It is important to know how to tell if your dog has eaten weed and what to do. The legalization of cannabis (also known as pot, marijuana, weed and more) in Canada is effective immediately. It is also on the rise in the US.
This could mean that cannabis can be found in greater numbers in different forms, so dogs might be more exposed.
CBD (Cannabidiol), and Terpenes can be found in cannabis. These may prove to be beneficial when taken in the right dosages. However Cannabis may also contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and high levels of THC can be potentially toxic or even fatal to pets.
THC Poisoning Is No Joke
People have made it seem funny that their dogs get high on marijuana or other edibles, but it is not the case. THC can be fatal if ingested in excess of three grams per kilogram. Smaller amounts can cause discomfort and even seizures.
Call your vet immediately if your dog is suspected of having eaten weed or THC. You can also call the ASPCA poison hotline at (888). 426-4435. You may need to pay a $65 consultation, but it was worth it when I had the Kilo onion scare.
The Vet might ask questions
When you speak with a vet, or to the ASPCA about your pet, please give the following information:
1) What did your dog consume? What did they inhale from second-hand smoke? Did they eat a joint or an edible. Was the edible contaminated with any other toxic substances? Check out these 20 foods that you should never feed your dog.
2) How many did they consume?
3) When was it last consumed?
4) Your dog’s breed, size and weight.
These can be compared to other cases or research and used to help you decide what next.
Even though marijuana is illegal in your area, it is still a good idea to bring your dog to the vet. The vet should know what they have in their system.
Treatment If Your Dog Eats Weed
If your dog is not in good health, a vet will try to induce vomiting to stop any food they eat from getting into their system. This usually happens within 30 minutes. To speed up their detox, they will likely give them IV fluids. You can also give activated charcoal to your dog along with water. We did this when Kilo was taken to the vet to eat a whole tray full of chocolate brownies.
You should not induce vomiting if your dog is lethargic due to the THC already present in his bloodstream. The dog may swallow the THC and become asphyxiated. If they ate a lot, they will likely still give fluids to monitor for seizures.
The majority of dogs will recover from marijuana poisoning after receiving the correct treatment. However, it is possible for the dog to remain in the system for longer periods.
It’s OK to get bitten, but #PetSafety is a good idea.
While we all want to keep THC-containing products out of dogs’ reach, I know that some dogs are resourceful and curious. According to reports, vets in cities in the US that have legalized cannabis are receiving a lot of calls from dogs who accidentally ingested it.
Dogs may steal edibles, weed cookies, brownies, and even marijuana from the counter. They can also be exposed to secondhand marijuana smoke.
Imagine how dangerous the chocolate brownies Kilo, the Pug, stole from my husband’s kitchen while he was not looking. Or the onion quiche that he stole from the counter if they had THC.
Take care when you’re walking with your dog.
Stoned Dog Symptoms
Here are some signs to look out for if your dog has ingested weed.
Anxiety/DepressionBreathing problems Sleepiness or excitationIrregular or low heart rateDilated pupilsTremorsLethargyLow blood pressure Low body temperatureIncontinence, uncontrolled dribbled urineHypersalivatonLoss of balance, difficulty walking, lack of control and coordination- they may look a little wobbly or “stoned”VomitingExaggerated response to any stimulusWhile more severe signs include
This infographic will help you save or pin emergency vet numbers.
Can cannabis be used to kill my dog?
If your dog consumes cannabis, or marijuana in large quantities, it could be fatal. A dog can be killed if they consume three grams of THC per kilogram.
This is quite a lot, but even smaller amounts can be very dangerous for your dog.
What about medical marijuana?
If your dog suffers from certain conditions, you might be curious if medical cannabis could improve their quality of life. Clinical and scientific research has shown CBD’s potential to treat a variety of conditions including arthritis, diabetes and MS. It can also be used as an effective treatment for epilepsy and other neurological disorders in people. Similar benefits may exist for dogs. It could even be anti-cancer.
While I’ve seen positive stories about CBD, THC can be dangerous and scary for dogs.
Since legalization, hemp-based CBD products for dogs have been gaining popularity. Many Canadian vets support CBD for pain management, inflammation, and other diseases such as epilepsy. However, the CVMA states that cannabis’ effects on dogs need to be studied further and legislation needs to be changed before CBD can be prescribed. Talk to your vet. Check out the CVMA factsheet on CBD products in Canada.
Is your dog guilty of doing something wrong? Please share your stories with us in the comments.
What to do and how to tell if your dog eats marijuana? Talent Hounds.