When a pet eats marijuana: One dog owner’s tale


Almost everyone I know has some horror story about a time that their dog has eaten something they shouldn’t have. My guy has consumed both rat poison and a box of chocolates, both of which took a toll on my psyche and my wallet. But they didn’t net any great story. Well, the rat poison incident did result in turquoise dog puke on my sofa. But the story pretty much starts and ends there.

We all may have things-my-dog-ate stories, but those  humans whose dogs have snarfed down marijuana usually have particularly epic tales to tell.

Some drugs people like have no major effect on non-human animals. And some drugs are way more effective on non-humans  than on us. Think catnip — although I have met people who smoke it, I don’t think they go into the kind of ecstasy I’ve seen when I put the stuff on my cat’s sisal pole. Weed, however, seems to have a noticeable effect on dogs. It may or may not be pleasurable. Most people report dogs being disoriented after consuming it, and then recovering within a few hours, according to San Francisco vet Dr. Eric Barthas, who devotes a page to the issue on his website. He advises consulting a veterinarian about inducing vomiting, and otherwise to “nurse the pet and prevent anxiety until the period of intoxication is complete.  Noise and other sensory stimuli should be minimized.”

Displays of anxiety-triggered behaviors are common, but weed-induced canine fatality or signs of visible lasting damage are almost unheard of. How can you tell if your dog has gotten into your stash? The same over-the-counter pee tests that humans use will work on dogs as well. But you could also just monitor your dog for really stoned behavior, like the kind reported here by my friend (who asked for anonymity) :

My exboyfriend’s friend used to make and sell these cookies that were about 2 inches around and thin, yet so “magical” that eating only half was enough to make a full grown adult trip balls for at least 3 hours. No joke. They reeked and were powerful stuff. I had a couple of experiences with them that left me “taking a break for a while.”

weed dog

Etsy’s FarmFeatheredCharms: $22 Recycled Marijuana Dog Coat

Anyway we were staying at my Mom’s house for a couple of nights while she was out of town and to watch her dog, a large black standard poodle. For this story I’ll call her May. I loved that dog but she was also pretty naughty, probably because she didn’t get enough exercise (living in NYC can be tough). She was a real sweetie, but sneaky like poodles are.

Here’s the deal: we had a ziplock bag with five of these potent little cookies in it. When we arrived at my Mom’s place we put down our stuff then we immediately went back out to the grocery to get dinner. When we got back, guess what? May was under the table doing the “I just did something naughty while you were gone, and I know it. I’m just gonna hang out down here and let it blow by…”

weed dog collar

Etsy’s MuttsNSuch: $10 Leafy Collar

On the other side of the room was the empty ziplock bag: she’d gone through our bags and rooted out the good stuff. I totally bugged once I realized what had happened–was she going to OD?! I looked online and considered calling the Poison Control Center. After some research I understood that you can’t OD and die, on weed. But our poor May was in for it and I was still freaked out. We decided there was nothing we could do now but be calm and supportive as May went through it. (I decided I couldn’t worry my Mom with this, I would deal).

dog tag marijuana

Etsy’s BlackDogEngraving: $10 Cannabis Dog Tag

May seemed normal for about an hour or so, and then she started acting very bizarre. Her movements became stuttery, she couldn’t walk straight without jerking slightly, and would even fall over if she stayed in one place too long. She was obviously seeing things, and would look up into the corner of the room at nothing. Then ooze back to eyes closed…I felt so bad for her! I would come pet her and try to calm her. We watched a movie and she eventually got onto the couch between us and literally passed out. FOR 12 HOURS. We made sure she was breathing pretty regularly, she was going to be ok. Whew!

The next day she was able to get around normally. I think she was still high that day, because she was playful with things in a way she hadn’t been before or since. She would get out a piece of her dry food (a tiny brown ball) and pounce on it, swat at it and move it around kind of like a cat would. She was having a great time and kept doing it for awhile. This made me happy and I was like, maybe now she’s high in the way that I like to be high! I was extremely happy she was OK, and she had serious cred for years to come. She went down the rabbit hole and came back for me to tell the story. I’m with a different dude now. And she has since passed away — from old age, not from drugs. Here’s to May.

Do you have a story of what happened when your dog consumed marijuana? Please share it below.


3 Responses

  1. Brady

    May 10, 2014 11:44 am

    My pitbull loves weed. He loves to eat it, smoke it (through the nose) and loves being high. He will beg for it as soon as the bong comes out. He will eat just as much rice cripsie (magical* as you call them) as me. He gets energized and seems to be so happy and playful while stoned. I’ve never meet a dog like him. He will even get the munchies (eat all this dog food) and then pass out on the couch like a human lol.

    However one time he ate an adderall, and he tripped balls. He couldn’t sit down, would bite at things in the air, and was deadly afraid of his tail. I felt so bad but he’s fine now! A regular pot head pitbull!!

  2. David Sabie

    May 11, 2014 1:21 am

    my last Doberman was a stoner. She would follow the joint around the room getting shot guns from everyone and if you didn't she got pissed. She was a certified guard dog . I never had a dog that got so happy about pot but she did and she knew if you had it.


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