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Pooch’s Pot Palooza: A Tale of Tails and THC in Boulder

marijuana, pot, weed

Marijuana, is found in many Boulder homes worldwide. Legal or illegal, it is ubiquitous. It has been legalized for human use in many parts of the world with legality spreading rapidly. However, as pot, marijuana, becomes more accessible, there is a growing concern about the potential risks it poses to our furry companions. Many pet owners may not be aware of the dangers that marijuana can present to dogs and the potential impact it can have on their health and happiness.  PLEASE remember that if your prized pooch can get into your marijuana in any form, edible, leaf, joints, you name it, your friends and family of all ages can also access it. Whether intentionally or accidentally, it is your marijuana being consumed by an unintended consumer.  The short version of this blog is “keep your stash stashed, safely and securely. Sorry, I could not resist the alliteration.

We used to hide our pot out of fear of arrest. Now we MUST do it for the safety of all, and because it is simply common courtesy and good manners. It may turn into a crime if the most basic steps are not taken.

The Risks of Cannabis Toxicity in Dogs

Nothing in this blog is intended as medical or veterinary advice. Consult your properly licensed professional for reliable opinions and advice. Err on the side of caution of course. Whether or not marijuana can induce a seizure or coma, non-consensual drugging of a person or an animal, adult or not, is simply unacceptable. It is likely criminal, and certainly evil rude,behavior. I am being restrained and polite. Leaving THC candy where a dog can get to it is about the same as slipping a roofie to someone. It is simply never done by civilized people.

THC can have varying effects on dogs when ingested. Consider that one 5 milligram candy, a standard dose, eaten by a 175 pound, 80 kilograms person. That contains SEVEN TIMES the dose to a 25 pound  11 kilogram dog. Imagine smoking seven joints instead of one joint. Would you die? I believe not. Would you be happy about it? Perhaps not. Now multiply it times the number of gummies the kid or pup can get into, since neither generally stops with one piece of “candy,” given the choice. One 25 pound 11 kilo dog eating a package of 10 x 5 mg gummies is imbibing the equivalent of a 175 pound 80 kilo person smoking seventy joints. SEVEN ZERO  70 joints. Would you want to be slipped the equivalent of 70 joints? Would you want to eat a candy bar that unknown to you had 70 joints worth of marijuana in it? Probably not. Would that cause a coma? I do not want to find out regardless of my belief that marijuana has never killed anyone.

Drugging a person or an animal without their knowledge, without their informed consent, is a terrible thing to do. In all fairness, CBD, another cannabinoid, is thought to have positive medical applications for canines. That again is not the focus of this blog. It IS a good conversation to have with an open-minded informed vet.

Symptoms of significant marijuana consumption by dogs may include lethargy, loss of coordination, dribbling urine, dilated pupils, vomiting, and in severe cases, some believe, seizures or coma.  While seizures or coma may be rare or even no more than a myth, my suggestions and conclusions remain the same. Our loved pets do not have the internal governor that we have. With smoking or vaping, we can experience the instant high and decide almost moment by moment when enough is enough. It is “self-titrating.”  If the THC content is very high, we tend to smoke way less. Edibles are more complicated and will be the subject of another blog.Understanding the Risks: How Cannabis Can Affect Your Dog

It’s essential for dog owners  to recognize symptoms and seek immediate veterinary care if they suspect their dog is in significant distress. Erring on the side of caution, on the side of protecting the health and happiness of our dogs, fish, birds, and of other members of our families is simply mandatory. NORML advocates, as it always has, the legal responsible adult consumption of marijuana. Responsible use includes responsible storage!

While your spouse or child might not choose to eat raw marijuana flower, eating a piece of sweet candy left on the counter is sadly common.

Marijuana ingestion may result in changes to the dog’s neurological and cardiovascular systems, potentially causing discomfort and distress if not worse. Would you choose to induce a high in your pet, possibly risking severe health impact or an unpleasant experience?

a dog wearing a face mask sitting on a wooden floor


Preventive Measures and Treatment

To protect dogs from the risks of marijuana exposure, pet owners should be vigilant in keeping marijuana products out of their reach. This includes securely storing edibles, oils, and other cannabis-infused items in pet-proof containers or areas that are inaccessible to dogs.It is obvious that regardless of whether or not you have a dog, generally inaccessible storage is mandatory. A simple lock-box may cost as little as $10.00. While that is better than leaving edibles on the kitchen counter, the cheapest of lock boxes might not stop a candy-sniffing dog for very long. It will not stop a kid or perhaps a bird on a mission.a man wearing a face mask sitting next to a dog

If you decide that a trip to the Veterinarian is appropriate, treatment may involve induced vomiting, activated charcoal administration, and supportive care to manage the dog’s symptoms and facilitate recovery. If you really think a Vet is a good idea, then waiting is a terrible idea. If you can’t decide, then you have already decided that the trip is necessary.

Educating the Public and Promoting Responsible Marijuana Use

By promoting responsible marijuana use and ensuring that pet owners are well-informed, we can work towards safeguarding the well-being of our canine companions in a marijuana-influenced and infused environment. Children will eat candy, and some of us have older kids in the house, living there or merely visiting. Our kids probably deserve at least the consideration and protection we’d give to our dogs!

My advice is simple. Lock up the pot. That’s all there is to it. Remember that a motivated pet or juvy will try for hours to get into the simplest of lock boxes, so I think a bit more of a safe is called far. For $50 plus shipping if you’re not a Prime member, a “real” safe with decent storage capacity is available. OR shop locally and save the shipping regardless of Prime membership. Is $50 better than endless worry, a possible trip to the Vet, criminal charges, and loss of your loved pet? Do you really want a stoned kid, intentionally or not, or a stoned unsuspecting guest or spouse?  I never met a dog that would “take as directed by your veterinarian.”

The risk is very real. The optics are terrible for all of us. And Lassie and the kids deserve better! So do your other loved ones!


Shared knowledge is power!


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