It’s Not Swell to Get Your Pets High
June 14, 2017
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By now, we’re sure you know that the benefits of medical marijuana are vast. Medical cannabis can not only alleviate pain and relieve nausea and vomiting, it can elevate moods and stimulate appetite, among other positive effects. With so many benefits, we understand that patients want to share the wealth with others, which sometimes means sharing with pets. And, while doing so is typically well-intended, sharing marijuana with pets is really not a good idea. You might wonder, can animals even get high? What does a stoned dog look like? This blog post is here to educate you. Below is some insight into the the reasons why it isn’t swell to get your pets high.

THC and Animals – The Effects

Unlike humans, medical marijuana, and the main psychoactive ingredient, THC, can have the opposite effect on pets as it does humans. Meaning, a stoned dog will not be happy and relaxed; in fact, quite the contrary. Pets don’t have the mental capacity to understand what is happening and attempt to resist the effects, resulting in panting, pacing, and general distress.

The toxicity of medical marijuana in animals is dose-specific, meaning the more that is ingested, the greater the risk of negative effects. A pet who swallows an owner’s entire stash is more likely to be affected, but second-hand smoke also poses a concern. The safest course of action is to remove all human cannabis from an animal’s reach entirely.

How will you know if your pet was exposed?

Any animal who comes into contact with marijuana is susceptible to developing signs within 60 minutes of exposure. The most common signs include:

  • Lack of activity
  • Heavy drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Stumbling or wobbling as if drunk
  • Vomiting
  • Leaking urine or excessive peeing
  • Shaking
  • Decreases in temperature
  • Ataxia (loss of bodily control)
  • Low heart rate or low blood pressure
  • Seizures
  • Death (at high doses)

Can Medical Marijuana Be Used For Pets?

Yes! Very early testing suggests cannabidiol (CBD), an extract found in marijuana, has beneficial properties for dogs in treating arthritis and cancer. Treatibles, CBD dog treats, and CBD oil for dogs are newer products made just for pets. The difference is that CBD does not have the same psychoactive properties as THC, though it should only be given in small, controlled doses to be safe and effective. Owners interested in alternative treatments for their pet should first discuss options with a veterinarian rather than administering doses of THC or medical marijuana at home without professional advice. 

If you witness an exposure or believe one has occurred, seek medical help for your pet immediately. Contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control or the Pet Poison Helpline to connect with a toxicologist who will direct your vet through the appropriate treatment. We understand that your nerves may have you questioning whether to be forthright about what your pet has been exposed to, but it’s always better to be honest about what’s happened, as the vet needs all the information to treat your pet properly and get them back to normal.

Prevention is the best form of treatment, so keep all edibles and plants locked away from your pet and only smoke in well-ventilated areas away from your pet. Follow the Swell way and medicate responsibly, especially when it comes to the health and safety of your pets. Contact us if you’d like more information about any of our products or if you have any questions.

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