Marijuana ingestion is one of the most common toxicities I’ve seen as a veterinary nurse, both in places where it’s legal (like Canada) and illegal (like Ireland). Some dogs just love the smell of weed so will eat it if given the opportunity.
Unfortunately, while weed is essentially harmless in humans it can be dangerous to dogs. If your dog has eaten weed (or hash, cannabis oils, or any other form of marijuana) call your vet immediately.
What Happens When a Dog Eats Marijuana
Dogs are highly sensitive to the THC compounds in marijuana and will feel pretty unwell after eating it. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Excessive drooling.
- Urinary incontinence.
- Seeming very spaced out (yes, they get stoned).
- Incoordination or being unable to walk.
- A very distinctive head-bobbing movement .
- Tremors or shivering.
- Startling at sudden movements or sounds.
Honestly, they look like they’re having a really bad trip. Which they are.
If left untreated by a vet, dogs that have eaten marijuana can have seizures or, in extreme cases, fall into a coma.
What should I do if my dog has eaten weed?
Call your vet and arrange to bring your dog down straight away.
Be honest with your vet if your dog has eaten weed. Trying to hide weed ingestion or saying it “might” have happened only slows down the diagnostic process and delays treatment for your dog.
Your vet doesn’t care whether you smoke pot. The team only wants to treat your dog quickly and efficiently. You will not get reported to authorities for telling the truth.
Once they know what they are dealing with, your vet will give your dog medication that will make them vomit to prevent further absorption of any marijuana left in their stomach. Depending on your dog’s condition, they may recommend a hospital stay and IV fluids to help get them on the mend.
What if my dog ate a weed edible?
The other ingredients in edible cannibis products are the biggest risk, aside from the weed itself. Chocolate, xylitol and raisins are all commonly used in home-baked edibles, and they can make your dog very sick.
Is CBD oil for dogs the same as weed?
No, companies that manufacture CBD products for dogs remove any THC compounds that make dogs ill. They’re fine if you use a dog-specific formula and follow the label’s directions.