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How Marijuana Affects Your Pets

How Marijuana Affects Your Pets


How Marijuana Affects Your Pets

Ever wonder how marijuana is affecting some of the most common household pets? Here’ everything you need to know about cannabis for pets.

The Science

Endocannabinoid systems are found in most living things including mammals and invertebrates.

These systems contain the receptors required to induce a high from marijuana, and most household pets have them, meaning marijuana may have some effect on your pet.

How Marijuana Affects Your Pets


The scientific evidence on marijuana’s effect on household pet birds is lacking, but one study observed the, “Impact on the weight of muscles and visceral organs in broilers which is always desirable in the poultry industry.” However, bird owners may not find it helpful to feed their pets cannabis.

Reptiles (Snakes, Lizards)

In the case of pet lizards, one might want to hold off on their access to cannabis.

In a study of green iguanas cannabis ingestion caused intoxication which, “Resulted in seizures, cardiovascular and digestive tract aberrations, elevated hepatic enzyme and bile acid concentrations for some weeks post recovery.”

All undesirable effects for one’s pet. So until further research is done it might be best to keep your reptilian friends away from the smoke session.

Rodents (Hamsters, Mice)

One study found that cannabis reduced rodents “blood pressure, pulse rate, and respiratory rate.” The administration of cannabis extract to the rats was causing hypotension in some of them.

So far there is not enough scientific evidence to show any benefits from giving a pet rodent cannabis.

Another study on behavior in mature rats who were chronically exposed to marijuana found that there was a, “greater vulnerability of immature organisms (previous studies) than mature organisms (the present study) to long-term effects of chronic cannabis administration.”

In more “immature organisms” such as rats and rodents, chronic cannabis use left the rodents more vulnerable to long-term effects than it would in more mature organisms such as a dog or human.

How Marijuana Affects Your Pets

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A study illustrated the fact that a cat’s monosynaptic reflexes become hindered after enhancing their cannabinoid levels. Cats end up in the vet less than dogs for eating marijuana edibles.

This is likely because cats lack a sweet tooth and are less liable to dig into typical sweet edibles such as brownies and cookies.

When a cat does consume cannabis, they are affected in a sedative manner more than half of the time but about 25% of the time the animal becomes agitated and distressed.


Can dogs die from ingesting marijuana? It is unlikely due to the large quantity the dog would need to consume to die.

What is more likely is the plant causing adverse effects in dogs. Some of these effects include stumbling in a drunken manner, lethargy, depression, and more.

How does Marijuana impact dogs?

“About 25% of animals, instead of being calm and relaxed, they are panting, pacing,” Wismer stated. “And they are quite distressed.” Tina Wismer, the medical director at the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center

However, some dog owners with sick and dying pets have turned to medical marijuana made for canine consumption. Cannabis edibles are nothing new but ones made exclusively for animal use creates a new consumer market in the marijuana industry.

Dawn Boothe, who teaches at Auburn University’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Alabama, has been making attempts to begin research on cannabis in dogs.

Her department recently submitted a grant application to the Morris Animal Foundation. A non-profit organization that funds scientific studies for animals. To conduct research on cannabinoids’ effects on dogs.

The Risks

The biggest risk marijuana poses to your pets is in its edible form. Since their increase in popularity, marijuana edibles have caused many trips to the vet for pet companions.

This usually only occurs when a dog or cat has consumed an edible let behind.

Wendy Mansfield, a woman who treated herself with cannabis never consulted a professional before giving her dying dog cannabis cookies.

She was able to restore her dog’s health despite vets claiming there was nothing that could be done.

Boothe hopes that pet owners looking to use cannabis as medicine for their pets will do so under the guidance of a vet. Boothe went on stating:

“I’d like to think that people would believe that it’s a bad idea to treat children without a physician’s advice, I believe that it’s the same with animals.”


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