Whether it’s man’s best friend of a furry feline, there is no doubt that we are a nation of animal lovers. In fact, according to the National Pet Owners Survey, around 68% of U.S. households own at least one pet, which is a lot of furry mouths to feed!
With cannabis becoming more widely accepted, we have seen a steady rise in its availability, with more people across America than ever before benefiting from the plant. With this new accessibility comes a less encouraging growth in the number of animals ingesting cannabis in the home.
But would you know what to do if your pet ate cannabis? Today we are taking you through our top five tips on what to do if your pet eats weed.
#1 Check Their Symptoms and Behaviour
We all know what being high feels like, and in a group of friends you could probably pick out the stoners from those who opted out, but would you know what to look out for in your pet?
Animals are curious and more often than not pretty greedy, so the chances are that if you leave a bag of weed lying around, or better yet some cannabis-infused edibles, your pet will make a b-line for the snack.
While you may benefit significantly from your medical marijuana, or can’t get enough of a casual communal smoke, the effects in your pets can differ massively, and can in some cases be incredibly severe or even fatal. Here are some things to know:
- Cannabis can get your pet high
- Marijuana can, in some cases, cause death in your pet
- THC in high doses is toxic to pets
If you think your animal may have ingested some cannabis, you must keep an eye on their symptoms and behavior to determine the severity of the situation. Signs that your pet has consumed weed are below:
- Breathing difficulties
- Lower heart rate
- Loss of balance
- Dilated pupils
- Leaking urine
Use your instincts when it comes to these scenarios, if you have left a couple of crumbs of cannabis out then your pet is likely to be fine. However, if it has consumed a full bag of pot brownies, a vet trip will be necessary immediately.
#2 Don’t Induce Vomiting in Your Pet
When a human eats something they shouldn’t, inducing vomiting is usually a knee-jerk reaction to getting rid of all the nasty stuff out of our system. So if you notice that your pet has eaten cannabis and is showing symptoms of being high, it may be instinct to try and get them to vomit; however, this is not something you should ever try and do!
If your pet has consumed too much THC, it can make them feel lethargic, affect their breathing and their ability to control their movements. As a result, inducing vomiting could cause them to choke and asphyxiate on the vomit.
If your pet is showing any severe signs of being high, then you must take them immediately to a vet who will be able to safely work to remove as much of the substance as possible.
#3 Contact a Vet
In some rare cases, you may know exactly the amount of cannabis your pet has consumed, and if it is just a minimal amount, you may be able to keep an eye on them from home.
However, more often than not you don’t know how much your pet has had, and depending on the strength of the weed and the size of your animal you won’t be able to determine the effects. In almost all cases of animal cannabis consumption, the best thing you can do is to take your animal straight to the vet.
Three grams of THC per kg of a pet can be a lethal dose, so if you’re not 100% sure, always consult a professional vet straight away. Typically, clinical signs of cannabis consumption will present around thirty minutes after consumption, and time is critical to try and avoid the marijuana from getting into the bloodstream.
#4 Be Honest
Many pet owners may be concerned about taking their animal to a vet for fear of being judged and reported to authorities; however, all a vet will want to do is treat your pet. Veterinarians are not required to report marijuana use to law enforcement, and their interests will lie in finding out the cause of your animal’s symptoms and treating them.
Being honest and forthcoming with the truth will save precious time and allow the vet to get to work on your pet immediately. More often than not and depending on the severity of the situation, a vet will try and remove as much of the marijuana from your pet by inducing vomiting. Sometimes they may use IV medication and keep your pet in for observation if they feel the need.
#5 Learn from Your Mistakes
We know how easy it can be to put something down for a second and then it be gone, but you wouldn’t likely leave cannabis lying around with a child in the home, so why would you with your fur-baby?
Ensuring you learn from your mistake and keep all cannabis products tightly sealed and out the way of all animals, we advise a dedicated safe cupboard or drawer out of the reach of children and animals alike.
Never underestimate how stealthy a pet can be, and never leave your weed unattended, even for a moment!
Let us know down in the comments if your pet has ever come into contact with cannabis, and how you handled the situation?