In the event that your dog eats an edible, there are many things you can do to make sure that your dog is okay.
As dog owners, we all want to make sure that we do what’s best for them. But sometimes mistakes happen, and our pets get into things that they shouldn’t.
As THC and CBD products become legalized and more commonplace in states across the USA, it can be important to recognize and be cognizant of the effects these substances may have on your pets, particularly if you use them or are in areas where your pet may inadvertently come into contact with them.
If you frequently use edibles, you may want to consider where you keep your stash and make sure it is out of reach of your pet. Especially if your edibles look like regular snacks or treats, your dog will not know the difference. If they can get into the stash, they will not know not to eat the edible, and this can be dangerous, particularly if they ingest a lot.
If your edibles aren’t so securely stored and your dog ate a 10mg edible (or really, an edible of any dose), here's some guidance on what to do next.
First Things First, Call Your Vet
In a case like this, call your vet ASAP — they know your dog and your dog’s health history, and can advise on next steps. If your vet is not open, contact the local emergency clinic. Time is of the essence!
In the meantime, here’s some info to keep you informed, as well as some tips so you know what to watch out for until you can get some professional guidance.
What Are the Effects of THC on Dogs?
If your dog has eaten an edible with any amount of THC, you need to contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. Dogs that have consumed THC can be susceptible to THC toxicity. The effects of THC that give the “high” feeling that is normal to humans may be fairly harmful to dogs.
Dogs can react to this in a number of ways, including but not limited to:
- Pupil dilation
- Loss of urinary control
- Uncontrollable shivering due to hypothermia
- Barking, crying, or whining in a nontypical fashion
- Loss of motor function
- Low blood pressure
What Are the Effects of CBD on Dogs?
Contrarily, CBD has not been shown to be harmful to dogs, or any animals for that matter.
In fact, many dog owners give their dogs CBD products voluntarily, as some have found that giving their dogs CBD can help support their overall wellness, especially when it comes to supporting joint mobility, normal brain health, and promoting calm and relaxation.
You should still watch your dog carefully to see how they react if they’ve slurped up the CBD seltzer you’re drinking or if they’ve gotten into your CBD gummies, but the CBD component of your edible is likely not going to hurt them, even in large amounts.
Other Ingredients To Look Out For
Some of the other ingredients found in edibles may be just as much of a concern. Dogs may be liable to eat plastic or paper wrappers, which they can choke on or may be unable to digest.
Chocolate is generally fairly harmful to dogs, so any edible containing chocolate will pose a hazard as well, no matter if it is a CBD edible, THC edible, or one with a ratio of both.
Ingredients like artificial sweeteners can also be harmful to pets. Xylitol, for instance, has been known to be very dangerous to dogs as it can cause severe hypoglycemia or even liver failure.
Monitor and Comfort Your Dog
If your veterinarian advises that you can monitor them at home until the THC wears off, the next few hours will be crucial for watching your dog and ensuring your safety.
If you see any signs of your dog experiencing adverse reactions to the edible, you need to make a call back to the veterinarian or the closest emergency clinic. Listen closely to what they say and follow their directions astutely, as they know the best ways to keep your pet comfortable and safe.
When your dog has eaten an edible, they do not necessarily always show physical signs of distress. Dogs can be uncomfortable, but due to the effects of the THC they may not show it in the way they normally would. They will not understand what is happening to them, which can be very upsetting and frustrating. They may whine, cry, bark, or just try to be next to you.
Comforting your dog by rubbing them and just being there for them will help keep them calm. Be sure to give them a lot of attention and support.
What Will a Vet Do If My Dog Ate an Edible?
If your pup has just scarfed down the edible, your veterinarian may advise you bring your dog in — they should generally be fully equipped to assist you and your pet before the THC can really kick in.
However, it is important that you tell your vet the truth of what happened and everything you know. Sometimes people can be afraid to tell vets the truth in situations like these, for fear of being reported to the police if cannabis is illegal in their state. Still, telling your vet the truth will be your dog’s best chance at getting the help they need in time.
If you get to a vet or emergency clinic quickly, they will likely attempt to get your dog to vomit, hoping to remove the edible before the THC can get absorbed into your dog’s system. You should not attempt to do this yourself, as a veterinarian has the training and tools necessary to perform this safely.
If more than an hour or two has already passed since your dog ingested the edible, the vet may not want to try this. Instead, the vet may choose to put the dog on an IV to pump fluid through their system to help flush out the THC faster while providing additional nutrients, hydration, and medication to combat symptoms and discomfort. They may advise keeping the dog overnight for more observation.
The Best Route Is Prevention
The best way to help your dog is to keep this from happening in the first place. Accidents happen, of course, but with the right preventative measures, you can minimize the chances of your dogs ingesting your edibles.
Keeping your edibles out of reach from your dogs will be your first and most important step. Try to make sure that when you have edibles around, you keep them in safe and secure locations — places where dogs will not be likely to reach or get into. It’s also worth investing into cannabis-specific containers that have additional safety locks, usually specifically designed to keep out pets and children.
Generally the amount of harm an edible can pose to your dog is variable based on a number of factors. Low dosage of CBD or THC in an edible might seem negligible for adult humans, but it can really make a difference when dealing with animals.
If your dog ingests an edible, contact their vet or your local emergency clinic ASAP for further guidance. They may ask you to bring your dog in for induced vomiting or additional treatment, or they may advise you to monitor your pup at home for adverse symptoms.
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