Is your dog acting a little bit weird? It’s almost like it is high?!
Well, this could possibly be an actual thing. Dogs, just like humans, can get high if they consume marijuana. No, it’s not a joke, and it can actually be quite serious.
If you are wondering how this even happens, well, it is a lot more common than you might think. The legalization of marijuana saw a significant rise in cases of dogs getting stoned.
Dogs are very curious animals, and they will eat anything that they find in the house, so if you don’t hide your stash well or you leave some of your edibles or “special pot brownies” on the table unsupervised, chances are that your dog probably tasted them already.
The thing is that dogs are more sensitive to the effects of cannabis since they have a lot more cannabinoid receptors than humans, so the psychoactive chemical found in weed usually has a more dramatic effect on your pooch than it would on you.
However, first and foremost, you should not panic. If it happens that your dog ate weed, there are some things that you can do to help it. Keep reading to find out how to recognize a stoned dog and how to get a dog unstoned.
The Ultimate Guide To How To Get A Dog Unstoned
In most cases, marijuana ingestion in dogs is easily treated, however, this, of course, depends on the amount of weed ingested and the effects of weed on a dog. To not get confused, cannabis, marijuana, weed, hash, and pot are all different names for the same substance.
What to do when a dog eats marijuana? Well, you will need to help your dog get unstoned as soon as possible, but the question is how to get a dog unstoned.
In more serious cases, such as with small dogs or if the dog ingests a lot of marijuana, you will probably notice more severe symptoms (we’ll discuss the symptoms more later on, so stay tuned), so your only option will be taking your dog to the vet.
1. Visit A Veterinarian
It is very important that you immediately tell your veterinarian that there is a big possibility of your dog having ingested marijuana so that they know how to treat and provide better care for your pup.
Please, be honest! The vet will not judge you, nor will they report you to officials. This information is purely necessary so that they can help your dog feel better in the best and fastest way possible.
So, the veterinarian will most probably check the dog’s vitals and do some tests, like blood work or urine tests, to check if the dog is okay and healthy, and based on those tests, start the process of decontamination.
If the ingestion of weed happened in the previous hour or so, the vet might try to induce vomiting or give your dog some activated charcoal, which helps stop further absorption of the weed and hopefully reduce the symptoms of marijuana toxicity.
Other than that, the vet may start with fluid therapy and give your dog some IV fluids to keep it hydrated or some other supportive care. After some time, your doggie should feel much better.
However, if your dog ingested a significant amount of marijuana and is having more severe reactions to it, which can include seizures or other serious neurological conditions, the vet will most probably give your dog some anticonvulsant, anti-seizure, or some medication to calm it down.
The dog’s pulse, temperature, and blood pressure will be monitored until the weed has passed through the body and the dog is recovered from all the effects of marijuana.
Most dogs recover beautifully and without serious consequences if they are treated properly. At the end of the vet visit, you’ll probably receive a lecture about the safety of your dog and keeping your stash out of the dog’s reach, but that is understandable and a part of their job.
2. Keep Your Dog In A Dim Room
If your dog is having milder symptoms or your veterinarian recommended house care, there are some things that you can do to comfort your dog and help it during the sobering up process.
One of the symptoms of marijuana toxicity is sensitivity to light, so it would be best to keep your dog in a dim room with shades or curtains firmly closed so that no light gets into the room or that the dog does not get too excited about the outside world.
This will help it stay calm and keep all the sensory stimulation at bay.
3. Provide Lots Of Cuddles And Love
We all seek love and attention when we are feeling poorly, and the same goes for dogs. Even when your dog is stoned, it will probably enjoy some cuddles with its favorite human in the world. Knowing that you are there will help it feel less scared.
Ingestion of psychotic substances like weed is a pretty scary occurrence for dogs. They don’t take it on purpose, and they definitely don’t know what to expect, so they must be terrified of everything that is happening to them.
Providing your beloved puppy with some cuddles may not make the symptoms pass faster, but it will definitely give your dog some reassurance that it is not alone and that everything is going to be okay.
4. Feed And Hydrate
Keeping your dog hydrated and fed is also very important during its recovery. It may reduce the effects of marijuana and help it recover faster. Also, the food may help your dog fall asleep, which is good for recovering.
Keep some fresh water in your dog’s proximity and try to feed it some light and bland food, for example, some boiled chicken or white rice.
5. Keep The Environment Calm
Besides keeping your dog in a dim room, it is also very helpful if you keep the house or the dog’s environment pretty calm and chill. Some dogs can get very hyperactive while stoned, so they don’t need any kind of noise or activity to keep them more riled up.
Turn off your TV or keep it at a low volume. The same goes for music if you usually have it playing in the background. Light, calming noise is fine, just not anything at the maximum volume.
6. Rub The Tips Of His Ears
The dog’s ears have a lot of nerve endings, so when you rub the tips of his ears or her ears, you are actually sending a lot of feel-good signals to your dog’s brain and helping him relax.
Dogs absolutely love ear rubs, and that is probably connected with the production of endorphins, the hormones that help your dogs relax and relieve them from pain.
So, gently rub or apply light pressure to the tips of your dog’s ears because that will help him feel much better.
7. Brush Your Pooch
If your doggie enjoys being brushed, and that is usually a kind of bonding time for you both, you can definitely try brushing to help them relax and feel better. This goes without saying, but if your dog doesn’t normally like brushing, don’t try to do it when they’re stoned.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Dog Being Stoned?
In order to help their dogs, pet owners should know what they are and should be able to recognize the most common signs/symptoms of weed intoxication quickly.
Dogs are much more sensitive to the effects of weed, and it can make them feel really terrible, so it is definitely not something to joke about, nor is it funny.
Some of the most common symptoms of marijuana toxicity include:
• Incoordination (often known as “drunken walk”)
• Dilated pupils
• Sensitivity to light and touch
• Muscle tremors or twitching
• Slow heart rate
• Hypersensitivity to stimuli
• Low blood pressure
If you notice any of these signs, and you are pretty sure that your dog ate some of your weed, please contact your vet or the nearest animal hospital.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has its own emergency Animal Poison Control Hotline that works 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, that you can call in case you need help.
*ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number: (888) 426-4435
How Long Does It Take For A Dog To Get Over Being High?
Weed does not impact all dogs in the same way. The effects of weed on dogs depend mostly on the amount of weed ingested, the breed, size, and weight.
Every person reacts differently to marijuana, some are more hyperactive and others are just sleepy and calm. This is also the case for dogs, but the thing is that they will not enjoy it, for sure.
Usually it takes about 18 to 36 hours for dogs to get over being high, however, in some cases, the symptoms can even last up to 96 hours. This can be in the situation of a really high dose and bad symptoms.
Dogs will not understand what is happening to them, why all of the sudden all their senses are heightened and that will scare them enormously.
If your dog continues to have some of the symptoms even after the usual recovery time, you should definitely contact the veterinarian again.
Sometimes those symptoms can also be a sign of some other serious conditions that should be treated immediately, so it is always better to check, rather than feel sorry afterwards.
Dogs And Marijuana
We have mentioned previously some rather concerning effects that ingestion of marijuana can cause in dogs, but do you know why this is so and why we say that weed is not good for our furry friends?
Anything with a large amount of THC can be very toxic to your pup, so while some pet owners might think it would be funny to give their pets a bite of their special brownies or blow some smoke in their face (yes, that happens also), it actually is not funny at all and is potentially very dangerous.
What Is THC?
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the active ingredient of marijuana that is basically a psychoactive chemical responsible for getting people high. It is also the ingredient that makes your dog sick.
Dogs also have an endocannabinoid system that is responsible for many important bodily functions, however, dogs have more cannabinoid receptors when compared to humans, so that also means that the effects of marijuana are much more toxic and dangerous than in humans.
So, basically, anything that contains a high level of THC, such as a raw plant, BHO, edibles, wax, or any other THC-based product should be avoided as it can be potentially dangerous to our beloved pets. But, how dangerous can it really be? Can marijuana be fatal to dogs? Let’s see!
Can Marijuana Be Fatal To Dogs?
THC is believed to affect a cerebral cortex which is associated with higher brain processes such as consciousness, senses, memory, thinking, learning, problem-solving and such, but it is not supposed to affect the brain stem, which is basically responsible for functions essential for living.
Although there hasn’t been much research done on this matter, this assumption has led many veterinarians to believe that ingesting marijuana should not be fatal to dogs.
However, in recent years, due to marijuana legalization and the increase of cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs, more studies have been performed to validate the hypotheses.
Unfortunately, some rather worrying reports have been published that could possibly change how everyone views the consumption of marijuana, especially in the canine world.
In 2012, the Journal of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care published a paper that reports the findings of the Colorado study done on 125 client-owned dogs from January 1, 2005 to October 1, 2010. During the study, two dogs have died after consuming THC butter.
This proves that marijuana can be fatal to dogs, however, almost all veterinarians agree that these are particular and extremely rare cases. It is very unlikely that marijuana ingestion will kill your dog, even in high doses, but it can cause very serious side effects that can make your dog really sick.
Medical Marijuana For Dogs, Is It A Thing?
Cannabis sativa (the cannabis plant) can produce many different compounds called cannabinoids, including THC, CBD, and many other potentially medicinally beneficial compounds. You are probably very familiar with CBD (cannabidiol) or at least have heard about it before.
CBD that most people use or buy over-the-counter comes from the hemp plant which is also cannabis, however, it produces very little THC (less than 0.3%). While THC can be dangerous to dogs in high doses, CBD does not contain any psychoactive chemical that can make your dog high.
The clinical research into the use of cannabis in the veterinary medical field is in its early stages and there are very few studies published, however, some veterinarians report they have seen animals do much better on cannabis than on other conventional therapies.
Medical guidance on any medical marijuana use is highly recommended. Before you try anything, we suggest that you talk with your veterinarian and follow their instructions.
CBD oil (cannabidiol oil) has recently become a very famous method of alternative therapy for humans, but also for dogs. This product does not contain THC and it has been proved to have an anti-nausea and calming effect on dogs.
It is completely safe for dogs, and there is actually a wide variety of CBD oils on the market that you can purchase for soothing and calming your pups. This can help greatly in managing motion sickness and anxious feelings related to car rides or other stressful situations for dogs.
That being said, we still advise that you seek a professional’s advice before the use of any CBD products.
Tips For Prevention Of Weed Ingestion
You might be wondering how you can prevent your dog from accidentally ingesting weed. Well, thankfully, we have some tips for you that will help prevent any accidents from happening.
• Keep your weed in lockable containers – This is a very inexpensive solution that can prevent your dog from getting into your stash.
• Keep edibles in the fridge or out of reach – Try not to leave any edibles on the table or somewhere your pup can easily find it, because these products are often very tempting for dogs and they will eat it if they find it (also they contain other toxic ingredients for dogs).
• Keep your weed plants under lock and key – If you live somewhere where growing weed is legal, keep it behind a locked door where the dog can’t come in.
• Keep the ashtray out of the dog’s reach – If you are a smoker, please don’t do it with your dog in the room, and please remove and keep the ashtrays out of the dog’s reach.
To Sum Up
Knowing exactly what you have to do for how to get a dog unstoned can come in handy in case of any accidents happening. Our guide on how to help your high dog contains everything that you need to know about marijuana toxicity and how to deal with it.
Accidents can always happen and you must know that no one will judge you. What is important is that you stay calm and seek a professional’s help as soon as possible, especially in case of severe symptoms.
Although it is unlikely that your dog will die from ingesting marijuana, even in case of really high doses, the symptoms can sometimes be really terrifying (e.g. seizures, coma), so it is always best to visit a vet.
That being said, please be careful and consume weed responsibly.
Did your dog ever get high? What were its symptoms and what helped it get unstoned? We would love to hear your experience.