Maybe hiding your pot under the bed isn’t such a great idea after all. A recent study shows that the biggest threat to your stash is not necessarily your mom or your stoner roommate, but your dog. Why is that? Because not only could all of your precious weed wind up in Fido’s belly, but you could be making an emergency trip to the vet.
The Colorado State University study confirmed what vets around the state already suspected – that a growing number of dogs are getting sick from eating pot. Specifically, the study found that the number of dogs ingesting marijuana and landing in the emergency room has quadrupled since 2005. While it’s generally a minor (if annoying) problem, there are a few reported cases of dogs dying after eating marijuana.
While dogs certainly will eat raw marijuana, vets say a lot recent cases result from dogs eating pot brownies or other cannabis-laced food. The Durango Herald tells of one dog that was taken to the hospital after exhibiting signs of poisoning. When they induced vomiting, up came a 3-by-3 foot cheesecloth that had been used to strain marijuana butter.
It’s probably no coincidence that this trend coincides with the increased availability of pot. Medical marijuana is legal in a small-but-growing number of U.S. states. In 2012, pot was also legalized for personal use in two states, including Colorado.
Signs that a dog has swallowed a significant amount of pot include the following:
- Agitation and generally “stressed” behavior such as panting
- Staggering, stumbling, and general lack of balance
- Vomiting, diarrhea, loss of bladder control
- Lethargy (can be tough to detect in naturally lethargic dogs such as Basset Hounds)
There’s a lot of conflicting information on exactly how toxic marijuana is to dogs. Some people put it in the same category as chocolate and other poisonous substances. Others say that it’s really the potency and size of the dose that can cause serious problems (it’s common sense that a 15-pound dog swallowing a large amount of medical grade marijuana could get into trouble). There are even people who advocate for the use of medical marijuana for dogs, believing that the THC can help them through painful health conditions.
Since we don’t really know for sure, it’s probably best to keep the weed away from your dog. If you suspect your dog ate marijuana, don’t make a video and post it on YouTube like so many other idiots. Take your dog to the vet pronto.