My Dog Ate an Edible (Is This Bad!?)

Based on cannabis’ increasing availability, legalization, and medicinal benefits, demand has made marijuana edibles much more prevalent in households. Dog owners run the risk of their companions getting into their stash and consuming one or some edibles because of their close resemblance to food.

Edibles can come in many different forms, such as chocolate bars, brownies, licorice, gummy bears, popcorn, and more. Essentially any food can have CBD and THC infused for its medicinal effects. 

my dog ate an edible
My dog ate an edible (Is this bad!?)

Suppose you discover that your dog has gotten a hold of some marijuana-infused edibles. In that case, the first step is to determine THC/CBD content and if any other harmful substances such as chocolate and xylitol. If you decide that there’s only CBD present in the edible, it will be harmless to the dog.

However, if the edible has either THC or toxins, consult a veterinarian immediately and follow their advice.

Can Dogs Get High?

My dog ate an edible, but can dogs get high?

Yes, if your dog ingests a substance that contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it will become high. This is why it’s important not to leave such things lying around or blow smoke in your dog’s face. The “high” that dogs experience is much different and unpleasant for dogs.

For all of the wonderful traits that dogs possess, we all understand that self-control, especially regarding food, is not one of them. Therefore, if your dog happens upon your stash, they will show very little restraint and go for it. The dog will consume every bit of the stash, no matter if it’s an edible or just weed.

Chances are your dog weighs less than you, so the effects will be much more potent for them.

Keep your dog from having a miserable experience by alerting and securing your stash correctly. Be mindful that if your dog has pre-existing issues, a weed overdose is more likely to cause significant problems.

are poodles hyper exercising black poodle
Are Poodles hyper? They sure love to run and exercise!

How Does Marijuana Affect Dogs?

Edibles are known to aid people with their appetites and help them relax; dogs have a much different experience because THC, the psychoactive compound found in cannabis, is toxic to dogs. Furthermore, edibles often come as chocolate, like cookies, brownies, and bars that are toxic to dogs. So leaving a chocolate edible unattended can be costly for your dog.

The other variable to consider is the likely possibility that you won’t be aware that your dog consumed your chocolate edible until much later. Usually, it’s up to 30 minutes before the edible takes effect. Moreover, how the THC affects your dog will depend on the dose of the THC in question.

Your dog’s weight and the amount consumed are all essential factors in understanding the risk of fatality.

However, if your dog happens to eat a CBD-infused edible, there’s no cause for concern because CBD (cannabidiol) is not toxic to dogs. But if you find that they ate a massive amount, it’ll be best to get your vet on the phone just as a layer of precaution.

white dog looking up
A white dog sticking out its tongue while looking up.

Symptoms of Cannabis Poisoning

Keep in mind that it might take some time before your dog starts to show signs of marijuana ingestion. The effects of marijuana can last from 12 to 24 hours, lingering in their system longer or shorter based on how big or small the dog is and how much they ate. Stay attentive to the following indicators if you believe your dog has gotten into your stash and consumed one or more edibles:

  • Lack of coordination
  • Vomiting
  • Grogginess or lethargy
  • Constantly drooling
  • Incessant whining, howling, and barking
  • Incontinence
  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Hyperactive
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Aggression
barking siberian husky
A barking Siberian Husky

What to Do First?

If you see your dog eating the edible, take it away from them immediately and contact your veterinarian. They might suggest that you induce vomiting as soon as possible to prevent any THC from being absorbed and digested in their system. If you don’t catch them during the act to lessen or eliminate the effects, there are still several options available to you. 

Stay calm and assess the situation. If you don’t know how much they ate, you should take them to the vet as soon as you can. They might choose to pump their stomach or give them activated charcoal to flush the THC out.

Call a poison control center if you decide to stay home. Explain the situation and allow them to advise you on the best ways to handle your dog’s high. 

a vet holds a dog
A dog being held by a Veterinarian.

How to Take Care of a Dog That’s High?

One of the essential tactics to managing your dog’s symptoms is to keep them hydrated. Your primary goal is to help them stay comfortable while waiting for the effects to subside. It is quite possible that they could become comatose or begin having seizures while under your care.

In this case, you want to rush them to the emergency room immediately. 

It is best to be cautious and go to a Vet for advice in pretty much all circumstances.

If your dog’s symptoms appear to be mild and you can care for them at home, keep tabs on them as they move around, watch how and where they walk, and keep them away from stairs and furniture. Close off those areas where they could harm themselves due to a lack of balance and coordination. They’ll probably need assistance going to the bathroom as well and may even have a few accidents. 

Directly supervise them at all times to prevent injuries. Smaller spaces such as a laundry room might be better and less overwhelming for them. Remember that they don’t understand what is happening to them, and they might also be experiencing a bit of anxiety and restlessness. 

french mastiff dog getting pat
A French Mastiff dog getting a pat on the head. Look at those jowls!

Keep Edibles in a Secure Location

Accidents will happen occasionally, but you should be sure to keep weed in a secure location away from children and animals. 

Your edibles should be in a refrigerator marked or high up in a cabinet (still marked) where dogs cannot reach. You can also consider locking them in a safe or box that requires a code for access. 

dog in front of refrigerator
A dog and his owner checking the refrigerator.

Final Thoughts

My dog ate an edible, now what?!

If you see or suspect that your pup or fully grown dog has eaten an edible, call your veterinarian and provide as much information as you can so that they can tell you the best course of action. 

The situation is unfamiliar (hopefully) territory for your dog, and owners must be responsible with their leisure or medicinal marijuana edibles so that dogs are protected from potentially fatal situations.