The decriminalization of marijuana is gaining traction around the United States. Laws were initially passed to protect patients using it for medical purposes, but now recreational use of the drug is legal in nine states.
Here in Florida, cannabis can be prescribed for various medical conditions, none of which apply to animals. However, many pets share homes with those that use marijuana products. The issue of pot and pets isn’t new, but because of the changing world we live in, a contemporary approach to prevention is necessary.
The Risks and Dangers
Marijuana can lead to toxicity in animals if consumed. Symptoms are directly related to the amount consumed, and the type of product, as well as an animal’s size, breed, and relative health. Just as you would with any drug or poisonous substance, marijuana must be safely stored out of your pet’s reach.
Not Just Buds
These days, marijuana products are varied. There are green buds that people smoke, but there are also oral tinctures (that use alcohol as a stabilizer), capsules, vaping pens and more. Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, impacts a pet’s central nervous system in the following ways:
- Lack of coordination
- Alternating between sleepiness and hyperactivity
- Dilated pupils
- Low heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Increased appetite
- Increased sensitivity to stimuli
- Tremors or seizures
- Loss of consciousness
The combination of pot and pets may not result in a pet emergency, but if your pet ingests a high concentration of marijuana products, they should be examined as soon as you realize they’ve been exposed. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when determining if you have a pet emergency on your hands. Please do not delay calling us us or bringing them in for emergency care. Depending on all associated factors, effects may wear off in a few hours.
Edible Pot and Pets
Baked goods made with pot look like any other tasty treat to a curious/hungry pet. Cookies, brownies, gummies and more contain THC. Additionally, the dangers of chocolate poisoning are very real regarding edibles. Mild and life-threatening symptoms can occur. For your pet’s safety and wellbeing, they must not ever have access to edible marijuana products.
Pot and Pets Don’t Mix
There is solid research that proves the benefits of marijuana on people, but research that supports the use in pets doesn’t exist presently. Without a doubt, pot and pets don’t mix, and all marijuana products (medical and recreational) should be separated from animals.