With weed legalized in more U.S. states than ever, it’s not just people who are getting high.
Dogs are doing it too, and so are cats, rabbits, birds and other pets. Well, not on purpose.
More pet owners are facing the difficult, odd, maybe even embarrassing situation of having a stoned pet. Over the past five years, there’s been a 330 percent increase in people seeking help for high pets from the Pet Poison Helpline, Ahna Brutlag, associate director of the poison center, told The Washington Post.
Much of the time, they get ahold of edibles like brownies and cookies that don’t look harmful. But they can be doubly so if the edibles are made with chocolate, which is toxic to pets, according to the Banfield Pet Hospital in Washington.
Two thirds of the calls to the Pet Poison Helpline involving pets and pot deal with marijuana edibles, and most cases involve dogs, Brutlag, a veterinary toxicologist, said.
Situations range from a pup accidentally inhaling the fumes of vaporized marijuana to licking up weed-laced bong water.
And what happens when the dogs get high?
The symptoms range from vomiting and agitation to tremors and sometimes even seizures, depending on the potency of the marijuana, according to a 2013 study published in Topics in Companion Animal Medicine.
Marijuana consumption rarely, but occasionally, can be fatal.
“Although the drug has a high margin of safety, deaths have been seen after ingestion of food products containing the more concentrated medical-grade THC butter,” the study added.
Aside from the horrible prospect of accidentally killing your dog with pot butter, there’s also the medical costs. Vet bills can cost anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. An Oregon couple whose dog accidentally ate some cannabis candy told the Post they had to shell out $3,000 to save 6-year-old Star, a shetland sheepdog.
But most of the time, a dog getting high isn’t too bad. In fact, there are dog biscuits, treats and capsules with the cannabinoid known as CBD, an element from marijuana that is not psychoactive like THC. Pet owners give CBD to animals suffering from cancer, seizures and other ailments. Humans use it similarly for health reasons.
Very often the dogs survive. It just takes a little sleep. The best course of action is to visit a vet and be honest. That’s the advice you’ll get from the song “Your Dog Ate Weed,” written and sung by veterinary technician and part-time YouTuber Kelsey Beth Carpenter.
“All we wanna do is help your dog because your dog ate weed. It’s easy to see,” she croons. “Your dog ate weed and you won’t tell me, even though we both know it’s THC.”
“I might give you a lecture on how to store your stash better because I don’t want to see you back for this again.”