Vaping and Pets: What You Should and Shouldn’t Do
Whether you have a cat or dog, these lovable creatures can quickly become faithful companions you grow to love, which is why many vapers and would-be vapers wonder if vaping can be harmful to their furry friends. This is why we created this blog, to give you some tips on what you should and shouldn’t do when vaping around your favorite animals, and by the end, we hope you learn how to vape safely around pets.
Table of Contents:
- The Problem with Eliquid and Pets
- What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Vape Storage
- What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Second Hand Vaping
- What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Battery Safety
The Problem with Eliquid and Pets
Vaping can pose a threat for pets for one simple reason. Eliquid has nicotine, and nicotine to species that are smaller than humans, if ingested can act as a poison, and generate some nasty symptoms (Vig, n.d.).
Now you might be wondering why nicotine can be toxic to dogs and cats, but not to you. The answer lies in the weight and size of your pet or species. While adult humans can quickly ingest nicotine but with no noticeable symptoms, dogs, cats, pups, and even human babies will experience severe reactions and symptoms because of their size.
Some of the symptoms that can be seen within 15 to 30 minutes of ingesting eliquid include “vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, agitation, rapid breathing, high or low heart rate, abnormal heart rate, tremors, muscle weakness and wobbliness, high or low blood pressure,” among other side effects according to the Pet Poison Helpline.
It should be said that the smaller the size of the pet, the more the more symptoms the pet might experience, and the more nicotine your vape juice has, the more of a threat it can pose.
Thankfully this all can be avoided by following the steps below, which starts with proper storage of your vape products, as this will ensure your pets never come into contact with a bottle of eliquid and will eliminate any possibility of intoxication.
What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Vape Storage
If you can’t switch to a zero nicotine vape juice, the first thing to do is reconsider your storage. If you have kids or pets, this should be the number one thing you should do if you are a vaper or are considering becoming a vaper.
Transporting all your vaping equipment, including eliquid bottles, devices, batteries, and anything that might have traces of nicotine in them, to a safe location is the first step in preventing any accidents. You can use a small safe or lockable box that only you have access to accomplish this.
This box or safe can also be kept high up out of the reach of kids and pets. Simply putting your vaping equipment in the cabinet high up might work with dogs and kids, but if you have cats, they can easily climb to the top of the cabinet, which is why we recommended the lockable box.
If you have an RDA, you’ll most likely keep an eliquid bottle on your person most of the time. If this is the case, you’ll always need to be conscious of where you leave it. Take care not to leave it on coffee tables where dogs and cats can easily reach it; also never leave a room and leave the bottle unsupervised, which opens up the possibility for an accident.
What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Second Hand Vaping
While vaping storage around your pets is easy to figure out, second hand-vaping is a bit more complex, especially when it comes to pets. As you probably know by now, the studies of whether secondhand vaping is less dangerous than secondhand smoke are at odds. While some studies claim that there are dangerous ultrafine particles of chemicals to be found in e-cigarette vapor (Schober, 2014), others conclude that although these chemicals might as well be non-existent since they exist in such low quantities (Goniewicz, 2014).
Since the verdict is still out on whether second hand vaping is less safe than second hand smoking, what we recommend is to err on the side of caution. If you can help it, don’t vape in enclosed spaces where pets reside since the possibility exists that the vapor can fall on their fur, and they can ingest it when grooming themselves. And finally, it goes without saying that you should never vape directly on their face since this will increase the likelihood that they inhale nicotine.
What You Should Do and Shouldn’t Do: Battery Safety
While this topic might not get the attention it deserves, it should be said that if you have pets, you should be extremely careful with how you handle your lithium-ion batteries. We already discussed maintaining them in a locked box along with your other vape products, but there are other precautions you should take.
For example, you should never leave your batteries charging unsupervised if you have a cat or dog. While the likelihood that they might temper with the charger is less likely than being attracted to the eliquid due to its smell, it is still possible, and the consequences could be catastrophic.
If they are able to get to batteries, they might chew or puncture the battery, which will release chemicals that can burn your pet’s stomach, mouth, and esophagus. If this doesn’t happen, but they still chew on the battery, they could damage the battery wrap, and if you don’t realize that they have been damaged and they come in contact with other metallic objects, the batteries could easily explode.
Vaping around pets can be tricky but not impossible. Just remember to keep all your vaping products safe, behind a lockable box and in a high cabinet, where neither dogs nor cats can get in. And as far as batteries go, remember to always charge them while supervising them and always keep them in plastic cases and away from your pets.
- Vig, M. M. (n.d.). Nicotine poisoning in a dog. PubMed. Retrieved August 14, 2021, from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2264269/
- Helpline, P. P. (2020, March 4). Toxicity of Electronic Cigarettes In Companion Animals. Pet Poison Helpline. https://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/uncategorized/toxicity-of-electronic-cigarettes-in-companion-animals/
- Goniewicz, M. L. (2014, March 1). Levels of selected carcinogens and toxicants in vapour from electronic cigarettes. Tobacco Control. https://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com/content/23/2/133
- Use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) impairs indoor air quality and increases FeNO levels of e-cigarette consumers. (2014, July 1). ScienceDirect. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1438463913001533