News stories from various media sources have struck fear in the hearts of vapers, or potential vapers, who also own pets. Why? Because of this horror headline: vaping can kill your pets.
Now let’s just slow down for a second. Although there are certain aspects of these articles that do ring true, there is also a good amount of fear mongering and click-baiting happening with these publications.
So what’s the truth here? Let’s take a look at the facts.
TRUE: Ingesting nicotine can poison your pets
Nicotine can be dangerous. Even in adults, ingesting any concentration of nicotine is concerning, as it can lead to illness or even overdose in cases of strong concentration. And considering that children and pets are much smaller than adults, smaller doses of nicotine can be fatal.
Think of your vape and e-liquid like you think of your medication. You’d never want them to be in reach of children or pets. But unlike most medications, e-liquid can have attractive flavours which would increase the likelihood of a child or pet putting it in their mouths.
It’s best to keep all of your vaping gear on a high shelf or drawer, well away from little fingers or paws. Even empty bottles of e-liquid can contain enough nicotine to harm your pets. In addition to this, you’ll want to ensure that any e-liquid spill or residue is thoroughly cleaned before pets or children have access to that area (this includes the fabric and/or paper towel you’ve used to clean it!).
FALSE: Vaping around your pets will kill them
Media sources use click-baity wording in order to make their articles stand out, but the basic fact is that this is, for the most part, untrue. Although studies are still being done regularly on the topic, secondhand vapour has shown to be much less harmful than smoke from a traditional cigarette.
However, if you do vape around your pets, there are some things that you should keep in mind.
1. Vaping in confined spaces can leave residuals in the space
Although it’s nearly invisible, vaping in a space that is not adequately vented can lead to buildup on surfaces including walls, windows and furniture. If you vape in your home or car, it’s best to crack a window or have an air purifier running to catch any left over condensation. Cleaning your space regularly is also recommended.
2. Vapour can stick to your pets
Just like your walls, windows and furniture, vapour can also be left on the fur of your pets. Some pets, specifically cats, have been shown to have a sensitivity to residual vapour on their fur, as they will often lick themselves to bathe. Birds, who have weak respiratory functioning, can also be affected by excessive vapour in their surrounding area.
3. Don’t blow vapour in your pets’ faces
Not only is inhaling vapour directly not good for your pets, it’s also very disrespectful. You wouldn’t blow vapour in another person’s face, would you? Furthermore, don’t let your pets lick the vapour you exhale. E-cigarette vapour may smell great to dogs especially, but it is important to keep them from ingesting it.
Ultimately, it’s best not to vape near your pets if you can avoid it. But if you must, please do it responsibly and respectfully. Accidents can happen. Keep your emergency vet clinic’s contact information in an accessible place just in case.