We’ve all heard about the debate about passive vaping and its safety, but can your pets be affected?

Finding ways to vape in a safe and considerate way is crucial for a world in which vapers and non-vapers can co-exist in harmony. There’s been a lot in the news recently about studies into passive vaping and its effects on non-vapers but one thing which hasn’t been discussed in as much detail is the way that vaping can affect the animals in your home. Animals that you keep as pets have different immune systems, different tolerances and intolerances, so understanding the differences between how a pet and a human would react to vaping is a must.

Take for example the affect which Catnip has on the animal. Whilst it’s been cultivated for use in herbal cigarettes for humans and has a mild relaxing quality, its effects on cats is well documented as almost hallucinogenic and very potent. This is just one example of how a chemical can affect an animal more than a human, and whilst there are none of these extreme qualities in vape juice, it’s still worth thinking about how our bodies work and react differently.

Vape juice ingestion

With vape juices, the propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine within the e liquid are not the main concern when it comes to its toxicity and potential lethality. These chemicals are commonly found within food products and are an organic chemical compound. This is the same with vape flavours.The flavours found within vape juices are commonly used in the food industry and so in the quantities available in a 10-ml bottle of e liquid, you’ll most likely be safe. The ingredient which you must be wary of ingesting in mammals is the nicotine, the addictive ingredient which is the link between e liquids and tobacco.

Toxicity on humans

The main concern for humans when it comes to poisoning, is nicotine. Whilst the amount to kill a grown adult varies, an average lethal amount is usually around 40 mg. However, children are our main concern. The fact is that there have been reports of children dying of nicotine overdoses from just a single bottle of e liquid. Again, this will vary due to a lighter child not having enough weight to fight off potential poisoning, a lethal dose for a child being around .25 mg per pound. That means that a 20 pound child could find 5 mg of nicotine fatal. These estimations are low and for good reason. Although a 20-pound child could potentially find 5 mg’s lethal, Public Health England has also stated that “If the 10ml bottle of e-liquid was drunk, it would cause nausea and vomiting but would be unlikely to inflict serious harm. “

Toxicity on animals

Like with children, the smaller the animal, the smaller the nicotine dose needed to be lethal. This means that cats and small dogs could be killed by a 10 ml bottle of e liquid. Again, ingredients derived from propylene glycol and vegetable glycerine are used in pet food, so nicotine is the only ingredient you should usually be concerned with. That means that with a nicotine free vape juice, you will be free from nicotine poisoning, but should still be cautious with your animals seeing as vape juice is never supposed to be drunk!

Passive vaping and its effects on your pets

Whilst there are harmful substances such as formaldehyde in e juices, the main concern should always be the quantity. With very little present in vape juice, the exhale has even less. We ingest harmful chemicals in small quantities every day, so vape juices, with their miniscule amounts of formaldehyde amount to nothing compared to what we find in tobacco smoke.

Signs of nicotine poisoning in your pets

To assess your pet for nicotine poisoning. Checking the tongue and gums for blue, purple, white, brick coloured or a high red will give you indicators of poisoning in your pet. If your pet has a high blood pressure, temperature and a loss of appetite, these could also be signs of nicotine poisoning.

What to do

To minimise the risk of nicotine poisoning in your pet, keep your vape juices and paraphernalia out of their reach and make sure that they’re child proof and in sturdy containers.

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