There’s a reason most of your vape juices have a warning on them: “Keep away from children and pets.” If you have furry friends and are into vaping, you need to do everything you can to ensure that they aren’t in danger. Yes, like many things in our homes, vape juices and equipment can be harmful to pets. Pups especially are drawn to the yummy-smelling e-liquid, which may contain nicotine and other ingredients that are toxic and potentially deadly to pets.
You’re already a good pet owner if you’ve switched from cigarettes to vaping, since you’re not exposing your animals to the toxins and chemicals in traditional tobacco products. Still, part of being a responsible vaper is understanding the risks involved and how you can properly prevent accidents and mishaps. Follow these safety tips if you plan to vape around your four-legged family members.
Vaping Around Pets: Important Safety Tips You Should Know
Keep All Accessories and Hardware in a Safe Place — In homes with pets, you must treat all vaping accessories, including e-juice and any hot pieces and parts, the same way you would treat medications, chocolate, grapes and other foods toxic to pets. Safely store e-juice in places that are completely inaccessible to your animals and keep in mind the following tips:
- Your best bet here is to double-down by placing all your vaping materials up high in a locked safe or container.
- Anything that has come into contact with particularly aromatic liquids will be appetizing to Fido, so make sure to clean any recently used spare parts of their liquid before storing them within reach of any animals.
- Batteries can also be particularly hazardous, as they can expose chewing animals to dangerous alkaline, which can cause burns.
Stick to Non-Nicotine Vape Juice Around Pets — The fact is this: Nicotine and pets don’t mix, no exceptions. In fact, the Pet Poison Helpline reports an uptick in calls of nicotine poisoning in pets with relation to vapes and e-cigarettes. To be extra-safe, try to stick to vaping non-nicotine e-liquids around your pets or consider sticking to flavor options that won’t be as appealing to your fluffy friends. Luckily, there are all sorts of delightful non-nicotine juice options out there, so you won’t be compromising flavor-wise when you make the switch.
Know the Signs of Nicotine Poisoning and Act Fast — Since many of us use vaping as an aid in weaning off nicotine, it’s often not practical to cut out the stuff altogether. If this is the case for you, the best thing you can do is make sure that you can quickly and easily identify the signs of nicotine poisoning in dogs and cats. Pets with nicotine poisoning will experience vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, lethargy, confusion, seizures and odd behavior or personality changes. If you notice any of these signs, immediately contact the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 or your local emergency vet. If you vape or regularly use substances that may be toxic to animals, make sure to post this number on your fridge or somewhere easily accessible.
Only Vape Outdoors or in Rooms with Proper Ventilation — While it may not be bothersome to your pet, some animals have respiratory sensitivities or may be more affected by certain vapors or odors. Though there isn’t much research on animals and second-hand vape, they may get nicotine poisoning if they are inhaling concentrated amounts of vaporized nicotine. If you have cats or birds who tend to clean themselves, they may be ingesting nicotine and other ingredients by grooming their feathers or fur. In general, you should try to make sure that you’re only vaping outside or in rooms with good ventilation if you intend to vape around animals. It should go without saying, but don’t ever blow vapor or smoke into an animal’s face.
Take Your Dog for a Vape Walk — Want to get into the habit of only vaping outdoors? Those of us who have dogs know that it’s fairly easy to adjust if we have to regularly walk our pets. Try to align your vape breaks with your pet’s potty breaks in order to get your pup and yourself some extra exercise and to ensure that you’re not exposing him or your environment to potentially dangerous nicotine. Even just stepping outside into the backyard to vape with your dog can help reduce the amount of potentially dangerous substances he may inhale indoors.
Opt for Pre-Filled Cartridges and Try Your Best to Avoid Spilling — One of the most common ways animals are exposed to nicotine liquid is through excess e-juice that spills during filling. A simple way to prevent spillage is to switch from regular tanks to pre-filled (disposable) cartridges. This way, all you have to do is open a package and pop the cartridge into your device. There’s no opportunity to spill or expose excess to your pets. If you prefer using refillable juice tanks, it helps if you select vaping devices equipped with anti-spill features and bottles with dropper tools — and only refill your vape over a sink with running water.
Keep Chargers and Hot Components Out of Reach — At the end of the day, your vape is a complex electronic device that has the ability to get really hot and could cause burns if improperly handled. Make sure that you charge your devices either in a secure, closed-off environment or up high somewhere pets cannot reach.
Keep Out of Reach of Pets — The very best thing you can do to avoid any pet-related vaping issues is to keep everything vape away from your pet. As long as your animal amigos don’t have access to concentrated vapor, e-liquids or potentially dangerous hardware, you can consider yourself a responsible vaper and a responsible pet owner, so it’s a win-win for the whole family.