This is what happens when your dog consumes THC
Updated: Sep 21
In my household, we have used CBD to help our dogs with post-surgery recovery, pain management, and to soothe anxiety. Our furry friends have endocannabinoid systems (ECS), just like us humans. CBD is one of the non-psychoactive cannabinoids and can be used as a holistic approach to help with pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Treating these conditions with CBD is under-researched, but there have been various studies to support that CBD is beneficial for animals and doesn’t harm them. (Study 1, Study 2, Study 3) However, THC isn't the most ideal cannabinoid for our furry friends......
A few months ago my dog, Selena, got into my bag and ate a 5mg THC edible. Rather than panic, I did some research, contacted my vet, and I embraced the fact that we were both going on this unwanted venture together.
Before she began to feel the side effects, I had extra white rice so I gave her a serving with water. Eating food helps your body process the cannabinoids faster. Within 60-90 minutes she began to show signs of the side effects from the edible.
When THC is exposed to dogs a few things can happen. They can exhibit the loss of their motor skills and walk around uncoordinated. They may be hypersensitive to touch and sound. You may see your dog exhibit lethargic side effects. They may be more aggressive than usual because they are physically uncomfortable. Also, their eyes do give an indication that they are not feeling normal..they may look “stoned,” drowsy, or hyper-aware of their surroundings. It of course varies for each dog...
Normally, your dog should recover within 12-24 hours. If they persist longer than that it may be due to the ingredients in the edible...such as chocolate and sugar.
I was embarrassed and ashamed to admit to my vet that she got into an edible because the bottom line I was just an irresponsible pet owner. My vet informed me that this was increasingly more common. I truly hope this never happens with your dog. It is not a fun experience. If you have any questions please call your local vet office. Selena is doing fine. She is still a spunky chihuahua hustling for treats and cuddles.
Here are my tips in case this god-forbid ever happens to you.
If you are uncomfortable with the state of your dog’s well-being do not hesitate to go see your vet/pet emergency!
If you are not able to watch your dog for the next 24 hours. I suggest calling your vet.
Make sure your pet drinks water. Selena was having a hard time drinking out of her bowl so I would dip my finger in water and she would lick it off.
Try to feed your pet. Food does help to subsidize the effects. However, give your pet small bites just to avoid choking hazards.
Make sure to provide your pet with a safe place to sleep. You may want to put pee pads down or a towel. Most pets lose their sense of motor skills and they may vomit or urinate uncontrollably.
Keep an eye on your pet. Help them outside to go to the bathroom. Give them love. Selena definitely needed me to be with her. She would be stressed out when I would get up and leave the room. I just rubbed her back and kept saying how much I love her.
Try to stay calm. Again, if there is ever a moment you feel uncomfortable and worried about your pet’s health and safety - DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL YOUR VET AGAIN!
The biggest TIP!! Make sure to properly store your cannabis products out of reach. You don’t want this to happen....
Also, check out these additional links regarding this topic.