Many cannabis enthusiasts are also dog lovers. While this usually results in tons of fun, sometimes a curious pup can ingest marijuana accidentally. Check out our article to learn what to do in case your furry friend eats your stash of cannabis. A dog eating an edible is no laughing matter. Find out what to do if you discover that your dog has dipped into your edible stash. Dogs don’t know the difference between an edible and a snack, so if they make a mistake and ingest an edible, here is what you should do.
Dog Ate Your Cannabis Stash? Here’s What to Do
Y ou know that tasty new edible that you just bought from the dispo that you can’t wait to tear into? Guess what? Your dog wants to tear into that edible, too. Veterinarian Dorrie Black at Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services told NPR — and dog owners can confirm, “Dogs will get into anything and everything.”
- Should You Take Your Pet to the Vet if It Eats Weed
- The 5 Best Pets for Stoners
- How to Help Your Pet With CBD
- Cannabis (Marijuana) Intoxication in Cats and Dogs
Alongside increased legal access to cannabis there has been a spike in calls to the Animal Poison Control Center, who saw a 765% increase in 2019 from callers who reported that their pets ingested weed. Calls to The Pet Poison Helpline also surged, reporting an increase of more than 400% over a six-year period.
So if you come home after work and you can’t find your stash, or even turn your back for a moment and your weed is gone, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your dog ate your weed. It’s most likely that your dog will eat an edible (they like them for the same reasons you do) but any part of the plant like flower or seeds, concentrates, or even eating the feces of an individual who has consumed cannabis can make your dog high or sick.
Symptoms of Marijuana Toxicity in Your Dog
Here’s how you’ll know if your dog is experiencing marijuana toxicity. Some symptoms to look out for include:
- Tremors and shaking
- Dilated pupils
- Urinary incontinence (around 50 percent of dogs will dribble urine)
- Hyperactivity or lethargy
- Barking, whining, or howling
- Stumbling and/or walking as if they are drunk
Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?
Before you hit the panic button, take note. THC is rarely toxic to dogs, though on rare occasions it can be fatal. Nonetheless, it is a medical condition that should be urgently addressed.
If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t hesitate. Take them to the vet and be candid with them about your dog getting into your stash so your best furry friend can get the appropriate care.
Remember, there are a couple of things to keep in mind about how humans and pets react to cannabis. Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, so the effects of cannabis are more profound and potentially more toxic than they are to humans. Most dogs also weigh much less and metabolize cannabinoids differently than we do.
Additionally, there are ingredients in edibles other than THC that can be dangerous for your dog, such as chocolate (which can be lethal in high doses), butter and other dairy, coconut oil, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, nuts, and caffeine.
If you suspect that your beloved four-legged family member has eaten your weed, keep a close eye on them for at least 30 minutes to understand how they are reacting. If they are not exhibiting serious symptoms, keep them in a quiet room to reduce sensory stimulation and keep them safe, warm, and soothed.
There are a lot of reasons to take good care when storing your cannabis: it stays fresh and tastes better for longer, prolongs its life and efficacy, and keeps it out of the hands (or is it paws?) of children and pets.
How do you keep your stash secure from pets? Share in the comments!
Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work – which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor – covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.
Erin’s work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let’s Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedIn, WordPress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.
My Dog Ate An Edible — What Should I Do?
A dog eating an edible is no laughing matter. Find out what to do if you discover that your dog has dipped into your edible stash.
Marijuana edibles are currently extremely popular as legalization, availability, and demand have pushed them to outperform all other areas of the cannabis industry. Interestingly, one of the unforeseen consequences of this boom has been an increase in dogs ingesting these “space snacks” when their owners irresponsibly don’t keep the edibles secure from their pets.
If your dog consumes marijuana-infused edibles, you must first determine the THC/CBD content as well as any possible presence of harmful substances like xylitol and chocolate. If the edible only has CBD and no toxins, there is no need to worry. If it contains THC or toxins, you must consult a vet and follow their recommended course of action.
It’s easy to start panicking if you find your pooch wolfing down your stash of special gummies. What do you do? Do you rush to the vet and potentially endure judgment for animal neglect? Or do you sit your dog down in front of That 70’s Show re-runs and wait to see if they laugh?
So what happens when a dog eats an edible? Let’s take a look.
What is an Edible?
Before we look at their effects on a dog, let’s start by exploring what we mean by “edible”.
The marijuana plant has two active ingredients: cannabidiol (or “CBD”) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Edibles can be infused with varying degrees of both. Edibles range from cookies to brownies, chocolate bars, popcorn, gummy bears, licorice, and more. Basically any edible food can be infused with CBD and/or THC.
Edibles With CBD
CBD has non-psychoactive effects when ingested. Its primary effects include pain relief and relaxation, as well as a boost in appetite. These attributes are among the reason it appeals to people who suffer from arthritis, seizures, and anxiety.
An ever-increasing number of cancer patients are turning to CBD as a holistic supplement to traditional treatment. Chemotherapy, in particular, is infamous for its appetite suppression. CBD has been found to be an effective counter to this issue.
Edibles With THC
THC, on the other hand, is the “fun” ingredient. This compound is what triggers the psychoactive effect or “high” when ingested. This can include feelings of drowsiness, deep thought, calmness, and paranoia. It also produces the classic “stoner eyes” and dry mouth, physical indications of the “high”. Effects vary from person to person.
How These Chemicals Work
Both of these chemicals, known as “cannabinoids”, attach to specific endocannabinoid receptors that we humans just so happen to have in our brains. They are, without a doubt, two of the most exciting chemical compounds of our time, and the signs indicate we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of their potential.
Now, even more interestingly, man’s best friend just so happens to share the same receptors, which indicates that dogs may experience — more or less — the same effects. Obviously, we are unable to ask our dogs for definitive answers. (Actually, we can ask, but they can’t give us answers.)
However, we do know enough to answer the original question.
How Marijuana Edibles Affect a Dog
The effects of marijuana edibles on a dog’s system depend on a variety of factors.
One of the leading factors is the THC/CBD content of the edible.
Effects on Dogs from Edibles With No THC
If a dog consumes a CBD edible with no THC, then there will be no discernible effects. Research has found that CBD performs a similar function in animals as it does in humans. In such a scenario, the dog will not get high or change behavior. You might notice a slight increase in appetite though.
(In fact, CBD for dog separation anxiety and CBD for dog cancer are both commonly used as components of treatment plans for these and other ailments.)
Effects on Dogs from Edibles With THC
On the other hand, edibles with THC content may produce effects that are clear to see.
The aforementioned effects may be observed after a while. You may also notice impairment of motor skills and balance. Dogs may struggle to walk straight or even lean against walls as if they’re dizzy or drunk (note: alcohol is very dangerous to dogs and should be avoided at all costs.
The eyes might also look “distant” as just awoken from a long nap. In some cases, dogs might start seeming more alert and attentive to their surroundings — a form of paranoia.
Paranoia, in particular, can lead to some worrying behaviors in dogs. The fear may drive some dogs to growl aggressively or even bite without provocation.
Cannabis infused gummy edibles with marijuana leaves.
Factors that Influence the Effects of Edibles on Dogs
Much like with people, the effects of THC may vary from one individual dog to another. However, most effects can be influenced by several variables including:
- THC concentration in the edibles
- Number of edibles consumed
- Size and weight of the dog
- Dog’s predisposition to THC effects
Naturally, the greater the THC content, the more pronounced the effects. The same can be said for size, with smaller dogs getting much higher (much more quickly) than bigger breeds. There is also your dog’s system. Two dogs of the same size and breed might eat the same edible with wildly differing outcomes.
Dogs are predisposed to experiencing stronger THC effects than humans. Additionally, they have an extremely low tolerance to the chemical since they are never exposed to it…unless leaving edibles lying around is a regular occurrence.
Other Substances in Edibles to Be Concerned About
Of course, THC isn’t the only thing to worry about when it comes to edibles. Some space snacks or “dabs” contain other ingredients that may be harmful to dogs.
Chocolate and xylitol are notoriously toxic to dogs, so much so that ingestion might be fatal. There are a number of human foods that are toxic to dogs and may be an ingredient in a particularly edible.
What To Do if Your Dog Eats an Edible
So, what do you do if your dog chows down on weed edibles?
If the edibles contained CBD only, there’s no need to worry. The dog will not be affected in any serious way.
However, if the dog eats edibles with THC, you must contact your vet and give them all the relevant information (potency of the edible, how much the dog ate, when the edible was eaten, etc.). The vet will inform you to either let the dog ride it out or induce vomiting.
The dog can ride out the high at home or the vet’s office, depending on what you’re comfortable with. We recommend taking your dog to the vet’s office just to be on the safe side. Dogs can be monitored with medical equipment and receive professional health care.
Make Sure the Dog’s Environment is Safe
If you decide to keep the dog at home, you will have to continually monitor it. We also recommend closing the dog off in a safe room without sharp edges, corners, and other hazards.
You should also provide food and lots of water. Keep the dog company to help ease paranoia and anxiety. You should also consider a muzzle or a leash in case the dog gets aggressive.
If the Dog Has Ingested a Substance Other Than THC
In cases where the edible may contain harmful substances, you will likely have to induce vomiting. This is usually done using diluted hydrogen peroxide. If your vet is unable to do it themselves, they can guide you on how to mix the substance correctly based on your dog’s size, weight, and age. Never use this chemical to induce vomiting without speaking to a vet or animal poison control center because this could lead to even more damage.
In general, vets usually prefer to induce vomiting themselves where they are able to examine the dog first and then be available to respond to any issues that arise in the process. There are definitely risks to inducing vomiting, particularly when done by dog owners and not veterinarians.
Unfortunately, once THC hits the dog’s bloodstream, there’s nothing you can do besides wait. The dog will eventually sleep it off.
How Long Does an Edible Last in a Dog’s System
The effects of an edible can last anywhere between 12-24 hours. In the case of THC-infused edibles, your dog may be groggy and lethargic for the better part of a day. This time largely depends on the dog’s size, age, and quantity of edibles consumed. Smaller dogs tend to stay high for longer than big dogs.
Any lingering effects after 24 hours may be a result of poisoning by other harmful ingredients. In such cases, we highly recommend rushing the dog to the vet.
Of course, preventing your dog from having access to edibles is the best way to keep them safe. But if your dog does eat an edible (or you suspect that they have), your best course is to call your vet with as much information as possible ready to share.
Remember, unlike you, your dog has no idea what they are getting into when they eat an edible. It’s incredibly unfair to them, and you are ultimately responsible for their wellbeing. Just because you may enjoy the effects of edibles does not mean they will, and it is incumbent upon you to protect them from this uncomfortable and potentially dangerous situation.
Dog Ate 10Mg Edible – What Should I Do?
In the event that your dog eats an edible, there are many things you can do to make sure that your dog is okay.
As dog owners, we all want to make sure that we do what’s best for them. But sometimes mistakes happen, and our pets get into things that they shouldn’t.
As THC and CBD products become legalized and more commonplace in states across the USA, it can be important to recognize and be cognizant of the effects these substances may have on your pets, particularly if you use them or are in areas where your pet may inadvertently come into contact with them.
If you frequently use edibles, you may want to consider where you keep your stash and make sure it is out of reach of your pet. Especially if your edibles look like regular snacks or treats, your dog will not know the difference. If they can get into the stash, they will not know not to eat the edible, and this can be dangerous, particularly if they ingest a lot.
If your edibles aren’t so securely stored and your dog ate a 10mg edible (or really, an edible of any dose), here’s some guidance on what to do next.
First Things First, Call Your Vet
In a case like this, call your vet ASAP — they know your dog and your dog’s health history, and can advise on next steps. If your vet is not open, contact the local emergency clinic. Time is of the essence!
In the meantime, here’s some info to keep you informed, as well as some tips so you know what to watch out for until you can get some professional guidance.
What Are the Effects of THC on Dogs?
If your dog has eaten an edible with any amount of THC, you need to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dogs that have consumed THC can be susceptible to THC toxicity. The effects of THC that give the “high” feeling that is normal to humans may be fairly harmful to dogs.
Dogs can react to this in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Pupil dilation
- Loss of bowel control
- Uncontrollable shivering due to hypothermia
- Barking, crying, or whining in a nontypical fashion
- Loss of motor function
- Low blood pressure
What Are the Effects of CBD on Dogs?
Contrarily, CBD has not been shown to be harmful to dogs, or any animals for that matter.
In fact, many dog owners give their dogs CBD products voluntarily, as some have found that giving their dogs CBD can help support their overall wellness, especially when it comes to supporting joint mobility, normal brain health, and promoting calm and relaxation.
You should still watch your dog carefully to see how they react if they’ve slurped up the CBD seltzer you’re drinking or if they’ve gotten into your CBD gummies, but the CBD component of your edible is likely not going to hurt them, even in large amounts.
The most common side effects of ingesting too much CBD (for dogs and humans alike) has to do with digestive discomfort — nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting may be expected, especially depending on the other ingredients in the edible.
Other Ingredients To Look Out For
Some of the other ingredients found in edibles may be just as much of a concern. Dogs may be liable to eat plastic or paper wrappers, which they can choke on or may be unable to digest.
Chocolate is generally fairly harmful to dogs, so any edible containing chocolate will pose a hazard as well, no matter if it is a CBD edible, THC edible, or one with a ratio of both.
Ingredients like artificial sweeteners can also be harmful to pets. Xylitol, for instance, has been known to be very dangerous to dogs as it can cause severe hypoglycemia or even liver failure.
Monitor and Comfort Your Dog
If your veterinarian advises that you can monitor them at home until the THC wears off, the next few hours will be crucial for watching your dog and ensuring your safety.
If you see any signs of your dog experiencing adverse reactions to the edible, you need to make a call back to the veterinarian or the closest emergency clinic. Listen closely to what they say and follow their directions astutely, as they know the best ways to keep your pet comfortable and safe.
When your dog has taken an edible, they do not necessarily always show physical signs of distress. Dogs can be uncomfortable, but due to the effects of the THC they may not show it in the way they normally would. They will not understand what is happening to them, which can be very upsetting and frustrating. They may whine, cry, bark, or just try to be next to you.
Comforting your dog by rubbing them and just being there for them will help keep them calm. Be sure to give them a lot of attention and support.
What Will a Vet Do If My Dog Ate an Edible?
If your pup has just scarfed down the edible, your veterinarian may advise you bring your dog in — they should generally be fully equipped to assist you and your pet before the THC can really kick in.
However, it is important that you tell your vet the truth of what happened and everything you know. Sometimes people can be afraid to tell vets the truth in situations like these, for fear of being reported to the police if cannabis is illegal in their state. Still, telling your vet the truth will be your dog’s best chance at getting the help they need in time.
If you get to a vet or emergency clinic quickly, they will likely attempt to get your dog to vomit, hoping to remove the edible before the THC can get absorbed into your dog’s system. While you should not attempt to do this yourself, a veterinarian has the training and tools necessary to perform this safely.
If more than an hour or two has already passed since your dog ingested the edible, the vet may not want to try this. Instead, the vet may choose to put the dog on an IV to pump fluid through their system to help flush out the THC faster while providing additional nutrients, hydration, and medication to combat symptoms and discomfort. They may advise keeping the dog overnight for more observation.
The Best Route Is Prevention
The best way to help your dog is to keep this from happening in the first place. Accidents happen, of course, but with the right preventative measures, you can minimize the chances of your dogs ingesting your edibles.
Keeping your edibles out of reach from your dogs will be your first and most important step. Try to make sure that when you have edibles around, you keep them in safe and secure locations — places where dogs will not be likely to reach or get into. It’s also worth investing into cannabis-specific containers that have additional safety locks, usually specifically designed to keep out pets and children.
Generally the amount of harm an edible can pose to your dog is variable based on a number of factors. Low dosage of CBD or THC in an edible might seem negligible for adult humans, but it can really make a difference when dealing with animals.
If your dog ingests an edible, contact their vet or your local emergency clinic ASAP for further guidance. They may ask you to bring your dog in for induced vomiting or additional treatment, or they may advise you to monitor your pup at home for adverse symptoms.