Can Dogs Get High From Marijuana?

06/28/2024
LOOKAH

Can-Dogs-Get-High-From-Marijuana

On those quiet nights, when the world falls silent, I sometimes light a pipe and indulge in this unique ritual.

The smoke rises slowly, accompanied by a deep inhale and then a slow exhale as if releasing the day's fatigue and worries in one fell swoop.

However, it was at this point that the curious and loving gaze of my dog came into view.

Whenever I look at it, a warm current always wells up in my heart.

I sometimes wonder if I blew marijuana smoke in its face, would it get as excited as I do?

If you have the same thoughts as me, please stop this behavior immediately.

While it can be a remarkable tool for humans, the cannabis plant can be dangerous and even toxic for dogs.

Do Dogs Get High?

Instead of getting high, dogs endure side effects that range from mild to very severe.

They do not get high when ingesting or inhaling marijuana as humans do but instead experience other effects brought on by THC, and it’s not pleasant.

They typically experience ataxia, which is a form of clumsiness and loss of movement control, their pupils become dilated, and they may exhibit tremors and even seizures.

Moreover, dogs do not simply ingest the recommended amount of marijuana as a human would.

If they encounter edibles, they will ingest as much of them as is available, which just worsens the adverse effects.

If a bag of marijuana is within a dog’s reach, they will eat all its contents without blinking, as the plant itself tastes good to them.

Therefore, leaving marijuana and THC products lying around the house could have dire consequences.

In the most severe cases, dogs can go into a coma and potentially die from ingesting too much marijuana, and since they won’t follow the instructions listed on the product, the likelihood of them ingesting excessive amounts is large.

Although marijuana is becoming more widespread and accepted for both medicinal and recreational purposes, it is important to note that dogs do not reap the same benefits from it as humans.

The effects of THC on dogs are more closely related to anxiety and panic than relaxation and healing.

What Are The Effects Of Secondhand Smoke On Dogs?

Secondhand-Smoke-On-Dogs

Secondhand smoke is not just dangerous for people, it is also dangerous for pets.

Living in a house with a smoker puts dogs, cats, and especially birds at greater risk of many health problems.

Dogs exposed to secondhand smoke have more eye infections, allergies, and respiratory issues, including lung cancer.

This makes sense when you realize that a dog's sense of smell is significantly better than people's.

Interestingly, the length of a dog’s nose is associated with the type of cancer incurred from inhaling secondhand smoke.

Long-nosed dogs are prone to nasal cancer, while short-nosed dogs often get lung cancer.

Long-nosed dogs (Collies, Labradors, Dobermans, etc.) have increased surface area in their nasal canals that trap inhaled particles.

The toxins and carcinogens in tobacco smoke accumulate in the nasal mucus, putting long-nosed dogs at greater risk for tumors in their lengthy snouts.

The incidence of nasal tumors is 250% higher in long-nosed dogs living in smoke-filled environments. 

Short noses are not effective “traps” and allow more inhaled particles and carcinogens to reach the lungs.

That is why short-nosed dogs (Pug, Shih Tzu, Pekingese, etc.) develop more lung cancer than their long-nosed friends.

What Are The Symptoms Of Marijuana Poisoning In Dogs?

Your dog may have THC poisoning if they:

  • Stumble and cross over their feet as if they are “drunk”
  • Look dull and lethargic, but startle to catch their balance if they start to fall over
  • Have dilated pupils
  • Pee uncontrollably
  • Vomit
  • Have tremors and shake
  • Are agitated
  • Are very sensitive to sound and touch
  • Have an unusually low heart rate

In some cases, if the reaction is very bad, your dog could go into a coma.

It usually takes 30-60 minutes after your dog eats marijuana for the effects to kick in.

It may happen sooner if they inhale it.

Depending on the dog's weight and sensitivity, and the amount of cannabis consumed, the symptoms of intoxication can range from mild to severe. 

Some dogs may experience hyperactivity and restlessness, while others may become lethargic as if sedated.

Drooling and/or vomiting may occur as a result of nausea.

The high and other effects usually last 18-24 hours in dogs.

Because THC is so toxic for dogs, they can’t just “sleep it off.”

If you notice these symptoms, call your vet immediately.

What To Do If I Suspect They Have Ingested Marijuana Or THC Products?

If you even suspect that your dog somehow got high, like by eating those edibles you accidentally left low to the ground, you should take your beloved dog to the veterinarian right away.

Don’t wait for the signs we mentioned above.

You might be worried about being judged, but be honest with your vet.

Lying about what happened to your dog could delay proper treatment and be fatal if not treated in time.

A veterinarian can induce vomiting in dogs that have ingested marijuana or edibles within the last 30 minutes, mitigating any further side effects they will experience.

If more than 30 minutes have passed, your dog will likely have absorbed most of the THC, and treatment options will be limited to supportive care, such as administering IV therapy.

Your veterinarian will also take all possible measures to prevent your dog from becoming severely ill and ensure they are safe and comfortable while the symptoms wear off.

THC VS. CBD For Dogs

CBD-for-dogs

The primary difference between THC and CBD related to pets is that THC-infused products are not recommended for pets.

Pets who consume THC can suffer from a lack of balance, slow heart rate, incontinence, dilated eyes, and low body temperature.

If they consume higher THC concentrations, the signs can be more serious, such as seizures and aspiration.

The harsh effects of THC happen to pets because THC is a psychoactive compound, while CBD is not.

Unlike THC, CBD has been widely accepted by the pet community as a useful wellness support tool. 

CBD products that are veterinarian-formulated and specifically designed for pets should not create any of the common negative experiences of THC when administered in the right amounts.

Instead, CBD pet products can help your pet continue an active lifestyle, keep to a steady sleep schedule, and remain comfortable.

But there’s no scientific data to support its use and benefits in the long term.

And CBD oil’s manufacturing and distribution aren’t well-regulated.

So certain CBD products may contain small amounts of THC. 

This could be dangerous.

Check with your vet to see whether CBD oil is right for your dog and to make sure you have the right kind.

But also know that in many states, vets legally can’t even talk to you about CBD oil.

Laws are changing, so again, you’ll have to check.

Safely Store All Cannabis Products Away From Pets

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.

Conclusion

If your pet has been exposed to any part or form of marijuana, including smoke, oil, resin, or leaves, it is essential to provide them with professional veterinary care as soon as possible.

Many pet owners believe that CBD will not have harmful effects on their pets, but in truth, even CBD contains small amounts of THC, which may result in undesirable reactions.