3 Tips For Preventing Marijuana Toxicity In Dogs

As more states legalize marijuana, accidental marijuana overdoses in dogs are on the rise. When a dog comes across marijuana, especially in the form of candy, a cookie, or other edible, they are likely to gobble it up without realizing what they're ingesting. An amount of marijuana that is safe for people can be extremely toxic for a dog, especially a smaller one. Even if your dog does not ingest enough marijuana to be in danger, they will feel sick, lethargic, and confused. Here are a few tips for preventing this situation from happening in the first place.

Lock Up Your Own Marijuana

If you are a recreational or medical user of marijuana, it is crucial that you keep it locked up safely where your dog can't get to it. This is true of all marijuana but especially true if you purchase edibles, since these typically come in the form of sweets which are especially tempting to dogs. Buying a lockbox for your marijuana and keeping it on an upper shelf or in a locked cabinet is the best solution. The extra effort is worth it to keep your pup safe.

Be Cautious on Walks

Some dogs that experience marijuana poisoning were not even at home when it happened. It is possible for someone to drop or leave behind marijuana products, especially if you are walking your dog at a busy park or anywhere a concert or party has recently occurred.

Keep your dog on a short leash and be vigilant about not letting them eat garbage or discarded food on your path. This is unwise anyway, but especially risky if you live in a state with legal marijuana since what looks like a simple part of a cookie someone dropped could be part of an edible. 

Know When to Go to the Vet

If you suspect your dog has ingested marijuana, it's crucial to take them to the vet right away. Common signs include drooling, the lack of ability to stand upright, dribbling urine, and dilated pupils. Marijuana tends to affect a dog very quickly after ingestion.

If your vet is not open or unable to see you, choose an emergency animal hospital in your area. They will treat your dog, usually with IV fluids, and possibly with heat treatment since some dogs have very low body temperatures and slow heart rates after marijuana. Their goal will be to help safely eliminate the marijuana from your dog's system while keeping them comfortable.

By practicing good sense and following these tips, you can help protect your dog from marijuana toxicity.