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. We know for sure that these foods should be avoided, so reference it in case your dog ingests something else it shouldn’t.

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 and her husband adopted Sally, a four-year-old hound mix, in early 2017, and she has brought so much joy into their lives. Life as pet parents has been very rewarding.

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

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Rosemary
All this is b******t. Why because my 5 pound chiweenie loves to eat the stems. Ive had him since he was 4 wks old. He had his first smoke sesh with my wife and i at 12 wks old. He was so hyper when he wasnt stoned. He would bark, tear up everything until he would smoke with us. He would hear me getting our supplies to roll up and you would see him run to my side cuz he knew what i was getting ready to do. Now 3 yrs later ive never had to take him to a vet for anything. He is one healthy stoner chiweenie with all his shots and vaccines. Never gets sick. Eats only dog food no people food at all. I think it depends on how much you give your dog is how it determines how high he will get. Just be careful. He enjoys it and we he does not have it he is still an awesome pup! Smoke away stoners!!
charadeur
Cannabis is not psychoactive until it has been decarboxylated and the THCa turned into THC. That is done by heating to around 240 degrees F. So the idea that raw untreated cannabis makes a dog act differently seems to lack logic. Now if it is cooked in say brownies then yes the dog would show signs of being stoned. But at that point you have a bigger issue that the dog at chocolate. A study done in Colorado of vets showed only two dogs dying out of over 200 and it was unknown if they ingested chocolate or not. It may not be a good idea to give your dog weed but I really question the validity of these death stories I am reading here.
Yomi
It sounds wrong, but it’s right. I grew up around a German Shepherd that ate marijuana and he got high every single time and came out of his high very aggressive. He’d break out of his yard and terrorize everyone. This was in the 80’s in a rough neighborhood but I’ll never forget it because he chased me and my siblings home. There’s something about a dogs system that differs from ours and allows them to get high off of ingesting marijuana
Dexter
My 75lb GSD suffered an accident in the home a year ago. He has been paralyzed in the rear since. ThHC and CBD have been a life saver for me. Yes, he gets THC in tincture form daily. I use 1-1 and high dose THC dosed for his needs and size. He also gets stress ugh CBD when needed. It helps with his pain and anxiety and he sleeps through the night now. Without it I probably wouldn’t have been able to manage him and he wouldn’t have such a good quality of life. He has never had pharmaceutical drugs and I was not going to start now. No vet here could offer ANYTHING except euthanasia. So…. I am on my own, well educated and a big believer. You all need to decide for yourselves and in your own circumstances. But pharmaceutical drugs are man made and have horrible side effects. This is a plant. Makes a difference to me. Good luck to all.
Larry
One time my dog was throwing up over and over again (we were over two hour drive from the nearest vet) and i thought he was going to die so i blew like five hits of weed into his little 9 pound self and he stopped throwing up immediately and laid down and went to sleep. So i call bull**** that it can kill your pet. Maybe if it ingest some ungodly amount? Its up to you to improvise when things get whack.
J Ro
Yes, pot can kill a dog.

Case Study: 80 lb. Weimaraner died less than 48 hours after ingesting THC;
Source and Amount of THC: Unknown. Owner suspects passerby fed edible to dog;
Symptoms: Lethargy, Imbalance (wobbly);
Objective Test: Urine test positive for THC;
Post mortem necropsy by Colorado State University Veterinary Pathologist found no toxins, no abnormal tissue and no disease. Only cause of death is THC consumption.

The fact this article says there is a lack of evidence is a joke. All of the data we have on marijuana comes from testing it on animals just like any other drug before its legal for humans. Researchers have injected concentrates of THC directly into dogs bloodstream using dosages that are pretty much impossible to occur in real life. The worst that happened is the dogs went into weed comas sometimes for a day or two but came back completely normal if just a little scared because they just traveled to another doggie dimension probably. I think its also irrelevant. If your dog doesnt like you blowing smoke in their face then leave them alone and dont put their comfort and risk for your enjoyment.
FredyJohnSmith
Accidental ingestion by the pets is the only reason why i kept my stash locked and hidden away from the pets, as it is the general behavior of the animal to investigate anything that looks unusual.
Cynthia
My 4 month old puppy ate a tiny piece of a nug, and she was not able to control her pee, she wasn’t walking, and when she tried to stand up her back legs were super shakey. I gave her food and water and during the night she threw up, and about 5 hours later, she’s fine. Just super sleepy.
Doc l
Donald Bang on! natural cannabis contains THCA you need to remove the A to get any effect this is done by decarbonisation. You can get plenty of benifits as long as it’s not abused
My basset hound has dementia and requires gabapentin and amitriptyline daily. She is out of control and difficult to handle without it. We have to take her on a road trip in several weeks, a thought that equals torment for us with her in the car. Car rides and this dog do not get along. She goes berserk with or without her medicine in the car. Boarding her would probably mean her complete meltdown. We are in Colorado and have access to flavored marijuana juice. We’re considering it as opposed to some pharmaceutical that would knock her out for most of the road trip and back. We’ve tried this juice ourselves and are going to experiment with about 1/3 of the recommended dosage and see how she does. In her case, it wont be for our entertainment, but for our peace of mind on this trip
Pitlover
I would use marijuana type products for my dog. Just my opinion. Especially if the owner lives in Colorado or some legal state lol. But that’s just me!
Ruth
My dog has been having seizures so I thought a little bit of a maryjane cookie would be good.. unfortunately he had a seizure early morning? Did I f*** up? Thought it would help w/ his seizures?
Pitlover
I would try some type of oil known to stop seizures. I would mix a couple of drops in some wet and dry food mixture
Bear
Was it a cookie for people or for dogs? How old is your dog? What size is your dog? Have you seen a vet about his seizures? If it’s a people cookie it’s too strong for the dog, and it’s purpose is not the same as specific dog CBD infused medication. You can get a CBD extract and cookie at barkshop.com and some other CBD dog treats at Weedbay.ca if you’re in Canada.
James
How to sensibly buy LEGAL cbd products for my dog? Because I got a letter saying customs has confiscated my package two times already and I’m pissed.
Chihuahua ate brownie
My five pound chihuahua accidentally ate a bite of a marijuana brownie. She ran around excitedly for a few minutes, stopped suddenly, started losing her balance, became ridiculously relaxed, and then wide eyed drooled buckets of drool for 8 hours. It was very scary. After four hours she threw up on her own and four hours after that she was all better. It was awful.
China Buck
I thought brownies were made of chocolate. Chocolate bad for dogs. I have been giving my dog about 6 mg THC + 10mg CBD for about 6 months.
it seems to help his hip problem and improves his gate.
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
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.
Frances
I agree with David. THC is the main ingredient in cannabis. It’s the part that makes you high, It is very easy to identify in a urine or blood test. THC is what they test for to determine if someone has been using pot. I thought everyone knew that.
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.
David
My dog has had 3 seizures in the 7 years I’ve had him and I wonder if it is from my secondhand smoke…I don’t smoke much, but when I do I usually do it outside but I bring my dog with me. He’s a 90lb German Shepard and I’d think it’d take a lot for him to get high like in the video but maybe he was already susceptible to seizures and it just made it worse? I stopped smoking 5 months ago and he hasn’t had one since…I’ll probably keep him away from it just in case.
David
Or maybe I have it backwards…idk I love my dog too much to risk the unknown :,(
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
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!!!
AbeBrown
Brownies are mad we from chocolate. Chocolate, especially the dark variety, kills dogs even in small doses. If it was store bought I too is even worse, artificial sweeteners are even more poisonous to a dog than chocolate is.
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
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
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!

JHenry313
Soooo.. Neil, You have no schooling in bio-sciences are a musician but that makes you an expert on a biology topic, somehow?
Michelle
Neil, this is an article about dogs, not humans. Do you know how many things humans can injest that kill dogs?

Marijuana Tax Act in relation to an article about dogs. LMFAO.

I am a huge proponent of legalized marijuana and smoke myself. But again, this is about dogs. D. O. G. S.

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.
BarbW
My 1 yr old husky ate the 1 oz of THc cream I use to rub on for pain. She is really affected over it sleepy and jumpy when you wake her, she was having tremors but they stoped now 4 hours later, now she is sleeping. I called all over and no one has the same story as to what it will do . My vet said if she is not better by tomorrow then bring her in. I am at a loss as to what to do.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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!
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’.
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

My 8 week old puppy ate about 5 grams of weed and died over night so they can and will die

Jeff
Your 8 week old puppy shouldn’t have been away from its mother for at least another 4 weeks, so you started that poor dog off on the wrong track to start with.

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