Dogs in Canada are suffering from marijuana overdoses

Who let the dogs out…with the weed?
Who let the dogs out…with the weed?
Image: AP Photo/Anonymous
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Canines are getting poisoned with cannabis in the Canadian province aptly named Newfoundland and Labrador.

Veterinarian Maggie Brown-Bury told The Globe and Mail that her clinic in the city of St. Johns is treating about one dog per week for marijuana toxicity, and gave medical care to three dogs last week alone.

The scenario usually unfolds after the dogs accidentally consume edibles, discarded joints, or other cannabis products at a home or in a public space. Research has suggested that dogs are particularly sensitive to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that makes you feel high, probably because they have more cannabinoid receptors than humans in their brains, and a much smaller body weight.

Signs of toxicity include a low heart rate, dribbling urine, difficulty walking, and exaggerated responses to stimulus, all of which Brown-Bury’s clinic has observed. (In case you wondered: Vets say cats are unlikely to consume cannabis).

There is actually a flourishing pet-pot market full of products infused with cannabidiol (CBD), another compound in marijuana that may delivers medical benefits without the buzz. These goods can range from pumpkin-flavored CBD biscuits for elderly dogs to CBD oil for the stressed-out pups.

Canada is set to legalize recreational marijuana sales in October, and the shift could have detrimental effects for humankind’s best friend. According to the American Veterinarian Medical Association, calls to the Veterinary Services Poison Helping have surged by 448% over the past six years, as states began to legalize recreational cannabis.