If you’re a vaper and also a pet owner, then you may have been concerned to see the recent rise in stories of pets ingesting e-liquid and either dying or having a very near miss. Anybody who owns a dog or cat will know that they are not the most sensible creatures and will regularly stick a nose or paw where it shouldn’t be. Most of the time this curiosity will do them no harm, but when it comes to e-liquids, it could be fatal.
No vaper wants to be responsible for the untimely end of their little furry friends, and so in this post, we’ll be sharing some advice on how to vape responsibly around your pet. We’ll also explain what signs your pet might display if they ingest e-liquid and what you can do should this happen.
Pets and E-Liquids – What’s The Issue
When talking about vaping around pets, our primary focus is on the e-liquid. Your little bottle of juice contains potentially lethal levels of nicotine to an animal.
A significant factor is the size of the animal in question. The larger the animal, the more nicotine can be ingested before severe issues occur (we are of course not suggesting you test this theory).
To explain this more clearly it’s worth looking at lethal dose levels or LD50 which is the amount of substance required to kill 50% of a test population.
Lethal dose levels are expressed as mg per kg which basically looks at how much of substance can be consumed per kg of body weight.
In humans, the lethal dose is 0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg or around 40mg to 60mg in an average human. The toxic level of nicotine in dogs is 5 milligrams of nicotine per pound of body weight which makes 10 mg/kg potentially lethal.
What does this mean in practical terms?
For a medium-sized pooch of say 15k-20kg a 10ml bottle of 18mg e-liquid would be just about the right size to deliver a lethal nicotine dose. Bigger dogs would require a larger volume to perhaps prove fatal, but the 10ml bottle would still be very harmful. Many smaller dogs and cats that way 5kg or less would only need to ingest around 2.5ml of 18mg e-liquid to have taken a fatal dose.
Naturally, if you use juices with lower nicotine levels then the risk and potential harm begin to reduce. Those vapers who are using 0mg liquids need to worry a lot less as without Nicotine being present there is no evidence to suggest e-liquids are harmful to animals.
Storing E-liquids Safely
Whatever you vape the underlying message is make sure your liquids are kept well away from any pets, and of course children as well. Even with tamper-proof and childproof caps a dog or cat could easily bite through a plastic bottle, so it’s best to store them where there is no risk of them being touched.
Basic E-liquid Storage Advice
- Keep e-liquids away from pets at all times as they can pierce it with their sharp teeth
- Fill your device away from pets to avoid accidents should they suddenly pounce
- Store your equipment in a place that is inaccessible to pets when you're not using it, ideally in a locked cupboard
- While safe, it's best not to vape around pets. If you do, ensure the room or space is properly ventilated
- Prevent pets from licking the vapour that you exhale as nicotine may present in it
- Should a mishap occur, call your vet immediately for advice
Signs Your Pet Might Display from Nicotine Poisoning
- Complete or partial change of gum and tongue colour to purple, white, blue, brick coloured or extremely bright red
- Rapid pulse rate
- Panting and high temperature
- Sudden loss of appetite
- Blood in the stool and diarrhoea
An early assessment will help to determine if a trip to the vet is necessary, but if in doubt go the safe route and go see the expert.