All Good or Pass On Grass? The Reasons Why Pot and Pets Don’t Mix

Marijuana and pets

The issue of pot and pets isn’t new but since the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, the frequency of toxic episodes in Pennsylvania has increased.

No matter where you stand on the topic of legalization, the fact is pets have more access to cannabis products than ever before. Together, we can work towards preventing a pet emergency. It’s equally important to be able to recognize the signs of an accidental poisoning and how to seek help.

Down With THC?

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the principal psychoactive component in marijuana. Along with other naturally occurring cannabinoids, THC is responsible for the negative effects in pets. Because of our relative size and possible history of exposure, humans can effectively metabolize THC. Alternatively, the effects on pets can cause the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Vomiting
  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coordination challenges, stumbling or shakiness
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Abnormal heart rhythms
  • Dilated pupils
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

Depending on the dose and what type of cannabis product a pet is exposed to, it may take up to 12 hours for the effects of THC to wear off. Immediate veterinary help is crucial for supporting a pet through these terrible symptoms. Without treatment, marijuana toxicity can cause pets to enter a comatose state.

In other words, pot and pets don’t mix. Emergency care is required to help an animal through.

Best Policy

Many pet owners are afraid to seek veterinary help when it comes to marijuana poisoning. At  Berks Animal Emergency and Referral Center, we want to assure you that we aren’t here to get you into trouble. Being honest with your pet’s health provider is their best chance for a full recovery.

The Nitty Gritty

It’s not unheard of for dogs to eat the actual dried marijuana buds intended for smoking. More common, unfortunately, are edible goods. Items like pot brownies or cookies, pot butter, gummies and more are known to be irresistible to a dog’s insatiable curiosity and appetite, and often contain high levels of THC.

Not only dangerous simply because of their THC content, but many baked goods contain Xylitol or chocolate as well. What’s worse, is that these goods can be high in fat and sugar, exposing furry friends to the likelihood of pancreatitis.

The Future For Pot And Pets

A good rule of thumb is to keep all marijuana products (from dried plant material to tinctures, lotions to capsules) off the floor and other surfaces a pet can reach. Store when not in use.

Please be mindful when tossing products you no longer need or believe to be empty. Dogs are notorious for sniffing around trash bins. When smoking, be sure that your pet is in another room or do so outside.

Always Here For Your Pet

Your pet’s health is our top priority. If you know or suspect that they got into something they shouldn’t have, please let us take a look at them.

Have further questions about pot and pets? Our staff is always here for you.