04 August 2023
Should You Vape Around Your Pet?
Discover the potential risks of vaping around your pet, tips on how to vape safely around animals, and what to do if your pet has chewed a vape.
Britain is a nation of pet lovers. According to the UK Pet Food Association, over 62% of households in the UK have at least one pet. Over 13 million of us are dog-lovers and over 12 million homes have cats, not to mention all the rabbits, birds and other animals we love to look after.
Most of us see our pets as one of the family. Whether we’ve had them since they were tiny or rescued them from a shelter, they become part of our daily lives.
When you’re curled up on the sofa with your furry friend, with your vape in your hand, have you ever wondered if it’s okay to vape around your pet? You might not have given it a second thought or perhaps you just think it’s bound to be fine.
This is the blu guide to everything you should know if you vape around your pet.
Pets and Vaping
We want to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our beloved pets, and let’s not forget that a visit to the vets can be extremely stressful for everyone.
Vaping indoors or in enclosed spaces around those who don’t vape can be an issue for some people, but they can tell us if they’re affected. Our pets, however, can’t always tell us how they’re feeling or even understand why they’re feeling a certain way.
When it comes to vaping around pets, it’s not just the exhaled vapour that can be an issue. Animals love chewing things. How many chewed up dog toys (and shoes!) have you had since you brought your little furry friend home?
According to Petplan who specialise in pet insurance, the most immediately obvious risk when vaping around pets comes from animals chewing devices or liquid pods that contain nicotine.
Potential Risks of Vaping near Pets
Nicotine exposure is one of the biggest concerns when vaping around pets. Since nicotine is a highly toxic substance for animals, even a small amount can be potentially troublesome while larger amounts can induce nicotine poisoning. Common signs of nicotine poisoning in pets include vomiting, diarrhoea, tremors, seizures, or even worse.
Don’t let little Nico near the nicotine!
Second hand exposure, although not yet fully understood, may also be problematic to some pets although there are no conclusive studies on this yet.
Pets with sensitive eyes or lungs, particularly small pets, birds, rodents and reptiles can experience irritation or respiratory issues from the inhalation of vaping aerosols (that’s what the vape you breathe out is called), especially those with pre-existing breathing conditions such as asthma. Yes, animals can get asthma, too. Short-term exposure may lead to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing.
You don’t want little Pooky panting for the wrong reasons!
Some breeds of cats and dogs are also more sensitive since they have been bred to have flatter faces with smaller noses. Dog breeds with known breathing problems are French Bulldogs, Chihuahuas, Pugs and Boston Terriers, while cat breeds include Persians, Exotic Shorthairs and Himalayans.
Puppies and kittens, since they’re smaller, will always be potentially more at risk than older, larger animals.
What to do if your pet has chewed a vape or e-liquid
Accidental ingestion of vape contents, even small amounts of e-liquids can lead to gastrointestinal distress or other serious health issues, and small parts can also become dislodged in airways. Animals are naturally curious so it’s important not to leave vape devices or liquids where they can get them.
If your pet has chewed a vape and you think they may have ingested nicotine, it's very important to take immediate action.
Remove the vape. If you can, make sure you move the vape or e-liquid away from your pet as soon as possible.
Check how much e-liquid is gone. Try to determine how much nicotine your pet might have ingested and bring the vape with you to the vets.
Call the vet immediately. If it’s out of hours, the vet should still have an out of hours number or try the nearest emergency animal hospital.
Do not induce vomiting. Making your pet sick is not recommended for nicotine ingestion in pets. Leave it to the vet to advise on the best course of action.
It’s best to be on the safe side even if you’re not sure if your pet has ingested any nicotine.
Aside from the risks of choking, ingestion of small parts, and nicotine and chemical inhalation, droplets from vaping can land on their fur, which means your pet could also inadvertently ingest chemicals when grooming themselves.
Although this may not pose a huge health risk once, it might have a cumulative effect and potentially cause harm once a build-up of nicotine and chemicals has been ingested over a long period of time. As with passive vaping, there’s no conclusive evidence either way.
Tips on vaping around pets
Store vape devices and e-liquids securely by keeping them out of reach of pets and storing them securely where your pets can’t get access to them.
Consider creating a vape-free space for your pet or start vaping outside particularly if they have breathing difficulties.
Monitor your pet's behaviour when you vape around them. If you notice any signs of discomfort or distress, then consult a vet if necessary and consider not vaping around them in the future.
If you're a regular vaper with a pet that may have issues being around vaping, then it could be better to vape outside, open a window, create a vape-free area of your home for them, or at least vape well away from them. After all, let’s face it, no one wants to go to the vets!