The ‘Leave It!’ Cue Is More Important Than Ever!

Yellow triangle with skull and crossbones to indicate toxic substanceAs more states legalize recreational marijuana, vets are reporting enormous numbers of visit from dogs who are stoned.

The symptoms, which include wobbliness and disorientation, can look like the dog is having a stroke. The dog might lose bladder control or vomit and will likely be lethargic.

Depending on the size of the dog and how much THC the dog ingested, the dog could recover without veterinary assistance — or become very ill.

Dogs obtain their “fix” in a number of ways. As people who had illicit marijuana — in whatever form, whether a plant, a joint, an edible, or something else — may know, dogs’ noses are drawn to the scent, and they will ingest what they find, whether live plant, dried bud, or edible.

However, as more places allow recreational marijuana, dogs are more likely to happen upon it on a walk or hike — a discarded butt, a dropped gummy, a bit of a pot brownie found in the trash.

A “leave it!” command is useful for more than errant drug-detection drugs, of course. All dogs should know to respond immediately to a stern “Leave it!” to keep them away from danger or simply stop them from enthusiastically greeting a non-dog-loving stranger.

But the stronger the Leave it!, the more likely it is to become an automatic default (like a magic sit!) — an ingrained behavior of not looking for and eating random stuff off the ground. This is also more likely with dogs of some breeds and temperaments — and nearly impossible with others.

Alas, golden retrievers tend to be in the latter category. But there’s plenty of individual variation, and Orly seems far less inclined than other goldens I have known to vacuum the ground. Unless the birds drop bird seed, her current addiction, that is. Fortunately, the only side effect so far has been copious, interestingly textured droppings.


2 thoughts on “The ‘Leave It!’ Cue Is More Important Than Ever!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.