We all know second-hand smoke isn't good for your fellow human. But what about your pet? Your loveable kitty, trusty dog or wisecracking parrot? Will they feel the effects of the high, brother?
I was toking with a bong one night whilst visiting a friend in Vancouver. It was the ﬁrst time I saw her after we both ﬂew off to our universities abroad, she in Canada and myself in The Netherlands. It was a really special moment as we met in preschool in Indonesia and haven’t seen each other in years…
So after hot-boxing her top-ﬂoor attic into a gym steam room, she takes notice of her cat, nudges me with her elbow and says, ‘Look at Boo, he’s so stoned!’ I turned to look at Boo and to be honest, I wasn’t too sure if he was stoned or not. With his open, drooling mouth and small paw dangling off the desk, it could be just another sleepy day for him!
It did make us wonder though, are we conscious of what happens when we ‘puff and pass’ to our four-legged friends? Maybe not literally, but what does secondhand smoke from cannabis do to our pets? Are we recklessly doing something we shouldn’t?
“Unless an animal is conﬁned in a pillowcase or in a room with extreme amounts of smoke, inhaling marijuana smoke is not likely to lead to intoxication.”
Secondhand Smoke: does my pet really get high?
Well, is it going to harm my pet? I recently spoke to my friend about this and admittedly, she doesn’t really know if Boo gets high or not either. He usually leaves the room on his own when she tokes up. If not, she leaves the window open for a little fresher air, allowing smoke to leave and the room to ventilate. But the question still remains, will secondhand smoke harm our pets?
As the ‘internet’s go-to guy’ on all questions related to pets and marijuana (self-described by Dr Eric Barchas) says, “Unless an animal is conﬁned in a pillowcase or in a room with extreme amounts of smoke, inhaling marijuana smoke is not likely to lead to intoxication.” However it’s still very true that pets have a higher sensitivity when it comes to their respiratory systems, so this should also be considered.
Alright, so I can smoke around my pet?
As Eric continues, ‘…the bigger concern here is the smoke itself. Dogs have exquisitely sensitive lungs, and smoke can damage them. If the dog is being “hotboxed” in a thick cloud of smoke all day every day, his respiratory function can be compromised. On the other hand, if the person doing the smoking does not go overboard, doesn’t smoke every day, and keeps a window open while smoking, it is not likely that much harm will come to the dog — from the smoke at least.’
The key phrase I see here is ‘does not go overboard,’ or in other words, being smart about it. Secondhand smoke from cannabis might not directly get us humans high, but we’re huge. When it comes to this particular issue, size does matter! A ten-pound kitten has much smaller lungs than a 90-pound retriever, and as mentioned, their lungs are sensitive. Which also equals, smaller than ours. Generally, smoke can cause irritation that leads to coughing ﬁts and asthma, even in our four-legged friends.
Conclusion: Just be considerate
In conclusion, it’s best to crack open a window, remove your pet from the room, or hell, even smoke outside. The point is that it may not directly cause harm to cats and dogs, but being aware of how sensitive their respiratory systems are is highly advisable.
For a more extensive review of what secondhand smoke from cannabis can do to our pets, check out the references below. Thanks for the read everybody!
Author: Sada Piqolette