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?

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Yes, dogs can get high a few different ways.

  1. Ingesting marijuana leaves/buds directly
  2. Ingesting food laced with marijuana (cookies, 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 Affects on Dogs?

Below is a list of the affects 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.

Infographic: Dogs & Marijuana Guide

Learn more about marijuana and dogs in our infographic:

Infographic: Dogs & Marijuana Guide

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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.

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 four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and at the end of 2017 she adopted Kopa, a one-year-old treeing walker coonhound. She and her husband are loving life as pet parents.

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

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Donald Payne
Donald Payne
Bull**** this article is so full of shit THC is not what you would find in cannabis. In fact THC-a is the natural cannabinoid. THC-a has no effect on either cannabinoid receptors as cannabis has to be decarboxalated to pass.
David
David
THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, is the chemical compound in cannabis responsible for a euphoric high. But what more is there to know about cannabis’ primary psychoactive component? Whether the question comes as a newbie to the cannabis world or an experienced consumer who would like to know a bit more about the most famous of cannabinoids, THC has likely been synonymous with cannabis in your mind for as long as you’ve known about the plant.
Katelyn McAllister
Katelyn McAllister
Just a side note…. One of my kittens started having a seizure from licking his flee medicine. I had no way to get him to the vet until my boyfriend got home. The first thing I thought to do was get him a tad bit high to stop the convulsions. Sure enough with in the next 15 minutes he relaxed. Im not suggesting get your pet high everyday but in some scenarios it can be quite the lifesaver.
Victor Timmons
Victor Timmons
I started my dog on 2 drops of a tincture 250mm cbd/5mm thc per oz of product. A human dose is about 2/3 of a eyedropper or 20 to 25 drops. So what i’m giving my dog is a very, very tiny amount. SO what are the results? His skin has cleared up after years of different things. He was on about 10mg pregnazon per day and now 2.5mg every other day. His skin was healthy enough to get fleas this year for the first time (poor guy just can’t win). I started giving to my other dog just because she is getting older. She has had eye boogers for years they are all gone now. Neither dog get high at all, or at least nothing I can see. Both have had positive results. This is in no way a recommendation, I am not a vet or do I have any medical training. Please check with your vet before trying especially if your dog is on any kinds of meds
Angie
Angie
I cannot believe all the hate in these posts. I am pro cannabis, however my dog just ate a pile of brownies, and is now at the vet on an iv, and having charcoal tablets in his tummy. Poor baby, I have never seen him like that. He was so very baked. I would never do that to him intentionally. These vets or admins are trying to give the best advice that they know of. We all know that pot cant kill humans – but when animals ingest edibles, no one really knows what could happen. Stop the hate people!!!
Richard A Lytton
Richard A Lytton
Should i let my dog fall asleep? She ate a sugar cookie edible (complete accident and i feel absolutely horrible about it) and its been about 2 hours now, i got her calmed down from the gitters and siezure like actions but she wont drink any liquids and i made her throw up once i found out after a hour after she ate it. Is it safe for her to fall asleep
Matt
Matt
Aside from any of the potential physical side affects, it just isn’t ethical to get your dog high. They can’t understand what’s happening to them, why they’re feeling disorientated and odd, and there’s no way you can explain it to them. It’s a well known fact that weed can cause extreme anxiety for some people, however even these people have the advantage of knowing that their panic is stemming from the drug. Dogs very likely won’t grasp this concept, their correlation skills just aren’t the same as ours. Don’t make medical decisions for your animals without asking your vet.
Neil
Neil
TRACIE GARDNER {have to leave a reply like this because this retarded won’t accept the captcha :/ )

What on Earth are you talking about?

Coming from somebody that has used cannabis practically every day for 30 years, co-runs a music agency, is a music producer (not just some student claiming to know everything on a subject that they clearly have no first hand experience of) and can easily converse with anybody, about almost anything, and with an adequate amount of knowledge on said subjects…… your phd is an utter failure and a lie.

The only studies that have ever said this nonsense are those old, outdated studies that big pharma funded.. That was in the days when science of this sort was only carried out by those with the time and money to do so, which, again, are funded by the very same companies that would be threatened by the cannabis industry as they have known for decades that it is medicine and not poison; why else would they have had it in many medicines before the 1930’s? As a point of fact, they effectively banned it in 1937 with the Marijuana Tax Act; funnily enough, they introduced chemotherapy, as it was then, in 1943. Today, they are finally admitting what they have known all along; that cannabis kills cancer dead and this knowledge has been known for decades. If you honestly believe that cannabis kills brain cells, which is tantamount to brain damage, trying telling that to Steve Jobs, Bill Gates or even Carl Sagan!!! Intelligent people smoke cannabis, maybe you should try it haha?!

In fact, it has been found after many new studies that it actually helps with concentration and opens up the creative side of the brain, as well as having no basis for the assumption that it kills brain cells. What has been found to have an effect on cognitive decline though, is the use of tobacco…… of which a lot of stupid people put with cannabis to smoke it. Look closer to those that are making BILLIONS from peoples deaths and you’ll be one step closer to the truth!!!

I hope you like the inevitable HUGE mound of debt you have for the privilege of having been misinformed on this particular topic! :/ Go you!

AaronK
AaronK
My one year old puppy ate some weed, and it was scary as Hell. She threw up at home before we took her to the vet, and we had no idea why. When we took her in, he knew right away what it was and he sent us home because he said that’s all he would do, induce vomiting. She couldn’t stand or walk, and was twitching like she was having a seizure. It is definitely toxic, and it only takes a tiny amount. She only ate either a tiny nug I must have dropped, or possibly one gummy bear. Really not sure, but she didn’t break into my stash or anything like that. It was super scary, and there might be THC based dog medicines, but the dose is probably very small. I would never intentionally put my dog through what we went through. It was horrifying, and it really made me feel like such a piece of garbage. Be careful loading your bowls, or tapping them out, and keep edibles where the dog can’t possibly get them.
C9H1
C9H1
If your dog is anxious or disturbed, DON’T give them pot! Don’t get me wrong, I’m half-stoned 24/7 to manage chronic pain, but I don’t share with my dogs. Many things that are 100% natural kill dogs. Garlic, onions, raisins, avocados, LOTS of shrubs, etc… If your pet is in pain, and you can’t get ahold of your vet, the best bet is to call an emergency vet who can tell you the proper dose of Benadryl to give the dog until business hours. Benadryl works well because (like in humans) it makes dogs foggy and drowsy, therefore less likely to notice pain. NOW, that said, NEVER GIVE A DRUG TO YOUR PET UNLESS FOLLOWING THE DIRECTIONS OF A VET/TECH! What is safe for my Rottie is NOT safe for my Frenchie! And if your pet has fallen from a high place, been bitten, is bleeding a lot, etc. VETERINARY CARE IS A MUST! The local shelter is usually able to stabilize a pet for relatively cheap prices.
-Former rescue worker
Tracie Gardner
Tracie Gardner
If your dog is terminal or severe pain I can understand you want relief for it, but in general it is not a good idea. It is not a good idea to smoke it around your dog either. It has THC in it and that is a mind altering drug. Maybe you have done it for a long time but studies have shown it kills brain cells and causes many other problems. If we know what it does to humans than we know what it can do to pets. Be sensible about it. I am not saying don’t; I am saying do it for the right reasons. I am almost finished with my PhD and know what I am talking about before you start in on me.
A guy that knows the doesn\'t kill brain cells.
A guy that knows the doesn\'t kill brain cells.
If you know what you are talking about, please show me one study that shows that thc kills brain cells. Oh yea, what’s your PhD in?
Taylor
Taylor
I’m sorry Tracie but you’re mistaken. THC does not Kill brain cells. What are you getting a PhD in that makes you think you know what you’re talking about when it comes to cannabis. I don’t mean to sound rude but you are getting some misinformation. My dog takes upwards of 300mg a night. It’s given with a suppository but the fact is, he is getting that many cannabinoids every night. It goes directly into his bloodstream. He’s also getting 30mg orally. Yea that does get him a bit high but with the right strain and building up a tolerance it’s making his life better. You should look up Dr.Christina Sanchez and take an experts word for it or just not comment on something you’re making assumptions about. Someone might read that and think and think because you mentioned your getting a PhD your informed. Clearly, you are not.
Cheyen
Cheyen
Did you ever think that your PHD is so you can… “Practice…Medicine”. 90% of my doctors I have ever gone to for any reason, I have had a conversation about weed with and they wish more states would get their heads out of their asses and just make it legal.
max'smom
max'smom
I just need my older, arthritic, possibly ‘Alzheimer’s’ afflicted pooch to chill in the evenings. He is driving us absolutely nuts with his (what I think) is sundowning. He can’t take anything they would normally prescribe because his kidneys are only at 25% function. He is otherwise, physically healthy. He enjoys walks & occasionally gets in a good, albeit short run. After dark, tho’…he is different. Very anxious. If it’s possible that a vet ‘would’ prescribe something medicinal for him, I’m wondering if they’re ‘able to’.
max\'smom
max\'smom
I just need my older, arthritic, possibly ‘Alzheimer’s’ afflicted pooch to chill in the evenings. He is driving us absolutely nuts with his (what I think) is sundowning. He can’t take anything they would normally prescribe because his kidneys are only at 25% function. He is otherwise, physically healthy. He enjoys walks & occasionally gets in a good, albeit short run. After dark, tho’…he is different. Very anxious. If it’s possible that a vet ‘would’ prescribe something medicinal for him, I’m wondering if they’re ‘able to’.
KB5146
KB5146
I suggest you look into Melatonin. We have a senior dog who has doggy dimentia, and this helps her. Should be perfectly safe for your dog, as melatonin is a naturally occurring substance in both humans and dogs. Can be purchased just about anywhere in the supplement isle. I wish you the best of luck!
J123445
J123445
Dont talk about cannabis when you know nothing of it…

My dog has been a cannabis patient for 2 years 🙂 friends dog 9 years with cannabis…
You cant die from cannabis… education is key.. not pulling bull**** out of your a**…

Btw you dont need to waste money taking them to a vet lmfao such a scam !!
cheers.
Ps stop being so ignorant and try cannabis or why dont you take your booze bottle and down it 😉

Kieth
Kieth
My 8 week old puppy ate about 5 grams of weed and died over night so they can and will die
tillyboos2005
tillyboos2005
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 the vet bill. ANYWAY, she vomited up the Brownie, which helped, because then she was ridding her system of the toxins in the Chocolate. But, here is the INTERESTING bit: the Vet said that if she had eaten just a regular non-marijuana Brownie, she would have died from the toxins in the Chocolate, BUT the thc allowed her system to relax so she could just throw it up, and she was EXTREMELY high, BUT, she wasn’t in danger of dying once she got the chocolate out of her system, thanks to the pot! So, honestly, based on that experience, I’ll say this: Marijuana is not necessarily harmful to dogs, because it kept mine from dying. To this day, I give her Canidae Treats for Joint and Muscle health, and for now being a 12 year old Senior, she’s in FANTASTIC health! I’m of the opinion that it probably helps them more than hurts them, but every dog is different. Just like pot affects different people in different ways, same with dogs. Anyway, I would also say that there are more harmful things to your dog than pot out there, and that’s just practical thinking based on experience.
Tara
Tara
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?
$214327071
$214327071
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!

M.A.Hicks
M.A.Hicks
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.
Anon
Anon
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.

James
James
Your an idiot. It’s only when the dog has to much is when they act all f****d up the same as when people eat to many edibles. It’s very simple. Cannabis is great for dogs in small amounts. Do some research.
Mavro
Mavro
That’s a fact Anon and facts matter to a few of us.
Tara
Tara
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 $ over night visit to vet
Jax
So opium sap from a poppy is a plant and not drug either huh? Look I grow weed And I disagree with people saying it’s plant and not a drug. It’s a plant and a drug. Coffee beans are part of a plant and have caffeine in them and caffeine is a drug.
Julie
Julie
You are ignorant as f***.
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
Doji-Ba
Doji-Ba
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 for another forum) MARIJUANA has the potential to completely eliminate cancer and other autoimmune diseases&disorders. Please open your mind and think before forming such harmful blind opinions.
Mavro
Mavro
Just smoked a bowl of Indica. I have to be 100% with you on this one $214327071. If you put down chocolate the dog takes it and dies. We have to protect them from human food and fun.

That being said, My guy was 12 in the car after I smoked up. I swear he looked up at me from the passenger seat and said. Dude, you better let me drive.

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!
Kalvin
Kalvin
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.
ILuVmyzpup
ILuVmyzpup
I’m blown away by the attitude of humans that think its funny to watch an animal act out of control. I smoked dope when I was young, I would never gave any consideration to giving it to our animals.
Humans would like to believe they know what their dog likes, and that they like to be out of control and flopping on the floor and running into walls. Perhaps its time to go to our state government and make this an illegal action.
Fine if ya wanna do your pot but sharing with your pet? Really?
Since your pet cant talk and tell you what they really want, lets not.
Nicole SugarLeaf
Nicole SugarLeaf
Has anyone offered a suggestion of CBD? Or even THC-A?, both of which have no psychoactive effects, yet provide a myriad of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory help.
I would also note that we have a patient who administers a low dose THC/high CBD strain to his husky who has an autoimmune disease. The dog is able to eat and the muscle deterioration has slowed to almost nothing. The strain is Cannatonic and is the ONLY strain for his dog that works because this couple has done EXTENSIVE research.
I think the key is research. I don’t think it’s necessary to just see what happens when your pet get stoned. There are so many people who think it’s funny or think nothing will happen. The truth is we just don’t know, because as with humans, cannabis, especially edibles, affects all of us differently. There is a delicate balance, so for those of us who are not daily smokers, giving us the same amount to smoke or ingest as someone who is a daily, frequent smoker, is probably not the best way to go. Im a huge advocate for cannabis use and CBD use, however we must be smart about it and take time to understand the dynamics of this wonderful, natural plant.
What we should remember is that if we are on the same page, the arguing should be limited and we should unify. We may not agree about administering cannabis to our pets, for example, but we should work as a community to find the best possible solution, whether for person or pet, so both get optimal health benefits from this plant we ALL agree provides tremendously for us.
I think it’s important to just be cautious, as with anything involving the care of one’s pet. Remember they are all prescious, and I doubt very strongly if any of us are writting in this forum, wish nothing but the absolute best for our fur babies.
If anyone has questions, please contact me. If I can’t help, I will try my best to figure out how I can.
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