Did your dog eat cannabis? We know that most dogs will eat anything they can grab!
Marijuana (aka cannabis, pot, weed) has become increasingly accessible and popular in recent years, and reports of cannabis-induced toxicosis in pets have increased significantly in North America since 2018. For your pet, this can be dangerous and in some cases, deadly due to the development of medical-grade cannabis products.
Cannabis poisonings are most commonly reported in dogs, and most likely to be caused by edibles that pets eat while unattended. During growing season, your dog may also ingest high levels of THC by eating or chewing on a marijuana plant.
What to do if my dog ate cannabis?
Following are the steps you should take if your dog ate marijuana, as well as essential information to help you ensure the well-being of your beloved pet.
1. Recognize the Signs of Marijuana Toxicity:
The first step in handling a situation where you think your dog ate cannabis is to identify the signs of
marijuana toxicity in your dog. Some common symptoms include:
loss of coordination
low or high body temperature
irregular heart rate
depression or hyperesthesia
If you observe any of these signs and suspect marijuana ingestion, its crucial to act promptly.
2. Determine What Your Pet Ingested:
It is important for you to tell your veterinarian exactly what your pet ingested in order to get a proper diagnosis:
- Marijuana buds – this is more dangerous than consuming the leaves
- Marijuana leaves – may contain dangerous levels of THC
- Edibles – look at the list of ingredients to determine other potential hazards in the product. Some edibles, like pot brownies contain a lot of chocolate, which is more dangerous for your dog than THC, so if your pet has eaten pot brownies, take your dog to the emergency vet right away.
3. Contact Your Veterinarian:
Once you suspect that your dog ate cannabis, the first course of action should be to contact your veterinarian immediately. They are the best resource to guide you through the situation. Let them know the type and quantity of marijuana product your pet ingested, because it affects which treatment your pet will need.
4. Do Not Induce Vomiting:
Unlike some other substances, inducing vomiting is not recommended when it comes to marijuana ingestion. This is because marijuana can cause a variety of complications if it enters the respiratory system during the regurgitation process. It is essential to follow the advice of your veterinarian, who may recommend alternative treatment methods based on your dog’s condition.
5. Provide Information to Your Veterinarian:
It is crucial to be honest and provide accurate information to your veterinarian. Don’t be embarrassed or nervous, no one is contacting the police. Inform them about the strain of marijuana consumed, the quantity, and any other substances that might have been ingested along with it. This information will assist the veterinarian in determining the appropriate treatment plan for your dog.
6. Monitor and Provide a Safe Environment:
While waiting for veterinary advice or during transportation to the clinic, ensure your dog is in a calm and safe environment. Remove any potential hazards, such as sharp objects or toxic substances, to prevent accidents or further complications. Keep your dog in a quiet area to reduce stress levels.
7. Medical Treatment Options:
Depending on the severity of the marijuana ingestion, your veterinarian may take different approaches. They may induce vomiting if the ingestion occurred within a short timeframe, administer activated charcoal to absorb any remaining toxins, or provide intravenous fluids to prevent dehydration. In severe cases, they may choose to hospitalize your dog for observation and supportive care.
Prevention is the best!
To avoid future incidents, it is crucial to be mindful of marijuana and other substances that may be harmful to your dog. Store marijuana and related products securely, out of reach of your pet. Be cautious when attending social gatherings where marijuana maybe present, ensuring your dog is never exposed to it.
While marijuana is legal, it remains essential to keep it out of reach of our furry companions. If your dog ate cannabis, swift action is necessary. Contact your veterinarian immediately, provide accurate information, and follow their advice for the best course of action. By being vigilant and taking appropriate preventive measures, you can protect your dog’s well-being and ensure a safe and happy environment for your beloved pet.