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Okay, before we go any further, I’m not going to judge you. Your lifestyle is yours. All I care about is your dog.
I know that you care about your dog too, and if you’ve been reading regularly, you already know that a lot of the things that humans can consume with little or no difficulty can be highly toxic to dogs – things like tomatoes, grapes, and chocolate, for instance. And obviously, you know that a drunken dog might be very amusing, but only up to the point where the alcohol causes his kidneys to fail.
Pot, though, you may never have thought of. So now, what happens if your dog gets into your stash? I suppose the first thing that happens is that you feel very, very embarrassed, and also perhaps annoyed that something rather expensive has been lost. Second, you start to wonder if you can just wait for the high to pass, or if you should be thinking about taking your dog to the vet.
You do indeed have to go to the vet. Don’t worry about feeling embarrassed. Even if you live in a state where marijuana is not yet legal, you can do this without fear of legal repercussions. Your vet does not care what you do in your spare time; he just cares about making sure that your dog is safe and healthy. You can rest assured that your vet is not going to call the police or report you to the DEA. He or she will also assume that the dog ingested the pot accidentally, and not because of any deliberate act on your part, so you also will not have to worry about being flagged as an animal abuser.
Yes, it is. Whether your dog just picked up a few seeds that were lying on the floor, picked up a roach that was carelessly left in an ashtray, or actually invaded and ate your entire stash, you have to treat this as a poisoning. Marijuana acts on your dog’s nervous system, and he could lose motor control, become dehydrated, begin to vomit, and display other signs of marijuana toxicity. If you just wait for him to get better, you will be making a huge mistake – one that could even be fatal. He needs treatment, so as previously stated, get him to the vet right away, and don’t worry about being judged. Your vet will treat this like any other instance of poisoning, and work to make your dog better.
If you live some distance away from your veterinary clinic, you may have to administer first aid to your dog. So if your dog has ingested marijuana, you can administer activated charcoal to induce vomiting. You can buy it at Amazon, as Veterina Charcoal Suspension with Sorbitol. This is not a discounted item – 100ml will cost you $29.74, but it’s a small price to pay when you consider that it could save your dog’s life. It is an easy to administer suspension, and in most cases it will cause your dog to vomit. Keep in mind, though, that even if the vomiting does occur, you still have to take the dog to the vet to make sure that there are no lingering effects.
For that matter, it is a good idea to keep a complete first aid kit on hand in the event of injury or accidental poisoning. You can also find several quality first aid kits for pets on Amazon, in a range of prices. Most contain antiseptics, bandages and other basics, and others are even more comprehensive.
Activated charcoal will also work on other types of poisons. However, you should always call the vet before administering it – with some poisons, inducing vomiting can actually do more harm than good. Ask what you should do in the way of first aid, and of course point out that you have activated charcoal on hand – usually, your vet will not assume that you do.
Prevention, of course, is always better than a cure, so make sure that you have all toxic substances secured where your dog cannot get at them. Metal containers are best for things like your stash, since even if your dog gets ahold of the container he is unlikely to actually be able to open it. Plastic, of course, is not much of a challenge for most dogs, and those cute little baggies that you can buy to hold your stash are just a waste of money if your goal is to protect your dog.
The health and safety of your pet should always come first. So if your dog has ingested something that could harm him, whether it is food that is not suitable for dogs, marijuana, or even a less “innocent” type of illicit drug, always, always call your vet for advice, and bring him to the clinic as quickly as possible if your vet thinks it is warranted. I can’t stress often enough that all your vet cares about is helping your dog, so you will never have to worry about being turned into the police or to the drug enforcement agency. However, if your vet feels inclined to give you a bit of a lecture on your personal habits, I strongly suggest that you just graciously accept it.