What to Do If Your Pet Gets Into Your Stash?
November 5, 2020
Few things are more terrifying than realizing your dog or cat got into your weed stash. If you are scrambling for some reassurance right now and trying to figure out what to do if your pet gets into your stash, take a deep breath. And read on.
First of all, did you see your pet get into your stash, or are you going off of their behavior? If you saw how much they consumed, it can give you a better idea of what to expect. Regardless, look for these signs that your dog or cat has consumed your cannabis.
Dog and cat cannabis intoxication symptoms
According to VCA Hospitals, the symptoms of pet marijuana intoxication include:
- Dilated pupils
- Uncoordinated movement
- Leaky bladder
- Tremors or seizures (severe cases)
- Coma (severe cases)
Yes, this list is scary, especially if you’re not sure what the outcome will be. Before panicking, keep in mind that according to VCA Hospitals, “these side effects are usually short-lived, but they can still be dangerous and make the pet quite miserable.”
Fortunately, many pets just have to get through the experience and recover. That doesn’t mean pets don’t die from marijuana intoxication. In fact, it can be fatal, often because of high doses or lack of treatment or action.
Get in touch with an emergency vet
We’re not about to tell you to “take a deep breath and stay calm” when it comes to your pet’s safety. Sure, take a deep breath, then call the vet. Or go in person.
The most likely response? Your pet will be fine. Give them a comfortable space to relax and offer plenty of food and water. However, the vet may:
- Induce (or instructing you to induce) vomiting to remove as much as possible.
- Pump your pet’s stomach or give them an enema
- Administer activated charcoal
- Offer anti-anxiety medication to calm an anxious reaction
- Administer fluids
- Other treatments in extreme cases
The specifics will depend on how much your pet ate and their own biological factors.
Unfortunately, pets can die from marijuana consumption, but it is rare. One reason that may contribute to an increased risk of death is the fear of telling a veterinarian what happened.
Veterinarians do not report pet intoxications to authorities. Why? Because they’re veterinarians above all else. They’re looking out for the best interest of your pet, not looking to get you busted.
Veterinarians have your pet’s health and safety at the front of their minds. It’s not just frustrating to have a pet owner deny their pet could have gotten into weed, it’s dangerous.
Time is of the essence when figuring out what to do if your pet gets in your stash. So don’t waste any time pretending your pet didn’t get in the stash if you know it did. Vets don’t care. They just want to help.
Learn from your mistakes. You’re not alone in accidentally allowing your pet to consume cannabis. In fact, pet marijuana ingestion has increased dramatically in states with legal cannabis. Use this as a lesson to better store your cannabis in the future.
Be sure to state any possible combinations that your pet may have consumed, such as an edible with chocolate or a spliff with weed and tobacco. Both of these have their own toxicities for pets.
What is the most dangerous cannabis product for pets to eat?
We’re not going to rank the most dangerous to least dangerous cannabis products for pets because the bottom line is: marijuana is toxic to pets. Specifically, THC can have some really negative effects.
With this in mind, higher concentration products tend to be more cause for concern.
Dr. Shokry, BVSC, MVSC, PHD, professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine, says, “Marijuana leaves have less than 10% THC. Oils and butters used in making candies and food products contain the highest concentrations of THC—up to 90%—and are the most toxic.”
If your dog got into your budder, shatter, or another cannabis concentrate, they most likely have consumed significantly more THC than if they ate your buds. Act accordingly.
Additionally, edible products can cause more damage to your furry friend than plain cannabis because of added ingredients. It’s especially dangerous if your dog eats a chocolate edible.
Why can pets have CBD but not other cannabis products?
It’s true that both humans and animals have an endocannabinoid system equipped for handling cannabinoids. Some are created naturally in our body, and others can be supplemented, such as THC or CBD.
Cannabinoid receptors are located throughout the body. Different cannabinoids interact with them in unique ways, causing various responses.
CBD, for example, binds indirectly with receptors and is not able to cause intoxicating effects. THC, on the other hand, binds directly with receptors. Specifically, it binds to CB1 receptors which are abundant in the brain. This is why humans feel such intoxicating effects.
Dogs have even more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans. This means they really feel the intoxicating effects. And it’s not the fun type.
Since CBD is non-intoxicating, it does a great job of finding a balance for pets without throwing off their mental state. Many dog and cat owners choose to give their pet CBD to manage joint pain, anxiety, and other conditions.
The bottom line
The most important thing you can do if your pet gets in your stash is to consult a professional. Do it as soon as you can after making the discovery.
Panicking will not help, though it may assist in moving owners to action. But try to stay calm when you call or drive to the vet, and be honest when discussing the details. They will not get you in trouble for having cannabis or letting your pet get into it. Mistakes happen.
If you notice your pet is exhibiting severe symptoms, take them straight to the vet and don’t bother with a phone consultation. The quicker you can find help, the better.
It’s also important to disclose whether or not it’s possible your pet consumed anything along with the cannabis. Common combinations are weed and tobacco or weed and chocolate. Both will be more dangerous than weed itself.
Don’t panic. Be prepared. And store your weed responsibly.
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