8 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 cannabis 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.

Article Overview

Cannabis vs Marijuana

The language used to describe the cannabis plant varies widely because it has many nicknames (marijuana, weed, pot, reefer, ganja and Mary Jane). The botanical name for a hemp plant is cannabis but we may use these terms interchangeably.

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.

How Does Marijuana Affect 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? (Research Studies)

Is marijuana safe for dogs? There are cases where some dogs have had longer lifespans thanks to the use of marijuana. Despite the opening for funding due to a hemp provision in a 2014 farm bill, however, there is very little research that has been done to date. For this reason, we are unable to provide you with 100% accuracy as to whether marijuana is bad, good or safe for your dog.

Since 2016, there have been two clinical studies by Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist and assistant professor at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. She studied the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) in dogs with arthritis or epilepsy.

Is Cannabis Poisonous To Dogs?

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the risk of cannabis poisoning in dogs is moderate to severe.

If your dog accidentally eats 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.

Is CBD Oil Okay For Your Dog?

Yes, it is if it made with no more than 0.3% THC. This is the only kind that you will find when you buy from the companies that we recommend. You can read more about the companies and products that may help your pet most in our CBD oils review.

Infographic: Dogs & Marijuana Guide

Learn more about marijuana and dogs in our infographic:

Dogs and Marijuana Infographic

Source: CanineJournal.com

To share this infographic on your site, simply copy and paste the code below:

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.

About The Author:

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. She has been writing about dogs since 2014, covering subjects such as dog insurance, training, health, accessories and more. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing and personally testing canine products and services. With every piece she writes, her goal is to help our readers find the best fit for their unique needs.

Kimberly grew up in a family that loved Labrador Retrievers and remembers running and playing in the yard with them as a child. In 2017, she and her husband adopted their Coonhound mix, Sally, from a local shelter. Kimberly's research was put to good use since Sally faced some aggression issues with other dogs and needed some training to be an inside dog. She worked daily with Sally and sought help from professionals to help Sally become the happy pup she is today.

One of Kimberly's favorite pastimes is spoiling Sally with new toys, comfy beds and yummy treats (she even makes homemade goodies for her). She tries to purchase the safest products for Sally and knows that each canine has their own specific likes and dislikes. Kimberly is passionate about dogs, and knows the bond between humans and canines is like no other.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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Daedal

My mini dachshund eat a bunch of apples with weed on em he would walk around leaning against stuff but from that day on he absolutely loved weed compared to his favorite activity command or word to the word for treat and the word for weed he would go super nuts if I said weed he loved it after I turned my head and he licked all my weed up I trained him only to eat if I give it. I never blew smoke at him I think that’s wrong but he wanted it so I let him have it

Alyzza Leija

My dog loves weed. He likes when I blow smoke in his face, he’ll try to lick the smoke when I blow it and when he knows I’m smoking outside he’ll come running up to me and will jump on me until I blow smoke in his face, I don’t blow alot in his face maybe 2-3 times and that’s it and he’ll be fine. He just chills there with me until I’m done and then we go inside and take a nap. I don’t do it often tho. And I never give him a lot, and I don’t give him edibles. But yeah my dog’s a stoner

Claw

Absolute BS. Eating raw leaves, buds, flowers, anything raw will not produce any effects, human or otherwise. The material MUST be decarboxylated to produce any psychoactive effects. Edibles, yes, smoke, yes. Raw plant materials, will not harm.

Pow wow

Humans and dogs are 2 different species and dogs can eat raw weed and it gets them very high. I know cause this happened to my puppy he ate a raw bud and you should google dogs and marijuana and get up to date with your info..

Dave

Indeed eating raw flower does produce a thc high. I’ve been eating raw bud for years and for me it gets me the taste I love without the smoke.

Mister Mina

Incorrect. Hence, edibles. Science says eating it actually makes it stronger.

Wesley

He is correct. The marijuana edibles that you eat are made using decarboxylated marijuana, most commonly by making a butter.

Tracy

Not THC but CBD has definitely helps with our dogs joint pain. It has helped my neighbours dog with anxiety.

Jay Bogart

Not really sure how a dog or anyone or thing else can get ‘high’ from eating a leaf or bud. In order for the plant to have psychoactive properties it needs to be heated up, whether burning it, heating it in the oven to use in a recipe, or simmering it in a carrier of some sort such as butter, coconut oil, etc. After heating the THC, it becomes THC-A which is what has the psychoactive properties. Without the heat, you got nothing to get you ‘high.’

Daniel

My sister used to eat buds by there self and she said she got high. And when my dog ate a bud that fell on the floor he was wobbly and couldn’t walk straight so he definitely got high. So I don’t think u need to heat it up for it to work. Unless ur body heat is enough.

Tracy

My sons dog ate some marijuana off his plate. We figured this out in hind sight. He was very sick. Couldn’t stand up, hugely dilated pupils, incontinent of urine. We brought him right away to the vet who knew right off what happened. He said it was the 3rd case that day. Anyways he threw up on the vet table ( which was a good thing.) He had to stay overnight with an IV in. When i got him in the morning he was completely back to normal thank God!

Lala

Dogs senses aren’t like humans they are highly more sensitive. The 1st time I made edibles I gave some to my dog. Sheepdog so he’s a big boy. I understood I gave him too much & felt horribly. In the last 2 years he has been using CBD have had several brands including traces of THC. He loves his cannabis. He has an impingement syndrome & is getting reaki healing. Also arthritis. We ran out of CBD but I have Canna butter so I gave him some this morning. Not even a chunk just a little nibble & he is so much more relaxed than he’s been since he ran out & is receiving this healing treatment. CBD that I prefer is over $100 ,vwhich I can’t afford. My personal fave brand is onyx and rose CBD. I feel the affects right away so I know my big Puppa feels them
Have tried others & I get no affect at all. My woofer still licks his lips when I say Cannabis. So I gave him the pinch of butter today & so far so good. The dosaging is my biggest issue. He may weigh over 100 llbs but as his mom I know he is sensitive to meds so I assume he is sensitive to THC

Ryan Chaney

Jay, I came here by being linked on a google query about acid ph and cannabis chemistry. I am aware of more than one study related to the topic, and one key point is that the decarboxlation reaction to thca is facilitated by ph as well as Cannabidiol being reverted to THCa, that is CBD back to THCa, in a high acid environment. I think i have the terms right for the compounds, but chem is only a hobby.

Pow pow

Completely false!!

alfred J Reaume

Well to beat you on this the acids in our stomach are more tge high enough temp to convert it as soon as it reaches there been eating high thc bud for years g

Nicole Simpson

I had to bring my 3 pd., 13 year old Chihuahua to the emergency vet last night, I didnt know what was wrong and they told me that she definitely had ingested some weed,it was so scary! I live in Humboldt, ca. So they said they said it happens her pretty often and didnt seem alarmed. they checked her vitals which were fine and then They said to keep her warm and she would be ok.
This morning she is doing fine, but I stayed next to her all night and helped her to the water through out the night, she wobbled badly and did some intermittent face twitching, Definitely do not want this to happen again! I will be more careful for sure!

Brad

I have been giving my dog weed for over 10 years. He comes and tries to suck it right out of my face. The past couple of years I have been making him his own cookies with no sugar. Just peanut butter, oats, and cannabis infused coconut oil. Noticed an immediate difference with his arthritis. He plays like a puppy after a cookie lol. He can barely get up before. THC is not toxic.

Beth Bogerman

Brad…I have a senior dog that I am positive would benefit from this how do you know how much weed to put into your treats via the coconut oil? Thank you so much!

Jennifer

How much thc per dose i have 75 lb german shepherd e arthritis

Kelly

How much do you give him. My dog weighs 6 lbs and is 14 yrs old. She is in constant pain from a broken leg at 6 months old

Apiffany Gaither Billings (Admin)

Here is an article regarding CBD oil for pain. I hope it helps.

Mike It

Yeah my dog almost died from eating trim that was left outside in a bag that wasn’t thrown away. Pot, THC, very bad for dogs. Especially with the concentrates that are available now, people really need to be careful. Pot is stronger nowadays as well. So be careful

Brad

If it was left outside in a bag it was probably rotten and full of molds which would make the dog sick.

Dick Cheney.

The dog probably got into your crack cocaine, not the trim. You should be sterilized

Justin Rotenberry

Pot it’s self isn’t the issue it’s the dosage, too much and it could be fatal. But they say it would have to be more than what people normally have. That said, being safe is better than being sorry. But in more moderate doses they too can benefit from the flower power

cfbcfb

Hmm, there is little research on marijuanas effects on people, let alone pets. Raw weed has little to no effect on people and shouldn’t be any different with dogs. I’ve experienced plenty of “second hand smoke” with little to show for it. Leaving your edibles where children or pets can reach them is an obvious issue. I sincerely doubt, and see no actual evidence that pot is “toxic” to dogs.

Scaremongering at its finest.

Mike It

False, my dog almost died and she barely ate any. You say scaremongering, I say go for it buddy. See what happens and give your dog some weed that she eats. Secondhand is different. Also the ignorance, pot is stronger when you cook and then eat it, duh. Every pothead knows that.

Jay Bogart

What did she ingest? An edible? Something besides a leaf or bud I assume? Nothing about a plant will get you high unless it’s heated. The reason why pot is ‘stronger’ if you ingest an edible of some sort is because your body processes it differently. Ingesting it, the liver processes it and therefore it can cross the blood brain barrier giving you a much more euphoric high. When you smoke it, it can not cross the blood brain barrier. Therefore two different ‘highs’ if you will. Hope your dog is better.

Mandy

This was an interesting read as an avid eater. I broke my pelvis in 3 places and gave myself a hematoma, spent almost 3 weeks in the hospital on opioids….. Got off them as fast as possible but as a result of the injury i suffer chronic pain. So I use weed medically in a state where it is perfectly legal to do so. I give my elderly dog a little cbd oil made for pets just before thunderstorms because they upset him so much and the cbd helps him stay calm… I am less concerned about the effects of marijuana on dogs, as I don’t give it to my dogs. But *I* eat it as explained. Well, yesterday, my dane curled up right after I ate it beside me and stuck her nose in my face…. So, I blew right in her face just after eating 30 ml….. Anyway…. The look on her face changed. She looked stricken. Shocked…. It almost made me feel like I felt in higschool when my kid sister would chastise me in her DARE t-shirt for having a glass of wine after a full day of school followed by a nearly full time job followed by 5 hours of homework….. Anyway, the dog seemed less than impressed with me cuz she could smell it I am sure on my breath…. My question is, how much do dogs understand human consumption of weed? Do they understand it’s effect on us? That it is frequently outlawed? etc…. And, is there an opening in some temperance society somewhere for my great dane? She wishes to join.

Leon

What was your point bollocks to u we want to know what happens to dogs from the thc. Not the fact that you don’t give it to your mut

Monique Perry

Thank you for sharing and spreading awareness for fur parents too, like me. I hope that a lot of people will be aware of the effect of marijuana on our fur buddy.

Pumpernickle

So basically I love animals but my moms chihuahua has issues. The biggest one is that he can not bring himself to relax and enjoy human company. Only two people are even allowed to touch him then only if he comes to you. I hate this dog for a variety of reasons but to the point, we have to dose him with some pills to even trim his nails. Could second hand smoke in small amounts help to calm this high anxiety dog?

Also the dog pees everywhere out of spite so I don’t think he peeing on himself to be the worst side effect

Ashely

My dog is also a chihuahua. I occasionally dose him with second hand smoke. It completely calms him down. Since I’ve had him, he hasn’t had any problems with his bladder. He used to pee all over his old home 3+ times a day

Linda

Does anyone have info about making suppositories for dogs using thc? My dog is a 19# mini schnauzer & was just diagnosed with anal sac cancer. Cancer removed but the surgeon said she could not tell if she got clean lines. I discontinued the chemo pills after 1 week bc he got too sick. Would rather let him enjoy life. I saw a YouTube video where she was putting a suppository in her big dog which didn’t seem to mind; but she did not give proportions for a recipe using molds. She said all dogs cancers are healed very quickly with thc.

Lala

My mom has a mini Schnauzer & her butt glands get weird as well. She is also a senior dog. They thought she was going to to die, for she would collapse some days. I told her about CBD & she ordered treats from Earthbuddypet which turned her around. She can’t hear anymore but feels so much better.

Memem

My puppy 2mos just ate leaves from my plant i did not see him, and now he is drunk like and it is freaking me out Weed is not ok for dogs or pups we are not all the same or can handle the same things nore are we animals, this is so dangerous to the point my pups biting his tongue and in a coma i know he will be ok but i would not suggest this to any animal owner what so ever please supervise ur dogs around any kind of drugs “even if you think” there is no danger cuz God just proved me wrong ….. My pup is gonna be ok just got off the phone with vet and aslong as he is not vomiting or has diarrhea we dont need to take him in but he must be watch carefully ….

Nick

I think you missed some things in the article. Read it again, the part that says it can be bad if they ingest too much. It can be very beneficial to your dog for a variety of reasons.. I feed my dog marijuana every day, he seems to be healthier & happier then ever.

Leon

My rabbit used to love eating my weed until I sent him the bill

Miki

How much do you give your dog? Mine is a 50kg boerboel that loses his mind when it rains… No medication has helped yet.

Mona Augustine

My dog has bone cancer and in a lot of pain
Going to make him canna butter
Not sure how much to give him

Jamie

I’m all for smoking weed….and that’s how my pup got into some, you can all say that’s unless it’s heated to a certain degree it won’t effect them etc etc but my dog ate straight bud that fell into my bed in the middle of the night and was jacked up, in the morning we knew something was wrong she was wobbly, lethargic, peeing without knowing it, we took her to emergency vet and they gave us activated charcoal to administer at home but her breathing was very slow, heart rate low, it’s now hours later and she’s still f*** up, this is very scary we are hoping everything will be fine, it’s great if it’s worked for some of you but I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through this, it’s been an absolute nightmare so please be careful

Maureen

Im going thru this right now with my girl Zoey. Shes just resting and lethargic. Open eyes and looks at me but im watching her closely. I use for pain of radiation damage to my back & hips and i have fibromyalgia. I must have dropoed a small bud. But dogs get high from raw cannabis. She’ll be ok. Sleeping it off in her bed. She has several beds. She urinated on one earlier…side affect and i just feel so bad for her. I’m always so careful too. Praying for God to protect her

Michael

Was she okay?

Raegen Dawn Ogden

You
I have a German shepherd that’s a year and a couple months old. He has seizures and we give him medicine prescribed from the vet down here, but we also give him CBD oil capsules because when we don’t give him the capsule he will still have a seizure. I dont know if it’s the mixture of the two or that the CBD is building up in his immune system. But we ran out of the CBD capsules we have and got some more from a man who makes them for his son who had seizures but Is seizure free now. But these pills look a little darker than usual like they could have a little bit of thc in them and I dont see my dog act high but he does get very sleepy and its sometimes hard to wake him up which scares me but we cant not give them to him because he would have more seizures and im just wondering what I should do

Lexi

I do not feed my dog edibles, nor would I. The THC potency is too high and the other ingredients aren’t safe for dogs. My dog however loves weed smoke. She sits beside whoever is puffing at the time. Licks the smoke and if someone throws it out in the yard she will go find it and eat it. (Doesn’t happen too often because I use tips, my friends throw theirs) She doesn’t act like these dogs though. She usually just goes to sleep or wants cuddles.

brandy

same for my toy aussie. she loves eating stems too

Kandy Daniels

Giving my Baby a 10:1 now. Suppository style do to tumor’s on end. He’s doing Great..!!!

emily temple

Kandy have you ever noticed anything? I gave my dog the same and it was not good. Trying to figure out if it was that or the disease. I’m scared to continue because he was vomiting all night.

Stacy

Is that ratio CBD:THC or the other way around?

Shane

The only way weed will kill any one, your dog or cat included is if a ton of it is pushed out a plane and lands on them and crushes them!!!! It will make them sick/high but I have yet to hear of any death attributed to marijuana. Please post some proof of your supposition instead of spreading false information

Helen

Thank You Shane I’m hoping you’re so right. ❤️✊

Lisa

Hiya guys. I’ve heard that prolonged use of cannabis products (edibles) for dogs is potentially toxic as there livers cannot process it? It’s similar to the effects of chocolate ingestion over a prolonged period of time. Is there any truth to this? I have a 86kg/190 pound Boerboel male who suffers with elbow displaysia & I’m considering using edible cannabis products for him but have a lingering concern about what a canine liver can handle for a prolonged period. Any suggestions or info on this topic will be much appreciated. Many thanks.

Alex Schenker (Admin)

Hi Lisa, can you elaborate on which cannabis products/edibles you’re referring to? I ask because the term “edibles” gets thrown around a bit loosely these days. Are you referring to oils such as CBD or hemp or edibles containing THC? Also if you wouldn’t mind sharing your research, we can dig in and give our readers more accurate information on this topic, thanks!

sean

i give point 1 of a gram to my dod if i have to treat a injury never had a problem.
i used it over 20 times
its thc cbd full plant extract .
my last dog i was advised to get ger put to sleep at 12 yeRs old i gave her oil she lived until 17

Thcadvocate

My dog has spinal cancer as well as some cancer the grows into her nervous system. I was told if removed they grow aggressively and my dog will be miserable. I started give gabbapenton my dog started having small seizures or strokes. Even though it’s supposed to stop them. I removed all meds and went cbd. Dog perked up and starts living a normal life. 2 years later I’m seeing a bit more stiffness and pain. So I used my thc vape pen a small blow through her nose and my dog runs around like a puppy at 14 years old with spine cancer and unremoveable tumors pot saved my life and it’s saving my dogs get over pharma

Dart Barreras

You really need to rewrite every “Marijuana” to “Cannabis”… for the sake of all things good. Thank you. <3 PS:Less robots on the “ask a dog vet now” area if possible!!

CHARLES THOMAS

My bulldogs are so my healthier now after chewing marijuana stalks!!

Jennifer Smith

I love cannabis. I guess my dog loves it too!

Jennifer Smith

My dog loves to sniff on my cannabis edibles! I think they also love the effect!