The statistics are startling!
In July 2019, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)’s Animal Poison Control Center reported a 765% increase in calls received related to cannabis ingestion by pets, as compared to the same period the year before. The Pet Poison Helpline also reported a 400% spike in marijuana-related calls over the past six years. And veterinarians who are members of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) have likewise reported an increased number of pets coming into their clinics with signs of marijuana intoxication.
Likely fueling this whopping increase of calls is the legalization of marijuana in many states. Accordingly, the AVMA urges veterinarians to warn clients of the potential dangers associated with animal consumption of cannabis.
Our Total Veterinary Care® team wants you to be educated—not judged—and we want your pet companions to be safe.
As with any drug, don’t let your pet get into pot!
What can be a pleasurable high for humans can be scary and dangerous for animals—and worse. THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, is toxic to dogs. Especially dangerous is the concentrated form, such as that used in edible, baked products like cookies and brownies. Baked products can also have other things that are harmful to pets, such as chocolate and raisins, thus compounding the toxic effects of marijuana.
But it’s not only ingesting the pot that is dangerous. Smoking cannabis in close proximity to your pet can also be very harmful. If you choose to smoke, do so far away from your pets. And even if you don’t bring marijuana into your house, your pet could still be at risk. With increased legalization of pot use, your pet might easily encounter the drug. While on a walk, a dog might sniff out and eat a discarded joint. Eating pot or inhaling smoke might be risks during a visit to another home. Keeping your dog on a leash and preventing them from grazing while out on
walks or from getting into things at another home can prevent such exposures.
Signs and symptoms of cannabis ingestion can include the following:
- lack of coordination/dizziness
- dribbling urine
- low blood pressure
- low body temperature
- and, in rare cases, death
If you see any of these signs, please get your pet to Total Veterinary Care® right away!