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June 27, 2024

Seriously. We need to talk about psilocybin for dogs because apparently people are giving psychedelics to pets. Major, major yikes. The potential uses, though, by trained professionals may be a real game changer for dogs with fear, trauma, or socialization issues. 

Keep an eye on this Psychedelics and Veterinary Medicine site for updates. 

From CBD to Psilocybin for Dogs

While working on an updated article for a national veterinary magazine about CBD and other cannabis-derivatives, I learned that people are increasingly giving psilocybin to dogs and other pets now that several states have decriminalized so-called magic mushrooms and their active ingredients (often dosed via a mushroom tea). 

I cannot even imagine trying psilocybin myself, so giving it willy-nilly to animals who often are already unpredictable scares the pants off me. Truly. 

Here's why. While in the ER with my badly fractured and dislocated ankle/tibia/fibula in March 2024, the doctors gave me a combination of conscious sedation drugs, including ketamine, before they yanked all my broken bones back into alignment. 

Before administering the meds, the ER doctor (a lovely guy of Indian descent) made eye contact and said over and over again ... "Happy thoughts! Happy thoughts!" You see, drugs like ketamine (and psilocybin) throw some people into nightmarish hallucinations. Thankfully, I was not one of them. I did think happy thoughts. I was thrilled after like 6-7 hours of excruciating pain to finally be pain free, even for a few minutes. 

Apparently, I narrated my hallucinations while the rather large team of medical professionals got my bones realigned -- and apparently dealt with me when I stopped breathing for a bit. I don't remember that part. 

To me, it all seemed like I was in a game of MineCraft (which I have never played). Very colorful and blocky and funny to me. I could feel them yanking on my leg, but it did not hurt. 

When I thanked the ER doctor for the funny experience, he was glad I had a good response to the meds. Others aren't so lucky.

So, let's just say ... do NOT sign me up for recreational use. It did what it needed to do in an emergency, and I'm fine to let that be. 

Yet, the Potential Uses of Psilocybin for Dogs ...

Could be amazing if theories pan out.

  • Imagine being able to counter-condition fearful dogs by "reopening" a learning period and deliberately exposing them to positive experiences with the things they fear. 
  • Imagine reopening key socialization periods at any age to help dogs navigate sights, sounds, and other things better. 

That could be really incredible, but ONLY in the hands of people who know what they are doing with the psilocybin  and with dog behavior and dog learning. 

Do NOT DIY, Please!

I'll keep you posted as this type of research moves forward, but in the meantime, please don't experiment with psilocybin for dogs on your own. 

About the Author Roxanne Hawn

Trained as a traditional journalist and based in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, USA, I'm a full-time freelance writer for magazines, websites, and private clients. My areas of specialty include everything in the lifestyles arena, including health and home, personal finance and other consumer interests, relationships and trends, people and business profiles ... and, of course, all things pet related.

I don't just love dogs. I need them in my life. Seriously.

  1. Well, I'm not surprised. Back in my younger days I smoked pot and knew people that would blow smoke in their cats and dogs faces. Not cool at all. Some people find it amusing to get their pet high. That's like getting your kids high in my book and it's 100% unacceptable. But there are a lot of bad people in this world and it'll end up killing their pet one way or another. If they're using it for medicinal purposes then they definitely need professional guidance. I can't imagine ever doing that to my dogs. Ever! For any reason.

  2. Thanks for this short article. I learned something new.

    Glad you doing better after that terrible injury. Now go have some fun!

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