Very good dogAs medical marijuana becomes more commonplace in Michigan, it’s easy to forget that the drug doesn’t necessarily have the same medicinal (or recreational) effects on our pets as it does for us.

This is especially true of medical grade marijuana, which is often grown to have higher levels of THC (and potency). Or, it has been synthetically formulated to pack a powerful punch in the face of the serious illness symptoms it is designed to treat. Because of this, it’s vitally important to your pets that you don’t become careless with your prescription, and leave it somewhere that is easily accessible to pets.

Here’s what to know when it comes to pot and pets…

Stash Your Stash

Pets are, by nature, curious creatures, and are often curious about whatever captures your attention – especially if it smells interesting.

Unfortunately, your pet’s curiosity can often lead to trouble. This is doubly true where pot is concerned, as the effects of the drug may have some unintended, and possibly life-threatening, consequences.

The best way to protect your pets from marijuana poisoning (yes, poisoning) is to keep it out of your pet’s reach. You wouldn’t leave your stash sitting out somewhere where your kids could easily get in to it, and the same should be true for your pets.

Marijuana Edibles

One of the biggest threats to pets when it comes to marijuana toxicity is with marijuana edibles. The potent effect of marijuana on pets, when combined with the toxicity of chocolate, Xylitol, nuts, and other human foods that are toxic to pets, can be too much for your pet’s system to handle, creating a double-whammy of toxicity.

Because of this, it’s important to keep your brownies, cupcakes, and other marijuana-infused sweet treats locked up extra tight. We suggest keeping them in an airtight container so the smell doesn’t tempt pets into trying to get at them, and then keeping them stored somewhere that is inaccessible to your sneaky pet.

Marijuana Toxicity and Pets

Pots and Pets Chart

Contrary to what you may have heard, marijuana does have a degree of toxicity for pets. The experience they have while “high” is not the same experience we have. What’s more, we cannot explain to them what is happening, that the experience will likely be over soon and to just enjoy some kibble and let it ride.

Typically a pet’s toxic reaction to ingesting pot will last 3-12 hours and will sort itself out on its own. But in some instances, especially where medical-grade marijuana is involved, the care of a veterinarian may be necessary. Although it’s rare, marijuana, if ingested in quantity – especially high-grade and concentrated medical marijuana – can be fatal for pets.

If your pet does ingest marijuana, it’s best to keep an eye on his or her behavior and symptoms, and contact us if there is cause for concern. If your pet has ingested a large quantity, or if he or she is acting strangely, don’t wait to see what happens – call us immediately for a consultation. Time can be of the essence for treatment to be successful.

And please keep in mind, even if you don’t have a medical marijuana card, we’re here to help. We’re not interested in reporting you to the police. We just want to help your pet.