My Dog Ate Edibles: Keeping Your Dog and Your Stash Safe

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My dog ate weed! My dog ate edibles! These are things we hear from concerned pet parents when their pets get into their stash. As cannabis makes wonderful strides in being legalized in individual states, it also gives rise to our pets accidentally ingesting our cannabis as well. While cannabis can be an amazing therapeutic tool for your pet’s health, your pet getting into your stash can be dangerous. 

You come home from work to find your beloved pet has eaten all of your edibles, what next?

First, determine what they ate, when they ate it, and how much they consumed. This will help you determine how quickly you need to act.

My Dog Ate Weed – Is Cannabis Safe for Pets?

First let’s talk about the active ingredients: THC and/or CBD, are they harmful for pets?

If your pet consumed cannabis on its own (eating the flowers/buds, inhaling secondhand smoke, or consuming raw wax), this is the best-case scenario, since all the effects listed below, although uncomfortable, will go away as the cannabis exits the body via feces and urine. This is usually between 6-8 hours, but could be as long as 24 hours or more at high doses.  

THC and CBD are not fatal to pets, even when consumed in large doses accidentally. Of course THC and CBD can even have many benefits for pets. However, if they are not weaned up to these large doses, they may experience some uncomfortable side effects, also known as intoxication. Bear in mind this is very different from toxicity. Unfortunately, the term “THC Toxicity” is commonly used by veterinary professionals use to this issue despite it being inaccurate. THC is not truly toxic (poisonous) but can cause some severe signs of intoxication (impairment). Since dogs have more cannabinoid receptors than humans, they are more sensitive to its effects.

Effects of THC intoxication include:

  • Lack of coordination/Wobbly gait (also called Static Ataxia)
  • Abnormal activity levels 
  • Acting sedated OR hyperactive depending on what kind of cannabis they consumed
  • Dilated pupils
  • Increased vocal behavior
  • Excessive drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Urine Leakage
  • Increased heart rate
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Decreased respiratory rate

In severe cases, tremors and seizures can occur, but this is usually due to other chemicals being present along with the cannabis.

If your pet is having intense symptoms of intoxication like those mentioned above, bringing them to the vet is still a good idea. Because even though consuming your stash of cannabis is not as dangerous as consuming edibles, the side effects your pet will experience are very unpleasant. Veterinarians will have tools to alleviate this discomfort quicker and can support your dog’s blood pressure and organ function through the use of tools like IV fluids and activated charcoal. 

If your dog consumes a large amount of CBD, without THC, or as a Full-Spectrum Hemp Extract (small percentage of THC), it’s highly unlikely that they will experience as many, or any, of the side effects listed. CBD does not have the hypnotic qualities THC does, so many of the unpleasant effects are minimized or eliminated.

However, you have to be sure that the hemp or CBD your pet consumed does not contain any other harmful ingredients, like chocolate or xylitol. 

My Dog Ate Edibles – Are Edibles Safe for Pets?

If your dog ate edibles from your stash, you should determine the THC content and monitor their symptoms as we discussed above, but more importantly check for any possible presence of harmful ingredients such as chocolate, and especially xylitol.

Chocolate

If the product your dog ate edibles containing chocolate, this is cause for concern. Chocolate can be much more dangerous when consumed in large amounts. The higher the amount of cacao (like dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and cacao nibs), the higher the risk of side effects. Chocolate contains a couple of compounds that dogs cannot metabolize as well as humans: caffeine and theobromine.

Caffeine and Theobromine are types of stimulants that:

  • Increases heart rate
  • Dilates blood vessels
  • Stimulates the heart
  • Have diuretic properties

Both of these substances are difficult for dogs to metabolize, resulting in a number of side effects, both minor and severe. 

Minor side effects include: 

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Increased Thirst
  • Panting
  • Excessive Urination
  • Rapid Heart Rate

Severe side effects include: 

  • Muscle Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Heart Failure

While chocolate is not usually fatal (since most candies are made with milk chocolate or low potency dark chocolate) it still is a good idea to take a trip to your veterinarian if your dog ate edibles with chocolate. Chocolate is rich in fat and sugar, which can cause serious gastric upset like pancreatitis in dogs with more sensitive GI systems. In addition, theobromine has a long half-life (the time it remains in the bloodstream), so taking your pet to the vet for monitoring and fluids is a really good idea. 

Xylitol

If your dog ate edibles that did not contain chocolate, chances are it did still contain sugar and/or artificial sweeteners, most notably xylitol (also labeled as birch sugar, wood sugar, birch bark extract). Xylitol is much more dangerous than chocolate for dogs. 

If your dog ate edibles containing xylitol, this is grounds for going to the vet IMMEDIATELY. 

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol that is naturally found in some fruits, but in candies and sweet treats it comes in much more concentrated amounts. It is found in a wide variety of sweets due to its low glycemic index, low calories, and its dental health benefits. You can find it in a huge variety of products like sugar-free gum, cough syrup, gummy vitamins, medicines, and even baked goods. Even some brands of peanut butter contain xylitol (another reason to always read the ingredients!).

It is extremely poisonous to dogs because xylitol affects the level of insulin released from the pancreas, resulting in a massive drop in blood sugar (hypoglycemia). This can occur as quickly as 10-60 minutes after your dog consumes it. Xylitol can also cause seizures, liver failure, and death. 

If you must consume xylitol and you own pets, keep any substance containing it under lock and key. If you suspect that your dog has eaten a xylitol-containing product, please contact your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline, a 24/7 animal poison control center, at 1-800-213-6680 immediately.

My Dog Ate Weed – When to Go to the Vet

  • If your pet ate edibles with toxic ingredients or ingredients you’re not aware of
  • If your pet has consumed any packaging of the products (possibility for obstruction)
  • If your pet seems to be acting lethargic, uncoordinated, or any other abnormal behavior
  • If your pet has severe and prolonged diarrhea or vomiting

Your veterinarian will likely stimulate your dog to vomit what’s in their stomach, in order to get rid of any remaining toxic potential. Sometimes this is not possible since cannabis has strong anti-emetic (anti-vomiting) effects. If that’s the case, they will move on to the next step, which is to give activated charcoal to bind to any toxins or chemicals that remain. They will keep your pet monitored on an IV drip of fluids to help flush the toxins out of their body faster. Any veterinarian will have the experience and the equipment to take care of this for you. Depending on the severity of the case, they will keep your pet overnight for monitoring. If you act quickly after your pet ate edibles and they vomit everything up, some vets will allow you take your pet home, as long as you are around to continue monitoring them.

Can I Share My CBD Products with My Dog?

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Now that we’ve gone over the dangers of dogs getting into your human stash, you can better judge what is safe to share with your dog. Pets benefit greatly from hemp and cannabis products, as long as all of the ingredients are safe for them.

All of the Full Spectrum Hemp tinctures and salves made by CBD Dog Health are human-grade, meaning you and your pet can share them. Our tinctures are free from any added flavoring, salts, dyes, preservatives, or harmful additives that could be dangerous for your pet. Any product with added ingredients would be best kept to human use only. 

So if you’re thinking of sharing your CBD, THC, or any other cannabis products with your pet, it’s important to look for purity and potency, so that you can figure out what levels would be safe for your pet. The cleanest, simplest formulas are best. 

Our dogs have many more cannabinoid receptors than we do, so a little goes a long way. And always, no matter what product you’re using, keep it out of reach of your pet!

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CBD Edibles for Dogs

If you’re looking for pet-safe CBD edibles for dogs, check out our CBD Dog Treats!

Like Blanche’s Edibles, these nutritious dog treats are crafted with real whole food ingredients and infused with our proprietary CBD oil, for your dog’s best health. These organic, vegan, human-grade cookies are crafted with love by our friends at CoCoTherapy featuring pure coconut oil from their family farm in the Philippines.

These low-calorie, hypoallergenic, grain and gluten-free, vegan CBD edibles for dogs are infused with our proprietary full spectrum hemp extract in the heart of Colorado. Each vegan CBD treat is individually sprayed with the exact milligrams of full spectrum hemp extract, to ensure your pet gets a consistent and reliable CBD dosage in every tasty bite.

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These crispy, hand-rolled meatballs are brimming with wholesome goodness and infused with our exclusive full spectrum hemp extract. Every CBD treat for dogs is meticulously sprayed with precisely measured milligrams of full spectrum hemp extract, guaranteeing a consistent and dependable CBD dosage in every delightful nibble.

When our founder, Angela Ardolino, cared for Nina, her Doberman Pinscher battling osteosarcoma, she encountered challenges in finding pure pet treats to alleviate Nina’s discomfort. Motivated by this experience, Angela partnered with Real Dog Box to craft enriching CBD dog treats using real food and mushrooms, expertly infused with CBD, tailored to benefit Nina and other senior dogs on the farm.

Whether your furry friend requires additional support or simply deserves a delectable reward, Nina’s Edibles and Blanche’s Edibles are certain to elicit joyous tail wags with every bite!