Dangers of Marijuana for Dogs

Marijuana can have amazing health benefits when prescribed and used correctly. However, when the potent drug gets into the wrong paws, it can have devastating effects.

With the recent legalization of marijuana in several U.S. states, veterinarians have noted an uptick in the number of cases of accidental ingestion by pets. Additionally, some dog owners have posted videos to social media showcasing their intentional drugging of their pet to see the animal's reaction.

“This is not funny for the animal,” veterinarian Dr. Karen Halligan says. “They don’t get high. It's a toxin; it's poisonous; and sometimes they die.”

Dr. Halligan notes that newly developed marijuana edibles are particularly dangerous to animals due to their high concentration of the chemical THC, which can lead to death in rare cases.

Signs your pet may have been exposed to marijuana:

• Uncontrollable urination

• Staggering

• Seizing, depending on how much they consumed

• Can be unconscious

If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, and you think he or she may have accidentally ingested marijuana, take them to a veterinarian immediately. Dr. Halligan notes that once your pet has metabolized it, there should not be any long term consequences.