My Dog Ate My Edibles: What to Do
It Occurs More Often Than You Think
Let’s start with saying...it’s okay, it happens, you are not the worst dog parent in the world, but it is important to seek help immediately if your dog eats your edibles. With cannabis becoming legal in more states over the years, Veterinarians have experienced these situations more often. According to the ASPCA via the Los Angeles Times, the national poison hotline call volume for ingestion between 2017 and 2020 increased from 1,436 to over double at 3,923 cases.
Why Sharing is Not Caring in This Situation
As easy as it is to give into the puppy dog eyes, it’s important not to share your THC edibles with your pets, because it may be beneficial for you, but it can be harmful for your pets or potentially even fatal. They do not have the same digestive systems we do, nor do they experience the same high feeling that we do when consuming tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). They experience feelings and symptoms of being poisoned, in fact symptoms for marijuana poisoning are similar to the signs of antifreeze poisoning in dogs. But it’s not just high doses or concentrations of THC that are lethal to your pet, most cannabis edibles are chocolate concoctions or high in xylitol (artificial sweetener) which are also toxic to dogs, and when combining the two you could be creating a death treat for your pet. Regardless, we know our pets will be naturally attracted to food, whether cannabis infused or not. Dogs have the inclination to eat all in sight if easily accessible, which is also why it is important to keep your cannabis products in a safe and unreachable area from your pets. We know that dogs have an endocannabinoid system and cannabinoid receptors like we do, except they have more receptors which makes them more sensitive. So even if you think “a little won’t hurt'', it is still a callous action towards your loyal fur friend who can’t always effectively communicate their comfort level.
What Do I Do if This Happens?
So, what do we do if our four legged friends sneak past us and devour all our infused treats? As mentioned before, try to evaluate the type of edible your pet consumed. If it was chocolate or high in xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately, or find emergency vet services nearest to you. In this instance, the vet may pump the stomach, induce vomiting, or if assumed they did not consume a fatal dose, they may just recommend comforting your pet until the effects pass. If your pet consumed pure THC concentration (dabs/oil), or dried flower, try to estimate the dose they may have ingested. These things are often an accident of a sneaky sniffing pet and can take 30 minutes to an hour to see signs of intoxication, usually you will find out beforehand by stumbling upon the leftover packaging. If you suspect your pet has consumed cannabis and see any of the following behaviors seek physician advice.
· Dilated pupils
· Rapid heart rate
· Difficulty breathing
· Hyperactivity or agitation
· Uncoordinated movements
· Barking, howling or whining
In most cases, we don’t have enough THC in our homes at one time to kill our pets if they get into it…but on the off chance you do, make sure to keep it in a safe and pet proof location. If your dog is one that insists on sharing because they are human too, you can look into cannabis hemp products that are safe for dogs like CBD.