What To Do if My Dog Ate Weed
Weed has been around for a long time, but as laws around its legality change, it is becoming increasingly common in households across the United States. As weed becomes more common, the number of people calling into veterinary clinics saying, “My dog ate weed,” is also increasing.
This may be in part because the way that many people keep marijuana is changing as well. Instead of being hidden away and primarily in raw form, many people are leaving marijuana edibles right on their kitchen counters. The increase in weed overall as well as increased edibles that may be more accessible to household pets is increasing the incidence of dogs getting into their owners' weed supplies. Here's what you need to know about what to do if your dog has eaten weed.
Is Weed Bad For Dogs?
Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, which makes the effects of weed more intense for dogs and can create toxicity much faster than it can for humans. Every dog is different.
Some dogs will suffer severe symptoms after consuming the same amount of weed that causes mild or no symptoms in another dog. Weed varies in potency as well. Medical-grade marijuana often contains a much higher concentration, which makes toxicity from medical-grade marijuana much more likely.
If My Dog Ate Weed How Long Will it Last?
The effects of marijuana intoxication on dogs are generally relatively brief, as dogs typically have faster metabolisms than humans and will process the marijuana fairly quickly. However, the length of effects for individual dogs varies dramatically depending on the dog, the weed, and how much was consumed.
Can Dogs Get High?
If your dog has eaten weed and you are wondering, “Is my dog stoned?” the answer is not entirely clear. Dogs do not experience weed in the same way that we do. Dogs generally have neurological effects as a result of eating weed.
These effects appear to be very stressful for the dog, and there do not seem to be positive effects such as what humans may experience. Dogs typically become uncoordinated and may become disoriented and hyperactive.
Some dogs become extremely vocal and frantic. Pupils made dilate and excessive drooling, as well as vomiting, is common. Many dogs develop urinary incontinence. Dogs that are most severely affected will have seizures and can even go into a coma or die.
My Dog Ate Weed - Now What?
If your dog has eaten weed, the best thing to do is bring them to the veterinarian immediately. It is impossible to know how your particular dog will react, and waiting to find out can result in serious health consequences for your dog. Furthermore, processing the weed is an extremely unpleasant experience for your dog, which you would surely they'd rather not have to go through.
If your dog has consumed weed very recently, your veterinarian can induce vomiting. This is a very safe procedure that will eliminate the weed before it can be metabolized by your dog, stopping symptoms before they begin. A drug is administered to initiate vomiting and another to stop vomiting, and your dog is unlikely to show any negative effects except for perhaps slight nausea afterward.
Sometimes, the drugs that typically would induce vomiting are not effective. Weed naturally inhibits vomiting, which may stop the drugs from working properly. In this case, especially if it is known that a large amount of weed was consumed, your veterinarian may pump your dog’s stomach to remove the weed.
Activated Charcoal and/or Enemas
If your dog consumed weed some time ago or if it cannot be brought up when your veterinarian induces vomiting and it is not of a sufficient amount to cause your veterinarian to feel the need to pump the stomach, activated charcoal can be administered every 6 or 8 hours.
Activated charcoal can neutralize the toxin and reduce the effects. Enemas may also be used to reduce the amount of the toxin that may be absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.
Depending on how your dog is responding to the weed, your veterinarian may also provide supportive care until effects wear off. Medications can regulate your dog's heart rate, body temperature, and respiration.
If your dog is lethargic, IV fluids may be administered to prevent dehydration and improve blood pressure. Dogs that are experiencing extreme anxiety as a result of weed intoxication may be given anti-anxiety medications. Many dogs need to be confined in a safe place so that they do not hurt themselves because of their disorientation and lack of coordination. It is best if dogs are kept in a quiet place with minimal stimulus.
What to do if My Dog Ate Edibles?
Edibles can result in special problems outside of the typical issues found with dogs eating weed. Dogs often consume considerably more edibles than they would weed, since the other ingredients in edibles make them more enticing to dogs than weed itself.
Furthermore, edibles made with medical-grade marijuana are often stronger than the typical marijuana plant itself. Finally, edibles may contain other ingredients that are also dangerous to dogs, such as chocolate or artificial sweetener.
If your dog has eaten edibles, bring a sample and packaging with you to the veterinarian so that they can analyze it for other potential toxins. Even a very small amount of the artificial sweetener Xylitol is extremely toxic for dogs and can be fatal.
hocolate affects different dogs differently, but some dogs become extremely sick or even die from very small amounts. Dark chocolate is typically more dangerous than light chocolate. Other ingredients that may be present in edibles like grapes or raisins can also be extremely toxic to your dog. To be on the safe side, let your veterinarian know everything that may have been in an edible.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Consuming Weed
The best way to keep your dog from consuming weed is to treat any products that consume weed like potentially dangerous drugs. Keep them in locked containers that your dog is unable to access.
Never leave smoking paraphernalia where dogs may access it and keep any edibles in the refrigerator or in cabinets where dogs can't get to it. Even if your dog does not typically counter surf or interfere with things left on your coffee table, don't take a risk when it comes to weed.
Be in the habit of always locking up weed when it is not in use. Supervise your dog carefully when you are smoking or consuming edibles. Your dog can very quickly grab a pipe or piece of marijuana from the table when you're not looking and consume it before you have time to get it from them. It may be best to keep your dog in another room when you are consuming weed.
Don't be Afraid to Bring Your Dog to the Veterinarian
Many people are worried about admitting to their veterinarian that they have weed in the house, particularly if it is not legal in your area. You may be tempted to avoid going to the veterinarian until you see severe symptoms or lie about what your dog has ingested.
However, it is critical to be honest with your veterinarian and let them know exactly what your dog has consumed. Even if you aren't certain about what is causing symptoms in your dog, let your veterinarian know of everything that could be at fault, including any marijuana in the house.
Your veterinarian’s priority is caring for your dog. They are not concerned about whether or not you are breaking the law in having marijuana in your possession.
Can Dogs Become Intoxicated From Marijuana Smoke?
When it comes to marijuana intoxication, dogs eating weed is not your only concern. Dogs may also be affected by marijuana from secondhand smoke. Dogs have sensitive lungs that can be damaged by any kind of smoke, including marijuana smoke.
Therefore, it is very important that you not smoke around your dog or blow smoke at your dog. Make sure the house is well-ventilated if you smoke inside and put your dog in another room while you are smoking.
What About Dogs Consuming CBD?
CBD has been an increasingly popular remedy for dogs for all sorts of issues, from dietary problems to seizures. It is important to recognize that CBD oil is a compound made from Cannabis that is distinctly different from marijuana itself. There has not been sufficient research to determine conclusively whether CBD is beneficial to dogs or not, but anecdotal evidence indicates that high-quality CBD designed for dogs and made by reputable companies does not have the same negative consequences as marijuana consumption.
Keep Your Dog Safe From Accidental Weed Intoxication
Weed intoxication can be very dangerous for your dog, so it is essential that you keep edibles, marijuana, and smoking paraphernalia away from your dog. If you suspect that your dog has consumed weed, bring them to the veterinarian immediately for potentially life-saving treatment.