The Dangers of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs

Marijuana poisoning in dogs

Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs - An Overview

How does marijuana affect dogs differently than humans?

Marijuana affects dogs differently than humans because their bodies process the chemicals in marijuana in a different way. Dogs are more sensitive to THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, which can lead to symptoms such as disorientation, lethargy, vomiting, and in severe cases, seizures or coma.

A Cautionary Tale

Improperly disposed of marijuana joints causing dogs to suffer from poisoning.

Bondi, an 8-month-old toy Poodle, recently came home from a walk with his owner, Colleen Briggs, stumbling and barely able to stand. Upon further inspection, Briggs noticed that the dog's head was wobbling. After a quick diagnosis from the veterinarian, it was discovered that Bondi had consumed a discarded joint and was stoned. This unfortunate incident is just one example of the growing issue of pets ingesting marijuana due to the rise of pot shops in New York City and unfinished joints littering sidewalks. In fact, there has been an alarming increase in cases reported by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, with an 11% increase from last year's 6,200 cases reported in 2021. Over the past five years, this number has risen by 300%, leading to concern among veterinarians nationwide.

In recent years, marijuana, also known as cannabis or weed, has become increasingly popular for recreational and medicinal purposes. Although its use has become broader, it is essential to acknowledge the potential risks associated with marijuana ingestion, particularly for our furry friends.

Dogs, in particular, are at risk of marijuana poisoning due to their curious nature and tendency to explore their surroundings with their noses and mouths, often ingesting improperly disposed of marijuana buds, joints, or other parts of the plant, including feces from individuals who have ingested cannabis for recreational use.

This blog post will study the dangers of cannabis exposure and poisoning in dogs, its symptoms, and the safety measures for your furry buddy, including contacting the ASPCA's Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435) or the Pet Poison Helpline (855-764-7661) for immediate assistance in case of marijuana intoxication.


marijuana poisoning in dogs

Understanding Marijuana Poisoning

Marijuana contains an active chemical compound called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for its psychoactive effects. When dogs ingest marijuana, whether by consuming plant material, edibles, or inhaling secondhand smoke, THC and other cannabinoids can have toxic effects on their bodies, leading to cannabis toxicity or marijuana toxicosis; unlike humans, dogs are much more sensitive to these substances and can experience severe complications even with small amounts that can alter the brain's chemical messengers such as dopamine and serotonin.

It is important for pet owners to understand the dangers of marijuana poisoning and the effects it can have on their furry friends' brain chemistry.

Symptoms of Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs

  • Altered mental state: Dogs who ingest marijuana may appear disoriented, lethargic, or have difficulty walking. They may also lack coordination, stumbling, or falling over.
  • Depression: Marijuana poisoning can cause dogs to become unusually quiet, withdrawn, or exhibit signs of depression. They may show a decreased interest in their surroundings or lose their appetite.
  • Dilated pupils: Dogs with marijuana poisoning often have dilated pupils, which can be easily noticed by shining a light into their eyes.
  • Vomiting and diarrhea: Digestive issues, such as vomiting and diarrhea, are common symptoms of marijuana toxicity in dogs. These symptoms can lead to dehydration and further complications if left untreated.
  • Increased heart rate: Dogs may experience an elevated or irregular heartbeat due to marijuana ingestion. This case requires immediate veterinary attention.
  • Seizures: In severe cases, dogs may experience seizures due to marijuana poisoning. Seizures are a serious medical emergency and should address immediately.

What to do if your dog ingests marijuana

If you suspect your four-legged friend has ingested marijuana or is showing any symptoms of marijuana poisoning, it is crucial to take immediate action. Here are the steps you should follow:

  • Stay calm: It's always important to remain calm and keep a clear head. Panicking will only add stress to the situation and hinder your ability to help your dog effectively.
  • Remove your dog from the source: If your dog has consumed marijuana, remove them from the area to prevent further exposure. Ensure they are in a safe and quiet environment.
  • Contact your veterinarian: Reach out to your veterinarian or an emergency animal clinic immediately. Inform them of the situation and provide relevant details, such as the estimated amount of marijuana ingested, the time of ingestion, and the dog's current symptoms.
  • Follow professional advice: Your veterinarian will provide guidance based on your dog's condition. They may instruct you to induce vomiting or recommend bringing your dog in for immediate medical attention. Follow their advice closely.

Prevention is Key

Preventing marijuana poisoning in dogs starts with responsible ownership and awareness. Here are some preventive measures to consider:

  • Secure storage: Keep all marijuana products, including edibles, oils, and plants, out of your dog's reach. Store them in a safe, high place, or locked cabinet.
  • Be mindful of secondhand smoke: Avoid exposing your dog to marijuana smoke, as inhaling it can lead to intoxication.
  • Educate others: Inform friends, family, and visitors about the dangers of marijuana ingestion in dogs.

Marijuana Poisoning in Dogs - The final thoughts

In conclusion, when it comes to our furry friends, we must prioritize their safety and well-being. Marijuana poisoning in dogs is a serious concern that can harm their health. However, by being aware of the risks, recognizing the symptoms, and taking immediate action, such as informing the vet of any potential exposure to CBD and bringing the product with you, we can prevent unnecessary tests or treatments and protect our beloved pets from the dangers of marijuana ingestion.

Additionally, it is important to note that urinary incontinence or urine dribbling is also a common symptom of marijuana poisoning in dogs, as well as agitation and excitement, so monitoring their behavior can also be crucial in preventing further harm.

Remember, prevention is key. Securely store all marijuana products out of your dog's reach, be mindful of secondhand smoke, and educate those around you about the risks. We can ensure securer surroundings for our canine companions by working together and spreading awareness.

Don't hesitate to seek veterinary assistance if you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana or is exhibiting any poisoning symptoms. Your quick response can make all the difference in ensuring a swift recovery for your furry friend.

Let's remain responsible pet owners and protect our dogs from marijuana poisoning. So we can create a healthier and happier environment for our four-legged family members.