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Since legalization started trending, there has been a lot of talk about dogs and marijuana. Though more and more people are treating their pets with CBD and other cannabis products, it doesn’t mean that weed is safe for animals across the board. In fact, in some cases, it could be deadly.

Pets and pot

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There are many reasons why veterinarians advise pet owners to be extremely cautious when it comes to their companions accidentally consuming cannabis. When it comes down to it, they have no clue how much weed they’re really eating, and their cute little bodies just can’t handle the THC the way ours can.

It’s incredibly important to be thoughtful when it comes to storing, using or creating cannabis products around pets. Depending on your pet’s size, weight, and appetite for cannabis, it could be the difference between life and death.

Below are just a few reasons why you should always keep your stash in a safe place.

THC overload

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The first reason you should keep cannabis away from your pets is that THC processes within their bodies much differently than it does in ours. Cannabis can create extreme physical and behavioral reactions in animals,

Whether Fido gets into a sandwich baggie with flowers, a candy bar, or a pan of fresh pot brownies, he’s going to experience some side effects. The severity of these mostly depends on the dog’s size, and how much the dog consumes. Even just a few grams of flower is enough to set off a negative THC reaction in dogs.

Though it’s far less common, you should definitely be just as careful in keeping flowers and edibles away from your cats as well. They’re even smaller than most dogs in size, and will react similarly to THC.

Poison reaction

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Though most mammals share a similar endocannabinoid system, animals differ from us in the way they react. Based on stories from veterinarians in Colorado and other states, dogs who ingest cannabis show many poison-like symptoms.

It’s one theory that marijuana products are so damaging to dogs’ health simply because of the ingredients used. Edibles made with chocolate or butter are some of the top culprits according to media reports. Since these foods are horrible for pets already, it makes sense that canna-butter, brownies and chocolate bars made with marijuana would be just as bad, or worse.

What to watch for

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You’ll probably notice pretty quickly if your pet gets into some flower or edibles. However, you should definitely know the symptoms of marijuana poisoning so you can provide the right care for your furry friend, at the right time.

The early signs of animal cannabis overdose will be subtle at first, but will quickly become more noticeable. Your dog may start swaying or otherwise losing balance, or may be lethargic or not moving at all. Incontinence and breathing problems are a sure sign that your

Incontinence and breathing problems are a sure sign that your dog is too high and may need some medical help. A vet will likely try to induce vomiting to clear the stomach and administer IV fluids.

In most cases, pets are back to normal within 12 hours.

As for smoking with your dog? Honestly, you probably shouldn’t, but it’s unlikely that your pooch will be able to ingest enough secondhand smoke to cause problems.

When you think about it, storing your cannabis in a safe spot is a small price to pay for keeping your animal companion safe. Put it up on a high shelf, in a secure cabinet, or in a durable locking case.

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