Can Dogs Get High from Second-Hand Vape?

By BobJ Jun12,2024
vape dog
vape dog


With the rise in popularity of vaping, concerns about its effects on human health have been widely discussed. However, less attention has been given to how vaping might affect our furry companions. Specifically, many pet owners are curious and worried about the potential risks posed to dogs by second-hand vape exposure. This article delves into the science behind vaping, examines the potential health impacts on dogs, and offers practical advice for keeping your pets safe.

Understanding Second-Hand Vape Exposure

Second-hand vape exposure occurs when non-users inhale aerosolized particles exhaled by someone using a vaping device. Unlike traditional cigarette smoke, vape smoke contains a different composition of chemicals, including nicotine, flavoring agents, and various solvents. These substances can linger in the air and be inhaled by pets, potentially causing harm.

The Composition of Vape Smoke

Vape smoke is composed of various ingredients, including propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, nicotine, and flavorings. Some vape liquids also contain cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Understanding these components is crucial to assessing the risks to pets.

Ingredients in Vape Liquids

  • Nicotine: A potent stimulant that affects the central nervous system.
  • Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin: Common solvents used to create the aerosol.
  • Flavorings: Chemicals added to create a variety of flavors, some of which can be toxic to animals.
  • THC and CBD: Cannabinoids found in certain vape liquids that can have psychoactive or therapeutic effects.

Can Dogs Get High from Second-Hand Vape?

Dogs can indeed be affected by second-hand vape exposure. When dogs inhale the aerosolized particles from a vaping device, these substances can enter their bloodstream and impact their central nervous system. The extent of these effects depends on the specific chemicals in the vape and the duration of exposure.

Mechanism of Inhalation in Dogs

Dogs have a highly sensitive olfactory system and a different respiratory physiology compared to humans. When they inhale vape smoke, the particles can be more readily absorbed into their bloodstream, leading to potentially severe reactions even from small amounts.

Effects of Nicotine on Dogs

Nicotine is particularly harmful to dogs. Even a small dose can cause symptoms of poisoning, including vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and tremors. In severe cases, it can lead to respiratory failure and death.

Acute and Long-Term Effects

  • Acute Effects: Immediate symptoms like drooling, agitation, or collapse.
  • Long-Term Effects: Potential for chronic respiratory issues, neurological damage, and behavioral changes.

THC and CBD in Vape Liquids

The presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) in some vape liquids introduces additional risks. While CBD is generally considered safe in controlled doses, THC can be toxic to dogs, causing disorientation, lethargy, and even seizures.

Impact on Canine Neurology

  • THC: Can lead to severe neurological symptoms including ataxia (loss of coordination) and altered mental states.
  • CBD: While less toxic, it can still cause adverse reactions in high doses or in dogs with certain health conditions.
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Symptoms of Vape Exposure in Dogs

Recognizing the signs of vape exposure is critical for timely intervention. Symptoms to watch for include:

  • Respiratory distress: Coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
  • Gastrointestinal upset: Vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Neurological symptoms: Tremors, seizures, or disorientation.
  • Behavioral changes: Increased agitation or lethargy.

Veterinary Insights

Veterinary professionals emphasize the importance of preventing exposure and being vigilant about symptoms. Case studies highlight the varying responses in dogs, underscoring the need for immediate veterinary care if exposure is suspected.

Expert Opinions and Case Studies

Many veterinarians report an increase in cases of pet poisoning related to vaping products. They stress the importance of educating pet owners about the dangers and ensuring that vape products are kept out of reach of pets.

Comparing Second-Hand Vape to Cigarette Smoke

While both cigarette smoke and vape smoke pose risks, the specific dangers differ. Vape smoke often contains higher concentrations of certain chemicals and smaller particulate matter, which can be more easily absorbed by pets.

Differences and Similarities

  • Chemical Composition: Vape smoke lacks tar but can contain higher levels of nicotine.
  • Particulate Matter: Finer particles in vape smoke may pose a greater inhalation risk.

The Risk of Flavored Vape Liquids

Flavored vape liquids present additional hazards. Certain flavoring agents, particularly those that produce a sweet smell, can be enticing to dogs and may contain toxic substances like xylitol or diacetyl.

Additional Concerns

  • Xylitol: Common in sweet-flavored vapes, extremely toxic to dogs.
  • Diacetyl: Linked to respiratory issues in humans, potentially harmful to pets as well.

Preventing Second-Hand Vape Exposure

Pet owners can take several steps to minimize the risk of second-hand vape exposure. Practical tips include vaping outdoors, using air purifiers, and ensuring that pets are kept away from vaping areas.

Practical Tips for Dog Owners

  • Vape Outdoors: Reduces indoor air contamination.
  • Use Air Purifiers: Helps remove airborne particles.
  • Create Pet-Free Zones: Designate areas where pets are not allowed.

Legal Considerations

Understanding the legal framework surrounding vaping and pet safety is crucial. Regulations vary, but many regions are beginning to recognize the need for stricter controls to protect pets from accidental exposure.

Regulations and Animal Welfare

  • Local Laws: Some areas have specific regulations about vaping in public spaces.
  • Animal Welfare Acts: Increasing focus on protecting pets from household toxins.

Myths and Misconceptions

There are several myths about vaping and pet safety that need to be debunked. Common misconceptions include the belief that vape smoke is harmless or that pets are not affected by small exposures.

Commonly Held Beliefs Debunked

  • “Vape Smoke is Harmless”: Misleading; it contains harmful chemicals.
  • “Pets Aren’t Affected”: False; even small exposures can be dangerous.
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Pet-Safe Alternatives to Vaping

For pet owners who vape, exploring safer alternatives is advisable. These can include nicotine patches or gums, which pose no risk to pets if used responsibly.

Ensuring a Safe Environment

  • Nicotine Alternatives: Use products that do not produce second-hand smoke.
  • Vape-Free Zones: Maintain areas in the home where vaping is not allowed.

First Aid for Vape Exposure

In cases of suspected vape exposure, immediate action is essential. Knowing the steps to take can make a significant difference in your dog’s recovery.

Immediate Steps to Take

  • Move to Fresh Air: Remove the dog from the contaminated area.
  • Contact a Veterinarian: Seek professional advice immediately.
  • Monitor Symptoms: Keep an eye on your dog’s behavior and physical condition.

Long-Term Health Monitoring

After exposure, ongoing health monitoring is crucial. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian can help identify any long-term effects and ensure your dog’s well-being.

Keeping Track of Your Dog’s Health

  • Regular Vet Visits: Schedule follow-ups to monitor health.
  • Observe Changes: Note any behavioral or physical changes.

Studies and Research

Current research continues to explore the impact of second-hand vape exposure on pets. Findings highlight the need for increased awareness and preventive measures.

Latest Findings in Veterinary Science

  • Toxicology Reports: Detailed studies on the effects of nicotine and cannabinoids on pets.
  • Behavioral Studies: Observations on how vape exposure affects pet behavior.

Impact on Puppies vs. Adult Dogs

Puppies are generally more vulnerable to toxic substances than adult dogs. Understanding these age-related differences is important for protecting younger pets.

Age-Related Vulnerabilities

  • Puppies: Higher risk due to developing systems.
  • Adult Dogs: Can still suffer significant effects but may have more resilience.

Breed-Specific Reactions

Certain dog breeds may be more susceptible to the effects of vape exposure. Factors such as size, respiratory health, and genetic predispositions play a role.

Which Dogs Are More Susceptible?

  • Brachycephalic Breeds: Bulldogs, Pugs, and other breeds with short snouts.
  • Small Breeds: More affected due to lower body weight.

How Vaping Indoors Affects Pets

Vaping indoors significantly increases the risk of exposure for pets. The accumulation of chemicals in enclosed spaces can create a hazardous environment.

Indoor Air Quality Concerns

  • Ventilation: Lack of proper ventilation increases risk.
  • Surface Contamination: Residual chemicals can settle on surfaces and be ingested by pets.

Personal Stories from Dog Owners

Hearing from other dog owners who have experienced vape exposure incidents can provide valuable insights and encourage proactive measures.

Real-Life Experiences

  • Case Studies: Stories from pet owners about the impacts of second-hand vape exposure.
  • Lessons Learned: Practical advice based on personal experiences.

Common Household Toxins

Beyond vape smoke, many household items pose risks to pets. Being aware of these dangers can help create a safer home environment.

Beyond Vape: Other Dangers

  • Cleaning Products: Many contain chemicals toxic to dogs.
  • Foods: Common foods like chocolate and grapes can be harmful.
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Veterinarian Recommendations

Veterinarians often provide specific guidelines for preventing vape exposure and other household risks. Following these recommendations can enhance pet safety.

Best Practices for Pet Safety

  • Store Vape Products Safely: Keep out of reach of pets.
  • Educate Family Members: Ensure everyone in the household is aware of the risks.

The Role of Diet and Exercise

A healthy diet and regular exercise can help support your dog’s overall health, making them more resilient to potential toxins.

Supporting Overall Health

  • Balanced Diet: Provides essential nutrients for recovery.
  • Regular Exercise: Helps maintain respiratory and cardiovascular health.

Public Awareness and Education

Raising awareness about the risks of second-hand vape exposure is crucial. Educating the public can lead to better protection for pets.

Spreading Knowledge

  • Community Outreach: Participate in local events to spread awareness.
  • Social Media: Use platforms to share information and tips.


Can dogs get high from second-hand vape?

Yes, dogs can get high from second-hand vape, especially if the vape liquid contains THC. Symptoms can include disorientation, lethargy, and seizures.

What are the symptoms of vape exposure in dogs?

Common symptoms include respiratory distress, gastrointestinal upset, neurological symptoms, and behavioral changes.

Is nicotine harmful to dogs?

Yes, nicotine is highly toxic to dogs. Even small amounts can cause severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, and tremors.

How can I prevent my dog from being exposed to vape smoke?

Vaping outdoors, using air purifiers, and keeping your dog away from vaping areas are effective measures to prevent exposure.

What should I do if my dog is exposed to vape smoke?

Move your dog to fresh air immediately and contact a veterinarian. Monitor your dog for any symptoms and follow professional advice.

Are certain dog breeds more at risk from vape exposure?

Yes, brachycephalic breeds (e.g., Bulldogs, Pugs) and smaller breeds are more susceptible due to their respiratory structure and lower body weight.


Second-hand vape exposure poses significant risks to dogs, ranging from acute symptoms to long-term health effects. By understanding these dangers and taking proactive measures, pet owners can protect their furry friends from harm. Remember to consult with veterinarians regularly and stay informed about the latest research and guidelines to ensure your pets remain safe and healthy in a vaping household.

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By BobJ

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