Project Description

The recreational use of marijuana is widespread in the United States. This situation has considerable implications for our pets as ingestion or inhalation of marijuana can be toxic. Dogs are most often affected but cats may be susceptible as well.


Animal intoxication can occur from accidental ingestion of any form of marijuana products (loose, cigarette containing, or laced baked goods). Toxicosis may also occur from inhalation of secondhand smoke. Never intentionally blow smoke in a dog’s face. Always keep dogs out of areas where parties are occurring.

Signs and symptoms of toxicity: difficulty walking, weakness, vomiting, depression, disorientation, tremors, and hyperexcitability (panting quickly, wide open eyes, dilated pupils, excessive energy, nervousness). Most clinical signs occur within 1-3 hours of exposure.

Toxic consumption: Due to the substantial variability of marijuana contained in products there is no determined toxic dose in mg/kg. All incidences of exposure should be reported immediately.

– Godbold JC, Hawkins BJ, Woodward MG. Acute oral marijuana poisoning in the dog. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1979; (175):1101-1102.
– Llera RM, Volmer PA. Toxicologic hazards for police dogs involved in drug detection. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006; 228(7):1028-1031.
– Osweiler, G, et al. (2011). Blackwell’s five-minute veterinary consult clinical companion. Small Animal Toxicology. [Kindle version]. Retrieved from
– image: