+1 519 893-8937 • CALL US TODAY!

Navigating THC Ingestion in Pets

Nov 27, 2023 | Behavioural, Cats, Dogs, Pet Care, Pet Safety, Pet Tips, Wellness


As pet owners, we all want to ensure the well-being of our furry friends. However, accidents can happen, and one common concern is the accidental ingestion of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the psychoactive compound found in marijuana. In this blog post, we’ll explore the potential risks, symptoms, and steps to take if your pet ingests THC.

Understanding THC: THC is the primary psychoactive component in marijuana, and it can have various effects on pets. Dogs, in particular, are more susceptible to THC toxicity than other animals. THC affects the endocannabinoid system, which is present in both humans and animals, regulating various physiological processes.

Symptoms of THC Ingestion in Pets:

  1. Lethargy: Pets may appear unusually tired or have difficulty staying awake.
  2. Loss of coordination: Ataxia, or a lack of muscle coordination, is a common symptom.
  3. Vomiting and diarrhea: Gastrointestinal upset is often observed.
  4. Dilated pupils: Changes in eye appearance may be noticeable.
  5. Increased heart rate: Palpitations or a rapid heart rate may occur.
  6. Incoordination: Pets may struggle with balance and may stumble or fall.

Immediate Steps to Take: If you suspect your pet has ingested THC, it’s crucial to act promptly. Follow these steps:

  1. Contact your veterinarian: Inform your vet of the situation, providing details such as the amount ingested and the time of ingestion.
  2. Do not induce vomiting: Unlike some toxins, inducing vomiting may not be recommended for THC ingestion. Consult your veterinarian before taking any action.
  3. Monitor your pet: Keep a close eye on your pet’s behavior and note any changes in symptoms.
  4. Provide supportive care: Offer water to keep your pet hydrated and ensure a comfortable environment.

Veterinary Treatment: Upon reaching the veterinarian, they may take the following steps:

  1. Inducing vomiting: Depending on the situation, the vet may decide to induce vomiting to remove the ingested substance from the stomach.
  2. Activated charcoal: This may be administered to help absorb the THC and prevent further absorption into the bloodstream.
  3. IV fluids: In severe cases, especially if the pet is dehydrated, intravenous fluids may be necessary.
  4. Monitoring: The vet will closely monitor your pet’s vital signs and provide additional supportive care as needed.

Prevention: Preventing THC ingestion is the best approach. Keep all marijuana products, including edibles, out of reach of pets. Be cautious during outdoor activities, such as walks, to prevent accidental ingestion.

Conclusion: While accidental THC ingestion can be concerning, prompt veterinary attention and supportive care can greatly improve the outcome. As responsible pet owners, it’s essential to be aware of the potential risks and take preventive measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our beloved companions. If you suspect THC ingestion, don’t hesitate to seek professional veterinary advice immediately.

If you have any questions after reading this article please feel welcome to reach out to our friendly fear free certified staff anytime! We would be more than happy to assist you in learning more, please call us at 519-893-8937 or send us an email at [email protected]