Everyone knows dogs are accomplished, sniffers. Their excellent sense of smell has made canines an indispensable human companion throughout the ages, especially during our more “hunter-and-gatherer” days. Today, dogs’ keen olfactory senses make them ideal for use in law enforcement and security situations, sniffing packages and luggage for everything from explosives to foreign produce, and of course, narcotics.
But do dogs know when someone is high on marijuana?
Consider that our canine companions are extremely sensitive and observant creatures, outfitted by a large memory capacity.
It’s widely known that a dog’s sense of smell is tens of thousands of times more potent than humans, but dogs can also detect even the slightest change in your behavior.
So if you act differently, talk differently, walk differently when you’re high—even if you don’t notice–there’s an excellent chance that your dog has picked up on it.
According to Dr. Gary Weitzman of the San Diego Humane Society, dogs are “proficient mind-readers.” They quickly recognize changes in human body posture, mood, vocalization, tone, movement, and emotions.
Dogs are even more attentive to these changes if they know their handlers well.
Considering the way that cannabis affects the human body, someone under the influence of marijuana will be a dead giveaway to their dog.
What this means depends on how the user acts: is its snacks and playtime with the furry friend, or is it time to veg-out on the couch and ignore those scratches at the back door?
Unfortunately for dogs, marijuana is not the medical and recreational substance it is for humans. In fact, cannabis is toxic to dogs, even if it won’t kill them.
That’s why vets have begun to notice a rise in a dog related illness called marijuana toxicosis. They’re blaming the increase in the illness on the uptick in recreational and medical cannabis legalization across the U.S.
Although there’s a slim possibility, a dog would die from marijuana, taking steps to ensure that a curious canine doesn’t consume cannabis is a good idea.