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7 Things You Need to Know About Dogs and Marijuana

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Dogs with Marijuana around neck: Dogs and MarijuanaTo legalize or not to legalize, that is the question. But it is just one of many questions we need to ask as dog owners in a country where the status of marijuana is in flux. While we cannot predict whether your dog will be as excited about the legalization of pot as you are, we can help you better understand the possible items to think through before administering it to your canine companion. We’ve compiled a list of the most common questions surrounding dogs and marijuana and researched them to provide answers for you.

Can Dogs Get High?

Yes, dogs can get high a few different ways.

  1. Ingesting marijuana leaves/buds directly
  2. Ingesting food laced with marijuana (brownies, butter, etc.)
  3. Secondhand smoke

What Happens if a Dog Eats Weed?

What happens if a dog eats marijuana? The dog gets high. And, if a dog ingests too much, then it could die. This video shows the marijuana effects on dogs and what you should do if your dog gets into your edibles.

What Does Marijuana Do to Dogs?

Size plays a significant role in how cannabis effects dogs. If two dogs—one 8 years old, 75 pounds and the other 12 weeks old, 3 pounds—get into the same size stash, the smaller dog will have a different reaction than the larger dog.

Some dogs also become more “paranoid” after getting high; this is often shown by them panting and pacing. It’s a challenge because you can’t determine which dogs will have this reaction until they are high.

What Are the Marijuana Effects on Dogs?

Below is a list of the effects of marijuana on dogs.

  • Lethargic
  • Breathing problems
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Loss of balance
  • Urinary incontinence

Is Marijuana Bad for Dogs?

Is marijuana safe for dogs? There are cases where some dogs have had longer lifespans thanks to the use of marijuana. However, there is very little research about dogs and marijuana, so we are unable to provide you with 100% accuracy as to whether marijuana is bad, good or safe for your dog.

Is Marijuana Poisonous to Dogs?

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the risk of marijuana poisoning in dogs is moderate to severe. If your dog has eaten marijuana, you should call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control immediately. The ingestion of too much marijuana can be life threatening.

Symptoms to look out for:

  • Severe depression
  • Walking drunk
  • Lethargy
  • Coma
  • Low heart rate
  • Low blood pressure
  • Respiratory depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Coma
  • Hyperactivity
  • Vocalization
  • Seizures

What About Medical Marijuana for Dogs?

Cannabis for dogs is a hot topic of debate. Some people are administering medical marijuana to their dogs on their own, while some pot shops are even selling dog treats laced with pot. Unfortunately, due to a lack of research, it’s unclear the proper dosage amounts for dogs, so administering it yourself can be dangerous to your dog. Different types of weed and cannabis oil for dogs has similar effects on dogs as they do to humans—increased appetite and decreased nausea. Medical marijuana has provided dogs relief for arthritis and cancer, but it is still not approved by the AVMA, ASPCA or any other organization.

More Research Needed

While we aren’t saying marijuana is bad for your dog, we aren’t saying it’s good either. There just isn’t enough research on dogs and weed right now. The dosage amount for dogs is different than it is for humans, so it can be a scary result if your dog has too much. We warn you to be careful and keep your dogs safe.

Warning: It can be dangerous to give your dog marijuana. If your dog needs it for medical reasons, be sure to follow your vet’s protocol closely. As with any drug, giving your dog more than recommended, or giving it to your dog when it’s not necessary, is irresponsible. 

Do you think your dog needs medical marijuana?

The information contained in this article and website is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional safety advice; it is provided for educational purposes only.

About Kimberly Alt
Growing up, Kimberly used to get the sniffles when she was around dogs. Thankfully, she grew out of her allergy and is now able to play and snuggle with dogs as much as she wants! She adopted Sally, a 3 year old hound mix, in 2017 and is loving life as a pet parent.

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12 Comments on "7 Things You Need to Know About Dogs and Marijuana"

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About 8 years ago in 2009, a boneheaded ex-roomate (hence “ex-roomate”) left a Pot Brownie out on our kitchen counter. Stupid. Tilly, my at the time 4 year old 12lb. Jack Russell/Pomeranian mix, hopped right up on the counter and munched away on it. She was SUPER STONED for about three days. In retrospect it’s funny (especially remembering her silly droopy facial expressions, her flopping and lolling around, and her lack of barking in her usual feisty manner) but at the time I COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT & immediately took her to the Veterinarian. Boneheaded ex-roomate, ex-friend at this point, got… Read more »

My three-month-old Chihuahua ate some pot about 3 1/2 four hours ago he’s been sleeping off and on he’s eaten some kibbles out of my hand and he’s drinking some water through a syringe through mouth he won’t drink I his own he is on medication for ringworm he take it four times a day should I give him his meds or wait till tomorrow?


Nothing makes me angrier than an adult harming/abusing an animal or child, and giving marijuana, alcohol, or other drugs to your pet IS abuse.

Your dog or cat is NOT human, and substances that humans eat, drink, or smoke can kill your animal.

It’s time for these idiotic, irresponsible, moronic buffoons to grow up and get a life.

Your dog is not your drug buddy or your drinking partner!

Lol. I never comment on such idiocracy, but I can not resist. Your biased opinion is ABUSIVE. MARIJUANA is a NATURAL PLANT. It is NOT a DRUG. If your dog eats it’s bodyweight in treats, drinks it’s bodyweight in water, or eats its bodyweight of any substance of any kind ie marijuana- It then can be harmful and ONLY then. Are you suggesting that despite health and interpersonal benefits provided by marijuana, we should neutralize any studies or helpful non harmful interactions that could benefit medical studies and one day keep your furry friends alive longer? (And us, but that’s… Read more »
Dallas McSnuggle
Dallas McSnuggle

I feel the same without the hatefulness. Yesterday I took my 50lb pit mix to a friends house of mine so him and I could catch up (the friend) and my dog could play fetch in his yard giving that it’s bigger than mine and he hasn’t ran that day. We’ll start this story by me telling you idk what other to believe than the fact my dog is accident prone


You are ignorant as f***.


I don’t think you read the article bud. In fact it sounds like you have never tried marijuana yourself. Abuse? Absolutely not! As a long time user of marijuana (20+ years) I strongly diisagree with you and to suggest that the dig might even die from marijuana is absolutely ridiculous! This article had nothing to do with drinking alcohol and marijuana is not a drug.Do you consider oregano, thyme, parsley, or camomile to be drugs? Marijuana grows naturally and without any modification or synthesizing or processing you can ingest the plant. Doesn’t sound like a drug to me.

Thank you snd FYI my pooch us fine and I let him sleep gave him some kibble and lots of water within 4 1/2 hours he got up and took a really long pee, as soon as he peed it flushed out his system I was very concerned as one could imagine so I did contact my vet he told me that if I bring him in they would give be giving him fluid s in an iv and if I could keep him hydrated and monitor him closely he would be fine so I did save myself about 300… Read more »

Drug: “a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.”

Pretty sure marijuana is a drug… Maybe you should chill out with the drug use in the early hours of the morning eh? Can’t even spell dog right.

The use of marijuana on a dog in any way other then medical is not cool. They can’t exactly consent to that and it appears to be traumatic to some dogs with the paranoia aspect. The average, healthy dog is perfectly fine living its whole life without recreational drugs.

anonymous user
anonymous user

Why in the world would someone give pot to their pup? No abusive substance (legal or otherwise) should be given to animals, that’s cruel!


Because marijuana can offer pain relief in a dog with arthritis type problems and it is far better for their organs and rest of their long term health than prescription pills.

Vet tech
Vet tech

The problem is no one knows the proper dose. This article states that (and it’s true) this drug can kill your dog. Seizures, respiratory depression, low blood pressure, abnormal heart rhythms, and coma are all things that can lead to brain damage and death. I have seen my fair share of “pot dogs” and these poor dogs are often terrified and very sick. Thank goodness with fluids, induced vomiting, and other medications we have never had a dog go beyond saving at the clinic I work at.


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