Dogs will eat anything, as any owner will tell you. If they see it lying around and it looks tasty, they’re going to take a bite or two. If you have the odd cannabis edible hanging around at dog level, don’t be surprised if your favorite pooch takes an instant liking to it.
While you’re high and putting the world to rights, your dog may just be focused on one thing. It pays to keep an eye out for what your dog is up to. Even more so if you have several in the house.
The first thing we need to say is that dogs aren’t human. That might be stating the blindingly obvious but many pet owners tend to put their own human qualities onto their animals. So, when they see their dog stumbling around in a cannabis funk, they either think it’s funny or believe all the animal has to do is sleep it off and they’ll be okay.
Neither is true. If your dog is affected by cannabis it’s because they’ve essentially been poisoned and they will probably need the help of a vet to get them through. Whether cannabis is legal or not in your state, you need to pick up the phone and get your pooch to the vet. They’re professionals and more likely to be focused on saving your dog than berating your cannabis habit.
What Are Dogs Likely To Eat?
Seriously, dogs will eat anything. Cats can be choosey but dogs have an inbuilt capacity to eat the most inedible things. They might munch off your buds and leaves if they think it looks tasty.
Edibles will certainly attract attention, for obvious reasons. If you got a few cannabis-infused brownies sitting around, your dog is going to find them irresistible. And even a small amount of cannabis can affect a dog – it all depends on their size and physiology. All you need to do is turn your back for a moment and the dog is going to pounce.
Dogs and Cannabis – Your Top Five Questions Answered
If you own pets of any kind and they are likely to eat your stash, you’ll want to make sure you keep those edibles and those buds out of sight and temptation. A few simple precautions, as we outline below, should help keep your dog protected.
1. Can Dogs Get High?
The answer is yes. The effects can be fairly similar to humans in most respects. The most often cited cases of ‘dog ate your stash’ scenarios online are edibles laced with cannabis and ingesting buds and leaves directly. Perhaps it will also surprise you that dogs could get high inhaling second-hand smoke. Bear that in mind next time you light up and make sure your dog is safe.
2. What Happens When Your Dog Eats Your Stash?
Your dog is going to get high. Even if you have a CBD product that only has a small amount of THC, it’s going to affect them.
You may think it’s funny but actually ingesting cannabis can cause damage and even lead to death. Remember, dogs aren’t like humans and will wolf down a bunch of food or cannabis without understanding the effects. They could easily become very ill on a bunch of chocolate brownies if you leave them lying around.
3. How Does Marijuana Affect Dogs?
That’s going to depend on a number of different factors. The first is how much they’ve ingested. If a dog ate your stash, this is the first thing you need to try and ascertain. Always assume the worst. In other words, assume they have scoffed your entire cannabis supply. The weight, age and size of your dog is going to be another big factor. A small dog like a chihuahua is obviously going to react differently to a Doberman.
While dogs may seem unsteady on their feet, they might also feel paranoid and be liable to bite or attack you if they are affected cerebrally.
4. What Symptoms Are There if my Dog Ate Cannabis?
Your dog may look lethargic, have breathing problems or seem distressed. They will probably have trouble coordinating their limbs and if you check their heart rate you’ll probably find their heart is beating abnormally. There may also be incontinence. Assume that these problems are going to get worse as the cannabis works into their system.
5. Is Cannabis Bad for Dogs?
Don’t be mislead by people or articles that say cannabis is relatively safe for dogs. It’s not. People usually cite an investigation into the effects of cannabis on dogs with epilepsy. First of all, this research was carried out under controlled conditions. Secondly, the likelihood is that your dog has taken far too much of your cannabis stash and is in danger.
Let’s state it clearly: Ingesting too much cannabis for a dog is life-threatening. If your dog is showing visible signs such as having difficulty walking or can’t be roused and you suspect cannabis is the cause, then you need to get to your vet immediately.
The number of calls to vets has increased dramatically over the last few years. That could be because of the legalization of cannabis in many states and the fact that it is more readily available. If you’re tempted to toss the last of your joint onto the street, by the way, be aware that a dog might walk past and decide to eat it. In other words, always make sure you dispose of any cannabis products responsibly. Even if you don’t own a dog yourself.
Dog Ate Your Stash? Our Top Five Tips
While videos of high dogs might make you laugh, it will be different if your own pooch ends up with cannabis poisoning. Fortunately, it’s something you can do something about. Here are our top tips:
1. Be Careful with Your Cannabis
The first thing to be keep at the top of your precautionary list, of course, is making sure you keep cannabis out of reach for your dog. If you have edibles, keep them in the cooler, put your buds up high on a shelf and don’t leave stuff lying around. That goes for concentrates as well which can be even more lethal to a dog.
2. Before You Get High, Think About Your Dog
If you are planning to smoke or munch on some edibles, think about your dog first. If you’re smoking, make sure they are out of the house or at least ensure your room has plenty of ventilation. Should you be inviting friends around, make sure they know the protocol when it comes to your dog.
3. Pick Up Spills Immediately
If you are cooking with cannabis and drop some of your cannabutter on the floor, pick it up immediately. The same goes for when you are munching on edibles – if crumbs drop, pick them up too. Most dogs are veritable vacuum cleaners when it comes to food on the floor.
4. Learn to Spot the Signs
It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of cannabis poisoning in your dog. If they start to behave differently and show lack of coordination or distress you need to take things seriously. Don’t be fooled by the size, weight or age of your dog and think pooch will get well if you just leave them to rest. It’s not worth taking the risk. Having said that, the smaller your dog, the more worried you should be.
5. Contact Your Local Vet
Whether you think it’s serious or not, you need to see your vet as quickly as possible. They are likely to be less judgmental than you think and they’re best placed to ensure your dog is given the best chance possible of recovering. There is no time to waste and the quicker you get your dog treated the better.
6. If You’re Not Going to Your Vet
Okay, we know that some of you will not want to go and see your vet for a variety of reasons, usually because you are worried about the repercussions or because you simply don’t have money.
In that case, you need to get rid of anyone in your house who is a stranger and give your dog the attention they require. Sit with your dog and try to keep them calm. Provide water so they can drink when they need to. It can take a lot longer for cannabis to get through your dog’s system than a regular human being.
Of course, the main point here is that you should put in protective measures if you own a dog and take cannabis, whether for recreational or medicinal purposes. A little forethought should ensure you avoid many of the pitfalls other owners have experienced. A ‘dog ate your stash’ scenario is totally avoidable if you put sensible measures in place.