Marijuana Legalization Brings Some New Dangers To Pets

English bulldog sleeping on sofa

(Picture Credit: John Fedele/Getty Images)

Doctors and experts can argue that marijuana legalization has its benefits for humans. However, it may bring new dangers to pets. One pet owner, Mark Groveman, recently saw marijuana’s potentially dangerous effects on his pet pal, Bosco, a Bullypit.

During their walk in Ward Canyon Park, Mark let Bosco loose in the off-leash area to play. After playtime, they went home so Mark could leave Bosco for work. When he returned five hours later, he noticed that Bosco started to show some strange symptoms.

“He was laying on the bed, scared and shivering, he had wet the bed a couple of times,” said Mark in an interview with Fox 6. “He was arching his back in a weird way, swaying side to side. I thought he was having a stroke.”

The drive to the vet was a rough one. Mark thought he would lose Bosco. The diagnosis was quick, and apparently, it’s a more and more common diagnosis in dogs. Mark was told that Bosco ingested marijuana. Bosco had a slow heartbeat, which finally reverted to normal after 24 hours.

Marijuana’s Effects On Dogs



Inhaling or ingesting marijuana can be toxic for dogs. The severity of symptoms can range from mild lethargy to potential coma.

Marijuana ingestion has become a concern since its legalization in many states across the U.S., as well as Canada. Weed is more available than ever before. Plus, growers have created stronger hybrids and strains. It follows that pets get exposed to marijuana products more often, and these new products are more potent.

The Pet Poison Hotline reported an increase of 448% in cases of marijuana poisoning in pets over the past six years, and most of the cases involved dogs or cats who ate marijuana-laced food products.

Pet owners should stay alert since even a small dosage of THC ingestion can become a risk. Even inhaling THC exhaled by someone else could lead to complications for your dog.

How To Spot A Dog On A High

Spotting a dog who has ingested marijuana or traces of THC may be easy, depending on the amount of ingestion. The common symptoms include ataxia or the drunken walk, incontinence, hypersensitivity, slower heart rate, and a lower body temperature.

Dr. Carly Fox of Animal Medical Center’s Emergency and Critical Care Service in New York City confirmed that marijuana poisoning symptoms should resolve within 12 to 24 hours within ingestion. However, it is still a good idea to go to your vet if you see concerning symptoms in your dog.

Be Responsible With Marijuana

All of the scary statistics for pets and marijuana don’t necessarily mean legalization is a bad thing. It just means that pet owners should use more caution to protect their furry family members.

If you have weed products in your home, especially tempting edibles, keep them out of reach of pets. Lock them away when they’re not in use if you have to. We all know dogs and cats can find ways of getting to whatever they think is a treat. You know your animals and what they can do. Use good judgement when storing your stash.

Be careful of any items your pets may pick up on walks, at the park, or even in your yard. This is something you should do regardless of marijuana legalization, but it’s becoming more important than ever. People toss or drop unfinished marijuana products sometimes, and your dog doesn’t know the dangers. They just see an interesting-smelling treat. Supervise your dog outside.

What are your thoughts on marijuana legalization’s potential risks to dogs? Sound off in the comments below!

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