Skip to content

THC (Cannabis/Weed) & Dogs: Symptoms, What to Do & More | Pupford

October 16th, 2023

Filed under Lifestyle + Stories

Featured Image

Learning about THC (aka cannabis/weed) & dogs is important for all pup parents! Because if you know anything about dogs, you know they’re curious little creatures. They’ll try to get into anything and everything -- and often succeed.

Anything that looks, feels, or smells new, sparks curiosity and causes dogs to do what they do best… eat it.

If you’ve ever had a pair of expensive shoes fall victim to your dog’s chewing, you’re all too familiar with what we’re talking about. But sometimes the situation can be more serious than just destroyed shoes.

If you haven’t figured it out from the title, we’re talking about what happens when your dog ingests cannabis residue. This is a super important topic for us to discuss given that people don’t typically give much thought to what happens to their discarded joints or ashtray residue.

Your dog could curiously lick an ashtray or even pick up a joint from the sidewalk during a walk -- sometimes it’s completely out of your control.

Regardless of the circumstance, it’s important to be aware of what can happen if your dog eats pot residue and what you should do to care for them.

*Disclaimer: If you think your dog ingested cannabis or cannabis residue, go to your vet immediately.


Although this article is about dogs, we’re going to take a moment to talk about an elephant, the elephant in the room.

Some of our community lives in states where cannabis & weed use is tightly controlled or illegal. Other people don’t want to disclose their marijuana use for personal reasons. Whatever the case may be, there’s one thing to keep in mind: your vet does not care.

Your vet’s concern is making sure your dog is healthy and safe. They are not there to judge your actions or report you for illegal activities. They are medical professionals who need to make medical decisions, so we can’t stress enough: always be open and honest about what your dog has (or could have possibly) ingested.

This is especially the case when it comes to pot residue since it can be very dangerous to dogs.

🐶 Don't miss out! Learn life-saving behaviors like leave it, focus, and impulse control in the free 30 Day Perfect Pup video course. Sign up here! 🐶


EFFECTS OF Pot residue on dogs sick dog | Pupford

THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis, is VERY poisonous to dogs. So while humans will just experience a high, your dog will experience a wide range of symptoms.

Dogs who ingest pot residue may experience:

  • Wobbly, unsteady movements
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Drooling or vomiting
  • Dazed look in their eyes
  • Low body temperature
  • Low heart rate
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors and seizures, in severe cases

As with most toxic substances, the severity of the symptoms will depend on the quantity eaten and your dog’s size.

While the drug itself is not likely to kill a dog, the effects can have secondary consequences. For example, the drug can seriously sedate your dog, leaving them vulnerable to choking on their vomit.

But the good news is that most dogs that ingest pot residue end up being fine, as long as the right steps are taken.


thc cannabis is very toxic for dogs | Pupford

While there are urine tests that can confirm your dog is indeed suffering from cannabis toxicity, they can take time. Usually, the signs and symptoms are enough to make a diagnosis.

Your first step should be to take your dog to the vet. This is not something you should “wait out” on your own until the next day, so unfortunately a trip to the emergency clinic may be necessary. Considering getting pet insurance? Learn how to choose pet insurance here.

Depending on the size of your dog and the amount of cannabis ingested, different treatment plans may be followed.

Your vet may start by assessing your dog’s vitals to make sure there aren’t any critical issues that need immediate attention.

Then, treatment will focus on getting unabsorbed THC out of your dog’s system. This can be done by inducing vomiting, pumping the stomach, using an enema, or administering activated charcoal.

Your dog will need to be monitored by the vet for 24-48 hours. During that time, they may give IV fluids, anti-anxiety medications, or sedatives to keep your dog comfortable since they’ll likely be disoriented or uncomfortable.

🐶 Don't miss out! Learn life-saving behaviors like leave it, focus, and impulse control in the free 30 Day Perfect Pup video course. Sign up here! 🐶


With cannabis use being legalized in more and more states, dog parents should be conscious of how to prevent their dogs from ingesting its residue.

While sometimes accidents are unavoidable, here are some tips to help prevent an incident:

  • Keep all ashtrays, pipes, or other accessories far out of your dog’s reach
  • Avoid using weed/cannabis in close proximity to your dog
  • Brush up on your dog’s leash training (in video below - starts at 18:01) to help them stay focused on walks and less likely to pick up a discarded joint
  • Prioritize the “leave it!” command to keep your dog from picking up unwanted objects with their mouths (Watch the video below for help teaching your dog “leave it” - starts at 03:09​)

For more tips, check out this post on puppy proofing your home, yard, and car.


It’s really important to keep your dog away from thc/cannabis residue as much as possible. The experience can be really unpleasant for them and can even cause severe medical issues.

And remember, be open and honest with your vet if you find your dog in this situation. That way, they can provide the best possible help.

If you use cannabis, be sure to keep it stored in a place where your dog can NEVER reach it. No matter how curious they might be!

Again, we highly recommend brushing up on your dog's impulse control and general training with behaviors like focus, leave it, and leash training. You can get free access to a guided video course, 30 Day Perfect Pup, to help with all these behaviors. Sign up here!

🐶 Don't miss out! Learn life-saving behaviors like leave it, focus, and impulse control in the free 30 Day Perfect Pup video course. Sign up here! 🐶


Your Cart

Shipping & taxes calculated at checkout