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What To Do When Your Dog Eats Weed

Cannabis is great and dogs are awesome. It’s simply a fact. That being said, weed is for humans only (just in case you weren’t sure). However, accidents do happen and we’re here to help. If your dog ate weed or if you’re a cannabis-loving dog owner, this article provides relevant answers to commonly asked questions about dogs and marijuana. Can dogs get high? Can dogs eat weed? Does marijuana hurt dogs? How does weed affect dogs? Should you take your dog to the vet? These are all great questions, and knowing the answers may prevent your furry friend from finding itself in an unfortunate situation. Read ahead to learn more about what happens if your dog eats weed.

Can Dogs Get High From Eating Weed?

Yes, if your dog ate marijuana, they will likely get high. Here are a few tell-tale symptoms to help you identify if your dog has ingested cannabis:

  • Unsteady movements and an unstable balance
  • Confused look and dazed eyes
  • Nervousness and paranoia
  • Dilated pupils
  • Low temperature and heart rate
  • Dribbling urine

Is Weed Bad For Dogs?

While a stoned dog might sound like an entertaining experiment, marijuana definitely falls under the category of what not to feed your dog. If you’ve thought about giving marijuana to dog friends, please don’t. Dogs and weed do not mix. Unlike humans, THC is poisonous to many animals and the effects of marijuana on dogs can often cause distress and be downright harmful. Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans do, which means they feel the effects much more intensely.

If you’re looking for medical supplements for your dog, consider asking your vet about CBD products. Although marijuana is bad for dogs, CBD has not proven harmful and may even be beneficial to your pets who suffer from anxiety, pain, etc.

Can Weed Kill A Dog?

Marijuana alone has not proven to be lethal if ingested by a dog. However, there are at least two scenarios that may prove deadly to your dog if it eats weed:

If Your Dog Gets Too High Alone

When a dog ingests cannabis, the effects will last roughly 24 hours before wearing off completely. During that time, a dog might become extremely affected by the THC. Marijuana toxicity in dogs may cause them to throw up; and if your dog is too high, they may fatally choke on their own vomit. It’s critical to your dog’s health that you never leave it alone if it eats any form of cannabis!

If Your Dog Ate Edible Brownies

There is a large list of foods dogs should not eat which includes chocolate, alcohol, citrus, caffeine, nuts, undercooked meat and yeast dough. Like flower or other forms of cannabis, edibles are unhealthy for pets to eat. However, they can be especially dangerous because of other potential ingredients. If your dog ate edible brownies or some other combination of weed and chocolate, there is a chance the combination may prove fatal.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate Marijuana?

If your dog is showing any symptoms of having eaten weed, the first thing you should do is call your local veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center. You will find our recommended response below, but it’s only meant to help guide you through making sure your pet is safe as possible – it cannot replace a professional’s medical opinion.

When you first realize your dog has probably eaten marijuana, follow these steps as rationally as possible:

Stay Calm

Your dog is likely going to be okay but still needs your help. Therefore, it’s important that you keep a level head and follow through with the rest of these steps. If you happen to be high, try to remain focused and avoid any distractions.

Call Your Veterinarian, Local Animal ER or the Animal Poison Control Center

As stated above, the first action you should take is to call a professional. Trained veterinarians will know whether or not you need to bring your dog in and can give you guidance through the process. Vets also aren’t obligated to report marijuana ingestion to police, so you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble. Note that most animal hospitals or animal ERs will make you bring your pet in to see them (as they won’t be able to make a diagnosis over the phone), so be prepared to get in the car quickly.

Evaluate the Symptoms

If you think or know your dog has ingested some form of THC, check for any noticeable symptoms. This will help professionals determine the toxicity levels and relevant dangers. Even if your dog is not yet showing any side effects, make sure you’ve called a vet and proceed to the next steps.

Determine How Much and What Type of Weed Your Dog Ate

Did your dog get into your stash and eat edibles, flower, concentrate, etc? Are you not sure where the weed came from? Are you unable to determine how much was ingested or whether or not it was actually weed?

The more details a vet knows about your dog’s THC consumption, the better. Since this is critical to your dog’s health, be honest and upfront with the veterinarian when describing what was eaten. Depending on your dog’s size, the concentration of THC consumed could prove very dangerous.

Drive Your Animal To A Professional For Evaluation

This step is critical if the symptoms are already noticeable, if you have a smaller dog, or if your dog ate edibles or other food with additionally harmful ingredients (like chocolate). Immediately get your dog to the nearest professional for help.

If You Can’t See a Veterinarian, Wait It Out

As scary as it is, these situations often come down to a waiting game. The best thing to do is to stay calm and provide as much support to your dog as possible. Petting him/her, sitting next to them, talking to them, etc. are wonderful ways to show love. Continuously check to see if your dog’s eyes are dilated or if breathing patterns change, which may mean staying awake with your pet throughout the entirety of the night. If your dog hasn’t had water in a while (which is a large danger), try small ice chips around their gums or provide more enticing liquids like chicken or beef broth. From personal experience, the latter works wonders!

How Should You Store Your Cannabis?

As more states continue to legalize cannabis, reports of dogs and THC related veterinary visits are increasing. Try to avoid adding to this unfortunate statistic by thoughtfully storing your stash in a place your dog won’t be able to sniff it out and snarf it down. Here are some foolproof tips for storing your cannabis:

  • Always keep your weed in a durable, lockable container. Not only will this keep your weed fresh and the smell contained, but it acts as a second round of protection in case your dog still manages to find it.
  • Store your stash up in high locations, like in kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
  • If you don’t want cannabis in your house and live in a state where weed is legalized, placing it in the trunk of your car satisfies most state laws.

If you’re reading through this article, chances are high that you’re a cannabis enthusiast. If we’ve helped you learn about dogs and marijuana, let us also help you find a local dispensary you can trust. If you’ve got a safe place to stash weed, you should probably make sure you’ve got some quality product to actually store. Visit our website to learn more about the cannabis industry and reputable dispensaries near you.

Has your pet consumed weed? If so, what happened and what did you do to make them feel better? Please leave your own tips in the comments below to help other readers in the future!

Cannabis is great and dogs are awesome. It’s simply a fact. That being said, weed is for humans only (just in case you weren’t sure). However, accidents do happen and we’re here to help. If your dog ate weed or if you’re a cannabis-loving dog owner, this article provides relevant answers to commonly asked questions about dogs and marijuana. Can dog

What To Do If Your Dog Eats Weed

It was supposed to be a fun, carefree weekend. Sarah was hosting friends from out of town at her home in Nashville, and one of them had surprised the group with gummy edibles purchased in California.

The visit took a turn, however, when Sarah’s 3-pound Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, Beans, got into the gummies and ingested about 50 milligrams of THC, the component in weed that gets you high. He quickly started showing signs that something was off ― drooling, impaired motor skills, inability to close his mouth, heavy eyelids.

“I felt so guilty! And just panicked!” Sarah, who wished to withhold her last name to talk about the incident, told HuffPost. “It was horrible because he looked so pathetic and out of it. In the moment, it was nothing short of harrowing.”

This kind of experience is becoming increasingly common as more states legalize recreational marijuana and the cannabis industry grows. In 2019, the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center observed a 765% rise in calls about marijuana ingestion by animals over the same period last year, and Pet Poison Helpline has reported a 448% increase in marijuana cases over the past six years.

“Anecdotally, I’d say I’ve seen it becoming more common over the last two to three years,” Kenneth Drobatz, a p rofessor of critical care at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, told HuffPost. “We probably see a few of these cases a month.”

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation with your dog? HuffPost asked Drobatz and other experts to share their recommended course of action.

Be Aware Of The Signs

Though pet owners may witness their dogs in the act of consuming cannabis edibles, there are many cases in which they aren’t aware of what has happened. It’s important to be aware of the signs of marijuana exposure.

“The effects of THC in pets can vary based on how much they consume and the level of concentration,” said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of the San Diego Humane Society . He noted that signs include loss of balance, sensitivity to movement and sound, disorientation, hyperactivity, unusual or increased vocalization, drooling, uncontrolled urination, muscle tremors and, in rare cases, seizures or even a coma.

“They’re often wobbly and blinking. They can look very abnormal,” Drobatz said. “They clearly have this look like they’re looking around and not aware of what’s going on around them.”

Act Fast

If you know or suspect that your dog has consumed cannabis, it’s important to respond quickly.

“Marijuana on its own can be highly toxic for dogs, but some of the ingredients in edibles, like chocolate or the sugar substitute Xylitol, can be deadly,” said Michael San Filippo, a spokesperson for the American Veterinary Medical Association.

“Even without a concern about these added edible ingredients, marijuana on its own is a threat to our pets’ health,” he added. “Marijuana affects dogs differently than it does people. Some people think their dogs are experiencing the same high that people do. They’re not; they’re scared and sick and potentially in danger.”

Although these cases are very rare, there have been reports of pets dying after ingesting large amounts of THC, so medical interventions can be critical.

Induce Vomiting

If you’re able to act within 15 minutes of ingestion, you should try to induce vomiting to get the marijuana out of the dog’s system.

Weitzman noted that hydrogen peroxide can help. “Give one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide orally per 10 pounds of dog. Your dog should throw up within about 15 minutes,” he said.

Seek Professional Treatment

If you’re unable to make your dog vomit, veterinary hospitals have drugs that can induce emesis quickly. Even if your dog vomits at home, Weitzman advised taking the animal to a professional for further treatment.

“When your pet ingests any toxic substance, it’s crucial to get to your vet or an emergency vet hospital right away for treatment. It could save your pet’s life,” he said, adding that the ASPCA’s Poison Control Center hotline is a helpful resource as well.

San Filippo emphasized that dog owners should not be afraid to tell a veterinarian what happened ― even if they were unlawfully in possession of the marijuana. “We don’t have any interest in turning you in; we just want to save your dog’s life and help them recover.”

Let The Vet Determine A Plan

Drobatz explained that veterinarians may induce vomiting, but if too much time has passed, they’re hesitant because the dog could potentially aspirate.
Other courses of action include IV fluids and multiple doses of activated charcoal, which can bind to toxins and prevent them from being reabsorbed.

“There is no ‘antidote’ to marijuana, but veterinarians can limit the effects by decreasing further absorption of ingested marijuana through the use of activated charcoal and other methods of supportive care to keep them safe, comfortable and confined until they metabolize the drug,” San Filippo said.

“In some severely affected dogs, we may do intralipid therapy, but that’s rare,” Drobatz noted. “Most dogs just get IV fluids and monitoring.”

Make Sure It Won’t Happen Again

The process doesn’t end once your dog is happy and healthy again. Some pets will try to eat pretty much anything within their reach, even after a bad experience, so be mindful of where you keep things that could harm them.

“Just as you would with your medications, you want to keep marijuana and marijuana edibles safely out of reach,” San Filippo said. “Don’t get careless or lazy and leave loose joints or edibles out on a table or counter where curious dogs can easily reach them. They should be safely stored where dogs can’t reach and clearly labeled so other people know what these products are so they don’t leave them out for dogs to reach.”

Drobatz noted that household changes can lead to this situation as well. “We see this a lot during the holiday season when kids come home from college and bring home brownies or something like that,” he said.

Sarah’s dog vomited after ingesting her friend’s gummies, and after 24 hours of monitoring, he leaped out of bed and ran into the yard like any other day. Though she is grateful her dog didn’t suffer any long-term effects, Sarah told HuffPost that the experience taught her a valuable lesson.

“If I ever had anything like that again, I would definitely keep it secured in a high place in my kitchen where no animals can reach,” she said. “I’ve learned that if it’s in the house, the dogs are vulnerable.”

Veterinary experts share their advice for handling this increasingly common situation. ]]>