Marijuana is becoming more acceptable and is now legally available in 42 states. As more people have access to marijuana, so, unfortunately, do their pets.
PETS AND MARIJUANA
WHAT PETS ARE LIKELY TO EAT MARIJUANA?
Cats like to eat the marijuana plant. Dogs go for marijuana-infused products (like brownies). And then there are all those other pets (pigs, bunnies, macaws) that also might want to taste-test a new edible.
IF YOUR PET HAS EATEN MARIJUANA
They include: trouble walking, lethargy, hyperactivity, excessive vocalization, dilated pupils, slower heart and breathing rates, seizures, coma. As you might expect, symptoms vary widely, depending on such factors as age, breed, weight, activity level, and type of pet.
Many marijuana edibles, such as as cookies, brownies, and candies, contain additional substances like chocolate and the artificial sweetener xylitol that are poisonous to pets. This could result in a double or triple dose of toxicity for your pet.
What to do first
Depending on the amount and/or strength of the marijuana ingested, marijuana poisoning can be life threatening; eating marijuana-infused edibles may be doubly dangerous. No matter how much or how little you think your pet has eaten, the first thing you must do is seek immediate veterinary care by calling the Pet Poison Helpline at 855-764-7661.
IS SECONDHAND MARIJUANA SMOKE HARMFUL TO PETS?
Your pet will not get “high” unless she is in a room with extremely large amounts of marijuana smoke. However, as many pets have sensitive respiratory systems which can be irritated by the smoke, it’s best to keep your pet outside of the marijuana smoking room.
DOES MEDICAL MARIJUANA WORK FOR PETS?
Although anecdotal evidence has suggested that some pet-specific products appear to ease pain in some pets, there has been no scientific research to support medical marijuana for pets at this time. Furthermore, safe dosage levels for pets have not yet been established.
KEEP MARIJUANA AWAY FROM PETS
Keep your marijuana supplies and any marijuana-infused edibles well out of paw’s reach. Put them in glass containers with twist-off lids and store them on tall shelves or in a locked cabinet or drawer.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Ashley W. Priddy, BVMS