dog ate edibles/weed

Dog Ate Edibles/Weed

As marijuana products are becoming legalized and popularized across the United States and other countries, there has been a spike in cases of dogs and other beloved furry friends experiencing cannabis poisoning.

Eating edibles is one of the most common ways that pets like your dog ingest marijuana meant for humans. No matter how your dog gets its paws on your edibles, it is more than likely to cause your dog to feel unwell or worse.

Keep reading to learn about what eating edibles can do to a dog’s stomach, what to do if your dog has ingested marijuana in any form and more.

What Are Edibles?

Chicken Flavored Gummies Infused with Marijuana for Dogs
Image by Honest Paws on Unsplash

Edibles are just one of the emerging ways to relax using marijuana-infused food products in states where medical and recreational cannabis.

Even within marijuana foods, there is a great amount of variety. Here are some of the most popular ways to enjoy an edible:

  • brownies
  • cookies
  • hard candies
  • gummies

There are even more ways for humans to ingest marijuana but these examples are also the most common for dogs to gain access to cannabis.

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Are Edibles Toxic?

Dog Eating Edible Treat
Photo by Honest Paws on Unsplash

While these products are generally safe for humans, they are considered to be dangerous for pets, especially your dog that might mistake them for a tempting treat.

The biggest factors that determine how toxic the edible will be to your dog are the dose of THC infused into the food as well as your dog’s weight and size.

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Common Symptoms of Marijuana Intoxication in Dogs?

Disoriented Dog Experience Symptoms of Marijuana Ingestion
Image by Photo by Alexas Fotos on Pexels

Just like humans, a dog will begin to experience symptoms of marijuana ingestion often associated with the feeling of being “high”. While humans can usually handle the psychoactive side effects, a dog cannot and will suffer some consequences as a result.

The most common symptoms and signs of your dog sneaking cannabis treats are:

  • drooling
  • vomiting
  • wobbly legs
  • uncoordinated movements
  • disorientation
  • barking or whining
  • dilated pupils

More Severe Marijuana Poisoning Symptoms

Depending on the dosage and size of your dog, it may exhibit more severe signs of marijuana poisoning. These may include:

  • agitation
  • rapid heart rate
  • irregular breathing
  • seizures
  • coma

Remember that every pup is different, so even dogs of the same breed and similar weight may still experience the same dose of an edible in different ways.

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What Happens if a Dog Eats an Edible?

Sad Dog with Irregular Breathing Eats an Edible
Image by Renato Laky from Pixabay

So your dog has eaten an edible, now what? Take a deep breath and realize that accidents happen, so don’t punish or yell at your dog for being curious or mischievous and eating your stash that was left within its reach.

If you do punish or yell at your dog, it may make the symptoms worse as they start to appear or they could try to hide the signs which will make it harder to get them the treatment they need.

The best way to prevent future incidents and protect your furry friends is to store your substances in a dog-proof container that is well out of their reach. This way, a dog won’t be tempted by the smell or sight of the drugs.

How Long Will it Take For My Dog to Feel the Effects?

Despite having different digestive systems, a typical dog will begin to experience the effects of an edible anywhere between 30 minutes and a full hour just like most people.

If you suspect that your dog has been in contact with your stash of goodies, it’s best to keep a watchful eye on them so you will notice any symptoms as soon as they appear. This will be important information for later if you need to visit an emergency veterinarian.

What Are the Biggest Dangers of a Dog Eating an Edible?

Not all edibles are created equal, and some can have greater detrimental effects than others, sometimes for reasons that aren’t immediately clear to owners.

If the Edible Marijuana Products Ingested Contained Chocolate

Foods like brownies or cookies are some of the most popular edible forms and are generally supposed to contain chocolate to help mask the taste of marijuana oils.

This is a dangerous duo for canines since both are toxic to many animals. If your dog, or any other pet like cats, ingests these kinds of edibles the best thing you can do is to try and induce vomiting as soon as possible so that none of the toxic chemicals are absorbed and metabolized.

If the Edibles Get Stuck

Hard candy or mint-type edibles might be too large for your dog to ingest safely. If they try to consume drugs in these forms it can easily lead to choking when the edible blocks the airway further down the esophagus or trachea.

In situations like this, you may not have to worry about cannabis poisoning since the edible never reached the animal’s stomach but you will need to perform emergency abdominal thrusts (also known as the Heimlich Maneuver) to clear the airway.

If the Dog Got Into Too Many Edibles

Accidents happen, but if you know that your dog ate far too many edibles with a high dosage relative to their size, the best advice is to get your pet to a veterinarian since this is a significant emergency.

You can call to see if the vet recommends trying to get your pet to vomit some of the substances back out as you make your way to the vet hospital or clinic. Hydrogen peroxide is a common way to get your dog to vomit something out something they weren’t supposed to eat.

Even though this is an emergency, try not to rush or drive wildly because this can make your dog feel even more unwell, exacerbating existing symptoms.

THC-Infused vs CBD-Infused Edibles?

THC and CBD Infused Edibles for Dogs
Image by Elsa Olofsson from Pixabay

As the medical and recreational marijuana industries have grown, so too have the options for different kinds of edibles thanks to new research. One of these options involves what chemical an edible is infused with.

What’s in CBD-Infused Edibles?

CBD-infused edibles contain cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in marijuana, cannabis, and the closely related hemp plant. They may or may not also include THC depending on what you are wanting.

CBD has proven medical benefits such as reducing anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain while only having minor side effects like nausea for high doses of pure CBD oil.

THC-infused edibles house tetrahydrocannabinol which is the main component in producing that “high” feeling but can also have some medical properties like reducing nausea and vomiting in cancer patients with other treatments.

Are CBD-Infused Edibles Safe for Dogs?

It’s still not entirely clear whether or not CBD is 100% safe for dogs, cats, and other animals but what little research has been done up to now indicates that it is not toxic like THC is.

Even if CBD-infused edibles are safe for pets and can be used to fix similar conditions, it may be a good idea to take them to the vet in case they took a large dosage or consumed other substances like chocolate.

What to Do If My Dog Eats an Edible?

Resting Dog Previously Ate an Edible
Photo by Joey Banks on Unsplash

Thankfully, it is relatively easy to care for a dog that has consumed an edible or a dog you suspect has consumed one. The most important thing is to monitor their condition closely and write down important events as they happen.

Put Your Dog Into the Recovery Position

If your dog is dribbling and drooling, attempting to walk on wobbly legs, or has vomited, putting your dog into the recovery position is a good idea to prevent them from hurting themselves on unsteady feet.

The recovery position will also keep the airways of your dog open, even if they vomit, and can be comforting for particularly anxious animals.

Call a Poison Control Center

A Poison Control Center will be able to provide you with further information on what to do when your dog ingests an edible and can be a second opinion on whether or not you need to make an emergency visit to your vet.

If you do contact one of these control centers, have information that they will ask for like when your dog ate the edible and the dosage of the edible readily available. They may want you to give your dog activated charcoal to try and absorb the toxic chemicals before they are processed by your dog’s digestive system.

Get to a Veterinarian’s

If you don’t know when or how much your dog consumed, visiting a vet is your best solution. They will be able to provide care for your dog beyond what you can do and are better equipped for monitoring your dog’s vital signs.

If required, a vet may need you to sign for some procedures like IV drips and overnight care.

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Edibles can be any food item infused with CBD, THC, or both and are commonly used to treat chronic medical conditions or simply for recreation where it is legal. Sometimes accidents happen, and your dog gets a hold of your goods.

If this happens, it is a cause for concern and you should seek professional assistance more often than not to be on the safe side.

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