Brownies, butter, and fatty foods are very appealing to dogs. If you leave some out, they probably will not be able to stop themselves. Cannabis for pets is a whole different issue. If you have furry friends in your home and you enjoy cannabis, be careful. Weed can be extremely dangerous for pets.
Veterinarians say they see more pets every day brought in sick because they have accidentally eaten edibles. This is especially happening at an alarming rate in states where cannabis is legal, like Colorado and Oregon, raising concerns that legalization may create a situation that’s dangerous for pets.
As more states legalize weed, pet owners need to be very careful and take extra precaution to protect their furry friends. Luckily, there are safe alternatives out there for animals who like weed.
But unless you have vet-approved medical cannabis, think twice before you share a THC-infused brownie. It might be funny at first if Fido gobbles it down, but it will not be funny when you see the vet bill — and how sick he is.
How Edibles Are Harming Animals
If you know pigs, you know they love to root around for food. When a teacup pig named Nigel ate some THC peanut butter cookies from his owner’s backpack, he got very stoned. He showed similar signs as a human would after smoking a big bowl.
“He’s just wandering around the kitchen desperate for food, doing a lot of whining and oinking,” one witness told The Washington Post. “Then eventually, he just passed out.”
Luckily, Nigel slept off his high. But not all pets are so lucky.
If you’ve ever done edibles, you know how weird things can get if you take too much. Imagine how it must feel for animals.
When edibles are involved, things can quickly become dangerous for pets. And although humans can’t overdose on weed, pets can.
Weed Can Be Dangerous For Pets
Researchers studied a group of 125 dogs over a five-year period in states where cannabis is legal, like Colorado. They found a major link between more medical cannabis licenses and more pets getting cannabis poisoning.
Two dogs even passed away during the length of the study after eating cannabis butter. Similarly, an emergency vet clinic in Oregon saw a 63 percent increase in pet cannabis toxicity the year after it became legal.
Edibles are more potent than ever before. They are also becoming more widely available. Both of those things are awesome for humans. Unfortunately, edibles can be especially dangerous for pets.
If your pet accidentally eats some, they may suffer from a slow or racing heartbeat, vomiting, tremors, and seizures. They might even die. It’s the THC that does it. When an animal reacts negatively to an edible, it’s because their bodies are not handling the THC well.
“Ten years ago, we would have told you there’s no chance your dog is going to die of this,” veterinarian Shawn Thomas of Oregon told The Washington Post. “But now, I tell people, it’s so much stronger, and you have a four-pound Chihuahua and it could die.”
But while edibles are strong and dangerous for pets, they are not the only form of cannabis to worry about.
A six-year-old sheltie from Oregon named Star ate some loose-leaf cannabis on the dining room table. Her sister, Kicker, gobbled up some cannabis candy in her owner’s car just days before.
Both dogs needed to be given activated charcoal by a vet in order for their bodies to absorb the toxins. The medical bills totaled nearly $3,000. (Personally, we’d much rather spend that much dough on a new gold-plated grinder). Fortunately, they both came home feeling much better.
Dogs are natural scavengers, and they love to eat whatever they can find. So be sure they can’t find anything to eat that contains THC.
How To Keep Your Pets Safe
If you smoke a bong, make sure to keep it out of reach from your pet. Drinking the bong water may make them very sick.
Never leave edibles or loose-leaf cannabis within reach of your pets. When you aren’t home, keep them stored away.
Never give “human” food to your animals unless it is something safe for them to enjoy. If it is, put it in their food dishes so they do not learn to beg and sneak treats from the table.
Dogs are wonderful at knocking over trashcans and exploring what’s inside. Make sure to empty your trashcans as soon as you have enjoyed your edibles. Do not leave them within reach of your animals.
If you eat edibles around the house, clean up thoroughly afterward. Do not leave crumbs and cannabis on the floor or between couch cushions.
Make sure to vape and smoke in separate rooms from your pets, so they do not inhale too much cannabis smoke. If you live in a small space, open a window, turn on a fan, or smoke outside, so they do not get too much secondhand smoke.
Vet-Approved CBD Products For Your Pets
Good news, weed-loving pet owners. There are safe, vet-approved cannabis products out there for your pets.
Manufacturers like Auntie Dolores make medicinal treats for dogs. These treats contain CBD (cannabidiol) instead of THC and are made from hemp. CBD can help treat inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and even epilepsy.
They also help dogs stay calm and balanced. Cats can also be given medical CBD to heal a variety of ailments.
“The future of cannabis in the cat world is quite positive,” Dr. Sarah Brandon, co-creator of a cannabis supplement called CannaVet, said in an interview with The Conscious Cat. “I believe within 2-3 years it will be a commonly offered option in veterinary hospitals for pain and inflammation reduction, neurological conditions and mild behavioral concerns.”