Yo, what’s good, it’s your boy Dan. So you know how cannabis has been blowing up and gaining acceptance over the years, right? But it ain’t just humans who are partaking in the trend. A ton of pet owners out there are giving their furry friends cannabis-based products. And while we’re still studying the potential benefits of cannabis for treating specific pet ailments, we gotta remember that cannabis intoxication in dogs is a serious issue.
Dogs react differently to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the psychoactive component of weed. They can get seriously sick from it and even die.
A new report out of Canada shows that there’s been a massive increase in cannabis poisoning cases involving pets, especially dogs, since 2018. Most of the cases were mild, but a few pets did die from marijuana consumption. That’s why we gotta be careful about dosages and keep our pet’s safety top-of-mind.
The thing that makes humans feel “high” when they use weed is THC, but it’s also what causes toxicosis and poisons pets who ingest the drug in any form.
The number of reported cases of cannabis poisoning seems to have gone up since Canada legalized marijuana, but we’re not sure if it’s because more people are using it or if people are reporting it more. Jibran Khokhar, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Guelph’s Ontario Veterinary College and one of the authors of the research, said that we need more research into this issue to figure out how to keep our pets healthy.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), about 37 states and four U.S. territories have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. In comparison, 18 states and two territories have allowed the drug’s recreational use.
When researchers surveyed 251 veterinarians in Canada and the United States and analyzed data from 2021 to find out how often pets suffer from marijuana toxicity, they found that dogs were most likely to get poisoned by cannabis. Most poisonings happened when pets ate cannabis edibles while their owners weren’t around. Pets also consumed weed through discarded joints, human poop (ew), cannabis-infused butter or oil (yum?), and even compost.
All parts of the marijuana plant are toxic to dogs, according to the American Kennel Club. Dr. Khokhar said that most cases were mild and got better with time, but there were a few deaths from weed poisoning. The Animal Poisoning Control Center reported a whopping 765% increase in calls concerning pets eating marijuana in 2019 compared to the previous year.
As more people start using weed-based products on their pets, we need more research into how this affects animals’ health. We need better regulations and protocols to protect our furry friends from getting sick.
Dr. Khokhar thinks that pet-proof packaging would be helpful in keeping our pets away from pot. We also need to educate people about what symptoms to look out for when their pets accidentally eat weed.
If your dog accidentally eats weed in any form, here are some signs to watch out for: stumbling or moving awkwardly; slow reflexes; enlarged pupils; vomiting; peeing uncontrollably (which happens almost half the time); shaking or trembling; and agitation.
These symptoms usually show up within half an hour of ingestion. If your dog smoked weed instead of eating it, they might feel high faster. It’s essential to contact your vet if you think your dog ate weed because they’ll know how to help your pup recover.
Dr. Stacy Meola works at Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Colorado and says that most dogs recover from weed poisoning within one or two days with proper care. Still, you should always seek veterinary attention if you think your pet ate weed because some cases can be dangerous.
If your dog ate weed brownies or cookies with chocolate or artificial sweeteners like Xylitol in them, that can be dangerous for dogs. Medical-grade marijuana butter products often used in baking can increase dogs’ risk for more severe symptoms too.
No matter how your dog ate weed, you should call a vet as soon as possible because we don’t know what amount of THC is toxic or fatal for our furry friends.
So make sure to keep your stash locked up and away from your doggos! And if they accidentally eat some weed, don’t panic – just give your vet a call right away so they can help your pup feel better ASAP. Peace out!