Dogs are absolutely curious animals and can sometimes get into things they shouldn’t. One thing (especially here in the Netherlands) dogs can accidentally ingest is marijuana – whether it be in the form of the plant itself, edible treats, buds, or oils.
It should be noted that dogs and cats are much more sensitive to THC than humans – and that marijuana can cause serious toxic effects – and even death – in our pets.
Why Would a Dog Eat Weed?
Dogs may eat weed for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, they may mistake it for a treat or a toy. Other times, dogs may be attracted to the scent of it, which can be quite potent. And many dogs will simply chew on anything they find!
What Happens When a Dog Eats Weed?
When a dog eats weed, it can cause a variety of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. The symptoms can vary depending mainly on the amount of weed ingested, the THC content of the product, and the weight of the dog. Clinical symptoms can vary greatly between individuals.
Some of the most common symptoms of marijuana ingestion in dogs include:
- Lethargy or excessive sleepiness
- Incoordination or loss of balance
- Increased heart rate
- Urinary incontinence
- Low blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
In severe cases, marijuana ingestion can lead to coma and death!
What to Do if Your Dog Eats Weed
If you suspect that your dog has ingested weed, it is important to act quickly. Here are the steps you should take:
1. Determine the Amount and Type of Weed Ingested
Try to determine the amount and type of weed your dog has ingested. This can be very helpful information for your veterinarian. If you have access to the packaging or the remaining product, bring it with you to the vet’s office.
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2. Contact Your Veterinarian
If you think your dog has ingested weed (or if they are behaving abnormally and they might have had access to it), call your local vet immediately. They will be able to advise you on what steps to take next. After a discussion over the phone, they can advise if it’s advisable to bring your dog into the clinic, or if it’s ok to monitor them at home.
3. Do Not Administer Any Medications Without Consulting Your Veterinarian
Do not administer any medications to your dog without consulting your veterinarian. Some medications can interact with marijuana and cause further complications.
4. Do Not Make Your Dog Vomit at Home
Inducing vomiting at home is almost never a good idea! This is something that should be done under veterinary supervision. If your dog ate the weed within a few hours, it is possible your vet might want to do this at the clinic.
When to Worry
If your dog has ingested weed, it is important to monitor their behavior and symptoms for any signs of distress. However, do remember that weed can affect dogs very differently, and clinical symptoms might be radically different between individuals. You should definitely speak to a vet to get the specifics for your situation, but here are some signs that you should be aware of:
- Lethargy or excessive sleepiness that lasts longer than 24 hours
- Loss of coordination or incoordination that lasts longer than 24 hours
- Difficulty breathing
- Paranoia, including abnormal panting, pacing
If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Preventing Your Dog From Eating Weed
It sounds obvious, but prevention is always the best approach when it comes to keeping your dog safe from ingesting things they shouldn’t. Make sure to store marijuana products in a place that your dog cannot access, such as a locked cabinet or high shelf. Keep edibles, buds, and oils out of reach and be sure to properly dispose of any leftovers.
If you have any concerns about your dog eating weed or anything uncommon, do get in touch. We have a team of expert vets on hand to help. Book a slot with one of them today.