Can Secondhand Cannabis Smoking Be Bad For Your Pet?

As much as we love weed, we would never let anything hurt our pets, take care when smoking next to them
03 November 2020
6 min read
Can Secondhand Cannabis Smoking Be Bad For Your Pet?

  • 1. Can secondhand cannabis smoke get your pet high?
  • 2. How does cannabis affect dogs?
  • 3. How does cannabis affect cats?
  • 4. Cbd for treating your pets
  • 5. Cannabis isn't just toxic for pets but they also don't enjoy it!
  • 6. What to do if your pet consumes marijuana
  • 7. Alternatives to smoking around your pets
  • 7. a. Switch to vaping
  • 7. b. Take care of your stash
  • 8. The bottom line

Have you ever wondered if your pet would get high after spending a smoking sesh with it in your room? When people smoke, whether it is marijuana or tobacco, there is always secondhand smoke for the others around them to inhale.

So, what happens when you're in your hotboxed room, sitting completely baked next to your dog or cat, or whatever pet you have? Does this secondhand cannabis smoke affect your pet?


Can secondhand cannabis smoke harm your pet?

Can secondhand cannabis smoke be bad for your pets?

As humans, we don't mind cannabis secondhand smoke, sure it has an intense smell but there's not much more to it than that. But let's find out how this might affect your pets. 

1. Can Secondhand Cannabis Smoke Get Your Pet High?

Normally, a person shouldn't worry about getting high from a couple of whiffs of secondhand cannabis smoke. Yes, we all have that overreacted non-smoking friend who will claim they feel something but apart from them, it's pretty uncommon

The reason why the average human will not get high from secondhand cannabis smoke is that we have a larger physical build, therefore, the small remnant of active components in weed smoke floating around in the air doesn't really make an impact on us. 


Pets' sensitive respiratory system is more sensitive to secondhand cannabis smoke.

Pets' sensitive respiratory system is more sensitive to secondhand cannabis smoke.

With pets, on the other hand, it's a whole different story. To begin with, they are much smaller than humans, even the hugest dog you can imagine, except for Clifford.


As a general rule, the smaller the pet the higher the risks of seconhand cannabis smoke harming. 

Due to their smaller size, pets are much more sensitive to smoke and more likely to get high from secondhand cannabis smoke floating in the air. Besides, dogs and cats have a very delicate respiratory system, which can go through some serious breathing problems and irritation caused by secondhand smoke. 

However, this doesn't mean that an occasional hit while your dog or cat is around will get them high, less to say damage their respiratory system forever. What we're saying is a hotbox likely will, and keep in mind that the smaller your pet the higher the risks of causing him/her harm will be.  

2. How Does Cannabis Affect Dogs?

You'll always come across the stoner who argues that whatever is good for them will also be good for their dog. Some may even blow the joint's smoke straight into their dog's face thinking it's somewhat funny. And let's not even think about the people who have fed edibles to their pets.

While these stoners might do this with a goofy smile on their faces, you should absolutely not follow them and do the same with your pets. Giving your dog edibles could actually result in severe and life-threatening reactions on your pet who, we would like to believe, you love and take care of.  


Cannabis secondhand smoke could harm your dog

Cannabis secondhand smoke could harm your dog.

We don't mean to scare you either, some lingering fumes around in the air inside your house won't likely kill your furry best friend, but blowing the smoke into their face or feeding it edibles is seriously un-cool, you could cause him/her some serious symptoms such as vomiting, shaking, lethargy, drooling and even seizures.

3. How Does Cannabis Affect Cats?

Just as dogs and most of the other small domestic animals, cats can get high from cannabis as well. In fact, their smaller size makes cats especially sensitive to the THC coming from secondhand weed smoke. 

A study led by researchers in 2018 found that cats that had been exposed to secondhand cannabis smoke had THC presence in their bloodstreams. This serves as proof that cats respond to THC, process, and metabolize it just like humans do.1

However, this doesn't mean that your cat will enjoy sharing a smoke with you, in fact, quite the opposite. With cats, the same goes as with dogs, sharing your weed-smoking hobby with them could be harmful to your purring friend.

4. CBD For Treating Your Pets

While THC is highly intoxicating for your pets and completely disrecommended, with CBD it's a different story. Unlike THC, CBD does not provide any psychoactive effects neither on humans nor pets. 

So, if your dog or cat, or snake why not, has a medical condition and you consider CBD's health benefits might help them cope with it, chances are it could actually be an effective way of treatment. 


Before giving your pet CBD as a medical treatment please do consult with your vet first. 

Nevertheless, when we mention giving your pet CBD as a medical treatment we are not telling you to blow the cannabis smoke into their face, even if you're smoking a CBD-rich strain, you still should avoid any secondhand smoke near your pet. 

The most common uses of CBD for pets include:

  • Pain treatment, especially neuropathic pain;
  • Seizures control;
  • Anti-inflammatory treatment;
  • Cardiac aid;
  • Anti-nausea medication;
  • Appetite stimulation; 
  • Anti-anxiety treatment;
  • Preventing cancer.

The best way to feed your pet CBD is by giving it CBD oil or looking for pet-friendly CBD pills to have better control over the dosages amounts.

5. Cannabis Isn't Just Toxic For Pets But They Also Don't Enjoy It!

The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, ASPCA has established that cannabis is toxic for cats, dogs, and horses.

Marijuana intoxication in these animals can lead to serious side effects such as depression, vomiting, trouble sleeping, low blood pressure, drooling, seizures, and in extreme cases, even coma and death.

Not only cannabis can have some major health impacts on pets' health, but the way animals experience the high effect can be an issue as well. Just think of it, when someone smokes marijuana they are aware that they will get this or that effect, therefore we don't freak out by the effects taking place. 


Avoid smoking next to your pet!

Avoid smoking next to your pet by changing some habits, crack a window open, or switch to vaping!

On pets, things go rather differently. It's as if you gave weed to that friend who is completely scared of smoking, they won't likely have a good time. Well, pets have absolutely no idea of what's happening, they aren't even aware that what they have just consumed will get them funky. 

Therefore, since pets don't know what's going on, it could turn into a rather traumatic experience for them, causing them to feel freaked out by what's happening. 

6. What To Do If Your Pet Consumes Marijuana

If you come home and find your pet has consumed a whole bunch of marijuana while you were away, try to stay calm, pets are good at sensing uneasiness, which will only stress them more. Besides, keep in mind that no fatal events have occurred after consuming cannabis. 

The side effects of weed intoxication are usually short-term and last no longer than 72 hours, so keep your dog hydrated during this time. Immediately all your vet and ask your advice.

It's important to check first for the evident signs. Is he/she feeling well or do they seem goofy and sleepy?


Sings your pet has consumed cannabis:
Drooling excessively
Looking hyperactive or extremely lazy
Hypermetria or seizures


You might want to call your vet and comment on what has just happened, or directly drive your pet over there if they ate significant amounts. 

7. Alternatives To Smoking Around Your Pets

So, now that you are aware that you might be harming your pet by hotboxing your room we hope you try to start taking into consideration your pet's health and try to change some habits


Seconhand cannabis smoke isn't ideal for pets.

Seconhand cannabis smoke isn't ideal for pets.

No, we're not saying you should stop smoking, we are suggesting you engage in different consumption methods when your four-legged friend is around. Start by cracking open a window and perhaps blow the air outside too.

Switch to Vaping

Vaping for example would also be a great replacement for smoking in small places near your pet. When you vape, no combustion takes place, therefore the smoke is actually vapor, which is less harmful and evaporates into the air more quickly than regular weed smoke.

Vaping isn't only healthier than smoking for your pet but for you as well. Check the differences between smoking and vaping in the following article. 


Take Care Of Your Stash

Last but not least, make sure you store your stash away from your pet to keep any accidents from happening. You certainly wouldn't like to find your pet hijacked your stash and them lying down looking sick, so make yourself a favor and put your edibles or buds somewhere they won't be able to reach them. 

8. The Bottom Line

If there's something we've been taught in this life is to share the things that make us happy. However, there's always an exception to the rule. As much as you love marijuana, hopefully, you love your pet just as much or more, therefore you'll take care enough not to intoxicate it. 

If you still want to share your 420 times with your pet then why not take them out for a burn walk around the block? You'll both enjoy the fresh air. 



  1. "Marijuana intoxication in a cat" Agnieszka Janeczek, Marcin Zawadzki, Pawel Szpot, and Artur Niedzwiedz. July 2018.
  2. "Animal Poison Control" ASPCA. 
03 November 2020