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What Happens When You Get Your Pet High

A vet explains whether that doobie you shared with your pug is animal abuse or not.
Photo by Hex via Stocksy

Although it's not specifically illegal to get your pet high, it's not advisable. That doesn't mean you can't get high in front of your pet, though—smoke up, just crack the window.

But can animals get high or drunk in the same fun, sadness-reducing way as humans? Here's Professor Brock Fenton—an expert on fruit bats at Western University—with some sobering facts.

"New world fruit bats are regularly exposed to alcohol in their food, because of the fermentation that occurs in ripe fruit and in nectar," Fenton explains. As a result, they develop an Epicurean tolerance to alcohol. How did Fenton find this out? By getting regular bats pissed and flying them through an obstacle course. "The Egyptian fruit bats just couldn't hold their drink," Fenton observes. "They were crashing around like a bunch of drunken bats."


Like those messy, cartwheeling bats, all kind of animals can also get messed up. "There's accumulating evidence that animals can appear inebriated or drugged through ingestion of naturally-occurring objects in their environment," explains Dara Orbach of Texas A&M University. "For example, birds may ingest fruit high in alcohol content and lose their balance on their perch. Some dolphins have been observed playing with toxic puffer fish and subsequently appearing lethargic."

Read more: 'Sometimes They're Boiled Alive': Inside the Abusive Animal Crush Industry

Not all animals are as hardy as Professor Fenton's new world fruit bats. Like humans, drunk or high animals are much more likely to sustain injuries. "There is certainly the possibility of harm occurring to inebriated animals," Orbach explains. "Birds or bats falling off their perches could sustain bodily injury, or inebriated bats could be susceptible to predation."

All across the natural world, animals are getting fucked up, like you or I. "We tend to think of alcohol as something artificial, but it's completely natural and readily available in the real world," says Fenton. And drugs? "You often see a lot of tooth marks in psychedelic mushrooms," Fenton observes. Meaning there's probably a load of stoned, tripping animals wandering around woods the world over as we speak? "It wouldn't surprise me," Fenton responds. "If you saw them you'd probably think they were sick or something."


Ok, so animals can get fucked up like humans do. But is it ever okay to get stoned with your pet?

No. It is not. What is wrong with you? Do not get high with your pets, ever.

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"Dogs and other pets are far smaller than we are so their toxic levels are reached much quicker, making any access to alcohol, drugs, or legal highs incredibly dangerous," explains Gudrun Ravetz, President of the British Veterinary Association.

""If a pet takes alcohol, drugs or legal highs it can lead to several serious health issues," he goes on, "from a distressed and disorientated pet who does not understand what's happening to them, to seizures, respiratory failure and maybe even death."

Also, don't feed your hamster a cocktail of LSD, weed, and British citrus-flavored soft drink Tizer, unless you want to end up with a criminal record.

As Ravetz reiterates: "It is never acceptable to get high with your pet."