April 30, 2019

Is Pot Safe for Dogs?

We won’t get into the nitty gritty on the arguments for and against marijuana, but there are a few things concerned veterinarians do want you to know about pot and your dog.

Dogs Can (and do) Get High

Yes, your dog can get high by inhaling marijuana smoke and/or ingesting pot edibles. The difference is, dogs feel “high” much, much more intensely than humans do. Dogs are likely to find any state of altered reality extremely distressing.

How Can You Tell if Your Dog is “High?”

If your dog is in the room while you’re smoking marijuana, it’s entirely possible for him to get a “contact high.” Dogs have also been known to eat marijuana buds, and of course, edibles are tempting to them, too. If you’re unsure whether or not your dog may have inadvertently gotten into your weed, look for the following signs:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Low blood pressure/heart rate
  • Unsteadiness
  • Easily startled

Can Pot Hurt My Dog?

In a nutshell, yes. There are too few vet-sponsored studies on the effects of marijuana on dogs to know for sure whether or not it’s safe. Never give your dog weed, particularly without first talking to your vet. (Caveat: Some veterinarians believe in prescribing medical marijuana products that do not contain THC for dogs that require pain relief.) Although pot probably won’t kill your dog, it could make him very sick. Small animals are particularly susceptible to effects of pot. Vets working in states that legalized marijuana such as Colorado have reported an uptick in dogs coming in with symptoms of marijuana ingestion. Especially if you’re unsure just how much marijuana your pet has in his system, be sure to get him to an emergency vet right away if you suspect he’s been in your stash. Vet treatment for pot ingestion can include IV fluids, careful monitoring, and even by applying oxygen. Remember that even if pot isn’t necessarily “toxic” to your dog, the ingredients in some edibles might be.

Keeping Your Dog Safe From Pot

Treat your marijuana the same way you would a prescription medication or alcohol. Keep it out of reach of pets (and children!) and monitor the amount you have on hand closely so you know when any is missing. Never smoke pot in an enclosed space while your pet is nearby. If your dog does get a hold of the green stuff, try to induce vomiting immediately. And if you need to call in a vet, be honest with her about what’s affecting your dog. Your vet won’t judge you; they’re only interested in helping your pet stay healthy.

Other recent posts from our blog

September 18, 2019

How Often Do Puppies Need to See the Vet?

Puppies need to see the veterinarian more often than dogs at any other stage of life. That's because puppies - generally considered dogs under about one year of age, with some exceptions. Let's talk about how often puppies really need to see the vet.

August 1, 2019

Which Dogs Are Most At-Risk in Extreme Heat?

Extreme heat is unhealthy for everyone, but particularly for dogs. In summer, temperatures can rise rapidly in a matter of hours...conditions are prime for heat stroke, overheating, or “heat exhaustion” in dogs, as it’s sometimes called.

August 7, 2019

First 2 Hours: My Dog is Unexpectedly in Heat

Surprisingly often, pet parents rescue or adopt female dogs that are billed as spayed but...aren't. There's really no great way to tell that your female dog hasn't actually been spayed unless she has a visible scar,