Vaping and Your Pets: Everything You Need To Know
For the most part, vapers are very considerate of how their vaping habits affect others. For example, if a vaper is in a crowd of people, they either resist the urge to vape or blow the vapor downwards. If a vaper is walking down a sidewalk or busy street, it’s common to see them blow the vapor out of the side of their mouth where there are a fewer number of people. It’s really just common courtesy, as we know you might have an aversion to our habit. However, no one really talks about being considerate around animals! Many vapers have pets, including dogs, cats, birds, and other animals. In this article, we’ll go over whether or not vaping is harmful to your faithful companions, what happens if they accidentally consume some of your favorite vape juice, and other ways to keep your pet safe around your vape.
WHAT’S IN MY VAPE JUICE?
You’ll remember from a previous article where we discussed the ingredients of your vape juice. Brand name e-juice contains vegetable glycerin (VG), propylene glycol (PG), and flavoring. But the most important factor of your vape juice is the nicotine content. There are many variations for the nicotine content depending on if your e-liquid is a nic-salt e-liquid or a free-base nicotine e-liquid. Nicotine is known to be an addictive chemical, and, if taken in too large of an amount, it can cause nicotine poisoning (read our article about that here). Nicotine can be harmful to humans, but it can also be dangerous to dogs, cats, birds, and other animals. However, there is still so much research that needs to be done in order to understand the long-term negative effects of vaping and nicotine, but we’ll try to break down some basics and give you some helpful information.
ARE MY VAPE CLOUDS DANGEROUS TO PETS?
We mentioned in an earlier article how vape aerosol (clouds) dissipates quickly into the air, leaving behind almost nothing in its wake. If you can, try this experiment real quick: take a large puff on your vape. Slowly exhale, keeping your mouth level with the floor. Where do the clouds go? At first, the clouds might drift upwards, but then they actually start to sink to the floor before dissipating completely. That means that your pets are being exposed to “secondhand vapor.” You can check out our article here on what secondhand vapor is and the extremely small threat that it poses. While you may be tempted to panic at first, the vapor dissipates so quickly it leaves behind such a small trace amount of nicotine that it’s not even able to be measured! But since there IS a small amount of nicotine residue left behind, it’s important to never blow vapor directly into your pet’s face or directly in your pet’s general direction. Keep in mind that since your vape juice is flavored, the sweetness of the scent may cause your dog to try to lap up the clouds and ingest some of the secondhand vapor before you realize it.
IS MY VAPE JUICE DANGEROUS TO PETS?
As we just mentioned, it’s very important to keep your exhaled vapor away from your beloved pets. The same goes for your vape juice as well! In one of our previous articles (which you can check out here), we discussed how getting vape juice on your skin or ingesting a very small amount isn’t as dangerous as the media would have you think. But while humans understand to not consume e-liquid, all your pets know is that this liquid smells delicious! Keep your vape device and bottles of e-liquid safely out of reach from your furry friends. Dogs have a knack for seizing things they’re not supposed to and gnawing on plastic for the fun of it. Don’t let your favorite bottle of vape juice become their next plaything!
If you still choose to vape around your pet, closely observe their reaction to your device’s vapor. If your pet seems uncomfortable around the clouds or keep their distance from you, make sure they have access to a different room where fresh air can circulate and calm your pet down. This is true for birds as well as cats and dogs. Birds may have a more positive reaction to your vape than a cat or dog would, but their small lungs are much more sensitive to pollutants, irritants, and toxins in the air. If you own a bird and you love to vape, try not to vape in the same room as your bird, as the vapor can linger in the air. Even after you’ve left, you can still cause pulmonary distress to your bird even though you’re not vaping at that time. Vape away from your bird (towards an open window or even a stovetop hood) or ensure that your bird’s cage is covered while you enjoy your vape session.
WHAT DO I DO IF MY PET CONSUMES VAPE JUICE?
Vape juice with nicotine can cause nicotine poisoning with your pets if they get a hold of a bottle. If you suspect your pet has indeed ingested any amount of vape juice, keep an eye out for the following symptoms: vomiting, tremors, lethargy, sudden weakness, shaking, and an increased heart rate. If you see any of these symptoms and are worried about your pet, don’t hesitate to visit your veterinarian as quickly as possible.
Cats especially are more prone to sickness if they consume vape juice, even if it doesn’t have nicotine in it. The PG in e-juices can result in a dangerous anemia in some cats as well. If you suspect your cat has been acting odd lately (more so than usual), check for the following symptoms, as it may be a sign that your pet has this anemia: loss of appetite, discolored urine, discolored skin, pale features (particularly by the mouth), or a fever.
If you do end up taking your pet to the veterinarian for suspected nicotine poisoning (even if they ingested a small amount) make sure to let your vet know when and how much your pet consumed. Bring the bottle of vape juice that you suspected your pet was consuming, as your vet can take note of the ingredients list and effectively treat your beloved pet. For the most part, nicotine in vape isn’t toxic if you get a little on your skin or accidentally swallow some. But your pet won’t know that this isn’t food (especially since some of these flavors smell so damn good!) and may ingest a dangerous amount before you realize what happened. Keep a close eye on your pet while vaping in their presence and always keep e-liquid bottles and devices out of their reach.
TIPS FOR KEEPING VAPE JUICE OUT OF REACH FROM YOUR PETS
If you have pets in your home and you want to enjoy your daily vaping experience, just keep in mind a few basics and you’ll be good to go! Keep your vape juice and vape device out of reach of your pets (just as you would for a small child). Perhaps consider placing your vape juice and devices in a durable container that you know they won’t be able to open. If your e-liquid comes with a broken seal or a flimsy container, consider transferring your e-liquid to a more durable bottle like a glass or hard plastic bottle.
If your vape refills tend to be messy or you use an RDA that requires constant dripping onto the coil, make sure you clean up your spilled e-liquid. Use either a clean paper towel that you can throw away or use soap, water, and a rag to thoroughly clean up the residue. If your pet has a bad habit of rummaging through the garbage, try to get rid of the paper towels or rag immediately (take it to your outside bins or use a sturdy plastic storage bag.
If you’re vaping in the same room as your pet, don’t blow the vapor in their face. Keep in mind that if you must vape in the same room as your pet, make sure there’s either an easily accessible exit or some form of ventilation to transport the vapor away from your pet. You can also consider purchasing an air-purifier if your room doesn’t have great ventilation.
Try not to vape directly over your pet’s food or water bowls, as the liquid nicotine can be absorbed by the food and water once the nicotine settles. This goes for refilling their food and water bowls, as well as transferring their food from the bag to the storage container.
If your pet does happen to ingest vape juice with or without your knowledge, take them to the vet immediately. Keep an eye on your pet to ensure they don’t show signs of nicotine poisoning or a dangerous type of anemia. Keep your vape
And that’s it! Hopefully this article has helped give you some insight on why you should be careful vaping around your pet. Again, common sense will go a long way in caring for your pet if you do choose to vape around them. Vaping has become a way for smokers to reduce their cigarette intake, either marginally or completely. Whether or not you’ve used vaping as a smoking cessation device, a way to destress, or just as a way to enjoy your social outings, be responsible with it. Pets always want what smells good, and they won’t be able to determine what’s good or bad for them. Just be mindful of your pet and ensure that your vaping habits don’t intentionally bring them harm. If you have any questions about anything in this article, or have an experience about vaping around your pet, let us know in the comments below! Check back with us next time for a review of one of our favorite e-liquids, this time from The Custard Shoppe! As always, may your clouds be full of delicious flavor, and very far removed from your beloved pets!