Can Dogs Get High: Effects & Dangers Of CBD For Dogs

Can Dogs Get High: Effects & Dangers Of CBD For Dogs
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Are you familiar with CBD? If you are, maybe you’re aware that it comes from cannabis. Since it comes from cannabis many people think that CBD gets consumers high. However, the fact is that CBD does not get people high. But what about our pets, can dogs get high from CBD? Before we answer this, let's take a look and see if dogs are even capable of getting high.



Can Dogs Get High?

As cannabis legalization spreads throughout the states, more and more people will start openly smoking it in and around their homes. Cannabis contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which gets consumers high. It's important to remember, however, that pups can be affected by the THC as well — and not in the funny way you might expect.

Dogs can get high. In fact, they often experience being high more intensely than humans do. But they also experience it much differently. Unlike people, being high can be a distressing experience for dogs. They won't understand why they are suddenly experiencing reality differently, whether it be the way they're thinking or feeling.


Smoking cannabis around a dog can result in them getting a "contact high." That's especially true if they are in the same room as you when you smoke. It's even more probable if the room is small and there is no ventilation. Dogs can get high from being around cannabis smoke, which can lead to stress. Canines with preexisting respiratory diseases, like bronchitis, may even have trouble breathing. It's advised that you don't blow smoke in your dog's face!


What usually leads to dogs getting high is ingesting cannabis. If you have some cannabis flower, edibles, or other products laying around dogs may sniff them out and eat some. Consuming cannabis can lead to much stronger side effects. In fact, it's advised that dogs who eat cannabis be taken to the vet! But how can you tell if your dog has gotten into your stash?



small dog with squinting eyes



Why Are Dogs So Sensitive to THC?

Dogs are more sensitive to THC because they have more cannabinoid receptors in their brains than we do. This means that the effects of cannabis often feel more amplified and intense for dogs than they do for humans. Vets have found that dogs are approximately 10 times more sensitive to THC than humans are because of their receptors.


This means that a small amount of THC suitable for a human may potentially be too much for your pet. They'll experience symptoms much more intensely, and since they can't communicate as we do, they won't be able to ask for help. This can make them feel confused and fearful and is a good reason you should keep THC products out of reach of your pets.


Can Consuming Marijuana Kill My Dog?

Marijuana can be fatal to your dog if consumed in an extremely concentrated and large amount. However, if your dog ingests small amounts of marijuana, it shouldn't be fatal. You should bring your dog to the vet for supportive care if you believe your dog is experiencing accidental exposure to marijuana smoke. This is especially important if you're unsure how much they consumed.


Please note that in severe cases, high doses of THC from marijuana ingestion can lead to unconsciousness and other serious sicknesses. If you believe your dog has ingested medical marijuana or may be experiencing marijuana poisoning, please visit your local emergency clinic for immediate medical attention and care.


What Marijuana Edibles or Products Are the Worst for Dogs To Consume?

The more potent the THC edible or product is, the worse it is for your dog to ingest. However, some ingredients found in edibles are more dangerous than others for dogs to consume. Products that have THC and other problematic ingredients are doubly bad for your canine to eat. These ingredients include:


  • Chocolate
  • Raisins or grapes
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Coffee or other caffeine products
  • Products sweetened with xylitol, an artificial sweetener
  • Alcohol


These ingredients are not dog-safe in any product, and we highly suggest you keep them away from pups and other pets. If your dog ate a THC product that contains any of these ingredients, we recommend you bring them to the vet immediately for medical attention or call emergency services for guidance.


Can a Dog Get High by Blowing Smoke in Their Ear?

No, they will not get high if you blow smoke in their ear. It is a myth that a dog's ear is only made up of a long canal that goes straight to their brain. A dog's auditory system is only slightly different from a human's. We have a much shorter ear canal, while a dog's is much longer and bends at a 90-degree angle before the eardrum, cochlea, and other parts of the ear.


What's more likely to happen if you continuously blow large amounts of smoke directly into your dog's ear is that excess smoke will go into their face towards their eyes, nose, and mouth. Since dogs have similar lungs to us and absorb what they breathe just like we do, they'll probably inhale the smoke instead. If you continue to harass your dog in this way, the excess smoke will eventually make them high and lead to possible sickness.


Blowing cannabis smoke in your dog's face or ears is never recommended nor is it a very nice thing to do. When you do this, you expose your dog to toxic secondhand smoke. Responsible pet owners need to know that secondhand smoke is still toxic to dogs, and you should avoid exposing them to it if possible.


What Happens When Dogs Get High?

If your dog ingests or inhales cannabis, you'll be able to notice some distinctly troublesome symptoms. The symptoms will be noticeable within 30 to 90 minutes. These side effects usually last between 12 and 24 hours, depending on the dog's size and how much they consumed.


Side effects include: 


  • Walking with less balance or coordination
  • Falling over
  • Dilated pupils
  • Hypersensitive to touch
  • Easily frightened by sudden sounds and movements
  • Dribbling urine
  • Vomiting
  • Below normal body temperature
  • Low heart rate
  • Low blood pressure


If your pet ate an edible there are some other concerns that you should be aware of. Many cannabis edibles are made with ingredients that can be harmful or toxic to animals. For instance, chocolate or the artificial sweetener Xylitol are both toxic to canines. If you suspect your pup has eaten an edible with toxic ingredients take them to the vet or animal hospital immediately!


What To Do If Your Canine Gets High

These symptoms might be even more dramatic if your pup has eaten an edible. That's because there is more THC packed into edibles than dried weed. If you suspect that your puppy has eaten cannabis — including edibles and even topicals — a visit to the vet is highly recommended!


Veterinary medicine will often employ treatments to get the THC out of their system. This decontamination treatment will minimize the side effects on your pup. Your dog may also be given IV fluids or "heat support" to make sure they are hydrated and maintaining the right body temperature. Vets may also use activated charcoal, a liquid that will prevent THC from being absorbed into their body. These treatments, along with supportive care, will ensure that your dog recovers a lot sooner.


If your dog has an altered heart rate or blood pressure, more medication may be required. Vets will need to be present to monitor your canine's vital signs. Sometimes they will even need oxygen therapy. A low oxygen level can lead to hypoxia, meaning supplemental oxygen is needed to keep them conscious.

If this happens to you, you need to be honest with your vet and let them know what your dog has ingested. If you do not admit it's cannabis-related, your pup will need additional tests to find out what has caused their breathing problems and other symptoms. Sometimes these tests can start adding up!


It's better to be honest and discuss what led to your canine ingesting cannabis. Your dog is relying on you to get the proper care they need for this specific incident. Veterinarians won't judge you or rat you out. All they want is to make sure the dog is safe and provided with proper care.



pug passed out with tongue out



Can Dogs Get High From CBD?

Although CBD comes from cannabis, by itself, CBD is not capable of getting dogs or humans high. THC is the cannabinoid in cannabis that induces a high feeling. However, CBD is a non-psychoactive naturally occurring cannabinoid in cannabis that has similar benefits to THC without the side effects of getting high.


CBD from hemp (Cannabis Sativa), which is a form of cannabis plant, is legal throughout the U.S. as long as it contains 0.3% THC or less. This tiny amount of THC can be beneficial, however, it will not make pups or humans high.


CBD interacts with the cannabinoid receptors in your dog's endocannabinoid system (ECS), which controls their body's homeostasis. When CBD reacts with these receptors, it may level out your dog's mood and provide comfort and soothing qualities.


RELATED: Endocannabinoid System in Dogs & Cats Explained


Potential Side Effects of CBD for Dogs

For the most part, high-quality CBD products for pets are well tolerated by canines. If side effects do arise they most likely will go away once your pet's body becomes acquainted with taking CBD.

In addition, the potential side effects of CBD for dogs are pretty mild and may consist of:


  • drowsiness
  • dizziness/lightheaded
  • upset stomach
  • diarrhea


Also, if your pet is currently taking any medications or prescriptions we advise that you talk to your veterinarian before administering CBD. It's best to make sure there are not any complications between the two.


How To Give Dogs CBD

HolistaPet has formulated CBD-infused dog treats that help with a variety of ailments! If your dog seems nervous or tense, we have green apple and peanut butter-flavored CBD treats that are enhanced with L-Theanine and Chamomile. These treats are perfect for traveling, long car rides, moving, and separation fears.


Formulated with Turmeric Root and Boswellia, our pumpkin spice joint and mobility dog treats are a natural and organic way to promote their mobility or soothe joint tension. You'll notice that your dog's discomfort will reduce, allowing them to be more active and playful.


Cheef Botanicals also has CBD oil for dogs, which can be dropped onto or mixed into their food. We have created a dosage chart to better help you provide your dog with the right amount of CBD. The amount will vary depending on your dog's size and condition, but we generally recommend between 0.25 mg (regular dose) to 0.5 mg (strong dose) of CBD per every 1 lb of bodyweight.



Final Thoughts

CBD may provide your dog with the calming and soothing benefits of cannabis without the side effects of being high. A lot of people use CBD to help their canines feel less nervous and more relaxed. It's also great for dogs with joint tension and other problems since it can offer comfort. You'll notice your canine feeling more confident and having more mobility with the proper amount of CBD!


Dogs getting high is no laughing matter. The side effects of a dog being high are much different than that of a human's. We may just feel silly or maybe a bit tired. But canines will become disoriented and confused, leading to panic and paranoia. They will sometimes have trouble breathing and need to be rushed to the vet immediately.

But what if your pup has some health issues that you heard can be improved with cannabis? Provide them with CBD instead.
Without THC, this cannabinoid will give your dog the same benefits without the harsh side effects. CBD is a non-psychoactive and natural addition to their daily meals or can be given as treats. Either way, this is an alternative way to help boost your dog's mental state or help them deal with physical discomfort.

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