||Dogs were one of the species of research animals used in the earliest pre-clinical studies of MDMA required by the FDA to open a Drug Master File. They were used in the toxicity studies [|
Frith 1987], where beagles were given 3, 9 or 15 mg/kg MDMA in gel capsules every morning for a 28-day period.
One of the main risks of giving a dog or any other species Ecstasy is that unless you are certain of the provenance [history of the successive custody of an item] of your drug, you will not know the dose, and you will probably have little way of knowing if there is actually MDMA in the pill – or (an) other substance(s) – unless you send it off to get tested and you have another pill that you are certain is of the exact same batch. Overdosing on MDMA in humans can be extremely unpleasant, nausea, blackouts, vomiting, overheating, blackouts, etc. Overdosing your dog on ecstasy could be one of the worst experiences of its life.
The average oral dose of MDMA for a human ranges from 1.5 to 3 mg/kg. (Note: this does not mean that the average street ecstasy pill contains 1.5 to 3 mg/kg, it merely means that therapeutic/recreational a dose of MDMA known to be pure is 1.5 to 3 mg/kg.)
Since nothing is known about the internal experience of dogs on MDMA
nor on potential variability between dog breeds in their physiological
reaction, it is impossible to know how the dog will be affected.
Consider these things: Do you know if your dog has a healthy heart? Have you considered that its fur may reduce its ability to cool down, and thus stay comfortable in light of the increases in body temperature brought on my MDMA? Have you examined why you want to give your dog Ecstasy? Is it for the novelty factor, for bragging rights? Or do you genuinely feel that the MDMA would benefit your pet or be pleasant for it? For obvious reasons it was not possible to determine the subjective effects of MDMA for the dogs in the study mentioned above. However, major clinical signs included circling, depression, dilated pupils, hyperactivity, rapid breathing, and salivation. Will you be prepared to seek out emergency help for your dog if it experiences adverse effects? Will you be willing to tell the emergency veterinarian what you gave your dog?
People have argued that smoking out their pet is ethical if it comes around and appears curious and willing to breathe cannabis smoke. Some people have reported blowing smoke in a pet’s face that is sick and throwing up, and the pet appears to feel relief. But administration of a strong psychoactive to a being without its explicit consent or as an emergency medication is generally wrong. One of Timothy Leary’s primary admonitions on the ethics of psychedelic administration, was i.e. “Thou shalt not alter the consciousness of thy fellow man by electrical or chemical means.” While friend animals are not 'men', they certainly aren't lab rats either and they deserve your respect.
Another thing to consider is that if you are caught giving ecstasy to your dog and it has a problem, you may be subject to further criminal prosecution beyond the prohibition laws for cruelty to animals, poisoning, etc.
Changing My Mind, Among Others
Leary, Timothy. (1982).
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: PrenticeHall.
P. 159, in Chapter "The politics and ethics of ecstasy.”
An Erowid reworking of Leary's Commandment might be:
One should not administer psychoactives to sentient beings without their explicit consent except in medical emergencies.