Home Culture Protecting Your Dogs from Accidental Marijuana Ingestion

Protecting Your Dogs from Accidental Marijuana Ingestion

© Stock Pot Images / Cindi Spears-Cahill

Even though the vast majority of the effects of cannabis legalization are overwhelmingly positive – and even if they weren’t, marijuana should still be legal because those using it are not infringing on the rights of anyone else – I’ll be the first to admit that it creates several issues that need to be addressed.

One is accidental ingestion by pets. To be fair, these ingestions happened even under the strictest of cannabis prohibitions, but the amount of dogs accidentally ingesting marijuana is on the rise. The main reason for that are edibles.

Under prohibition, if you wanted a marijuana edible, you or someone you knew had to make them. Many people decided against that, either because of a lack of knowledge, time or will to do so. Under legalization, however, retail sales of legal cannabis often mean legal sales of cannabis edibles. Buying brownies or cookies is much easier than baking them, whether they have marijuana in them or not. So it’s no surprise that legal sales of cannabis edibles are leading to more consumption of them.

More marijuana edibles being bought raises the chances that a dog – thinking they scored a sweet food treat – will get ahold of one. And while accidental cannabis ingestion is not usually fatal for a dog, it is not a pleasant experience.

“When we see a dog that comes in and it’s lethargic, dribbling urine and having trouble standing, it’s almost a sure-fire sign that the dog has gotten into marijuana,” said Dr. Adam Stone, a veterinarian at Bend Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center in Oregon.

“They can get quite nauseous,” Stone said. “A lot of people think that you can use marijuana in dogs to treat them for nausea, and it actually causes pretty severe nausea in almost all of them. What can be life-threatening is that they get very sedate, and they can vomit and breathe in that vomit and aspirate, and get a pretty horrific pneumonia.”

While there are CBD treats available to medicate dogs for various ailments, it’s important to keep things like high-THC edibles away from where they can get them. If you have kids or pets it should be a no-brainer that you keep your marijuana – especially edibles – where they cannot be reached by anyone but an adult.

This all seems pretty self-explanatory considering that those who pay for marijuana edibles will most likely want to enjoy them themselves, or at least give them to another adult who would enjoy them, but periodic reminders can always be helpful.