We already know that being subjected to second hand smoke from traditional cigarettes can be just as harmful as being a smoker yourself due to the many dangerous chemicals found in tobacco smoke, and animals as well as humans have been found to develop lung and heart problems after being subjected to second hand smoke. However, vaping e-cigarettes has been found to be 95% less harmful to the health than smoking regular tobacco cigarettes, so surely it is safe to vape around your pets?
Despite vaping being shown to be less dangerous to the health, you have probably spotted the words “Keep Away From Pets And Children” on your e-juice labels, and if you are a pet owner, this has probably made you concerned about whether or not it is ok to vape around your beloved animals. Vapers are advised to keep e-liquids away from pets because most of them have a nicotine content, and this can be very dangerous for animals if it is consumed.
The other ingredients contained in e-liquids are not harmful to humans or pets and the amount of dangerous chemicals that are found in second-hand vapour are so small that any risk to your pet from your vaping habit are minimal. Although some stories in the media may have worried animal lovers, in fact it is perfectly possible to vape in the same home as your pet as long as you take a responsible attitude.
How Can Nicotine Harm My Pet?
Although vaping in itself is not really dangerous for animals, the nicotine content of e-liquids can be extremely hazardous to an animal’s health. If a medium sized dog that weighs around 50lbs eats just one cartridge, they can show signs of nicotine poisoning within just 15 – 60 minutes. While these may not cause long term damage, sometimes a single cartridge can result in the animal suffering from a cardiac arrest or going into a coma. If a smaller dog or a cat managed to ingest a single cartridge, the results would be much more severe, and may result in fatality. Something to bear in mind is that many dogs are actually attracted to the smell of e-liquids and the vapour they produce, so you need to take extra care to be responsible about the storage of your e-juices.
How Can I Make Sure My Pet Stays Safe?
Here are some simple steps that you can take to keep your domestic animals safe while you enjoy vaping:
- Store your e-juices in a place where your pet is unable to access them. While the majority of e-liquid bottles have been designed to be child-proof, dogs or cats with sharp teeth may be able to piece the packaging, so make sure that they are stored in a high cupboard or on a high shelf to avoid the risk of this happening.
- Keep your atomiser and other vaping equipment stored in an inaccessible location whenever not in use.
- If possible, try to vape in a different room to your pet, or if this is not possible always ensure that the room has adequate ventilation by keeping the doors and windows open.
- When charging your e-cig, even with an external charger, make sure your pet is in a different room.
- If any kind of incident occurs involving your pet and your vaping equipment you should immediately contact your vet.
- Never permit your pet to lick at the vapour clouds you produce – they may contain nicotine which could harm them.
- Change your cartridges in a different room to your pet so that they are not tempted to try to pick them up.
How Will I Know If My Pet Has Nicotine Poisoning?
It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of nicotine poisoning in animals so that you can immediately assess whether or not a visit to the vet is necessary for your pet. Here are some things to look out for:
- Teeth and Gums – look carefully at your pet’s tongue and gums as these can indicate whether or not your pet has consumed something potentially hazardous. Pay close attention to the colour – if the tongue or gums are partially or entirely purple, bright red, white, blue or brick coloured, take your pet to the vet immediately.
- High pulse rate
- High temperature
- Blood in stools
- Lethargy and listlessness
- Loss of appetite
Your Cat And PG In E-Liquids
While PG is a common ingredient in many popular dog foods, it is not used in cat food as cats have a particular sensitivity to this ingredient, resulting in a condition called Heinz Body Anaemia. This condition causes the haemoglobin in red blood cells to lose their natural structure and this in turn reduces their ability to transport oxygen around the body.
Although this medical problem has only been observed in cats that consume large amounts of PG in their diet, some vapers may be concerned that there may be a potential risk to their cat if they are exposed to PG containing e-liquids. Despite their sensitivity to PG, a cat could never inhale enough from your second hand vapour to cause any health problem, and therefore there is no need to worry, however if you are concerned, you should keep your cat’s exposure to your vaping as minimal as possible and opt for an e-juice with a higher proportion of VG.