If you are a pet owner and use marijuana for recreational or medicinal purposes, you might be wondering, “can dogs get high?” The answer is yes, but the effects can be serious and even life-threatening. In this article, we will discuss how marijuana affects dogs, the symptoms of marijuana poisoning, how dogs can get exposed to marijuana, and what to do if your dog ingests marijuana.
How Marijuana Affects Dogs
Marijuana contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive compound that gives humans the “high” feeling. When dogs ingest or inhale marijuana, they can also experience a high, but the impact can be much more severe due to their smaller size and different metabolism. Dogs have more THC receptors in their brains than humans, which makes them more sensitive to the effects of marijuana.
Some of the effects of marijuana on dogs include:
- Loss of coordination
- Respiratory depression
The Dangers of Marijuana Use in Dogs
Marijuana can be dangerous for dogs, and in some cases, it can be fatal. The severity of the symptoms depends on the amount of THC ingested and the size of the dog. Small dogs are more vulnerable to the effects of marijuana and can experience more severe symptoms with smaller doses.
In some cases, dogs can also ingest marijuana products that contain other harmful ingredients such as chocolate or xylitol. These ingredients can cause additional toxicity and worsen the symptoms.
Different Ways Dogs Can Be Exposed to Marijuana
Marijuana can come in many different forms, and some products can be more dangerous to dogs than others. Some of the most common types of marijuana products that can be harmful to dogs include:
- Edibles: Marijuana-infused foods such as brownies, cookies, and gummies can be appealing to dogs, but they can contain high levels of THC that can cause severe symptoms.
- Oils and tinctures: These products can contain high levels of THC and can be dangerous if ingested in large quantities.
- Flower and buds: Dogs can be attracted to the smell of marijuana buds and can ingest them if they are within reach.
- Secondhand smoke: Dogs can also be affected by secondhand smoke from marijuana, which can cause respiratory problems and other symptoms.
Symptoms of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs
If you suspect that your dog has ingested marijuana, it’s important to watch for the symptoms of poisoning. The symptoms can vary depending on the amount of THC ingested, but some of the most common signs include:
- Dilated pupils
- Loss of coordination
- Respiratory depression
The severity of the symptoms can also depend on the size and weight of the dog, as well as the amount of THC ingested. In some cases, the symptoms can be mild and resolve on their own, while in other cases, they can be severe and require immediate medical attention.
Prevention Measures to Avoid Marijuana Exposure
Preventing marijuana exposure in dogs can be challenging, but there are several measures that pet owners can take to reduce the risk. Some of the most effective prevention measures include:
- Keeping marijuana products out of reach: Store all marijuana products in a secure location that is inaccessible to your dog.
- Avoiding secondhand smoke: If you smoke marijuana, do it outside or in a well-ventilated area away from your dog.
- Keeping marijuana plants out of reach: If you have marijuana plants, make sure they are in a location that your dog cannot access.
- Keeping your dog on a leash: If you’re in an area where marijuana is being used, keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from ingesting or inhaling it.
What to Do If Your Dog Ingests Marijuana
If you suspect that your dog has ingested marijuana, it’s important to act quickly. The first step is to call your veterinarian or a pet poison control hotline for advice. The veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting or performing other treatments to remove the marijuana from your dog’s system. In severe cases, your dog may need to be hospitalized for monitoring and treatment.
|Inducing vomiting||The veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting to remove the marijuana from the dog’s system. This is typically done within 1-2 hours of ingestion.|
|Activated charcoal||Activated charcoal can be given to absorb the toxins and prevent them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.|
|Intravenous fluids||In severe cases, the dog may need to be hospitalized and given intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration and help flush out the toxins.|
|Monitoring and supportive care||The veterinarian may need to monitor the dog’s vital signs and administer medications to control symptoms such as seizures or respiratory distress.|
Treatment Options for Marijuana Poisoning
The treatment options for marijuana poisoning in dogs depend on the severity of the symptoms. In mild cases, the veterinarian may recommend inducing vomiting or giving activated charcoal to absorb the toxins. In severe cases, the dog may need intravenous fluids or hospitalization for monitoring and treatment.
Real-Life Cases of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs
There have been several reported cases of marijuana poisoning in dogs. In one case, a dog ingested a marijuana edible and experienced seizures and respiratory distress. In another case, a dog ingested marijuana buds and had to be hospitalized for treatment. These cases highlight the importance of keeping marijuana products out of reach of dogs and seeking medical attention if exposure occurs.
Case Study: The Importance of Quick Action When Your Dog Ingests Marijuana
As a veterinary technician, I have seen numerous cases of dogs ingesting marijuana and suffering from its effects. One such case was that of a young Golden Retriever named Max.
Max’s owners had left a plate of marijuana edibles on the coffee table, thinking that it was out of reach of their curious pup. However, Max managed to jump up and eat the entire plate, including the marijuana-infused chocolate.
Within an hour, Max began to show signs of marijuana poisoning. He was lethargic, uncoordinated, and had trouble standing. His owners immediately brought him to the vet clinic where I was working.
We quickly assessed Max’s condition and determined that he needed treatment to prevent further absorption of the marijuana in his system. We induced vomiting and administered activated charcoal to help absorb any remaining toxins.
Fortunately, Max’s owners acted quickly, and we were able to prevent any long-term damage to his health. However, not all cases of marijuana poisoning end as well.
Max’s case highlights the importance of pet owners taking quick action if they suspect their dog has ingested marijuana. Time is of the essence, and the longer the marijuana stays in the dog’s system, the more severe the symptoms can become.
It’s essential to keep all marijuana products out of reach of pets and to seek veterinary care immediately if a dog ingests marijuana. By doing so, pet owners can help keep their furry friends safe from the harmful effects of marijuana.
Can dogs get high? Yes, but the effects can be serious and even life-threatening. By understanding the impact of marijuana on dogs and taking preventive measures, pet owners can keep their furry friends safe and healthy. If you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, seek medical attention immediately.
Q & A
What happens if my dog ingests marijuana?
Your dog may experience lethargy, disorientation, and vomiting. Seek veterinary care.
How can I prevent my dog from getting high?
Keep marijuana and other drugs out of reach and locked away from your pet.
Can dogs die from marijuana ingestion?
While rare, overdose can be fatal. Seek emergency veterinary care if you suspect an overdose.
Who should I contact if my dog ingests marijuana?
Call your veterinarian or emergency animal hospital immediately.
What should I do if my dog accidentally ingests marijuana?
Seek veterinary care right away, even if symptoms don’t appear right away.
What if I don’t want to take my dog to the vet?
Not seeking veterinary care can be dangerous and potentially deadly. It’s important to prioritize your pet’s health.