The High Life with Pets

Written by Manila Hoang April 15, 2022
The Plant

Our furry friends are loving, faithful companions that deserve the same treatment as their human counterparts. Which means that they should get the same benefits from cannabis as we do (without the THC, of course). Your pet may not get to blaze with you, but CBD wellness products for cats, dogs, and even horses are gaining traction as treatments for pain and anxiety.

Cannabis users are familiar with the CBD they’d find at their local dispensary. There are CBD creams that help with joint pain, along with CBD tinctures to help us fall asleep. So why can’t we use hemp-derived treatments for our cats and dogs with ailments, too?

CBD products are advertised and sold anywhere from dispensaries to convenient stores but unfortunately, not all CBD is made the same. As we’ve learned previously, CBD certified products must go through rigorous testing in order to be legitimate. 

“Currently, there are only six published studies on CBD and pain relief in companion animals,” writes Pamela Lein and Suzette Smiley-Jewell from UC Davis. “All six studies were done in dogs with osteoarthritis, a common problem with older age and high body weight. In five out of the six studies, pain decreased and mobility improved.”

Because horses are at an increased risk for injury and inflammation, a controlled study of CBD metabolism was conducted in thoroughbred horses. The study found that horses tolerated CBD well and changes were found in inflammation sensory pathways. With minimal to no side effects, CBD is becoming the next big thing in pet care.

Treating Your Pet's Anxiety

Pets can get as stressed as we do, and knowing there are options like CBD may give us some peace of mind. For instance if you take your pet to the groomers and they absolutely despise it resulting in a botched haircut, CBD might be an answer to that problem. With oils and topicals available to purchase, your buddy may enjoy that experience more so than previously. 

Although cannabis research is limited when it comes to animals, pet owners on CBD product websites and forums claim that CBD has helped to alleviate pain, inflammation, and promote calmness. 

One important thing to consider is the dose of CBD you’re giving to your pets. Always make sure to thoroughly read directions before introducing your fuzzball to potential symptoms like dry mouth, dizziness, and confusion.

Seeking help from a professional would be ideal before you decide to make your first CBD product for your cat or dog. If your pet is currently taking medication, you would want to know if anything in hemp-derived ingredients would react adversely to other meds. 

A Cautionary Tale from a Fellow Birdie

But what if our pets get a hold of the nug we were going to save for later? What happens if they accidentally consume THC? Your first reaction may be, “Oh my god, they’re DEAD. I’m a horrible fur parent!” But not to fear, our animals most likely will not die because they got a hold of all your gummies.

We have heard stories of our pets getting into our edibles and becoming catatonic. Although it may seem terrifying to see them hardly moving with labored breathing, in most cases, veterinarians will suggest for the high to pass naturally and should resolve itself in 24 hours. 

The adorable cocker spaniel Mimi holds her favorite ball up for her mom, Kilee. Mimi is one of the lucky dogs who digested a bag of edibles and continues to live without any repercussions.

Blackbird’s Social Media Specialist Kilee Mendiola has had her own experience with her dog getting into her chocolate covered pretzels infused with THC. Kilee found her dog, Mimi, shaking and looking ill after coming home from a late shift. Worried sick, she doomed-scrolled through the internet, looking to see if dogs really can overdose on THC. 

After taking her dog to the emergency vet, they told her that the issues should resolve themselves. Though the thought of our pets suffering from being too high may send us into a tizzy, our pets are able to metabolize or it will naturally pass through their body. Luckily for Mimi, the contents of her stomach were thrown up and she went back to her old peppy self overnight. 

Although Mimi no longer partakes consuming THC, Kilee continues to give Mimi CBD treats to help with her stress while traveling long distances. 

“The only high she needs is the natural high from life and her plethora of toys,” says Kilee. “Mimi's an indestructible dog who has made me a better dog mom and stoner.”

What to do if your pet consumes weed:

Deep breaths.

The worst thing you could do is heighten your pet's anxiety by overwhelming them with your own or lecturing them in the moment. You wouldn't yell at a small child for swallowing laundry detergent; you'd call 911 or their primary care doctor immediately, which brings us to the next point.

Assess the situation.

Are you able to determine how much weed your fur baby ate? What physical symptoms is your pet showing? How big or small is your pet? Is there a vet or a knowledgeable friend who you could call and ask for assistance? Answering these questions can help you outline what needs to be done to make sure your pet gets the care they need.

Act accordingly.

After answering the aforementioned questions, take action. If Fido needs immediate medical attention, call your vet's clinic. If the vet advises you to stay home and monitor them, make sure fur baby is comfortable. Is your pet experiencing cannabis indigestion? Be prepared for sudden vomiting, body tremors, hypothermia, drooling, and or incontinence. Dog potty training pads are great to keep in the pantry in case of medical emergencies like this. Your floor will thank you!

Be better.

Stoners make mistakes. Shit happens. But at the end of the day, it wasn't Fido that left the edibles on the coffee table. Try putting your cannabis products in hard-to-reach places for both pets and children for good measure.

Remember, THC is for human consumption only. CBD can be a useful remedy for your pet's anxiety, chronic pain, or inflammation. Be good pet parents, help good pets.