Please be safe and smart when it comes to marijuana and petsWith the ever changing landscape regarding marijuana, it is hard to keep up on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to this now legal to use substance in the state of Vermont.

Many Vermonters are taking advantage of the new laws that went into effect this year in our state. This means that pot is increasingly becoming a household substance, putting our pets at increased risk of exposure.

Rutland Veterinary Clinic has been seeing more and more cases of marijuana intoxication in our patients. We want you to know how to keep your home safe when it comes marijuana and pets. Read on to learn what you should be doing in your home.

Marijuana Toxicity in Pets

As the legalization of marijuana is happening across the country, so are the numbers of reported toxicities in household pets.

Cannabis sativa and indica, the scientific name for the marijuana plant, is commonly used for both recreational and reported medical benefits in people. It contains compounds known as THC and CBD which are thought to give it its beneficial effects.

People often smoke or ingest these compounds, leaving their supply as well as waste products such as cigarette butts in areas of the home that pets may have access to. Pets may also inhale smoke second hand.

Signs of marijuana toxicity in pets can include:

  • Sedation
  • Dilated pupils
  • Glassy eyes
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dribbling urine
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Difficulty regulating body temperature
  • Slow heart rate

Signs of marijuana toxicity occur several hours after exposure. Luckily, most pets do well if treated. Supportive care until the effects of the drug wear off are necessary.

Safety When it Comes to Marijuana and Pets

While most animals recover after an encounter with pot, safety when it comes to marijuana and pets is essential.

If you choose to keep marijuana in your home, be sure to take the following safety tips into account:

  • Keep any edibles in closed cabinets or pantries out of the reach of pets
  • Put your pet in a separate, well-ventilated area of the home when smoking
  • Dispose of marijuana cigarette butts and other resin in a secure container out of the reach of pets
  • Be sure to store any marijuana in a secure area that your pet does not have access to

It is also prudent to remember that while you may not keep marijuana in your home, guests may bring it in. Be sure to store personal belongings of visitors such as coats, purses, suitcases, and backpacks behind closed doors where curious pets cannot get to them.

Don’t forget that if your pet does have a marijuana exposure, it is important to let us know right away. The sooner that we are able to treat a pet with any poison exposure, the better they tend to do. If it is after hours, do not hesitate to use our emergency services.

Marijuana is becoming a household item across the country, but it is important to remember that it is still a drug. Maintaining a sense of respect and using some common sense when it comes to marijuana and pets is a smart approach. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you have regarding your pet’s health and wellness.