Can a Dog Eat Edibles?

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Introduction

Edibles are a trend sweeping the nation. Legal in a handful of states (and illegal in some), people have touted the power of edibles and encouraged their usage as a recreational drug, an aid to help with sleep, a helping hand to increase appetite, and a way to reduce chronic pain. While humans are pretty capable when it comes to digesting foods that are baked or cooked with THC in them (also known as edibles), unfortunately, your pup is not. 

As doggo owners, we can pretty much expect that our pups are going to get into our food-stuffs at some point in their lives; it's just doggy nature. But edible marijuana isn't something you can mess around with. Unfortunately, if a doggo eats edible marijuana, it could cause them serious pain, make them dangerously sick, or even cost them their lives! 

So,  how can you avoid your dog accidentally getting into your stash? Are there certain things you should watch out for that could indicate your dog might have gotten into the edibles? Why are edibles bad for your doggo, anyway?

We've got all that laid out and more. Read on to get a better idea of why your dog shouldn't get into edibles, how to avoid an accident, and what you can do to prevent any marijuana-related illness. 

Signs Your Dog has Ingested Marijuana

You can - and should - do everything in your power to avoid your dog getting their paws on your edible marijuana, but sometimes, accidents happen. You know how curious and determined your pooch is - sometimes, doggos are just relentless and they get into things they're not supposed to. 

So, if you find your dog is acting funny and you notice that some of your edibles are missing, it's time to get suspicious. If your dog has ingested marijuana, there are a few tell-tale signs you can look out for. For starters, your pup might start to have uncontrollable physical symptoms.

Look out for legs twitching, muscle spasms, and even, unfortunately, the loss of control over their bowels. Unlike people, pooches won't get the typical symptoms of relaxation and drowsiness. Instead, they'll get sick, uncomfortable, and will likely be in pain. 

Your dog will get high, but not in an enjoyable or natural way. Your pup might get lethargic, have significant breathing problems, experience a sharp drop in blood pressure, lose their balance, mess their heart beats up, and they might experience urinary incontinence. 

In short, a dog getting high isn't a good thing. A touch of marijuana likely won't kill your dog, depending on their size, but over-consumption can result in death for your pup.

Body Language

Here are a few body language cues that your dog might be giving you to let you know they have accidentally ingested too much marijuana:
  • Shaking
  • Weakness
  • Furrowed brow
  • Twitching whiskers
  • Dropped Ears
  • Freezing

Other Signs

Here are few other signs your dog might be giving you to let you know that they've ingested marijuana:
  • Lethargy and laziness
  • Loss of balance
  • Inability to breathe
  • Low blood pressure
  • Abnormal hearth rhythms
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Historic Causes of Marijuana Intoxication in Dogs

According to the Poison Pet Hotline ( a 24-hour service for pet owners to call with pet problems), marijuana toxicity problems have increased about four-fold in the past three years, with a dramatic rise in the last twelve months. What's causing this dramatic rise and what are some of the ways that doggos are getting their paws on marijuana? 

The Hotline, and various articles on the web credit the dramatic increase in pet issues to the legalization of marijuana in several states. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has seen a similar jump with about 539 cases of animals accidentally being poisoned in 2014 (up from about 320 in 2013). 

How are dogs getting into marijuana? The top cause is edibles. People forget that they need to be just as careful with their edibles as they do with foods their dog can't eat. It's easy to leave your THC brownies or your gummies on the kitchen table without thinking that your pooch will get into them, but doing so can be disastrous. Often, this is the largest cause of your pup getting dangerously high; however, dogs will accidentally also ingest weed in its plant form, too. 

The Science Behind Edibles Affecting Dogs

When it comes to determining whether or not marijuana is safe for dogs, it's hard to say. Obviously, as we've stated, dogs ingesting too much marijuana can result in things like lethargy, coma, hyperactivity, low heart rate, seizures, and death. Why then, do some doctors and researchers claim that in some cases, dogs have had longer lifespans thanks to the use of controlled marijuana? 

Currently, there's not enough evidence to support these claims. Dogs might be more susceptible to marijuana intoxication than humans. Every species metabolizes drugs differently, and while there hasn't been tons of research done on the matter, a few hundred dogs have died from digging into their owner's edibles. 

According to NPR, this is a problem that's becoming pretty prevalent as states legalize the drug. The Poison Pet Helpline has seen a fourfold increase in calls about marijuana intoxication in canines over the past three years.

Training Your Dog to Avoid Marijuana

Like it or not, medical marijuana, edible marijuana, and certain forms of THC are not scientifically cleared as safe for pups. Regardless of your beliefs or how edibles have helped you, your pup simply digest things differently. Not enough research has been done to support whether or not your dog should have controlled amounts of marijuana, so, it's best that your dog stay away from it altogether. 

If you do choose to enjoy edibles, that means that you'll have to not only train your pup to stay away from your stash, but also do everything in your power to make sure that they're not able to get to your things. 

First, make sure your dog is well aware of the basic obedience commands "no" and "drop it," as these simple awareness commands could save your dog's life. Imagine: you and your pooch burst into the house from a long day out. You immediately realize you've accidentally left your edible on the kitchen table - the exact direction your pup is running. Yelling a quick and firm "no" or "stay" can save your pup from gobbling down those "tasty" treats. 

That being said, you need to train yourself to consistently keep your stash away from your dog. Hide the treats up high where your pup can't reach them, keep them in a locked safe where those puppy paws can't get to them - whatever you do, keep them far away from your dog at all times so that they can't accidentally get into them!

How to React if Your Dog Gets into Your Edibles:

  • Call your vet immediately!
  • If instructed by the vet, induce vomiting.
  • Bring your dog to the clinic ASAP.
  • Hide your edibles in a spot your dog can't reach them.
  • Create stringent procedures for keeping your pup away from your edibles.

We Want to Hear About Your Dog Trying to Get High!