problems.
  • Paint and solvents: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which can be toxic to rabbits, are found in paint and solvents. These substances can irritate the respiratory system and harm rabbits who breathe them in. In addition, paint and solvents can irritate rabbits’ skin, resulting in redness, itching, and other skin issues if they come into touch with them.
  • Essential oils: Due to their strong fragrances and composition of chemicals, essential oils can be toxic to rabbits. Its inhalation can lead to respiratory issues like wheezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Additionally, when swallowed or applied topically, some essential oils can poison rabbits and cause gastrointestinal disorders, skin irritations, and other health issues. Lavender oil, eucalyptus oil, tea tree oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, and clove oil are some essential oils that are toxic to rabbits.
  • Scented candles and air fresheners: Due to their chemicals and perfumes, aromatic candles and air fresheners can poison rabbits. Strong scents can make rabbits stressed and anxious, resulting in various health issues, including decreased appetite or behavioural disorders. In addition, skin irritations, digestive disorders, and other health concerns might result from ingesting or touching these chemicals.

How to keep your rabbit safe?

All living things, including rabbits, should put their health and well-being first, and dangerous substances like cigarette smoke should be kept away.

Smoking near or around your rabbit can have a negative impact on their respiratory health, leading to problems including asthma, respiratory infections and even cancer. 

It is essential to take the required precautions to protect rabbits from smoking. Here are some ways of doing so:

Keep your rabbit in a well-ventilated area: 

Your rabbit’s living environment must be kept as far away from the smoking zone as possible.

If you choose to smoke inside, you should only do it in a space with open windows or an efficient ventilation system that allows fresh air to flow through the area.

When you smoke around your rabbit, keeping them in a well-ventilated location can help reduce the smoke they breathe in. 

The amount of fresh air moving through the space will determine how much smoke is in the air. 

Even when you are not smoking, ensuring the space is well-aired is imperative.

But it’s crucial to remember that even a room with good ventilation might not be sufficient to shield your rabbit from the damaging effects of smoke exposure. 

Keep the living area where your rabbit resides as far away from the place where you smoke as you can. 

Alternatively, you may keep your rabbit in a separate room and use doors or gates to keep it out of the smoking area.

Smoke Outdoors:

To keep your rabbit’s living environment safe, you should only smoke outdoors, such as in your backyard, porch, or balcony.

Due to their sensitive respiratory systems, rabbits are especially vulnerable to the negative consequences of smoke exposure. 

Your rabbit can quickly ingest the toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke since they linger in the air and settle on surfaces when you smoke indoors. 

Smoke can irritate your rabbit’s lungs and cause health issues, even in small amounts.

You may significantly limit the amount of smoke and dangerous chemicals your rabbit is exposed to by smoking outside. 

Your rabbit will be less likely to breathe in the smoke since it will immediately evaporate into the air, and fresh air will flow through the region.

You may choose one of your outdoor spaces—your backyard, porch, or balcony—as your designated smoking location. 

However, ensure your rabbit is not close, and watch out for smoke drifting into their habitat. 

Also, to further reduce your rabbit’s exposure to smoke, take other precautions, including cleaning your hands, changing out of your smoky clothes, and using air purifiers in your home.

Keep windows open: 

Opening your windows lets fresh air flow into your house and through the rooms. 

In addition, it can lessen the quantity of smoke your rabbit inhales by helping to disperse any airborne smoke particles. 

The air quality of your house can also be improved with the help of fresh air, which is beneficial for you and your rabbit.

Even when you are not smoking, ensuring your home is adequately ventilated and keeping the windows open is crucial. 

It can be achieved by constructing a ventilation system or employing air purifiers to assist in circulating clean air inside your home.

Wash your hands:

When you smoke, hazardous chemicals and smoke vapour may stick to your skin, hair, and clothing. 

Contacting your rabbit with this remaining smoke and toxins could injure its sensitive respiratory system.

It’s crucial to thoroughly wash your hands after smoking before interacting with your rabbit to avoid this from happening.

Wash your hands properly with mild soap and warm water as the lingering smoke and toxins are removed from your skin by using warm water.

Ensure to wash your hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, rubbing your palms, fingers, and nails before contacting your rabbit.

In addition, changing your clothes after smoking is crucial to stop your rabbit from ingesting toxins and lingering smoke. 

It’s best to avoid smoking while wearing clothes you intend to wear around your rabbit and change into fresh clothes after smoking.

Use air purifiers:

Using air purifiers in your house helps to remove the smoke particles from the air, which reduces the exposure of smoke to your rabbit.

When you smoke near your rabbit, hazardous smoke particles may build up in the air, irritating their respiratory system and resulting in health issues. 

By removing these dangerous particles from the air, air purifiers can lessen the smoke your rabbit breathes and enhance the air quality in your home.

Choosing an air purifier for your rabbit that suits the room’s size and has a high CADR (clean air delivery rate) rating is crucial. 

The CADR rating shows how much air a purifier can filter in a predetermined period. 

It’s vital to think about the type of filter being used and to replace it frequently by the manufacturer’s instructions to guarantee optimum efficiency.

Air purifiers must be used along with other precautions, such as keeping your rabbit in a well-ventilated location and avoiding smoking near them, as it’s vital to remember that they might not entirely remove all dangerous particles from the air.

Also read: Are Air Purifiers Safe For Rabbits?

Avoid smoking in the car:

Your rabbit may be exposed to many smoke particles if you smoke in the car, which could harm its respiratory system.

If you smoke inside a moving vehicle, the smoke may collect and get into the rabbit’s lungs, which results in coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. 

Avoid smoking at all costs when your rabbit is riding along in the car with you to protect them from smoke inhalation. 

If you want to smoke, you must do it outside the vehicle and far from your rabbit. 

It’s crucial to ensure your automobile is properly ventilated, so open the windows or turn on the air conditioning to bring fresh air from outside.

Along with not smoking in the car, keeping your vehicle clean and free of chemicals and lingering smoke is critical. 

To eliminate any lingering chemicals or smoke, it would be best to routinely clean the car’s interior, including the seats, carpets, and air conditioning system.

Also read: Can Rabbits Get Car Sick?

Consider quitting smoking:

Not only for your rabbit but also for yourself and the people around you, giving up smoking has several health advantages.

Pets, especially rabbits, exposed to secondhand smoke may develop cancer, respiratory infections, asthma attacks, and other major health issues.

Pets can benefit significantly from quitting smoking as well. 

Although giving up smoking can be difficult, there are several tools at smokers’ disposal, such as counselling, medication, and nicotine replacement therapy. 

If you smoke and own a rabbit, giving up smoking can benefit your health and your pet’s health.


  1. Smoking around your rabbit can have harmful effects on their health, just as it can for humans.
  2. Rabbits have delicate respiratory systems and are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of secondhand smoke.
  3. Exposure to smoke can lead to serious health issues for your rabbit, including respiratory infections, asthma, and even cancer.
  4. It’s essential to keep your rabbit’s living space smoke-free and avoid smoking around them to reduce their exposure to harmful toxins.
  5. Quitting smoking altogether is the best option for you and your furry friend, as it can improve your health and protect your pet from potential harm.

Reference: NCBI, ahajournals

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