If you think only humans can get baked on weed, think again. For dog owners that have a stash hidden somewhere at home, you could come home and find that your pooch is as high as a kite.
Not something that you want happening on any given day.
Even though many do consider marijuana to be a recreational drug, you can be sure that your dog isn’t feeling at its best.
If your dog ate weed, is there anything that you can do to ‘unstone’ your dog?
Let’s find out.
What Is Marijuana?
I doubt the majority of us need much of an introduction when it comes to marijuana. It goes by so many other names that it is almost unrecognizable.
Common names are:
- Mary-Jane (not from Spiderman)
Weed is derived from the flower of the cannabis plant and is smoked in order to derive the effects.
Marijuana is considered a psychoactive drug because it can alter the way the mind perceives reality. Most people will experience a pleasant euphoria while feeling totally relaxed.
What Happens If My Dog Eats Weed?
Studies have shown that marijuana is much higher in US states that have legalized it for recreational use. There are more than 20 states that have done so and the number might increase in the future.
Even in states whereby weed is banned, it can still be legally used as medical marijuana to treat pain, nausea and other symptoms.
It isn’t too far fetch to think that it is highly possible for your dog to get hold of your weed. And between a dog and a cat, my money will be on the dog to get to the weed first.
When your dog happened to eat marijuana, there is a high risk of it experiencing marijuana toxicity.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Is Stoned?
After your dog has ingested marijuana, It won’t take long for your dog to start feeling the effects.
It takes about 30-60 minutes for your dog to get high.
The symptoms of a stoned dog include:
- Unable to control its bladder
- Stands at one spot looking confused
- Low heart rate
- Dilated pupils
The main chemical compound in weed that is responsible for most of the symptoms is known as cannabinoids, especially tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.
When your dog eats marijuana, the THC enters its bloodstream and makes its way to the brain and other major organs. Once in the brain, the THC molecules will attach themselves to the cannabinoid receptors.
This will start to disrupt a number of mental and physical functions in your dog.
Marijuana toxicity can be a lot more severe and toxic in dogs because they have 10x more the number of cannabinoid receptors as compared to humans.
If you think weed makes you feel high, it can make your dog feel like it’s being blasted to Mars while being strapped to a rocket booster.
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Get Unstoned?
The effects of THC poisoning last a lot longer in dogs than in humans due to the larger number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain.
Most humans will remain high for about 12 hours but in dogs, it can last for up to even 24 hours or longer depending on the amount of cannabis ingested.
There are some types of weed that can contain a very high percentage of THC, up to 34%.
Your dog will remain high longer because some of the THC can be stored in the bile which is used for digesting food.
When your dog has its next meal at a later time, the bile will get secreted along with the THC gets reabsorbed back into the bloodstream and make the dog high again.
What Do I Do If My Dog Is Stoned?
Truth be told, the best way to get a dog unstoned as quickly and safely as possible is to get it to the veterinarian immediately.
The vet will check your dog’s vitals to make sure that they are relatively stable.
If the incident happened less than 2 hours ago, the vet might also induce vomiting to get the dog to purge out as much of the marijuana as possible.
An intravenous lipid solution will also be administered that can help absorb THC in your dog’s bloodstream.
However, if your dog has only eaten a very small amount in relation to its body weight, you can choose to ride it out at home.
But I would still strongly suggest that you give your vet a call first to be sure that it’s okay to let your dog recuperate at home.
If your dog is already in a groggy and disoriented state, please do not induce vomiting in your dog which can cause your dog to choke on its vomit or inhale it into its lungs.
Refrain from giving your dog any food or water for now and isolate it in a quiet and dim room to keep your dog calm.
If your dog is hungry, you can choose to give it a very small amount of boiled chicken and rice which will be easy for your dog to digest and absorb.
Just let your dog sleep off the effects as much as possible.
I doubt it will be in the mood to move around or have much of an appetite.
Your dog will be feeling anxious and fearful due to the mental and physical effects. You want to ensure that it feels as comfortable as possible while the effects of the THC wears off.
The moment that you notice your dog’s health getting worse please bring it to the vet for medical treatment.
Can A Dog Sleep Off A High?
Not all dogs can just sleep off a high after marijuana ingestion. The toxic effects on a dog will be a lot stronger than on humans.
Even a small dosage of weed is sufficient to make your dog sick.
It is always good practice to give your vet a call to see if there’s a need to bring your dog in. Speed is key when treating such health problems in dogs.
Can Weed Kill Dogs?
If your dog accidentally ate marijuana, the risk of it being fatal is very low. But doesn’t mean that it can’t happen.
In fact, the number of such cases has increased at a staggering rate as the usage of marijuana becomes more mainstream and legalized.
The pet poison helpline saw an increase of 400% in marijuana poisoning cases over the last in few years.
In order for the ingested marijuana to be lethal, the minimum dosage has to be about 3g (THC)/kg of body weight.
This means that if your dog weighs 30kg, it would need to consume 90g of THC for it to be lethal.
However, there are a few factors that can put your dog in the high-risk zone.
- The size of your dog
- THC concentration
There are some species of weed that have a high THC percentage, up to 34%. In you have a puppy or a small dog breed, it just has to consume about 7-10g of marijuana to die from it.
To draw a similar comparison, the risk of your dog licking some beer is lower than if it ingested some hard liquor due to the alcohol content.
Is Marijuana Good for Dogs?
Marijuana definitely isn’t good for dogs. The risk of your dog having an adverse reaction either from inhaling or ingesting THC is high.
If you have pot at home, please keep it under lock and key and do not use it near your dog.
What about CBD for dogs?
Isn’t that considered marijuana as well?
Even though CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, it comes from a type of plant called hemp.
The big difference between hemp and marijuana is that it contains trace amounts of THC which is the trigger to all the bad reactions in dogs.
Don’t worry though, this amount of 0.3% isn’t high enough to cause any side effects.
CBD is widely used these days to help dogs with mobility and behavioral issues.
How To Prevent Marijuana Poisoning In My Dog?
The best way to prevent marijuana toxicity in your dog is to be very careful with your weed. Keep it under lock and key or somewhere high up where your dog can’t reach.
Do not smoke or eat anything marijuana-related products at home if possible. Your dog can get high from smelling the smoke which can have a much faster reaction on its body.
You might also drop a few edibles on the floor without knowing it and your dog can easily eat them off the floor.