You might have already seen the stoned dog video going viral this week — the 63-second short of what looks to be a Siberian Husky awkwardly losing control of its own body, his absent-minded tongue woefully askew (until his owner physically places it back in his mouth), his hind legs uncontrollably jolting, his eyes seemingly absent from his surroundings, his front legs stiff as if rigor mortis had set in, his neck unable to support the weight of his own head, which rolls further and further back until his owner catches it.
If you’ve not seen it, it’s embedded above. It warrants a warning: The video is difficult to watch, especially for animal lovers.
Pets and pot
We know that if you YouTube “stoned dog” plenty others will pop up. But let’s be real about this still-controversial subject: Dosing your animal with too much psychoactive cannabis, intentionally or not, is reckless and abusive.
Most professional veterinarians are currently in a wait-and-see position on treating animals with marijuana. Colorado vet Robin Downing told us last year, “Marijuana therapy for animals is untried, unproven, unregulated medicine.” In another story, Colorado vet Paige Lorimer told us, “It’s a really bad trip for dogs.”
Many professionals are open to the possibility of pot-for-pets; Some are already experimenting with doggy dank in the form of non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD and low doses of mind-altering compound THC. When done responsibly, this kind of medicating can be valuable and often beneficial for the animals and for known veterinary science. A bill was even introduced in Nevada’s state legislature to allow cannabis treatments for pets “if a veterinarian certifies the animal has an illness that might be alleviated by the drug.”
But intentionally getting your pet stoned — or exploiting your animal that accidentally got into your stash by posting a video for “entertainment purposes” — runs the range of animal abuse.
“It’s like he’s not even real,” says the guy filming his roommate as he try to soothe the freaked-out husky, named Loki according to the YouTube’s comments. If the dog’s off behavior weren’t enough, the guys’ running commentaries speak to the animal’s unusual discomfort.
“C’mon, get your tongue back in your mouth.”
“Throw up. C’mon, throw up.”
“He needs to puke. Can you force a dog to puke?”
“He’s f–king stoned, poor guy.”
The “It’s like he’s not even real” comment comes at the end of the video, when the dog strikes a pose that is equally stiff and shapeless — not unlike an oversized stuffed animal that has lost so much of its stuffing it appears to be malformed and unrepresentative of its intended body.
Many readers will surely say this isn’t a big deal, that marijuana is non-toxic, that alcohol or pills or chocolate would be far worse for the animal. And while onions are worse for dogs than activated THC — a statement that is absolutely true — that hardly justifies imposing this kind of mental confusion, physical unease and altogether anxiety upon an animal in your care.
In fairness, here’s YouTube user TonyCostaMovies’ full description from the video — including a link at the end directing to a vet-written Pets Adviser column under the headline “Marijuana Toxicity in Pets: Way More Scary Than Funny”:
After having friends over my roommate and I were watching tv when we noticed Loki, my roommates dog starts flipping out in his corner. He couldn’t control his muscles so he would twitch. This guy loves to get into things. After investigating we established that he had went into one of our friends bag and ate his rice krispie treat filled with marijuana. After contacting our veterinarian friends we knew it was just a waiting game. We kept careful watch on him for the next 20 hours. The next morning he was still high and able to walk, by that evening he was back to normal running around. And today he is back to getting into things again, guess he didnt learn his lesson.
I posted this video for entertainment purposes and with the rise of marijuana legalization to be able to use for educational purposes. I read a great article on marijuana poisoning on dogs, here it goes.