I learned the benefits of weed for dogs on accident. My dog Truffles’ first experience with cannabis was a contact high in a hot box. I didn’t think about it much until he made a mad dash to his food bowl, wolfing down kibble with impressive gusto. When I figured out what had happened, I felt guilty at first, but also thought it was pretty funny that he seemed to enjoy it (almost) as much as me.

Truffles was clearly having a ball, wandering around investigating everything around him with new interest. I felt a kinship from our shared enjoyment. But then I honestly thought about it, and realized that I didn’t know whether weed for dogs was safe or not.

Is Weed for Dogs Safe?

A few Google searches later, I found out that the short answer is, yes, you can safely share your favorite strain with your dog, just make sure that you don’t go overboard! The long answer is that dogs also have a naturally occurring “endocannabinoid system” in their brains. Dogs have the capacity to get high, and experience weed in a similar to us. 

Medical research into the beneficial effects of cannabis often use animals as test subjects, which means that the safety of cannabis in most common laboratory animals is well studied. Yup, lab rats can get high too! The toxic dose for cannabis is absurdly high at 130mg of THC per kg of weight for canines. There’s only a danger of your dog overdosing on green if they eat a large quantity of edibles, concentrates, or high-THC flowers (I would be very careful around Labradors, who have a predilection for wolfing down everything in sight).

It’s safe for dogs to have a small dose, or tiny toke. Unfortunately, incidents of dogs ingesting large doses and needing medical care are increasing, mainly because of the increase in high dosage edibles readily available. For many of us, dogs are our fur babies, and it is our responsibility to make sure they are safe. Unattended, a dog who has ingested a dangerous dose of cannabis can be in trouble. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t pass the doggie dutchie to your poochie.

How to Safely Get Your Dog High

Taking some simple precautions when using weed for dogs is a good idea. Just like humans, if a dog has a huge dose, you’re gonna have a bad time. Your doggie bestie probably doesn’t have a very high tolerance, so if you are taking huge dabs, it might not be a good idea to shotgun it straight into your dog’s snout. Like smoking with a first timer, it’s best not to feed your dog edibles where you might get the dose wrong. In fact, if you decide to feed your dog edibles, it is best to buy CBD infused ones designed for dogs.

To get your dog high for the first time, just blow a bit in their face. Unlike you as a seasoned smoker, even the tiniest big of smoke contact on that wet nose is going to make a big impression. Usual reactions include: staring vacantly into space, dropping their toy and forgetting they were playing, getting super cuddly, but can also be things like having a mad grass rolling fit, being scared of their own bark, and having a good munchies (treats will definitely be welcome, especially if it’s a choice morsel of your munch).

A dog that has gotten way too high.
A dog that has gotten way too high.

Things to Watch Out For

One rookie mistake is to think that dogs like to get stoned and exercise. Instead, you may find that your pup is unable to even walk properly, never mind run or play. It’s actually best not to exercise your dog too much, because they may be more clumsy and more likely to get injured. So it’s couch time and belly rubs all around!

My dog has a serious problem with begging. Every time I open my stash jar, Truffles stops whatever he’s doing and puts on an impressive display of general dog manipulation, including all the usual suspects: whining, barking, puppy eyes… until he gets his hit too.

By Teresa Green