Does pepper spray work on animals?

Pepper spray is a great tool to have in your arsenal, especially if you’re an active person. It’s important to know how to use this product before using it on someone, so read on. Here are the basics of this spray: 

  • Pepper spraying is not lethal but can cause severe discomfort like temporary blindness and disorientation and should be used with caution. 
  • It has two main delivery systems; direct stream or fogger. 
  • There are three types of sprays: irritant (most common), capsaicin (strongest), oleoresin capsicum (a mix of both). The key difference is in their composition. 
  • Pepper spray is a self-defense product and not a toy. 
  • This spray can be used on people, dogs and other animals. In most countries (including the US), you can legally use this spray anytime to protect yourself if needed, but be very careful doing so in public. 
  • The active ingredient in the spray is capsaicin. It’s found in chili peppers and gives them their fiery sting. While capsaicin is not considered lethal, it’s an effective deterrent for any attacker when sprayed in their face by an aerosol canister or directly applied by trigger stream.

Pepper Spray: Chemical Composition!

Pepper spray is a type of oleoresin capsicum (OC) pepper, a hot and numbing agent that is sprayed in the eyes or nose to temporarily incapacitate someone who may be threatening you. This spray can also irritate the skin, as well as cause breathing difficulties. The pepper spray works by causing the person's airway and vision to become so foggy they become disoriented and confused, making them easier to apprehend. 

Its effectiveness comes from its unique chemical composition — capsaicinoids which give it its burning and stinging sensation when it comes into contact with skin or mucous membranes — combined with nonvolatile oils which serve to enhance penetration of the active ingredients through epidermis layers. The active ingredients in the spray are capsaicin, oleoresin capsicum, and alkyl nitrates.

The active ingredients that make up oleoresin capsicum are also found in many other peppers. The major difference between these sprays and other forms of OC is the concentration of the active ingredients. They come in different strengths, with the highest concentrations of content being used for self-defense.

Pepper Spraying: Ancient Uses! 

Pepper spray is a less-lethal, non-lethal, and effective personal defense weapon used by law enforcement officers. The idea of using pepper spraying was first developed in 1868. At that time, it was used to ward off attacking wild animals and hostile humans. 

Today, this spray has become an important tool in law enforcement agencies and is used for personal defense use as well as protection from fires or as an animal repellent for kennels or farms. 

It can also be used as a self-defense measure against assault or vandalism when you are subject to a fight or mugging situation where physical force is not immediately available for self-defense. It is absolutely imperative to note that this spray is designed for emergency situations only and should not be considered as a weapon. 

Pepper spraying is not lethal and it indiscriminately targets the eyes, nose, mouth, skin, mucous membranes and respiratory tract. The affected person will feel severe pain and discomfort in the affected areas. It can even cause temporary blindness and permanent eye irritations if repeatedly sprayed on eyes.

Pepper spray

Difference Between Mace and Pepper Spray

So you're thinking about purchasing a self-defense product - great! What kind of self-protection is right for you?

Pepper spray, or oleoresin capsicum (OC), differs from mace in that it causes inflammation and temporary blindness, but does not act as an irritant. Mace is an irritant that causes tearing but does not cause long-term harm. 

If you're looking for a nonlethal means of protection and are willing to sacrifice some effectiveness, mace might be worth looking into. Pepper spraying can cause serious harm or death if used improperly. 

Mace is an option if you feel that pepper is too intense for you. Mace is just as effective as pepper but causes more temporary tearing and less eye pain for the attacker. Mace also has a shorter effective range, about 6 feet when sprayed directly at the face of an attacker. 

It can be used at night and in low light, but not ideal in crowded areas or areas where there's a lot of movement.

Read More: Stun Gun VS Pepper Spray

Using Pepper Spray Effectively

The main way to use this spray effectively against an attacker is to aim for the face or eyes. This will cause an immediate stinging sensation and temporarily blind your assailant. Once this happens you should have enough time to get away from your attacker and contact the police once you've reached a safe location.

Now that you know how it works, you might think "Wait a minute. I've heard that pepper spraying doesn't do anything if you miss it!" The reason why this is true is because your antagonist will merely blink his eyes and move them around to start the process all over again.

To counteract this, wait until your assailant is directly in front of you and try to aim for his face with the spray before he can blink away the effect. This could be done in one of two ways: 1) Aim at his head without blinking and then cock back the pepper spray as he turns toward you. 2) Aim straight down at him from above but don't make any sudden movements.

Effects of Pepper Spray on Humans

Pepper spray is a lachrymatory agent that causes the eyes to close, tears to flow, and breathing to become difficult. In the U.S., it's illegal without a special license. This spray is not included in any international chemical weapons treaty, though there are claims that it should be due to its harmful effects on human beings. 

It has been employed as an anti personnel weapon by law enforcement for over three decades and as of 2011 was still used by police forces in some Latin American countries. In America, this spray is used for riot control and self-defense, including protection of police officers and citizens from violent confrontations. 

In most cases it's used against unarmed citizens, though it can also be used by somebody who is attacked or threatened by a dangerous animal such as a bear. It's also a useful tool for dispersing non-compliant people at airport terminals and other areas with high security levels like military installations.

Pepper spray

Effects of Pepper Spray on Animals

While pepper spray is typically a no-no in the animal kingdom, not all animals react the same way to this potent chemical. A 2014 study found that a similar range of responses occurred as if they had been exposed to both aerosol spray and firecrackers. 

While some animals will run away from it, other animals may only be temporarily dazed before continuing on their paths, others may react by pawing at water and licking their forelimbs or hindlimbs. The reaction of an animal to pepper spraying is entirely dependent on the concentration of capsaicin (the substance that causes the burning sensation) in their system. 

For example, a 2004 study in Israel compared the responses of wild boars, who were naturally acclimated to the environment and wolves who were not acclimated to the area. The wolves would run away from a canister that had previously sprayed pepper, whereas the boars only briefly reacted before continuing on.

Review of Spray for Self-Defense

This spray is a chemical that's used to reduce the effects and pain of irritation or burns. It works mainly by causing short-term intense irritation to the eyes, nasal passages, throat, lungs and skin. The main purpose of pepper spraying is to temporarily incapacitate an attacker so that officers can deal with them safely.

University violent crimes expert Les Simmons said: "It would not be my first choice to use this spray against somebody who was attacking me," because it would probably come back at you.

So, this spray can be one of the most effective self defense weapons, but it shouldn't really be used as a primary weapon. It's better to use spray in conjunction with other self-defense tools to achieve maximum effectiveness. In fact, many people combine a stun gun and spray into a single self-defense package.

Read More: Pros and Cons of Pepper Spray

Is Pepper Spray Right for You?

This spray is a good self-defense weapon to use when you're close to the attacker, within a 10 foot range. However, if the jostling of a crowd or bar makes it difficult to maintain that distance, it may not be your best option. The spray can also be used at night in low light conditions as long as everything is within 10 feet from you. 

It has an effective range of about 15 feet when sprayed directly on the attacker's face. It is best used on people who are smaller and weaker than you. Most people spray pepper into the eyes of an attacker. 

A few seconds after the spray, the attacker's eyes will close involuntarily, making it harder for them to attack or run away. During this time, you can escape or tackle your attacker to keep them restrained while they're incapacitated.