dogs eat edibles getting stoned


Canines and Cannabis Edibles: Dogs Getting Stoned

Pet owners love their furry friends and know them well. That’s why it can be evident that something is wrong with your dog. These experiences can be highly upsetting to owners and cause significant distress.

Today, pet owners are noticing their dogs getting stoned more and more often. Additionally, calls to poison control centers show clear trends in the wrong direction throughout the States. In fact, from 2017 to 2020, the national call volume about cannabis ingestion increased from 1,436 to 3,923 cases. 

Why are dogs eating more edibles? With more Americans buying or making marijuana edibles, there are more chances for things to go wrong. Like with cigarettes or joint roaches on the ground, sometimes edibles get dropped on the sidewalk or street. 

More Americans than ever have access to legal cannabis, and society has to address the issues that arise. There have always been incidents of dogs accidentally consuming edibles, but these cases are growing. Recently, there have been plenty of discussions directed at this meaningful public safety conversation.

So why don’t we add some high-quality information to this discussion? Let’s learn what happens so you can be prepared and know how to respond in situations where your dog may be baked. 

When Dogs Eat Edibles

When dogs eat cannabis edibles, the side effects are often more distressing than dangerous. That said, many weed edibles include other ingredients that may be harmful to dogs, like chocolate

Generally, the signs of marijuana toxicity in dogs involve dilated eyes, slow heart rate, low body temperature, unsteadiness, dribbling urine, and sensitivity to touch, light, and sounds. 

Other symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, excessive drooling, and tremors. You may also be wondering whether cannabis can kill a dog. These cases are rare and involve large doses, and are entirely preventable. The more frequent moderate cases out there produce no lasting harm. 

If you notice these symptoms, try to remember that it will be alright. In the vast majority of cases where dogs eat cannabis edibles, they are completely fine. Call your veterinarian or a pet poison hotline to discuss your dog’s health and the proper response.

As we mentioned earlier, the presence of other ingredients in cannabis edibles can present an unknown danger. Your dog could also be suffering from some other condition. As such, it is never a bad idea to give an expert a call. 

While doing that, keep your dog and yourself as calm as possible. Respond to their needs, see if they drink water, and react calmly as needed. Your veterinarian may ask you to bring your dog in or help them ride it out at home. As we mentioned earlier, most cases resolve with no lasting issues. 

Depending on how much your dog has eaten, the duration of symptoms can vary. Your dog may only feel them for a few hours, or it could go on more than a day. Thankfully most dogs don’t find such large doses needed to produce multi-day trips.

Generally, you should see your dog return to normal within 4-6 hours. That is if they don’t end up just falling asleep. Let them sleep unless your veterinarian says otherwise. 

The symptoms of cannabis edibles generally start 20-45 minutes after ingestion in dogs. Keep this timeframe in mind so you can determine whether your dog may have been exposed on a walk. There are two primary places where your dog may get at an edible, inside or outside. 

At Home or in the Wild

dogs getting baked

Be cautious with homemade baked edibles and while out in the wild. 

You should know if there are cannabis edibles in your home, but guests may sometimes bring them inside. Always ensure cannabis edibles are stored safely away from pets (and kids!). We have a helpful guide to what to do if a kid eats your edibles.

Out in the wild, things get more unpredictable. People may leave edibles lying on the ground in parks and beaches or just about anywhere. Watch your dog as best you can to stop them from eating cannabis edibles. Try to survey the ground around you when you are out with your furry friends enjoying parks or beaches. Avoid spots where people frequently leave behind garbage. 

A Key Distinction: CBD-Infused Dog Treats

While the point of this discussion is around keeping dogs safe from edibles, there is a category of infused products made just for dogs. You may have seen CBD-infused dog products before. CBD edibles for dogs contain no THC (the primary producer of the cannabis high) and are made to help soothe your floofy friend.

Consider asking your veterinarian if CBD dog treats are suitable for your pet. That said, you can rest assured that your dog can safely handle and even benefit from these tasty treats. 

The concerns discussed here today all focus on THC, which is not present in these treats. Pet owners use CBD treats to help pets with pain, anxiety, inflammation, and more. 

Related: Martha Stewart Debuts New Pet-Friendly Line of CBD Edibles

Final Thoughts

The outside world can be a scary place at times. But your daily dog walks should be a frightening experience. With some extra caution, you can ensure that your dog never eats cannabis edibles. Although rates are rising, overall, you are still likely never to experience such an incident. 

And now you know what to look for if your dog starts acting strangely. You also understand that most symptoms are mild and will completely subside within a few hours. 

That being said, we all learned how important it is to give a veterinarian a call. The most significant risk to your dog may be the chocolate or other ingredients in a weed edible and not the cannabis itself. So unless you know the exact edible your dog has eaten, it is better to speak with an expert. 

Remember to store cannabis safely so no children or pets can access them. These wonderful little treats should be for you, and keeping them away from others is our duty.