Some of us might have a friend whose pet accidentally ate a pot brownie once, but a veterinary hospital in Denver recently reported a significant rise in dogs coming in after ingesting marijuana edibles. Alameda East Veterinary Hospital used to see seventeen dogs a year for marijuana sickness, but since marijuana became legalized, it’s now increased to seventeen dogs a month, according to staff.
Can Dogs Get High?
Yes, dogs can get high from marijuana in a few different ways.
- If your dog ate weed directly by ingesting marijuana leaves and/or buds
- If your dog ate edible products — food laced with marijuana (brownies, cookies, muffins, etc.)
- Secondhand smoke — yes, your dog can get high from inhaling smoke
How Does Marijuana Affect Dogs?
What happens if a dog eats weed or inhales secondhand smoke? Here are some of the signs you should look out for if your dog’s exposed to weed, even in small doses.
- Dilated pupils or glassed over eyes
- Loss of balance
- Breathing problems
- Whining or crying
- Excessive drooling
- Blood pressure changes (increase or decrease)
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Urinary incontinence
- Body temperature is too high or low
Signs of potential toxicity can be seen anywhere from 5 minutes to 12 hours after your dog is exposed to marijuana. Symptoms can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days, depending on how much they ingest or inhale.
What happens if your pet gets into your stash?
With consumption of cannabis on the rise, have you ever wondered whether or not weed edibles are safe for pets? In states where marijuana has been legalized, CBD oil for dogs can now be commonly found on the shelves of various pet stores. So, does that mean your dog or cat can eat THC infused edibles, too?
The answer is a firm no. While there hasn’t been much research on the effects of cannabis on animals, it’s becoming clear that THC edibles are definitely not okay for your pet. They can cause health problems for your furry friend, and in some cases, death.
What Happens if Your Cat or Dog Gets High?
While you may enjoy the feeling of being stoned, your dog or cat probably won’t. Dogs actually have more cannabinoid receptors than humans do, and even more so than other animals. This causes a high sensitivity to the effects of weed edibles. The experience can potentially be very traumatic for to your dog. It can also result in serious health problems.
Peter Bowie, a veterinarian at Pet Emergency & Special Center of Marin, Calif., told NBC News that “the best way to compare it is to the idea of a really bad trip. They are disoriented, hyper-reactive and they can also be somnolent. They stumble around and they pee on themselves.”
Dr. Heidi Houchen, a veterinarian at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Clackamas, Ore., told NPR, “…they can progress through the sedate, leaning, urine-dribbling stage to becoming completely comatose or absolutely rigid. They’ve come in and had seizures. They can come in a panic, really sensitive to noise and touch. They can pass away.”
And if your pet eats a pot brownie? Even worse. Chocolate is toxic for dogs and cats, making that brownie a double dose of conflicting toxins, which could create challenges for veterinary treatment. Sugarless weed lollipops are also more problematic than the average weed treat, since they contain xylitol, which is also toxic to your dog or cat.
What to do if Your Pet Eats Your Weed Edibles
Along with seizures, dribbling urine and a stumbling gait, symptoms of marijuana toxicity in pets also include low body temperature, low heart rate, low blood pressure, dilated pupils and tremors. In short, it’s not something to shrug about. If your dog or cat is high from eating cannabis edibles, it’s important to get them to a veterinarian immediately.
How quickly and how high your pet can get depends on the animal and how many edibles they eat. The effects can show up in only a few minutes or it might take a few hours. And the symptoms can last anywhere from thirty minutes to several days, depending on the dose. A veterinarian can help your pet get through the ordeal. Typically, they’ll monitor their temperature, their breathing, keeping them hydrated and safe from accidentally injuring themselves, and in some cases, they may induce vomiting if the situation is critical.
Basically, the sooner you get your pet to a veterinarian, the better — even if your dog or cat hasn’t yet shown signs of marijuana toxicity. And more importantly, keep your weed edibles out of reach from your pets. Just like you’d keep them away from your kids.
Could an edible kill my dog?
Medicated edibles that are high in THC concentrations are the most dangerous to your dog, especially with chocolate or raisin cookies. (If that’s the case be sure to call poison control or an emergency animal clinic).
It is important to note that humans and animals do not react the same way to Marijuana!
So, can marijuana intake kill your dog? Technically, yes it can. But not from marijuana, from falling into a coma and choking on their vomit. Also, keep in mind that the effects of marijuana will likely be more intense and last much longer for dogs; they have a lot more cannabinoid receptors in their brain than humans.
In some cases, it may take a day or two for the symptoms to completely wear off. Realistically, however, it’s not very likely. If your dog ingests more than the recommended doses, the chance of full recovery is highly in your favor, with proper care.
What do you do if your dog has ingested a THC infused edible?
If you know for a fact that your pup has consumed marijuana, there are a few options to reduce the effects on your dog. Your vet can induce vomiting, pump a dog’s stomach, or give the dog activated charcoal, which will help remove cannabis from their system.
Your vet may end up not taking any of the actions mentioned above. They might end up releasing your dog before the effects of the THC have completely worn off. This primarily means it’s in your hands to keep your pal calm and ensure that they feel safe while sobering up.
How much will the vet visit cost?
The truth is, you left your stash out; a trip to the vet or emergency animal clinic shouldn’t be a question of whether you should or should not go.
A vet visit because of a marijuana incident could cost you up to $1,000; between the bloodwork and IV.*
When it comes to our personal stash, it’s best to keep them out of sight out of mind. This goes for any items that our pets have no business getting into. Try storing it in a hard-to-access spot next time. Also, make sure to puppy (or cat) proof your house before becoming impaired. Or, if your dog already tends to misbehave in general, consider keeping them crated when you’re not at home.