4 Immediate Steps to Take If Your Dog Ate an Edible

Written by Kristin Hitchcock
Published: January 11, 2024
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The main problem with your canine eating an edible is their small body weight. Edibles aren’t particularly more dangerous to dogs than they are to people. However, edibles made for humans are dosed for humans. Therefore, dogs can run into problems due to their much smaller size.

There is often less of a concern if you have a larger dog (like over 100 pounds). Very small dogs will typically develop the most side effects due to cannabis poisoning.

Either way, here are the steps to take if your dog ate an edible. As always, time is of the essence.

1. Contact Your Vet

You should call your vet right away. If it is after hours, call your vet’s emergency line if they have one. You can also call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, which is available 24/7. The main point is to get ahold of someone with veterinary experience immediately.

You should come prepared with the exact type of edible your dog ate and the amount your dog consumed. An estimate of your dog’s body weight is also important. What’s toxic to a Chihuahua won’t be the same as what’s toxic to a Mastiff. The size difference matters!

If your pet is currently experiencing any symptoms, have that information available, too. An estimated time of ingestion can be helpful if your dog didn’t just eat the edibles.

All of this information can be helpful for the vet on the other end.

2. Don’t Induce Vomiting

charcoal with bamboo leaf isolated on white


can sometimes be used to prevent the absorption of toxic materials, but it can be dangerous in the wrong hands. It’s best to leave administering it to your vet.

©Everyday better to do everything you love/iStock via Getty Images

It may be your first instinct to try and make your dog vomit up the edible. However, this isn’t recommended. Vomiting can cause complications, especially if your dog is already experiencing other symptoms. Plus, it may not actually help your dog all that much, depending on the edible and when they ate it.

Plus, if your dog really does need to vomit, they likely need to be seen by a vet. If their condition is that serious, they’ll also need IV fluids and maybe even medication.

Your vet can induce vomiting far more safely than you can.

3. Monitor Your Dog

Put your dog in a quiet, safe area where they won’t get into anything else toxic. Preferably, your dog should be able to rest off the effects of the edible. If your dog is crate trained, now is a great time to put them in their crate.

However, you should continue to monitor your dog. Minor effects typically aren’t concerning, but more serious effects call for veterinary attention. It’s best to be on the safe side and always take your dog to the vet if you’re concerned.

Here are some of the more serious symptoms that require veterinary attention:

  • Lethargy
  • Tremors
  • Disorientation
  • Vomiting
  • Urinary Incontinence
  • Coma
  • Seizures

If your dog experiences any of these signs of illness, we recommend taking them to the vet immediately. Time is crucial if your dog is already experiencing serious side effects. The longer it takes for them to get veterinary care, the more likely they are to experience serious side effects.

While monitoring your dog, be sure to provide plenty of water. Don’t force your dog to eat, but you should provide a steady stream of liquids to prevent dehydration. Many dogs may experience stomach upset, and the water may also help calm this symptom.

Don’t give your dog food, medication, or charcoal unless instructed by the vet. In most cases, it’s best to let the effects of the edible run its course. If your dog needs to see the vet, extra medications and food can complicate the vet’s job.

4. Take Your Dog to the Vet

Young man veterinarian checking up the dog on table in veterinary clinic. Healthcare, medicine treatment of pets. Dogue de bordeaux.

When in doubt, it’s always best to take your dog to the vet.


Depending on what your vet says and your dog’s symptoms, you may need to take your pet to the vet. It’s always best to be safe, so if your dog’s symptoms are even a little bit concerning, we highly recommend taking them to the vet.

If your dog is showing concerning symptoms, you should consider this an emergency and take your dog to the vet right away. This problem isn’t something that can wait until morning!

Bring the package of the edible with you to the vet if possible. Your vet won’t know exactly what they’re dealing with unless they have the packaging. The odds of serious side effects can be determined based on the toxicity of the edible.

Remember not to panic. You must stay calm and focused to get your canine the help they need. Panicking is never helpful in this situation. If someone can go with you to the vet, that’s even better. Having an extra set of hands can help you transport your dog and keep you calm at the same time.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Thirawatana Phaisalratana/iStock via Getty Images

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About the Author

Kristin is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering dogs, cats, fish, and other pets. She has been an animal writer for seven years, writing for top publications on everything from chinchilla cancer to the rise of designer dogs. She currently lives in Tennessee with her cat, dogs, and two children. When she isn't writing about pets, she enjoys hiking and crocheting.

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