Whether you or a housemate smokes weed for medicinal or recreational purposes, the effects of second-hand smoke on pets in the house may be the last thing on your mind. However, the well-being of your pets should be a top priority, and this includes protecting them from unexpected hazards such as cannabis smoke.
According to Herbies, animals don’t experience getting high in the same way humans do. In fact, THC is toxic to dogs and cats, so smoking around them can accidentally affect them in harmful ways.
In this article, we cover how smoking weed around pets is dangerous and how you or your housemates can safely enjoy marijuana around your pets.
Is Secondhand Cannabis Smoke Harmful?
A couple of hits of marijuana here or there probably isn’t a cause for concern when there are animals around. However, blowing weed smoke in your pets’ direction or excessively smoking to the point of causing a hotbox effect is a different story.
Any amount of smoke inhalation is a worry for your pets, as there are other risks on top of marijuana intoxication such as respiratory irritation. The difference is, inhaling or ingesting too much THC can cause more immediate harm to your pets, and even prove deadly.
Can Secondhand Weed Smoke Get My Pet High?
Although it would likely take quite a high level of marijuana intoxication to cause a fatal reaction, even the smallest amount of weed smoke inhaled can get your pet “high”. This is especially true for smaller pets because the smaller the pet is, the less weed smoke they’ll be able to tolerate before experiencing negative side effects.
Some animals, like cats, are also more sensitive to weed than others and will be more severely affected by weed smoke. This shows that the amount of passive smoking it will take to get your pet high is completely subjective, but that it’s more than possible.
The Dangers of Marijuana Intoxication
Besides pets not actually enjoying getting high like humans do, getting too high is very dangerous for them. If an animal ingests too much cannabis, it can cause something called marijuana intoxication. This is a physiological reaction to THC overexposure.
Some of the serious potential side effects caused by marijuana intoxication include:
- Depressed mood
- Urinary incontinence
- Body tremors
- Bradycardia and ataxia (Appearing wobbly)
- Blood pressure drop
These symptoms are caused by excessive cannabis consumption and can even be life-threatening, especially in older pets. However, even if your pet doesn’t consume enough for a severe reaction, they may experience other unpleasant symptoms for some hours such as severe anxiety and restlessness.
It’s much better to avoid putting your pet through any unpleasant or traumatic experiences by practicing safe weed consumption around them. Even if they only experience a milder case of marijuana intoxication, it could lead to long-lasting psychological effects around situations related to the event such as vet visits or car rides.
How to Safely Ingest Weed Around Your Pets
To avoid your cannabis consumption having any negative effects on your pets, there are strategies you can keep in place to minimize the chances of accidental marijuana intoxication.
First and foremost, make sure to keep your stash in a safe place, far out of reach of any pets or children. Many animals like to follow their scent out of curiosity, so you can be sure your puppy will be able to smell out your edibles from a simple hiding place.
Avoid unwanted attention by keeping any edibles in a sealed container, and preferably storing them on a high shelf or in a locked drawer.
As for minimizing the effects of second-hand smoke on pets, make sure to keep your home well ventilated during and after a smoke if smoking outside is not an option. Try not to exhale anywhere near your pet, and if possible, smoke in a separate room altogether.
If you absolutely have to smoke in the vicinity of your pets, take into account the size, breed, and type of pet to determine how much smoke, if any, you’re comfortable subjecting them to.
Some pet breeds are more susceptible to other issues related to second-hand smoke exposure. For example, pugs are already at high risk for respiratory problems and won’t tolerate secondhand smoke of any kind well.
Although lower second-hand weed smoke exposure is unlikely to cause life-threatening marijuana intoxication, the effects of second-hand smoke on pets can build up over time and cause problems in the long run.
No amount of smoke around pets is completely safe, and smoking around them should be held to the absolute minimum. So, make sure to keep your pets in mind while you smoke, and always take the necessary safety precautions to protect them from a harmful or even potentially deadly outcome.