Some NJ Residents are Smoking Pot – With Their Pets [AUDIO]
Garden state veterinarians are reporting an increasing number of pets are being treated for marijuana poisoning.
"When you give a dog marijuana, the effects are sometimes the same as in people - they may be sleepy they may have different sensations. If a small dog was to eat too much, that could be a problem," said Dr. Peter Falk of the Ocean County Veterinary hospital.
He said there have been a few reported marijuana-related deaths in dogs and cats, but "most of the time it just requires supportive care, sometimes they need to be hospitalized on fluids and monitored so that we don't have any other problems."
Dr. Falk points out the effects of marijuana are size dependent.
"If a 70-pound dog ate a brownie," he said, "it would probably be less of a problem than if a 6 pound Yorkshire terrier ate that."
He also stressed that sometimes, pets have a bad reaction to pot.
"Like people, they may start to feel anxious and light-headed," Falk said. "I'll use the term spaced-out, then in fact the animals may go a little berserk. Dogs and cats have the same receptors in their brains that people do to varying degrees, so the marijuana we know has an effect."
He added "they don't anticipate this so it would be like if they were surprisingly drugged. I'm not sure they get pleasure out of that experience - people may be perceiving that the pets are having pleasure out of it, because of their altered state."
Falk also said if dogs have existing health problems there may be a more serious outcome if they ingest marijuana, but there is also research showing that some dogs with medical conditions - like people - may benefit from taking it.
"Medical marijuana may offer pain relief if the dog is suffering from various conditions or diseases," Falk said. "There are people that have given marijuana to dogs- not necessarily with our guidance - but because their dogs are in pain, they may have cancer. We need to do more research on this."
As far as recreational activities for dogs, Falk said, "I think a Frisbee beats a joint."