With great power comes great responsibility, as they say. Part of being a responsible marijuana smoker is making double, triple sure that your herb is locked away out of reach of pets. But accidents can happen - like the family dog snagging your brownies off the counter.
Keeping in mind the maxim that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, here are some important preliminary steps to take if your dog accidentally ingests your stash - before, of course, you contact a vet and get them checked out, posthaste.
1. Don't panic (too much)
Yes, marijuana toxicity in pets needs to be treated very seriously - but, especially if you're high yourself, panicking isn't going to benefit you or your pet. "Some animals will only act a little 'stoned' (wobbly, lethargic) and they can be managed at home," Tina Wismer, medical director at the ASPCA animal poison control center, told The Dodo. "Others can become agitated or even comatose and those animals need veterinary intervention." Least you be tempted to laugh it off, like the pet owners in this disturbing video, a 2012 study found that two dogs died after consuming potent marijuana brownies.
2. Don't induce vomiting
You might be tempted to stick a finger down your dog's throat or otherwise try to help them get rid of the herb they've consumed; however, inducing vomiting could do more harm than good. "If your dog is too lethargic (a hint that the THC is already in his bloodstream)," according to BarkPost's Thea Raymond-Sidel, "you should not try to induce vomiting because the dog could swallow it and asphyxiate. Vets will watch the pup for seizures (which can happen if they ate a LOT of weed) and give them fluids to try to clear their system faster. But then you've just gotta watch and wait."
Just as when a human ingests too much THC, time is the only thing that'll truly rectify your pet's bad trip. "Most cases of marijuana intoxication resolve over a period of 3 - 12 hours," according to veterinarian Eric Barchas; however, depending on your dog's size, and how much they ingested, it could take one or more days for the effects to dissipate entirely.
4. Be honest
The last thing a vet wants to do is get you busted for possession: they just want to know what your pet consumed so that they can rule out more serious forms of poisoning - and avoid putting your pet through expensive and unnecessary tests. Dr. Robert Proietto, a veterinarian in New York City, told The Dodo. "It is important to tell the veterinarian the truth. No veterinarian is going to judge their client for being honest and we will never contact the police. We just want to know what is going on so we can treat the pet to the best of our ability."