For many, marijuana has always been acceptable, but with the recent legalization of the substance, even more people are freely using it. If you have a dog, though, is it safe to smoke around them? How would you know if it was harmful? Should you even take that chance? Marijuana smokers who are also dog owners need to address this issue responsibly, which may necessitate a meeting with a veterinarian.
The Potential Consequences Of Marijuana Exposure
Just as some people don't tolerate marijuana well, some animals are more sensitive to its effects than others. Pets generally weigh less than people, amplifying the consequences of exposure, but dogs are thought to have a greater number of brain receptors for marijuana, further increasing the potential risk of secondhand exposure.
Your dog may act "high" when in fact, it's only the disorientating nature of inhalation or ingestion you're seeing. Changes in heart rate and body temperature are also likely, making the dog uncomfortable, at the very least, but not in a way that you can observe. Especially since your pet probably follows you around everywhere, prolonged marijuana exposure can become a big deal for them.
Marijuana Toxicity In Pets
One of the main threats marijuana poses to your pooch is the possibility of ingestion. Vets see more emergency cases involving edibles than they do inhalants; however, either may be problematic. If your canine consumes a stash, the results may include:
- Ataxia, or loss of bodily control
- Extreme lethargy and unresponsiveness
- A drop in blood pressure
A dog presenting with marijuana toxicity will need blood tests to gauge organ function and abdominal imaging to ascertain what, exactly, was consumed. In most instances, activated charcoal will be administered to absorb surrounding toxins. In severe situations, intravenous fluids and an observation period are necessary to ensure complete recovery.
The Problems With Second-Hand Smoke
Even if a canine isn't compromised by the narcotic nature of marijuana, dogs have very sensitive lungs. This means that any smoke is going to bother them and pose a threat in the long-term. Thus, you have even more reason to maintain distance from your dog when you use your stash.
CBD Products And Your Dog
Although touted as a wonder drug for countless humans, the CBD products created for people aren't automatically beneficial or even safe for pets. If you believe your hound may reap rewards from the use of any such product, ask your veterinarian before doing anything. Pets should never be given medicine meant for people unless a vet authorizes it. They're the only source of information you should trust when it comes to using marijuana around your pooch. Whether you simply enjoy the substance recreationally or it's been prescribed to you, your dog shouldn't be exposed, if it could cause harm.