How To Get A Dog Unstoned

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Discovering that your dog has accidentally consumed marijuana can be alarming. Don’t panic, though! This blog post will guide you through the steps you can take to help your furry friend recover quickly and safely.


If your dog gets stoned, the first thing to do is stay calm and call your veterinarian immediately. They may instruct you to bring your dog in for evaluation and treatment. Avoid trying home remedies like inducing vomiting unless instructed by a professional. There’s no DIY method to instantly “unstone” a dog; it requires time and, in some cases, medical intervention to ensure they’re safe and can fully recover. Your vet is your best guide for these situations.

What Does “Stoned” Mean for a Dog?

When we say a dog is “stoned,” it means they are experiencing the intoxicating effects of a substance like marijuana. Just like humans, dogs can show signs of impairment when they consume products containing THC, the active compound in cannabis that causes a high. However, dogs are much more sensitive to THC than humans. This sensitivity can lead to stronger reactions, even with small amounts of the substance.

In dogs, being ‘stoned’ might make them look sleepy, wobbly, or just plain out of it, similar to how some humans react to these substances. However, it’s way more serious for dogs because their bodies don’t handle these things like ours do.

How Do Dogs Get Stoned?

Dogs can get “stoned” or intoxicated by consuming marijuana or THC-containing products. This can happen in several ways, often accidental:

  • Finding stashes: Dogs are naturally curious and have a keen sense of smell. If they stumble upon your stash, they might think it’s something to eat.
  • Secondhand smoke: Believe it or not, inhaling smoke from marijuana use around them can also affect dogs. While it’s not as common, it’s still a risk.
  • Edibles and scraps: This is a big one. Dogs aren’t picky eaters. If they find something that smells interesting, like an edible, they might gobble it up. And since edibles are designed for human consumption, they contain doses that are way too high for dogs.
  • Accidental ingestion: Sometimes it’s just bad luck. They might find remnants on the ground during a walk or in public parks.

Is Marijuana Toxic to Dogs?

Yes, marijuana is toxic to dogs. While humans may use it for medicinal or recreational purposes, for dogs, it’s a different story. The primary psychoactive component of marijuana, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), is what causes the “high” in humans. However, dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains. This means they are more sensitive to the effects of THC, leading to more pronounced and potentially dangerous symptoms. The levels of toxicity can vary based on the size of the dog, the amount consumed, and the concentration of THC in the product. Even a small amount ingested by dogs can lead to toxic symptoms, so it’s critical to consider all exposures to marijuana as potentially harmful to pets.

Can Dogs Die From Weed?

It’s a scary thought, but in severe cases, yes, dogs can die from ingesting too much weed. The risk of death is not as high from the THC itself but rather from the complications that can arise from its effects. For instance, a stoned dog might become so sedated that it could choke on its vomit or get into a dangerous situation while disoriented. Though deaths are rare, the danger is real, especially if a large amount is ingested or if the dog has underlying health issues.

What are the Signs of a Dog Being Stoned?

If your dog gets into marijuana, there are several signs you might notice. Here’s what to look out for:

  • Lethargy: Your dog might seem unusually tired or sluggish, and might not react to things that usually get its tail wagging.
  • Wobbly Movements: They might have trouble standing up or walking straight, almost as if they were dizzy.
  • Dilated Pupils or Glassy Eyes: Take a look into their eyes. If they’re bigger than normal or have a glassy look, that’s a sign something’s off.
  • Drooling or Vomiting: If your dog is drooling more than usual or starts throwing up, that’s another red flag.
  • Whining or Unusual Vocalization: They might seem more vocal, whining, or making noises that are out of the ordinary for them.

How Long Does Being Stoned Last for Dogs?

The duration of intoxication in dogs varies widely depending on several factors, including the amount of THC ingested, the size and health of the dog, and the type of marijuana product consumed. Generally, the effects can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. In many cases, dogs start showing signs within 30 minutes to an hour of ingestion, and those signs might last for 24 to 72 hours. Your vet can offer the best guidance on what to expect in your dog’s specific situation and how you can help mitigate their discomfort during this time. It’s essential to monitor your dog closely throughout the episode and keep in communication with your vet regarding their condition and any needed follow-up care.

Can Dogs Suffer Long-Term Effects After Getting Stoned?

Dogs generally do not suffer long-term effects from a single marijuana intoxication event if they receive proper and timely treatment. THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, does not typically cause permanent damage to a dog’s brain or organs if the exposure is an isolated incident and managed correctly. However, severe cases, particularly if the dog has ingested a large amount or if treatment is delayed, can lead to more serious complications like aspiration pneumonia or more lasting neurological issues.

What Should You Do the Moment You Realize Your Dog Is Stoned?

If you suspect your dog has gotten into marijuana, acting quickly and calmly is key. Here’s what you should do:

  • Don’t panic: Your dog needs you to be calm and collected. Panicking can stress them out more, which isn’t helpful.
  • Assess the situation: Try to figure out how much they ingested and what exactly they got into. This information will be very useful to a vet.
  • Keep them safe and comfortable: Make sure they’re in a quiet, comfortable space where they can’t hurt themselves. Remove any obstacles that could lead to injury.
  • Contact your vet immediately: Speed is crucial. Contact your veterinarian right away or an emergency pet poison hotline. They can give you immediate advice on what to do next and whether you need to bring your dog in for treatment.
  • Follow professional advice: This might include bringing them into the vet clinic. If advised to stay at home, watch them closely for any changes.
  • Provide water but avoid food: Dehydration can be a concern, but their stomach may not handle food well until they’re more stable.

Can You Treat a Stoned Dog at Home, and How?

While immediate veterinary care is always recommended when you think your dog has ingested marijuana, there may be times when you have to provide initial support at home, either because you’re waiting for veterinary advice or preparing to transport your pet to the clinic. Here are some steps for potentially treating a mildly affected dog at home:

  • Keep Them Hydrated: Offer your dog small amounts of water to prevent dehydration, especially if they’re showing signs like panting or dry mouth. However, ensure they’re swallowing properly before allowing them to drink to avoid choking.
  • Maintain a Calm Environment: Create a quiet, safe space for your dog where they can rest without being overwhelmed by loud noises or too much activity. This can help reduce stress and anxiety they might be feeling.
  • Warmth and Comfort: If your dog seems cold or is shivering, providing a warm blanket can help them feel more secure and comfortable.
  • Monitor Closely: Watch your dog for any changes in their condition. Make note of their symptoms, how long they last, and if they get better or worse. This information will be valuable for your vet.
  • Limit Food Intake: While keeping them hydrated is important, it’s usually best to avoid feeding your dog until the effects have worn off and they’re acting more like themselves. Eating could potentially cause vomiting or further upset their stomach.

Can Activated Charcoal Help Your Stoned Dog?

Activated charcoal might be recommended in some cases of marijuana ingestion in dogs, as it can help absorb toxins in the stomach before they’re absorbed into the bloodstream. However, it’s crucial to use activated charcoal only under the direction of a veterinarian. The decision to use it will depend on several factors, including how much time has passed since ingestion and the dog’s symptoms. Using it improperly can lead to complications, such as aspiration pneumonia if inhaled into the lungs, so never attempt to administer activated charcoal or any other remedy without consulting your vet first.

When Should I Take My Stoned Dog to the Vet?

Identifying when to seek veterinary care is crucial for your dog’s health and safety if you suspect they’re stoned. Immediate veterinary consultation is recommended in the following scenarios:

  • Any ingestion is suspected: Given the unpredictability of how a dog might react to THC, consulting a vet as soon as you realize your dog has ingested marijuana is prudent—even if symptoms haven’t yet appeared.
  • Symptoms are severe or worsening: Symptoms like excessive drooling, vomiting, severe lethargy, tremors, agitation, or seizures are clear indicators that your dog needs professional medical attention.
  • Your dog has underlying health issues: For pets with pre-existing conditions, even mild symptoms can be cause for concern. The effects of marijuana can complicate heart, liver, or kidney diseases, among others.
  • You’re unsure of the amount ingested: If your dog has gotten into edibles or a stash of marijuana and you’re uncertain how much they’ve consumed, it’s safer to err on the side of caution and consult a vet.

What Will the Vet Do?

At the vet clinic, the treatment process may include:

  • Thorough Examination: Your vet will start with a physical exam to assess your dog’s condition, including heart rate, temperature, and neurological status.
  • History and Information: You’ll be asked about the amount and type of marijuana ingested, when it happened, and any symptoms you’ve observed.
  • Treatment Plan: The specific treatment will depend on the individual case. It may include inducing vomiting if the ingestion was very recent, administering activated charcoal to limit absorption, providing intravenous (IV) fluids to support hydration and help eliminate the toxin, and medications to control symptoms like vomiting or seizures.
  • Monitoring: Your dog may need to be observed for several hours or even days, depending on the severity of symptoms and how they respond to treatment.

Will You Get in Trouble for Bringing a Stoned Dog to the Vet?

In general, bringing your dog to the vet because they ingested marijuana will not get you in trouble with the law. Vets are focused on the health and welfare of their animal patients. The priority in these situations is the well-being of your dog, and the veterinary team’s goal is to provide the necessary care without judgment.

In some locations, veterinarians are mandated reporters of suspected animal abuse, but unintentional ingestion of marijuana typically does not fall under this category. It is beneficial to be open and honest with your vet about what happened, as it helps them provide the best care for your dog. Remember, your vet is your partner in maintaining your pet’s health, and their primary interest is in ensuring that your dog recovers safely.

How to Reintroduce Your Dog to a Normal Routine?

After experiencing an episode of marijuana intoxication, it’s essential to gradually reintroduce your dog to their normal routine to ensure they fully recover without undue stress. Here are some steps to consider:

  • Slow Down: Give your dog plenty of time to rest and recover fully before returning to regular activities.
  • Monitor Eating and Drinking: Initially, offer small amounts of water and food to avoid overwhelming their system. Gradually increase to normal portions as they show signs of improvement.
  • Light Exercise: Begin with short, gentle walks, closely monitoring their energy and comfort levels. Avoid strenuous exercise until they’re back to their usual selves.
  • Positive Reinforcement: Use this time to reinforce your bond with your dog through gentle petting, calm voice reassurances, and their favorite low-energy games.

How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting Stoned Again?

Preventing future incidents involves mindfulness about where marijuana and related products are stored and how they are used around pets:

  • Secure Storage: Keep all marijuana products, including edibles, concentrates, and even waste products, in secure, dog-proof containers and out of reach.
  • Educate Household Members and Guests: Ensure that everyone in your home understands the importance of keeping marijuana products away from pets and the potential consequences of negligence.
  • Use Products Responsibly: Be mindful when using marijuana products, especially edibles that might be more tempting for a dog. Consider consuming them in an area away from your pets.
  • Immediate Clean-Up: Dispose of any marijuana waste in a manner that your dog cannot access. This includes putting used products and paraphernalia in a secured trash can.


Helping your dog overcome marijuana intoxication can be stressful, but with the right knowledge and actions, you can ensure they recover swiftly and safely. Always remember that your vet is your best resource in these situations. Prevention is key, so keep all substances that might harm your dog out of reach. By being vigilant and prepared, you can keep your beloved pet happy and healthy.

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