Dogs are getting high from eating human poop laced with marijuana, experts say

You may know of obvious ways dogs can get their paws on some pot.

Perhaps, your four-legged companion broke into a stash of weed or ate an edible. Maybe someone threw a leftover joint on the ground, and your dog sniffed it out.

But now there are reports of a less obvious and more disgusting way. Dog owners across the country say their pets are getting high from eating human poop left behind by marijuana users, media outlets reported.

Rebecca Cole returned home after hiking near Aspen, Colorado, with her dog Marty, a 2-year-old cattle dog mix, when he started acting strangely, staggering and throwing up, the Aspen Times reported this week. The veterinarian told Cole her dog likely was high from eating human feces laced with THC that hikers left behind on the trail, the newspaper reported.

“It’s unlikely that many people toss an edible or a roach on the side of the trail,” says veterinarian Scott Dolginow, who reported that he has dogs come to his Colorado clinics high on marijuana three to 10 times per week, according to the newspaper.

In Vermont, Liz Robert, the owner of a 3-year-old Australian shepherd named Zuheros, is sure her dog became high on marijuana from human poop he ate during a hike up Mount Philo last year, according to WPTZ.

Zuheros, an Australian shepherd, apparently got high after ingesting human feces left along a trail in a Vermont state park, owner Liz Robert told WPTZ. Screengrab from WPTZ. Screengrab from WPTZ

Robert rushed him to the veterinarian’s office, where he vomited what appeared to be feces, Robert told the Vermont TV station.

Robert told WPTZ she returned to the trail and “found human feces with Subway napkins and all — so there was no disputing what it was.” She posted signs along the trail to warn other hikers of the danger, the TV station reported.

A professional dog walking and pet sitting agency posted on Facebook that three dogs had become sick from THC toxicity in the same week at the Vermont state park.

It’s not just happening in the mountains or state parks but urban areas, too. Maizey, a pit bull mix, spent some time digging around bushes at a park in San Francisco only to become high from eating the feces of homeless people who’d apparently used marijuana, according to KQED.

“Dogs love that (poop) scent,” veterinarian Dorrie Black told the Northern California public radio station. “To them it’s perfume.”

Data seems to back up the fact that more pets, especially dogs, are getting THC poisoning — though figures pertaining to human poop as a source aren’t readily available.

The animal poison control center for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals reported a more than seven-fold increase this year in the number of phone calls from people whose pets consumed marijuana.

“Exposures in indirect ways have also been reported,” according to the ASPCA. “Consumption of human feces or careless disposal of marijuana remnants in public locations, to name a couple.”

Signs that your dog could be high on marijuana include depression, loss of coordination, dilated pupils, a slow heart rate, hypothermia and urinary incontinence, according to the ASPCA.

Elena Butler, who lives in Canada, and owns a dog that became high from marijuana-laced poop, has advice for people who choose to consume pot and defecate outside, according to CKWX.

“I just want people to be responsible,” Butler told the Vancouver radio station. “People are getting down on dog owners about cleaning up after their dog poop — clean up after your own poop.”

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.