Marijuana Is Not Your Dog’s Best ‘Bud’

My Dog Ate Weed. What Do I Do?

Marijuana consumption has become less and less taboo over the years. According to 2019 population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau, over 43% of U.S. adults now live in a jurisdiction that has legalized the recreational use of marijuana at the local level. Public support for legalization is only increasing. But what does this mean for your pets?

Well, us humans can be careless. We leave the xylitol-filled pack of gum on the coffee table for our dogs to access, or drop onion pieces on the kitchen floor for our dogs to swallow before we’ve had the chance to say “Nooooooo!”  These are items that are highly toxic to dogs. Accidents happen.

The same goes for cannabis users with pets. Whether it’s a flower or an edible left in an unsecured area your pet can access, they’re going to get curious. And as we know with dogs, curiosity leads to ingestion. Dogs explore the world with their mouths, after all!

So, what is a pet parent to do if their dog accidentally gets its paws on their stash?

“As soon as you see any of the symptoms, bring them into the emergency vet, because you don’t know how severe their reaction will get,” Kenneth Drobatz, DVM, director of emergency services at the University of Pennsylvania’s Ryan Veterinary Hospital told Fatherly Media.

Symptoms of Marijuana Toxicity

pet friendly indoor plants

Ask yourself, if my dog ate weed how long will it last? What symptoms do I need to look out for?

Symptoms of marijuana toxicity in dogs and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) poisoning include:

  • depression
  • disorientation
  • lack of coordination
  • dilated pupils
  • low blood pressure
  • slow heart rate
  • lethargy
  • slow breathing
  • excessive salivation/drooling
  • vomiting
  • tremours
  • urinary incontinence
  • hypothermia

These can be scary clinical signs when your dog eats weed. So if you’re asking “my dog ate weed how long will it last? The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine says the effects can last 18-24 hours.

It also depends on how much they were exposed to, as well as what level of THC was in the marijuana or marijuana brownies, etc. Medical marijuana often has higher THC content than recreational marijuana products.

Why do the effects of marijuana last so long in dogs? According to UC Davis:

“Dogs have the ability to internally recycle cannabinoids, such as THC. Cannabinoids are absorbed in the gut and stored in the bile. The bile is secreted back into the intestines when the dog eats their next meal, meaning they are then re-exposed to the cannabinoids.”

What about CBD?

natural pain relief for dogs

Luckily, CBD (cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive and thought to be non-toxic. However, it is possible your pet’s CBD treats or oil could be contaminated with enough THC to make them sick.

How Is Marijuana Poisoning Treated?

veterinarians mental health a vet holding dog paw

Your pup is not ganja have a good time at the vet.

First, your vet will run diagnostic tests and might take an x-ray. Treatment requires veterinary attention and consists of supportive care like regulation of body temperature using cold or warm therapy techniques, IV fluids, and drugs that may relieve nausea and vomiting. On the other hand, sometimes vomiting is induced.

Weed Is Not Your Dog’s Best ‘Bud’

my dog ate weed how long will it last

In order to avoid marijuana ingestion, it is vital pet owners keep Mary Jane put away and out of their pet’s reach. That means all flowers, gummies, oils, vape cartridges, and other marijuana edibles. The side effects in pets are nothing like what humans experience and the risk is too great.

In the incident your dog has consumed a large amount of cannabis, it’s also a good idea to call the Pet Poison Helpline or ASPCA poison hotline for initial assistance.

Be Blunt

pet friendly indoor plants

Pun intended.

When you speak to your vet or veterinary professional about your dog’s symptoms, it’s important that you do not leave any information out.

Whether you live in a state where marijuana is legal like Colorado, or a jurisdiction where is not legal at all, your vet doesn’t care. They only care about the well-being of your pet. Be blunt and give them every single detail so they can find the best treatment and care plan for your fur-child.