Tear gas is chemical weapon police can use to force people to stop fighting and surrender. It’s been used in riots and protests for decades but recently gained notoriety as a weapon of choice for law enforcement agencies. The effects on dogs are difficult to predict because no studies have been done on dogs exposed to tear gas. Still, they will likely experience some form of toxicity due to its effects on humans, both positive (burns) and negative (reactions).
What is Tear Gas?
Tear gas is a chemical weapon that causes temporary blindness, pain, and skin irritation. It’s non-lethal but can be dangerous if inhaled or ingested. Tear gas was initially developed as a medical treatment for eye irritation, but it also became widely used by police departments to disperse crowds during protests.
Why Does Tear Gas Affect Dogs So Much?
Tear gas is a chemical used to create an irritant or panic in people. It’s also known as CN, pepper spray, and oleoresin capsicum (OC). While it’s not toxic to humans, dogs can be affected by the chemical that irritates humans because they have a different physiology than us. For example:
• Dogs have an increased sense of smell due to their keen ability to sniff out food sources and track down prey
• Dogs are more likely than us to be exposed at protests, demonstrations, or riots where tear gas is used because they tend not to wear protective gear like masks or respirators, which may protect them from inhaling toxic fumes
Side Effects Of Tear Gas On Dogs
Dogs are susceptible to the side effects of tear gas. Side effects can happen very quickly, so you should contact a vet immediately if your dog shows signs of having been exposed to tear gas.
• Coughing: The first sign that your dog has been exposed to tear gas is likely coughing, which may lead to difficulty breathing or even pneumonia if it’s not treated.
• Difficulty Breathing: If you notice that your dog seems unable to breathe correctly, call for help immediately! This can be life-threatening for susceptible dogs and need medical attention as soon as possible.
• Eye Irritation: Tear gas irritates the eyes of both humans and animals; pets might experience redness in their eyes or excessive tearing during this period—especially if they are near an area where tear gas was used (such as an airport).
What to do if Your Dog is exposed to Tear Gas
If your dog has been exposed to tear gas, you must call your veterinarian immediately. Tear gas can be lethal for dogs, so the priority is getting them checked out by a vet.
If possible, try to keep your dog away from crowds or areas where there may be tear gas. You should also stay indoors until both you and your pup have been examined by a vet—and even then, take precautions when leaving the house: while we don’t know what exactly will happen to both animals and humans exposed to certain chemicals such as CS (tear gas), we do know that they can cause serious health problems such as breathing issues or seizures.
It can be a serious issue if your dog is exposed to tear gas. You should contact a veterinarian immediately and ensure they get the proper treatment for their condition.

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