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  • Bob Berkelhammer

Domestic Animals Endangered by Marijuana Legalization


Focus: Marijuana Baked Goods and Marijuana Candy

I am a pet family professional concerned about damage to domesticated animals via legalization of marijuana. The legalization of marijuana will increase access of marijuana in pet family homes where children and animals reside. The product category of marijuana baked goods and candy warrants particular concern due to baked goods and candy being a form of food dogs, cats, and birds may find in the home or be fed by immature children or reckless adults.

Pet owners host parties where marijuana baked goods and marijuana candy products may be served. Will party hosts request guests not share any of the baked goods and candy with the family dog, cat, or bird? Will guests respect the host? Baked goods and candy can fall on the floor leaving crumbs and larger pieces quickly eaten up by a family dog.

Parent’s marijuana products can be accessed by pets and children if left unsecured.

Children may gain access to marijuana baked goods and marijuana candy unknowingly from their parents or via other means. Children may have non-biological adult and child friends outside their home offering them marijuana baked goods and candy as a gift, for a money charge, or barter.

I have found bags of Halloween candy under children’s beds and in floor areas while pet sitting dogs and cats. Candy is unsafe for pets to ingest. Marijuana baked goods and candy may unfortunately end up under the beds and around floor locations in children’s bedrooms, allowing pets access. Dogs may eat discarded candy wrappers with product residue on wrappers.

(In my book, Pet Care Givers and Families, I explain how I begin each pet sitting contract by securing any open or unlocked doors and windows on the homes first floor and by closing doors to bedrooms that family pets don’t need access to.)

Modern marijuana contains 800% more of the psychoactive substance then marijuana from the 1960s and 1970s. Certain adults and children unbeknownst to them are susceptible to acute mental health reactions to marijuana. Erratic pet owner behavior can endanger everyone living in the pet family home.

I invite veterinarians to weigh in on the physiological and behavior problems a domesticated pet can suffer through ingesting marijuana baked products and candy.

Robert Berkelhammer is the Author of Pet Care Givers & Families: Getting the Most From Dog Playgroups, Pet Sitters, and Walkers. 2015 Rowman & Littlefield. www.robertberkelhammer.com

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