If your dog is suffering from chronic pain or some type of illness, you more than likely are searching endlessly to find ways to help them. While medications can help with relieving pain and healing medical issues, sometimes they can cause some issues, like vomiting and sluggishness.
On your search, you might have come across THC, a type of oil made from cannabis plants, that can be used. However, this oil can sometimes be a little tricky to administer and might even be dangerous to use with your dog if they are given too much. This article will explore more behind THC, some of the side effects and benefits of it, and whether it’s good for your dog to use.
THC and Dogs – What is THC?
THC, which is known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is a component of the cannabis plant known for causing the body to get “high.” This is often caused because it reacts with the brain to trick it into having an extreme level of euphoria. THC also helps to relax the body which can help to relieve pain, soreness, and vomiting. It can even work to increase your dog’s appetite thanks to it encouraging better metabolism in their body.
Can Dogs Use THC? Is Weed Bad for Dogs?
So, is weed toxic to dogs? Is THC toxic to dogs? While dogs can use THC, it’s often advised that they don’t. This is because it can be very easy to give them too much of it which can end up being deadly. So, while THC does have benefits for dogs, such as pain relief, it can be very dangerous to use if not monitored closely. Because of this, many vets often recommend you look to using something like CBD oil instead.
If you want to use cannabis for dogs, it’s first important to talk with your vet. They will be able to tell whether your dog is suited to use THC and help to give you the right amount to give to them. Your vet will also more than likely have you do follow-up appointments so they can monitor how your dog is doing and if adjustments need to be made.
Dogs and THC – How to Use THC Oil
It’s very easy to use THC oil. Usually, this oil will come in a bottle with a dropper you can use to measure the doses out with. This way, it can make it a bit easier to ensure you don’t overuse it.
To use this cannabis oil for dogs, simply squeeze the dropper so oil goes in it and then add the required amount to your dog’s food or mix it into a special treat for them.
Do Dogs Have Cannabinoid Receptors?
Yes, dogs do have cannabinoid receptors which are very similar to the ones humans have. They are attached to the dog’s brain and nervous system which react with cannabis oils when they are ingested or rubbed on their skin. However, dogs have fewer receptors than humans so the oil might not have strong effects on their body as they might have with humans.
Marijuana Effects on Dogs – Negative Effects of THC
THC toxicity can be dangerous for dogs if you don’t give them the proper amount. Below are some common side effects your pup might experience if they are given too much THC.
One common side effect of THC for dogs is extreme tension. This is because THC can cause their muscles to tense up which can make it hard for them to walk. However, this might seem a little ironic as THC can help with relaxation sometimes. The key to this is the amount of THC given, and if you give your dog too much, your dog can become too tense for them to function normally.
Another side effect of THC for dogs is excessive drooling. This is because THC will cause gastrointestinal problems which can increase the amount of saliva in their mouth. Sometimes excessive drooling will even indicate your dog is in pain, especially if this pain is located in their mouth or throat.
They Have a Hard Time Walking
Sometimes THC can cause dizziness and vertigo in dogs which can make it difficult for your dog to walk. THC poisoning in dogs can also cause them to sway while walking and have lethargy which could cause your dog to have difficulty getting up just to walk to their food dish.
They Lose Control of Their Bladder
If your dog ingests too much THC, it can make them very sleepy and loosen their muscles which can result in them losing control of their bladder.
They Can Become Paranoid
Sometimes dogs can become very paranoid if they ingest too much THC. This can involve them pacing up and down halls or panting heavily. In addition to this, it can also make your dog feel very anxious. Due to this, they might turn into a completely different dog and be irritable, grouchy, and maybe even a little dangerous since they aren’t fully aware of what is going on.
Abnormal Heartbeats Can Occur
Ingesting too much THC can cause abnormal heartbeats in dogs. This is because it can cause their body to overwork which can cause their heart to beat quickly and irregularly.
How Much THC is Too Much?
Even just a small dose over your regular amount of THC oil can be too much for your dog, especially if they are a smaller breed. The amount of THC that’s too much really depends on your dog, their size, and their health.
THC Oil Benefits
While there are some serious side effects that can happen if you give your dog THC, it also has many benefits if given properly. Below are some of them you can find if you plan to give your dog this.
Instant Pain Relief
One of the best benefits about THC is that it provides instant pain relief. So, if your dog often suffers from medical issues like chronic pain or arthritis, THC might be beneficial for them. This is because it will block the brain from sensing pain which can help your dog to rest more.
It Can Help with Appetite
A unique benefit about THC is that it can help with increasing appetite in dogs. This is because it will help with your dog’s metabolism which will in return work make them feel hungry.
It Can Stop Vomiting
Another benefit about THC for dogs is that it can stop vomiting. Because of this, it’s often used to help dogs with cancer who usually have nausea and vomiting problems because it calms the gastrointestinal tract down.
How to Help a Dog That Has Taken Too Much THC
If you find your dog might have taken too much THC, there are a few ways you can help them.
Take Them Immediately to the Vet
One of the most important steps to follow if you find your dog has ingested too much THC is to take them immediately to the vet. Your vet will be able to provide adequate medical treatment to flush out the THC from their body while closely monitoring them.
While at the vet, they may give them heavy amounts of fluids to help with flushing the toxins out. They might also induce vomiting to help quickly remove the poisonous particles from their body. However, if their gag reflex is damaged by THC, your vet will more than likely attach them to an oxygen tank to ensure they can breathe.
Give Them Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal can help to absorb the THC in your dog’s body to help prevent it from spreading. The charcoal will go through the gastrointestinal tract and quickly eat up the toxins. The right amount of activated charcoal to give your dog will depend on their size. Ideally, you should give them about 1-3 kg per their body weight. To help ensure your dog gets enough charcoal, you can administer it into their mouth with a syringe.
Make Sure They Have Plenty of Water
Another way to help a dog that has taken too much THC is to make sure they have enough water. If you find that your dog hasn’t ingested large quantities of this drug, then this is a good thing to consider trying. By making sure they get plenty of fluids, it will help to flush the THC out of their body through urine. However, make sure to not force your dog to take the water. By doing so, it can cause them more stress which can worsen the problem. So, in this case, just make sure to have a clean bowl of fresh water nearby.
Sometimes the best thing you can do is to just sit and comfort your dog. Make sure they are in a comfortable place that has low lighting to help them stay relaxed.
This method is also ideal only if your dog has taken just a little too much of THC. However, if they have taken a much larger amount of it then it’s important to take them to your vet as soon as possible.