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Marijuana and Dogs

In a prior blog we discussed the preliminary advantages of CBD oil on dogs.  CBD is a non-hallucinogenic component of marijuana. However, if you have marijuana around the house or even smoke marijuana, know that it can be harmful to your dog.

Effects of Marijuana on Dogs
Can dogs get high from ingesting marijuana or even second-hand smoke? It’s absolutely possible and the effects can even be more dramatic in small dogs. In high quantities it could be life-threatening. Your dog may start acting paranoid, lethargic and over reactive.

Let’s look at the facts about ingesting marijuana, second hand smoke, and marijuana edibles.


  • According to Trupanion, a major pet insurance provider, it costs on average of $500 to treat marijuana toxicity in dogs. To date, Trupanion policies have paid nearly $180,000 in suspected marijuana toxicity.
  • Trupanion saw marijuana toxicity cases increase by 50% from 2014 to 2015. It’s not surprising that Colorado and Washington (where recreational marijuana is legal) have seen the highest cases of marijuana toxicity in dogs.
  • The ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center saw a 144% increase in pet marijuana overdose calls from 2010 to 2015. Dogs account for 95% of marijuana toxicity cases.
  • How can you tell if a dog has broken into a stash? Effects of marijuana ingestion may include:
    • Lethargy
    • Lowered blood pressure
    • Loss of coordination
    • Incontinence
    • Breathing problems
    • Dilated pupils
    • Coma
    • Panting
    • Pacing
    • Hyperactivity
    • Seizures
    • Easily startled by sudden sounds
  • Secondhand smoke can cause a “contact” high in dogs. If a dog has any respiratory issues to begin with, inhaling second hand smoke can make the condition worse.
  • Marijuana edibles (candy, brownies) that contain chocolate can be doubly bad for your dog since chocolate alone is poisonous for a dog.

What to Do
What should you do if your dog has ingested marijuana? To be on the safe side, induce vomiting or take him to the vet.  Be frank with your veterinarian. Without full disclosure you dog may be tested for other poisons, which can be expensive.