Medibles and Your Dog

Sheila Johnson, DVM   November 25, 2014   Comments Off on Medibles and Your Dog

Pot Brownie (Medibles)With the arrival of legal marijuana in Oregon, both medical (now) and recreational (soon), the issue of dogs ingesting cannabis is becoming more widespread. Both nationally and here in Eugene, cases of dogs eating pot in some form or other have become more frequent. The availability of marijuana-infused food products, often called “medibles,” is exacerbating the problem and placing pets in danger.

There are many ways in which these products contribute to a “perfect storm” effect with regard to marijuana intoxication. First and most important, it is not hard for anyone, human or canine, to overdose on medibles. Because the effect of smoked marijuana is near-instantaneous, there is a self-limiting effect on the amount one can imbibe; but with medibles it is possible to take far too much before the effect is noticed. Second, most dogs will eat anything that comes within 10 feet of their nose, and they will eat all of it. Finally, recognize that a reasonable dose for a 150 lb person is going to be much too high for all but the largest dogs. Imagine what that dose will do to a 10 lb Chihuahua or a 30 lb Jack Russell!

A dog after eating medical marijuana treats (medibles)Little research, if any, has been done on the effect of medibles on pets. We know that people have to be careful using them, and this is true in spades for your pets. Please, if you are using medibles, keep them away from your pets! If your pet does get into your goodies, call your veterinarian immediately; it might be possible to induce vomiting before the effects of toxicity kick in.

Potentially even worse than accidental ingestion of medibles, is the use of homemade pet medibles. Recently, misguided home cooks and budding entrepreneurs have been advertising pet medibles on craigslist and other venues, as in the accompanying screen shot. Part of us wants to laugh at the stoned dog in this ad, but just as it’s not OK to do this to an unsuspecting human, it is not funny when done to an innocent pet. Even advocates for medical marijuana are cautioning against its use in pets.

Marijuana may sooner or later become a part of many veterinarians’ treatment regimens, but until we know more about the effects on pets and appropriate dosing, medibles should not be given to dogs or cats.