Pet Marijuana Poisoning On The Rise

The legalization of marijuana may very well end up having more positive effects than bad when itís all said and done, but that doesn’t mean it wonít pose new challenges. One of those is a rise in cases of pet marijuana poisonings.

The Animal Critical Care and Emergency Services clinic in Renton, Washington has seen a sudden increase in such cases.

“We are seeing quite an uptick with marijuana toxicity with mainly dogs, but occasionally cats, and I think it is coinciding with the legalization of marijuana in this state,” said Dr. Beth Guerra.

The jump is certainly significant. In 2012, there were 35 cases of pet marijuana poisoning at her clinic. So far they have already broken that mark, and weíre only halfway through the year.

While some pet owners may intentionally blow smoke in front of their dog’s snout, more often than not itís accidental. Simply put, an inquisitive pet sees a stash of marijuana, a joint, or pot brownie and they eat it.

“I tell people even if you think it’s well hidden they’ll find it,” says Dr. Guerra.

The signs of a stoned pet are usually very apparent. A dog canít keep its balance, are tired, hyper, or have lost control of their bladder.

Pet owners beware: if you do partake in pot use, you not only need to think about keeping it out of reach of your pets, but thereís also a hefty price to pay if you donít. Treatment usually costs as much as $300, which may include making the dog throw up and giving it activated charcoal to soak up the toxins.

There are also severe cases of dogs experiencing seizures or severe respiratory depression, which requires more aggressive care and maybe an overnight stay with the veterinary clinic. While rare, fatalities are not out of the question.

Dr. Guerra not only stresses the need to be more aware of what your dogs can get into, but also be honest with your vet if they do get into your pot. It may be a little embarrassing to admit, but if you want the best care for your animal, the vet needs to know exactly what happened.

Also read:

Learn How To Protect Your Dog’s Paws With This Amazing Product

10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Should Medical Marijuana be Legalized for Pets?


Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne Rabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing

Barbara M4 years ago

Wow, these comments are unusually judgmental -- some might even say hysterical.

I am always surprised by pet owners, especially in dog households, who haven't learned that they need secure storage for a whole range of edibles, including garbage. I have friends whose dogs are garbage hounds who can't seem to bring themselves to get a lidded kitchen trash can -- they'd rather deplore their dogs' lapses from grace, over and over, when the answer to the problem is a simple change of hardware which keeps a kitchen sweeter anyway. Ditto for breadboxes, air-tight tins, and keeping things in cupboards -- good for dogs, good for what you store in them, plus good feng shui.

As to the assertions of this little article -- I'd imagine the marijuana dose for a dog, even a large one, would be quite tiny. Eating a gigantic amount of MJ would be like any other overdose, no? Especially if it's compounded by eating a big dose of chocolate, which Care2 has told me has pretty much these very same effects on dogs.

Vicky P.
Vicky P4 years ago

wow :/

Helga G.
Helga Ganguly4 years ago

I don't let my pets eat chocolate or tomatoes or onions or grapes. Why,if pot was legal in my state and I chose to use it,would I be stupid enough to let my little friends get into that any more than anything else?

Val M.
Val M4 years ago


Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W4 years ago


Amy R.
Past Member 4 years ago

People should know this, But there to stoned to notice......... thanks.

Cheryl Mallon-Bond

Besides an animal getting into a stash & eating it, pet parents of ( ALL PETS, INCLUDING BIRDS) SHOULD NOT!!!! Smoke in the home where canals reside! Even if in another room! It will permeate through the doors. This goes for cigarette & cigar smoke as well. Although immediate toxicity might not happen, prolonged exposurse to mariguana is going to cause liver failure in your pets!!!! & cigarette smoke can & does cause cancer, both from inhalation & also.from grooming the toxin off their fur. It permeates on furniture, floors, pets bedding, cat trees & scratching posts, toys & even their food & water bowels. If you must smoke ANYTHING, PLEASE!!!!!!! don't make your pet have to ensure the the consequences! Of your actions!