What to Do If Your Pet Ingests Weed

For many pet owners, our furry friends are our family and among the most important parts of our lives. From the moment you first realize your pet has ingested cannabis, you may immediately panic with thoughts like, “My dog ate weed, and I don’t know what to do.” 

First, take a breath to calm yourself. Most pets recognize anxiety and may panic if they see you doing the same. Cannabis ingestion is rarely fatal for dogs and cats, so most situations may not be dire — but should be taken very seriously. Read on to learn what to do if your dog eats weed.

Judge the Situation

Before jumping to any conclusions, you should first analyze the situation. To do this, determine the following:

  • Type of weed consumed
  • Amount consumed
  • When the weed was consumed
  • Other ingredients consumed, such as paper wraps or tobacco leaves

For dogs, a lethal dose of cannabis is three grams or more — about the same amount as an eighth. However, the type of cannabis and THC concentration levels consumed may impact lethality. 

For example, medical-grade THC butter has had many reported deaths among pets due to its high concentration levels. Comparatively, small amounts of low-concentrate cannabis flower will generally not be fatal to your dog or cat, but it may still pose safety risks.

If you are unsure how to judge the situation, immediately contact your veterinarian or call an emergency pet hotline, such as Animal Poison Control or the Pet Poison Helpline

Monitor Your Pet Closely

While cannabis isn’t directly toxic for cats or dogs, THC may pose safety concerns by causing depression, low blood pressure, vomiting, seizures, and coma. When unchecked, these symptoms can be fatal — though these cases are rare. 

Even if your pet only ingested a small dose of cannabis, such as weed dust from the ground, it’s critical that you monitor them closely to ensure it has no effects on them. Dogs are the most susceptible, making up 96% of pet cannabis intoxication cases, and may appear extra uncoordinated, tired, or “drunk” if intoxicated. 

Visit Your Veterinarian or Animal Emergency Hospital

Even if your pet isn’t showing symptoms of cannabis intoxication, you should still bring them to your veterinarian or animal hospital to be safe. A medical professional can adequately judge the situation and will run tests if they believe your pet’s health is in danger.

It may feel embarrassing to bring your pet to the vet over cannabis issues and admit, “My dog ingested weed,” or, “My cat ate weed.” However, most veterinarians will recognize that you’re prioritizing your animal’s safety and leave their judgments at the door. 

Remember, you cannot drive after consuming cannabis, so ask someone else to drive you to the vet or hospital if needed.

Tips for Keeping Your Pets (and Weed) Safe

The best way to keep your dog from consuming weed is to keep your cannabis products out of reach. Keep your weed and accessories in a safe or lockbox, and never put them somewhere your pet can find them. A joint at the edge of a table or a rolling tray filled with flower could all be disasters waiting to happen. 

Visit the Harbor House Collective for house-safe cannabis products, accessories, and tips.

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