It’s time we all had that talk; to our kids, our parents, house-guests and the like… that their medicinal or recreational marijuana needs to stay locked up and placed on a shelf while in your home. We’re starting to hear more news about dogs poisoned due to ingesting fruit flavoured blunts and especially marijuana edibles. Let’s discuss the 5 things you need to know about your dog and cannabis… We call this “poisoning” because that is exactly what it is.
Cannabis Poisoning a Dog and What You Need to Know
Cannabis laws are changing quickly in the United States (and the rest of the world) and we truly need to take a moment and reflect on how to properly safeguard marijuana in your home. If you have children you already know they need to be protected; but what about your dog? Consider the fact that most dogs will chow down on anything edible in your home if left out – and that includes marijuana edibles. Now, we’re not suggesting that you’ve left your edibles sitting on a coffee table, but rather you believe they’re secure becuase you left them in your purse, or a bag left laying on the counter.
We know our pups and we know they get into everything. So leaving your edibles, and even fruit flavoured blunts, within easy reach of your dog is going to spell trouble, and probably a very large vet bill. While it’s not likely to kill your dog (it would take 3g per 10k body weight), then again, something with a large THC level (cannabutter for instance) may be lethal to some dogs and has been reported, it may cause them to be seriously ill.
1. The Signs of Cannabis Poisoning
Clinical signs typically begin 30 to 90 minutes after marijuana has been eaten, or worse, from secondhand smoke. Because THC is stored in the body’s fat deposits, the effects of marijuana in a dog can last as long as several days.Your dog may appear drowsy and even may begin to fall over but catches balance.
2. The Symptoms of Cannabis Poisoning
- Poor coordination
- Dilated pupils
- Slow heart rate
3. Tell Your Vet Everything
It’s important to be upfront and truthful with your vet if you need to bring your dog in for ingesting marijuana. Vets aren’t obligated to report to the police, especially if this was an accident. You must tell the vet exactly how much your dog may have eaten so they can determine proper treatment.
4. Possible Treatment
If you feel your dog doesn’t need a vet visit, or your vet tells you it’s not necessary to come in, or you don’t think there is enough time to get them to an emergency clinic you could try the following:
- You could attempt to induce vomiting, but, vomiting could also prove dangerous if it has been more than 30 minutes since ingested. Your dog could potentially choke on their vomit. Contact your vet and they will instruct you what you should be doing.
- You could try to give your dog “Activated Charcoal” – but, honestly who has this in their home? What activated charcoal does do is trap toxins in the charcoal decreasing the dosage of the drug (or toxic material). If you do have activated charcoal, you would give this to your dog orally and ensure they get plenty of water.
- Keep your dog warm and hydrated. You would also want to confine the dog in an area of your home so that they aren’t able to stumble and hurt themselves.
5. Keep Your Dog Safe – Stash your Stash!
In simple terms, keep your stash locked away in your home. The less chance your dog has of getting access to where you’ve stored your marijuana the better it is for them not to be poisoned by it. Place in a dresser drawer, in a drawer in the refrigerator, in a cabinet above the counter – you get the idea.
NOTE: We tried finding a video showing the effects of cannabis on dogs, but could not find a serious video depicting the problem. We found videos where some owners actually thought it was “cute”, or “funny” that their dog had ingested their marijuana. #NotFunny.