Throughout much of the 20th century, people across America smoked cigarettes in their homes, in their cars, in their offices, and while out and about in the world. It was only later on that scientists and doctors discovered the dangers of smoking cigarettes and of secondhand smoke inhalation as well. The secondhand smoke was bad for both children and pets, and could have long-lasting negative effects on anyone who was around it.
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Today, many people are vaping instead. They've replaced their cigarette habits with vaping devices and are smoking them in private and in public.
Let's take a look at what vaping is exactly, as well as how it could potentially harm your pet if they come into contact with it.
What is vaping?
Vaping means the inhaling and exhaling of aerosol through a vaping device. This device is electronic, and you have to purchase "juice" to put in it. This juice will usually contain nicotine, some sort of flavoring (like fruit), and vegetable glycerin and/or propylene glycol, a chemical formula that comes in the form of a colorless liquid.
People will smoke through vaping devices like electronic cigarettes and vape pens. One of the most popular vaping devices is the JUUL, which is small and can be charged through a USB port on your computer or a power strip.
There have been numerous class-action lawsuits against vaping companies. Some say these vaping devices have caused seizures, while others claim they had a stroke because of their vaping habits.
Vaping around pets
There currently isn't any evidence that the vapor coming from vaping devices is bad for pets. However, you wouldn't want to blow the smoke directly on your pets' face, just like you wouldn't with cigarette smoke. You never know what kind of effect the smoke could have on your pet. For instance, it could irritate their eyes or cause them to cough or sneeze.
If you want to exercise extra precautions, vape in a different room than where your pet is and make sure you're in a properly ventilated area when exhaling. Also, never let your pet lick the vapor, as it could have nicotine in it.
The one thing you do have to watch out for is making sure your pet doesn't have access to your vaping device or juice. Just like with any electronic device, you should keep your vape pen or electronic cigarette locked up and away from your pets at all times. You don't want them accidentally eating the battery or chewing on the USB stick. If parts of the vaping device are swallowed, that could be dangerous to your pet.
Keeping vape juice away from pets
The biggest danger to pets is the actual vape juice. While most juice bottles are going to be childproof, a crafty pet could potentially break into one if they have sharp teeth. You should always leave the bottles close and out of reach of children and pets. If you have a cat that can jump up onto countertops, put the bottles in a cabinet.
Ingesting vape juice is bad for pets and can even be fatal, since nicotine is known to lead to death in animals. Nicotine poisoning can cause your pet to have lung failure as well as muscle paralysis only a few short hours after ingesting vape juice.
Some signs of vape juice positioning include a racing heart rate, rapid breathing or being out of breath, vomiting, seizures, excessive salivation, diarrhea, weakness, lethargy, or a lack of coordination.
If you suspect your pet has been poisoned by vape juice, you need to call the Pet Poison Hotline right away at (855) 764-7661. Note that they charge a fee for giving you advice. If your veterinarian has an emergency number, you could call that as well.
Treatment for pet poisoning
If your pet has been poisoned, it doesn't mean it's going to lead to fatality, as long as you get them to the veterinarian as soon as possible and follow the doctor's orders for treatment.
Always stay calm when dealing with your poisoned pet. They are likely shaken up and need you to be strong for them. Collect the vape juice container to take to your veterinarian so they can inspect it and see exactly what ingredients your pet ingested. Your veterinarian will instruct you on how to proceed, but it may involve making your pet vomit by making them drink saltwater or giving them activated charcoal. Whatever you do, don't Google how to treat your poisoned pet; only listen to your experienced vet.
Also, be aware that around 25% of pets will recover from poisoning within two hours, while one in 100 pets with poisoning will pass away from it. As long as you treat the poisoned pet as swiftly as possible, in all likelihood, they will be just fine.
After going through being poisoned, your pet may need to go on a special diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, for example, could help your pet when it comes to inflammation. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations for supplements and food that will help strengthen your pet's body and get them back up and running in no time following a vape juice poisoning.
While there is currently no research suggesting that the vapor from vape pens is bad for cats and dogs, it's safest to avoid blowing the vapor around them, as we do not know the long term effects of vapor on pets. Pets also face the possibility of ingesting vape juice, which is poisonous to them. Keep your vape juice secured and out of reach of your pets, and if they do manage to ingest some, call the Pet Poison Hotline right away at (855) 764-7661.