Can Dogs Get High? – Impact of Marijuana on Dogs

We have previously written an article, covering whether CBD oil is good & safe for dogs. But what about THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive part of marijuana? With cannabis being legalized in more states in the USA and other parts of the world, I feel this is something we need to talk about. Can dogs get high from marijuana and what’s more, is it dangerous for them?

Can Dogs Get High?

Yes, dogs can get high or stoned from marijuana. However, the impact dogs will experience from consuming marijuana will be somewhat different from how we would react, and it can be unpleasant and sometimes dangerous for them. Some of the signs to look out for are:

  • Acting lethargic
  • Vomiting
  • Going into a coma
  • Staggering
  • Sensitive to lights and sound
  • Low blood pressure
  • Low heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • No control over urination
  • Seizures

How they react to it will depend on several things, such as the size and age of the dog, as well as the amount of marijuana consumed.

So how do they consume marijuana in the first place? The most common way is by eating their owners’ food products that contain marijuana that have been left out in the open, such as brownies, cookies and butter. They can also eat cannabis leaves and buds directly.

There have been huge spikes in the frequencies of dogs ingesting marijuana in the areas where it has been legalized, especially. According to Pet Poison Helpline, there has been a 448 per cent increase in people seeking help for their high pets in the last six years.

So what can you do to prevent your dog from eating marijuana? Sounds like common sense but you should always keep any products that contain marijuana out of your dog’s reach. Also, make sure your dog is not inhaling secondhand marijuana smoke.

What should I do if my dog gets high accidentally?

pug smoking marijuana
{Image Source: NY Post}

The best thing you can do if your dog gets stoned is to seek help from your vet and make sure you are honest about how much weed he/she had. Remember the sooner the dog gets looked at the better. If the symptom is severe, you should visit your local animal ER – who will be able to get the marijuana out of the dog’s system.

If your dog is suffering from low heart rate or blood pressure, they will need IV fluids.

As well as your dog’s life, I’m sure you will want to be saving your money too, as we all know that vet bills are not the cheapest thing in the world!

So can dogs die from marijuana?

Toxicity level for dogs consuming marijuana is mild and it is rarely fatal. However, depending on how much it has had, the size & age of your dog, some may need urgent care. As explained by 10buds – when a large and healthy dog ingests a tiny amount of marijuana, it will probably result in little or no signs of getting stoned at all, while a small and older dog consuming a large amount of THC can potentially be poisonous and fatal.

What’s more, according to the US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health, “Although the drug has a high margin of safety, deaths have been seen after ingestion of food products containing the more concentrated medical-grade THC butter”.

What about the use of CBD

So now we know that the consumption of THC, the toxic part of marijuana, is not completely safe for dogs. But what about CBD? There are a lot of people giving their dogs CBD oil, as well as dog treats and biscuits containing CBD as it can offer a number of health benefits without causing them to get stoned. You can read more about those benefits here.

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