Learn the signs of marijuana toxicity so you can keep your pet safe


With 4/20 just around the corner and countless pet owners smoking legal recreational marijuana, it is important to know how the drug can affect your pet.

Trupanion, a pet medical insurance provider, has reported an increase in marijuana toxicity claims among pet owner in states were the recreational use of marijuana is legal.

The provider has paid out over $140,000 for marijuana toxicity claims, with the average bills for treatment totaling about $450.

It is best for marijuana users to keep their stash far away from pets, in a place they cannot reach, even when they are out of the house. Marijuana should not be smoked around animals, because, for some, a few inhales is enough to cause marijuana toxicity.

Dog Looking Away By Smoke At Night
Credit: Mario Forcherio/EyeEm/Getty

The signs of marijuana toxicity are impaired coordination, drooling, vomiting, lethargy, depression, seizures and coma. If you suspect that your pet has ingested or inhaled marijuana and/or is showing these signs, you should take them to the vet for treatment.

Depending on the amount ingested, types of consumption and the strain, it can take minutes to hours for your pet to show signs of marijuana toxicity. Greater concentrations of THC from stronger strains can cause hyper activity and agitation.

It is important to be honest with your vet, so they can rule out other illnesses that may manifest themselves the same way as marijuana toxicity.

In most cases, your vet will monitor your pet until the marijuana is no longer affecting them. In many cases, with monitoring, pets fully recover from marijuana toxicity with no complications or side effects.

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While there are cases of medical marijuana prescribed for animals, or pet products that contain cannabis, you should never encourage your animal to ingest your own marijuana. Pets can not understand the effects of a marijuana high, which can lead to harmful and unpredictable behavior that, at the very least, is uncomfortable for your pet.