Illustration by Ryan Alexander-Tanner

WHILE WE ALL have our differences, we can agree on a few things: The world needs more love and respect; American Idol has produced an excessive number of godawful karaoke shout-singers; and pets are super great. Especially yours, because who's a good little buddy?

But when it comes to cannabis, we don't always take the same precautions with pets that we do with children. Which is a serious oversight, seeing as we spent more than 55 billion dollars on our pets in 2013. (Fifty-five billion? Wow. I went through sixth grade wearing four pairs of socks so the only pair of oversized Goodwill clown shoes I owned would fit. But hey, it's great your corgi is getting thrice weekly therapy sessions to sort out his "issues.")

There are reports of animals using—or abusing—marijuana, but they are few and far between. Let's start by looking to the always-progressive state of Utah. Recently, a Utah Senate panel was taking testimony regarding a medical marijuana bill. Amid news reports that pigs were seen flying over the Capitol, they heard from 10-year Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Matt Fairbanks, who we can only assume suffered some nasty childhood dreams of the Easter Bunny. Matty presented bone-chilling testimony of seeing rabbits at an illegal grow site that had "cultivated a taste for the marijuana." Said Fairbanks: "One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."

If there is anyone I can imagine demanding a stoned Thumper to vacate the premises at gunpoint, it's the DEA. But it's not just bunnies: OPB recently ran a story on Sugar Bob, a medical marijuana farm deer that "spends its day nibbling on fallen pot leaves and the occasional bud" in Oregon's Applegate Valley, then taking a nap (AKA how I spend my weekends).

But Mr. Puddles and Sir Meows-a-Lot are a different story.

First, don't be a dipshit and blow pot smoke in your pet's face. No, it's not cute, and no, they don't like it.

And if you have pets, lock up your edibles like you would a loaded firearm. Most edibles are made with butter, which is super attractive to animals. Many also contain dark chocolate, a toxin to dogs. If your four-legged friend starts exhibiting signs of an edible overdose, get them to a vet, stat. And don't lie about it—tell the vet what happened. They'll most likely use activated charcoal to ease the symptoms.

There is a place for medical marijuana for pets. The book Sweet Serenity was written by the late vet Dr. Douglas Kramer, who used cannabis tincture to treat his husky Nikita when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer. It eased her symptoms and gave him extra time with her.

More research is needed on that front, but applying a tincture is very different from blowing smoke into Professor Bowser's face. Catnip and chew toys are the only things your fuzzy friend should be accused of ODing on.