As time passes, extensive studies are producing extremely reassuring findings with regard to the potentially beneficial effects of medicinal cannabis for animals. Just as is the same for human beings, the CBD found in cannabis has proven incredibly effective in treating and easing the symptoms of certain animal disorders. But at the same time, it’s important to remember that evidence conclusively shows that THC is bad news for animals in general.
Long story short – deliberately getting your pet stoned on THC just for the sake of it is a seriously bad idea. They won’t enjoy it, there’s a strong chance it could harm their health and it could even prove fatal.
But even if you are not foolish enough to deliberately get your pet high, there is still always the chance they will inadvertently find your stash, or any other bits and pieces you happen to have lying about the place. Which in turn means that if you are a pet owner and a cannabis user, it is your responsibility to ensure that you know exactly what to do if your pet accidentally consumes anything containing cannabis.
Your actions could make the difference between life and death, but it’s nonetheless important not to panic. The more you know about what to do when, the more likely you are to make the right decision when the time comes.
1 – Cannabis Type
First of all, you need to take into account the type and strength of cannabis your pet has ingested. If they have eaten raw cannabis bud, it may not be as severe as it seems because the THC hasn’t been activated through decarboxylation. Conversley burnt or partially burnt buds would be more dangerous due to higher levels of THC being activated. Unsurprisingly, cannabis concentrates can be exponentially more dangerous due to the higher levels of THC they contain. When it comes to cannabis edibles, it all comes down to exactly how much THC is in there and what it’s made of. If for example it is a chocolate (also poison to dogs) edible with a comparatively high THC content, this could spell double trouble for your dog.
2 – Watch For Symptoms
The extent of the effect the cannabis has on your pet will also be influenced by their size, age and overall health. Upon getting in touch with a veterinarian, they will probably ask you questions with regard to any symptoms your pet has been displaying since consuming cannabis. If they have only been affected mildly by the THC, you may find that they are simply a little more sluggish, lazy and wobbly than normal, while at the same time producing more saliva. In cases of more severe toxicity, they may lose control of their body entirely, suffer problems with heart rate or circulation, have seizures or show signs of choking.
3 – Activated Charcoal
It’s always a good idea to keep a stash of activated charcoal on hand, which is absolutely brilliant for soaking up the nasty stuff that may be making your pet ill. It costs next to nothing, it’s available all over the place and it can really make a difference when push comes to shove.
4 – Induce Vomiting
If things aren’t looking great and your pet’s symptoms are still worrying you, there’s always the option of encouraging them to vomit. This won’t make any difference if all the THC has already been absorbed into their body, but might help if there is still more in their belly. Measure 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide per 5kg weight of your pet and give it to them every 15 minutes for a maximum of three doses. If they don’t show any signs of vomiting after one or two doses, do NOT give them any more.
5 – Call the Professionals
Last but not least, regardless of whether the DIY approach to treating your pet works or otherwise, it is still your responsibility as a responsible pet owner to speak with the professionals for advice. You don’t have to worry too much about being judged or treated with resentment – pets accidentally consuming cannabis is a considerably more regular occurrence than you might think!