Cannabis can be dangerous to dogs.
Whether it is because dogs are more sensitive to THC, the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, or dogs tend to be smaller than people, or because dogs don’t know when to say when after they’ve found a stash of pot cookies, dogs can become quite sick from eating cannabis.
Symptoms may include lethargy, staggering, slowed heartbeat, agitation, vomiting, drooling and bladder incontinence. While in humans, the cannabis buzz normally wears off after two or three hours, dogs might display symptoms for up to three days, according to an article in Veterinary Medicine.
Among other pets, dogs are by far the most frequently treated animal for cannabis toxicity, according to a peer-reviewed toxicology brief.
Dogs believed to have eaten cannabis products should be taken to a vet for treatment, which can include inducing vomiting, administering fluids, and keeping the dog in a quiet place until the effect wear off.
Cannabis isn’t quite as toxic to dogs as chocolate – but it’s close, according to a veterinarian quoted in a New York Times article. Tina Wismer, the medical director of the ASPCA’s animal poison control center, said she knew of no canine deaths involving cannabis that didn’t also involve ingestion of chocolate.
Veterinarians suggest that people who know their dogs got into their pot stash be upfront about it, as it will facilitate proper diagnosis and treatment.
Cannabis is not the only harmful substance to dogs; it didn’t even make the ASPCA’s top ten list of pet toxins last year. Consumption of human prescription medications was first on that list, accounting for nearly 17 percent of all animal poisoning emergencies. Over-the-counter medications were second, with ibuprophen accounting for most of those cases.
In third place were human foods including grapes, onions, raisins, alcohol and the artificial sweetener xylitol, followed by veterinary supplements and prescriptions with household items such as paint, glue and cleaning products coming in fifth.