Is Vape Smoke Bad for Your Dog?
Most of the time, what you put into your body won’t hurt your pet. However, if you’re a dog owner who enjoys vaping, you might want to think twice before you do it around your dog. According to the Pet Poison Helpline, there has been an increase in calls for concerns of nicotine poisoning after an animal has ingested the e-cigarette itself or the liquid nicotine cartridge. While the vape smoke might not be dangerous, other parts of the device carry significant risks.
If you vape or use any kind of e-cigarette device and have a four-legged friend in your home, here is some critical information you should consider so that you don’t need to plan for your dog’s health emergency.
Understanding Your Risks When You Vape
E-Cigarettes deliver a vapor that usually contains high levels of nicotine. The nicotine might also be mixed with other chemicals, including glycerin and propylene glycol.
The user inhales a vapor that is flavored in varieties like green apple, cotton candy, and lemonade, but no smoke or ashes are produced like with traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since vape-ware is a relatively new device, experts are just starting to understand the implications of vaping on the user and others around them.
Over the past year or so, experts have started to study the long-term effects of vaping. One interesting fact they’ve discovered is the use of vaping in the younger population. In fact, vaping increased ten-fold in high school students in just four years, between 2011 and 2015. It seems that many young people view vaping as a safer habit than traditional cigarettes.
However, as more data becomes available, experts emphasize that smoking kills and that e-cigarettes appear to be a gateway to tobacco.
Considering that the vaping community is about 20 million strong, this could significantly impact the tobacco and healthcare industries. The side effects of smoking are many.
Most people are aware that smoking can damage your lungs and increase the risk of pregnancy-related complications. However, did you know that smoking can impact your ability to have a family?
Women can suffer damage to their reproductive organs that can make getting pregnant difficult. Men who smoke are at risk of erectile dysfunction because tobacco use decreases blood flow throughout the body, making it difficult to achieve an erection.
Effects of Vaping on Your Dog
According to PetMD, liquid nicotine is poisonous to pets. The ASPCA’s medical director, Dr. Tina Wismer, told PetMD that the incidence of animals needing medical treatment after ingesting traditional cigarettes has decreased.
Now, ingestion's involving e-cigarettes are on the rise. No deaths have been reported following ingestion of vape ware. However, Dr. Wismer said that many animals have had to receive treatment from a veterinarian and may have died if their owner hadn’t acted quickly.
We should also mention that some vape users have switched to CBD products when they vape. CBD oils are a natural way to treat anxiety and other ailments in dogs. However, you must remember that ingesting an entire cartridge can still be dangerous, regardless of what substance it contains. Preventing ingestion's and secondary toxicity is of utmost importance.
Have you ever noticed your dog sniffing when you have a steak dinner? Of course, you have! And, just as dogs are curious about the alluring aromas of food, they might act the same around your e-cigarettes. The difference is that e-cigarettes and pets don’t mix.
Each e-cigarette cartridge contains up to 24 milligrams of nicotine, which is about the same amount of nicotine as one or two traditional cigarettes. Where the real dangers lie for dogs is that many owners don’t realize that leaving an entire package of cartridges around could lead to clinical signs of poisoning, especially in smaller animals. The greatest concern with e-cigarettes is the nicotine packed into the “e-juice.” If your dog ingests it, you can expect rapid symptoms of nicotine toxicity.
Within an hour, you might notice one or more of these signs:
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Anxiety or depression
- Loss of coordination of limbs, head, and trunk
- Generalized weakness
- Cardiac arrest
The other problem that e-cigarettes pose is the casing of the device itself. If your dog decides to chew up the casing, they could suffer oral injury, stomach upset, or even end up with foreign body obstruction if the casing can’t easily pass through their gastrointestinal system.
Rapid Response is Needed
If your dog eats any part of your e-cigarette, you must consider this a canine health emergency, because nicotine poisoning in pets is deadly. You should immediately head to the veterinarian's office and bring along the product and an estimate of how much they ate. If you’re questioning what to do, call the Animal Poison Control Helpline at 1-800-213-6680 for help.
Treatment consists of making your dog vomit to get the dangerous substances out of their system quickly. This is usually done through the use of activated charcoal. You may also be told that your care provider will give your dog fluids through an IV and medications to control any effects to your pet’s neurological system, such as seizures.
Note: The most critical parts of treatment are promptness and removing the substance from the body.
Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe
You’re a responsible pet owner. However, giving up your vaping habit just isn’t on the agenda for today or tomorrow. We get it. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to improve the safety of your pup at home, while you vape.
Head Outdoors if Possible
Ideally, smoking any products — tobacco cigarettes, e-cigarettes, or marijuana — should be done away from your pets. So, if it’s a beautiful day, head outside to vape. If you’re staying inside, you should still use a few safety tips for smoking around pets. Try to stay away from your dog and make sure there is proper ventilation in the room where you’re vaping.
Store Products Safely
Heat, air, and light can damage your vape juice and cause the flavor to fade. According to ecigarettedirect, the best place to store your vape juice is up high in a cupboard. This keeps the liquid away from all the things that can damage it and out of reach of curious pets and children. If you want to really ensure no one gets hold of the e-juice, place your supplies in a locked cabinet up high.
Living a Safe and Happy Life with Fido
Keeping your pet safe is one of your top priorities. Coming home each day to a safe and happy dog is one of the best feelings around. Use these tips to keep your dog safe from the dangers of vape.