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Tuesday November 16, 2021

By Erin Hiatt

a dog 420 Culture

You know that tasty new edible that you just bought from the dispo that you can’t wait to tear into? Guess what? Your dog wants to tear into that edible, too. Veterinarian Dorrie Black at Animal Internal Medicine and Specialty Services told NPR — and dog owners can confirm, “Dogs will get into anything and everything.”

Alongside increased legal access to cannabis there has been a spike in calls to the Animal Poison Control Center, who saw a 765% increase in 2019 from callers who reported that their pets ingested weed. Calls to The Pet Poison Helpline also surged, reporting an increase of more than 400% over a six-year period. 

So if you come home after work and you can’t find your stash, or even turn your back for a moment and your weed is gone, it’s pretty much a guarantee that your dog ate your weed. It’s most likely that your dog will eat an edible (they like them for the same reasons you do) but any part of the plant like flower or seeds, concentrates, or even eating the feces of an individual who has consumed cannabis can make your dog high or sick.

Symptoms of Marijuana Toxicity in Your Dog

Here’s how you’ll know if your dog is experiencing marijuana toxicity. Some symptoms to look out for include:

  • Tremors and shaking
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting 
  • Dilated pupils
  • Urinary incontinence (around 50 percent of dogs will dribble urine)
  • Hyperactivity or lethargy
  • Barking, whining, or howling
  • Stumbling and/or walking as if they are drunk

Should I Take My Dog to the Vet?

Before you hit the panic button, take note. THC is rarely toxic to dogs, though on rare occasions it can be fatal. Nonetheless, it is a medical condition that should be urgently addressed.

If your dog is experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t hesitate. Take them to the vet and be candid with them about your dog getting into your stash so your best furry friend can get the appropriate care.

a dog
Be sure to monitor your dog closely if they've ingested any amount of cannabis accidentally.

Remember, there are a couple of things to keep in mind about how humans and pets react to cannabis. Dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, so the effects of cannabis are more profound and potentially more toxic than they are to humans. Most dogs also weigh much less and metabolize cannabinoids differently than we do. 

Additionally, there are ingredients in edibles other than THC that can be dangerous for your dog, such as chocolate (which can be lethal in high doses), butter and other dairy, coconut oil, artificial sweeteners like xylitol, nuts, and caffeine. 


If you suspect that your beloved four-legged family member has eaten your weed, keep a close eye on them for at least 30 minutes to understand how they are reacting. If they are not exhibiting serious symptoms, keep them in a quiet room to reduce sensory stimulation and keep them safe, warm, and soothed.

There are a lot of reasons to take good care when storing your cannabis: it stays fresh and tastes better for longer, prolongs its life and efficacy, and keeps it out of the hands (or is it paws?) of children and pets.

How do you keep your stash secure from pets? Share in the comments!


Erin Hiatt Erin Hiatt

Erin Hiatt is a New York City-based writer who has been covering the cannabis industry for more than six years. Her work - which has appeared in Hemp Connoisseur Magazine, PotGuide, Civilized, Vice, Freedom Leaf, MERRY JANE, Alternet, and CannaInvestor - covers a broad range of topics, including cannabis policy and law, CBD, hemp law and applications, science and technology, beauty, and psychedelics.

Erin's work and industry insights have been featured on the podcasts The Let's Go Eat Show, In the Know 420, and she has appeared as a featured panelist on the topic of hemp media. Erin has interviewed top industry experts such as Dr. Carl Hart, Ethan Nadelmann, Amanda Feilding, Mark A.R. Kleiman, Dr. James Fadiman, and culture icons Governor Jesse Ventura, and author Tom Robbins. You can follow her work on LinkedInWordpress, @erinhiatt on Twitter, and @erinisred on Instagram.

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