Can Dogs Get High from Blowing Smoke in Their Ears?

Have you ever wondered, “Can dogs get high from blowing smoke in their ears?” As a dog owner, it’s natural to be curious about the various myths and claims surrounding our furry friends. This question has sparked much debate, and it’s time to delve into it.

Dogs cannot get high from blowing smoke into their ears. However, they can be affected by secondhand marijuana smoke. THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, is toxic to pets and can be absorbed through the skin and eyes.

For those reasons, blowing smoke into a dog’s face can cause irritation and potential lung injury. Therefore, it is strongly advised against exposing dogs to marijuana smoke or cannabis consumption.

Understanding the Concept

Before we delve into the heart of the matter, it’s crucial to clarify what we mean when we say a dog might “get high.”

Often used in human contexts, this phrase refers to the altered consciousness typically associated with using certain substances. In this case, the substance in question is smoke, which contains Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

THC is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis when humans consume cannabis, whether by smoking, vaping, or eating.

THC interacts with certain receptors in the brain, leading to various physical and mental effects – the state we call “high.” These effects can range from euphoria and relaxation to altered sensory perception and time awareness.

When it comes to dogs, the situation is a bit more complex. Dogs have an endocannabinoid system, much like humans, which means they also have receptors that can interact with THC.

However, their system is more densely populated with these receptors, making them more sensitive to the effects of THC.

This heightened sensitivity means that exposure to THC can lead to a more intense and potentially distressing experience for dogs than for humans.

It’s also important to note that while humans may choose to consume THC and can anticipate and understand the effects, dogs do not have this same level of understanding.

They can’t comprehend why they might suddenly feel different after exposure to THC, which can lead to distress and anxiety.

In the context of our topic – “Can dogs get high from blowing smoke in their ear?” – we’re exploring whether the THC in smoke can be absorbed through a dog’s ear and cause these psychoactive effects.

It’s a question that combines elements of veterinary science, pet care ethics, and a fair amount of myth-busting.

Can Dogs Really Get High from Blowing Smoke in Their Ears?

Whether dogs can get high from blowing smoke in their ears has been floating around for some time.

It’s a topic that has sparked curiosity, debate, and a fair share of skepticism. But what does the evidence say? Let’s explore the two main viewpoints.

Viewpoint 1: It’s Possible

One school of thought suggests that it might be possible for dogs to get high from blowing smoke in their ears.

The reasoning behind this theory is that the skin within a dog’s ear is thin and highly vascular, meaning it has a rich supply of blood vessels. This could, in theory, allow for the absorption of THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana smoke, leading to a high.

However, it’s important to note that this theory is largely speculative and lacks substantial scientific backing.

While it’s true that certain medications can be administered to dogs through the ear due to the thin skin and rich blood supply, there’s no concrete evidence to suggest that THC can be effectively absorbed in the same manner.

Viewpoint 2: It’s a Myth

The more prevalent viewpoint among veterinarians and animal health experts is that the claim is a myth. These professionals argue that no scientific evidence supports the idea that dogs can get high from blowing smoke in their ears.

Most studies on the effects of THC in dogs involve ingestion or inhalation, not transdermal (through the skin) absorption. Furthermore, even if some THC were to be absorbed through the skin in the ear, it’s unlikely that it would be enough to cause a noticeable psychoactive effect.

The Science Behind It

To understand the science behind the claim, we need to delve into how THC is typically absorbed and how it affects dogs.

THC, or Tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis. In humans, it’s typically absorbed through inhalation or ingestion. When smoked or vaped, THC enters the bloodstream through the lungs.

When eaten, it’s absorbed through the stomach and intestines. Once in the bloodstream, it travels to the brain, interacting with cannabinoid receptors, leading to the psychoactive effects commonly associated with a marijuana high.

In dogs, the process is similar but more dangerous due to their increased sensitivity to THC.

Dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains than humans, which means the effects of THC can be more intense and potentially harmful.

Symptoms of THC toxicity in dogs can include lethargy, loss of balance, incontinence, abnormal heart rhythm, and in severe cases, seizures or coma.

As for the idea that dogs can absorb THC through their ears, the science is less clear. While the skin in a dog’s ear is thin and rich in blood vessels, it’s not typically a route for drug administration.

Most studies on THC absorption focus on inhalation and ingestion, not transdermal (through the skin) absorption.

There’s currently no scientific evidence to suggest that a significant amount of THC can be absorbed through a dog’s ear to produce a psychoactive effect.

Furthermore, even if some THC were to be absorbed transdermally, it’s unlikely to be a safe or effective method of administration.

The potential for irritation or damage to the sensitive skin in the ear, combined with the harmful effects of THC in dogs, makes it a risky and ill-advised practice.

Potential Risks and Dangers

Blowing smoke into a dog’s ear is potentially ineffective in getting them high and poses several health risks. Here are some of the potential dangers:

  • Respiratory Issues: Exposure to smoke can lead to respiratory problems in dogs. This includes coughing, wheezing, and lung damage or disease in severe cases.
  • Irritation of the Ear: The skin inside a dog’s ear is sensitive. Blowing smoke into the ear can cause irritation, inflammation, or infection.
  • THC Toxicity: Dogs are more sensitive to THC than humans. Even small amounts can lead to THC toxicity, which can cause a range of symptoms such as:
    • Temporary incoordination or disorientation
    • Hyperactivity or lethargy
    • Dilated pupils or glassy eyes
    • Vomiting or drooling
    • Changes in heart rate
    • Loss of bladder control
    • Tremors or seizures
    • In severe cases, coma or even death
  • Behavioral Changes: Exposure to THC can lead to behavioral changes in dogs. They may become anxious, paranoid, or aggressive.
  • Risk of Choking: If dogs react negatively to smoke blowing into their ear, they may jerk away suddenly or thrash around, potentially leading to injury or choking.

In light of these risks, it’s clear that the potential harm far outweighs any perceived benefits. It’s crucial to prioritize the health and well-being of our pets over any misguided attempts at recreation.

Expert Opinions and Advice

Expert advice is invaluable Regarding our pets’ health and well-being. Veterinarians and animal health experts have a wealth of knowledge and experience to guide pet owners in making the best decisions for their furry friends.

The expert consensus is clear and unanimous regarding exposing dogs to smoke or THC: it’s a bad idea.

Veterinarians warn that dogs have a higher sensitivity to THC than humans. This means that even small amounts can lead to THC toxicity, which can cause a range of symptoms from mild discomfort to severe health problems.

Furthermore, blowing smoke into a dog’s ear can cause irritation or infection due to the skin’s sensitivity in the ear.

Animal health experts also emphasize the importance of considering a pet’s quality of life. Dogs cannot consent to being exposed to substances like THC, and the potential distress or discomfort caused by such exposure is a significant concern.

Moreover, experts point out that there are many safe and effective ways to manage issues like anxiety or pain in dogs.

These include prescribed medications, behavioral therapy, and natural remedies. Using substances like THC for these purposes without professional guidance is risky and unnecessary.

Healthy Alternatives for Calming Your Dog

Many safe and effective alternatives exist if your goal is to help your dog relax or manage anxiety. Here are some strategies that can contribute to a calmer, happier dog:

  • Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity is crucial for a dog’s overall health and can significantly help reduce anxiety. Long walks, playtime in the yard, or dog sports can help burn off excess energy and promote relaxation.
  • Mental Stimulation: Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. Puzzle toys, training sessions, or interactive games can keep your dog’s mind engaged and reduce anxiety.
  • Calming Products: There are various products designed to help calm dogs. These include pheromone diffusers, calming wraps, and even certain types of music. Some dog owners have also reported success with CBD oil, but it’s important to consult your vet before introducing new substances into your pet’s routine.
  • Professional Training: In some cases, professional training can help manage a dog’s anxiety. Counterconditioning and desensitization can change your dog’s response to anxiety-inducing stimuli.
  • Medication: In severe cases, your vet may recommend medication to help manage your dog’s anxiety. These are typically used in conjunction with other forms of treatment and are not a standalone solution.

Remember, every dog is unique, and what works for one might not work for another. Always consult with a professional to determine the best course of action for your furry friend.


Wrapping up, it’s clear that the notion of dogs getting high from smoke blown into their ears is more myth than reality. The health and safety of our canine companions should always be paramount.

Subjecting them to potentially harmful substances like smoke and THC is ineffective and can lead to serious health complications.

Instead, consider healthier alternatives for calming your dog, such as regular exercise, mental stimulation, calming products, or professional advice.

Knowledge is power; sharing this article can help other dog owners make informed decisions about their pet’s well-being. Let’s work together to keep our furry friends safe and healthy!


1. What happens when I keep blowing into my dog’s ear?

When you keep blowing into your dog’s ear, it can cause discomfort and potentially lead to ear infections. The moisture from your breath can create a damp environment ideal for growing bacteria and yeast.

2. Do dogs get a natural high when you rub their ears?

Dogs may not get a ‘high’ in how humans understand it, but they enjoy rubbing their ears. This is likely due to the large number of nerve endings in their ears, which can make ear rubs feel relaxing and pleasurable.

3. Do dogs like blowing in their ears?

Most dogs do not enjoy having air blown into their ears. This can feel uncomfortable or even painful, and the noise can be frightening. Avoiding this behavior to ensure your dog’s comfort and well-being is best.

For more information on dog health, check out our articles on giving Kalms to dogs and using Polysporin on dogs.