What Do I Do If My Puppy Eats Weed?

Puppies, like babies, tend to explore their world using their hands and mouth more than any other body parts. For that reason, they also tend to swallow things that they shouldn’t. 

A puppy’s keen sense of smell will lead it to all sorts of different things in the average home, and, if not kept out of reach, your pup will often eat them. That includes toxic plants.

Speaking of plants, as marijuana legalization continues to spread across the United States, one plant can be problematic if they eat it; weed. Not surprisingly, that brings us to today’s question, what do I do if my puppy eats weed?

The answer is, first and foremost, not to freak out.  Even if your puppy ate a lot of weed, it wouldn’t take effect for a while, and, in the meantime, you can get them to a veterinarian. 

However, if your puppy ate a very small amount of weed, calling a vet might not be necessary. That’s especially true for larger dogs who, while they might have a reaction (and get “high”), will survive eating weed as easily as a human.

Again, however, if your puppy ate a large amount of weed, getting them to the veterinarian quickly is vital. The vet will do their best to remove the marijuana from your puppy’s stomach before it can be further digested and cause any serious problems. 

Now that you know what to do if your puppy eats weed, you might have other questions about marijuana consumption and puppies. Questions like what happens if your puppy eats weed and what can I do at home if my dog ate weed?

Please keep reading for the answers to those questions and a few more, plus some great advice. If you’re a fan of 4/20, it’s useful information that you need to know.

What Happens When a Puppy Eats Weed?

The first thing to know about marijuana or “weed”  is that it’s toxic to dogs in every form,  including its natural, weed-like form and edibles. However, it would take a lot of weed to seriously hurt or kill a puppy.

After eating marijuana, a puppy will show signs of being “high” between 20 to 90 minutes later. The more they eat, the quicker the signs will typically show up, but it also depends on the size of your puppy.

For example, if a Chihuahua pup were to eat an ounce of weed, it would affect them faster and much more than if a Great Dane puppy ate the same amount of weed.  Below are some of the typical signs and symptoms you will see if your puppy eats marijuana, including:

  • Incoordination (not being able to walk correctly)
  • Drowsiness
  • Restlessness
  • Hypersensitivity to lights, sound, and touch
  • The “jitters,” like they drank a ton of coffee
  • Dilated pupils
  • Urinating on themselves
  • Excessive barking or howling
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting

Keep in mind that it’s very rare for a puppy or dog to die from eating marijuana. Also, it’s rare for a puppy or dog to have long-term side effects from eating weed. 

How Long Does it Take for Weed to Pass through a Dog?

The active compound in marijuana that is toxic for puppies, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is absorbed into your puppy’s bloodstream after ingestion within minutes to a couple of hours. 

Like humans, THC  is eliminated from your puppy’s body relatively quickly, and they will usually be back to normal in about a day. However, since THC  is also absorbed in fat, some signs and symptoms of eating weed can last up to 3 or 4 days.

What Can I do at Home if my Dog ate Weed?

If your puppy or dog ate a small amount of weed, it’s possible you won’t have to do anything except watch them and make sure that they don’t hurt themselves. (Falling down steps, running out into the street, walking into walls, etc.)

If you know that your puppy ate a lot of marijuana, you should take them to your local vet as quickly as you can. Your vet can induce vomiting and get most of the weed out of your puppy’s stomach.

By the way, veterinarians are under no legal obligation to report weed intoxication to the authorities. If you’re worried that you might get into trouble, don’t be. 

Also, don’t be embarrassed to go to the vet. Veterinarians are seeing more and more cases of weed intoxication in dogs as it gets legalized across the United States. Even if you are embarrassed, it’s better to bring in your puppy for treatment than for your puppy to get sick.

What Happens When a Dog Eats a Weed Edible?

The same symptoms and signs I mentioned above under “what happens when a puppy eats weed?” will happen if your dog or puppy eats a weed edible.

However, one major difference is that many weed edibles are made with toxic ingredients for your puppy. Chocolate, for example, is a common food made into marijuana edibles and, as we know, is also very bad for dogs.

Another problem with edibles is that they have a better taste than plain marijuana bud. For that reason, many dogs and puppies, if they find your edibles stash, we’ll eat a lot of them.

As with plain marijuana in bud form, observation is probably your best choice if your puppy eats a small number of edibles. If they eat a lot of edibles, however, you should bring them to your veterinarian right away so they can induce vomiting and get as much as possible out of their stomach.

Can You Give a Dog an Edible for Anxiety?

Whether or not you agree with it, many companies are now making products for dogs out of marijuana. 

However, according to Ken Pawlowski, the past California Veterinary Medical Association president, “There is no research that shows any benefit” from giving a dog or puppy a marijuana edible. 

However, Mr. Powlowski says that “we’re not saying that there aren’t any [benefits, only] that there is no research out there that demonstrates the benefits or, more importantly, what appropriate doses of what compounds might be indicated.”

Interestingly, dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than most other animals. Also, veterinarians are not legally allowed to prescribe or recommend cannabis-based products. 

The choice of whether to give your puppy or dog an edible for anxiety is in your hands. I would try extra training and other methods to calm an anxious dog or puppy before using a marijuana edible, but that’s just me.

Final Thoughts

In answer to the question, “what do I do if my puppy eats weed?”  most veterinarians would recommend taking your puppy to the vet immediately. 

However, observation is probably enough since marijuana intoxication is rarely fatal if your puppy or dog eats a small amount of weed. Most puppies and dogs will be just fine within a day after eating weed.

If they eat a lot of weed (or edibles), bringing them to your vet as quickly as possible is better. Your veterinarian can then induce vomiting and get the marijuana out of their stomach.

I hope you found today’s blog interesting and informational and that it answered all of your questions. If you have more or want to learn more about being a pet parent, my other blogs are loaded with facts, information, and advice.

Until next time, enjoy this time with your precious puppy because it goes by very fast. And, if you enjoy marijuana, do your best to keep it out of your pup’s reach.