Over the weekend, I came across a Reddit post from someone asking whether dogs can become addicted to licking cane toads. The amphibian produces a toxic poison on its skin, which is its natural defense to avoid being eaten. The poison is strong enough to cause illness, or even death in some cases. But it turns out that in smaller doses, the toxin can cause psychedelic side effects. And some dogs out there have discovered a way to enjoy recreational cane toad tripping. In Mark Lewis’ fascinating documentary, Cane Toads: The Conquest, a veterinarian who is interviewed explains there are documented cases of dogs who not only accidentally lick/bite cane toads once, but regularly seek them out to get high.
Of course, it’s not recommended that you allow your dog (or yourself) to lick a cane toad. In case you live in Hawaii, Australia, or other place where cane toads are prevalent, do what you can to prevent an encounter. But if you’ve wondered why your dog looks a little glazed in the eyes and blissed out, it could be s/he’s a cane toad addict.
Photo by blundershot