CBD for Dogs
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. While cannabis has a reputation for its ability to get people “high,” CBD does not do that.
When you purchase a CBD oil or other CBD product that is derived from hemp, the product will not be psychoactive.
Because CBD oil is naturally-derived, many people turn to it as a natural remedy to help with things like anxiety, pain, and general health for both themselves and their animals.
CBD for dogs is a hot topic now, with treats, oils, sprays, peanut butter, and lots of other dog products popping up. This leaves dog owners wondering if CBD will work well for their pets.
How Does CBD Work?
All vertebrates have a vast network of receptors and chemicals that are well distributed throughout their bodies. This receptor system is known as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS plays a role in things like our immune system, pain sensation, mood and stress levels, and more.
CBD interacts with the ECS in a variety of ways. It is thought that CBD might help to boost the function of the ECS, and with it, help a wide range of disease states. This is why people are using CBD to help with conditions as varied as epilepsy, anxiety, and arthritis.
Because all vertebrates have an ECS, research into mice and rats may hold true for other animals like dogs and cats. It is primarily this early animal research that has provided guidance as to how CBD might be able to help dogs, humans, and other animals.
You can find anecdotal reports of CBD oil helping dogs with seizures, anxiety, joint pain, cancer, arthritis, chronic pain, general health, and more. Much of the hope that people have for CBD and dogs is based on these thousands of uplifting stories.
But what does science have to say?
As it stands today, most of the research into CBD for pets has been the preliminary stages. Until recently, CBD was classified right along with the other components of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. This made it incredibly hard and expensive for scientists to even study CBD’s potential benefits.
These early studies have shown promise for CBD when it comes to:
Fortunately, as its legal status continues to expand, more research is being conducted to help us know how CBD can help dogs. In fact, there have been two studies that looked into CBD and dogs specifically that found positive results.
CBD for Dogs with Osteoarthritis
In the first study,
dogs with osteoarthritis were given either a placebo oil or 2 mg/kg CBD oil every 12 hours for four weeks. The dogs who were given CBD oil experienced a greater reduction in pain and an increase in activity than dogs given the placebo treatment.
In this study, no side effects were found, but there was an increase in something called alkaline phosphatase during CBD treatment. This finding warrants additional research to determine how safe CBD is for liver health.
CBD for Dogs with Seizures
In the second study, top researchers at Colorado State University’s James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital examined the effect of CBD treatment on 16 pet dogs with seizures. The dogs were broken into a placebo group and a CBD oil group for 12 weeks, and all dogs continued their normal medications.
Neither the doctors nor the owners knew which dogs were receiving which treatment.
There was a significant reduction in seizure frequency in the CBD group when compared to the placebo group. The dogs with the highest CBD in their blood were found to experience the greatest reduction in seizure frequency.
More studies on CBD and dogs are being carried out as you read this article. These studies will help us to learn more about the benefits and limitations of cannabidiol therapy in pets.
Possible Side Effects and Risks
The two studies above in dogs did not find any noticeable side effects. That said, the sample sizes were small and the studies fairly short.
In humans, the most common side effects of taking CBD include nausea, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, and even dryness of the mouth. The more CBD that is taken, the higher the risk of side effects, so taking a smaller dose can help to limit side effects risk.
Additionally, there has been evidence in both human and dog studies that long-term CBD administration may be harmful to liver health. Large, long-term studies are needed to confirm if this is the case. If you plan to give your dog large doses of CBD long-term, speak with your vet. It may be smart to monitor liver enzyme values to watch for any negative impact on the liver.
CBD Oils Dosage Guide
You’re probably asking yourself, what is the best CBD oil for dogs’ dosage? Some of the top questions may be, “how much CBD oil should I give my dog for anxiety?” Or even, “Is there a different dosage of CBD oil for dogs with cancer?”
As it stands right now, there have not been enough studies of CBD in dogs to fully answer these questions. An even CBD dosage is likely to depend on many factors, such as:
Size, sex, and age
Health status and goals
The type of CBD taken (CBD isolate, full-spectrum, or broad-spectrum)
How the CBD is taken (topical, edible, tincture)
Underlying biological factors
When it comes to CBD dosage, the rule is trial and error. What is right for one dog might not be right for their brother or sister. The general advice that you will find is to start small and work your way up until you find the right dosage.
How long should you wait before increasing the dose? Wait one week to ensure that your pet is not experiencing any benefit. Be on the lookout for any side effects like changes in behavior or appetite.
Another tip: find a high-quality CBD supplement and stick with that one while finding the best dose. It might differ by brand and by-product, so it is best to test dosing with any new CBD product.
How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs
Once you’ve figured out what dosage you want to start with, the next question is how to give your dog CBD oil. There are two primary options: treats or tinctures.
We recommend tincture bottles for symptomatic relief from specific conditions. Tinctures are dropper bottles filled with CBD-rich oil. This dropper system allows for precise dosing that can easily be increased or decreased for the best result. Plus, tinctures are usually less expensive than treats per mg CBD. As a health condition is likely to require a greater dose than for general health, it can be more doable by opting for a less expensive option.
Most dogs will simply eat the CBD oil plain. You can put it on the palm of your hand and have them lick it off, add it to their food, or put it on their favorite treat.
Just as we humans take supplements in the hopes of staying healthy, so can our pups with CBD-infused dog treats. These treats allow you to support your dog’s health while giving them something they can enjoy. Think of them like gummy vitamins.
CBD Oils for Dogs Buying Guide: What to Consider?
When looking for a CBD oil for your dog, there are a few things you will want to consider to help you find the best CBD oil for you.
You have three options when it comes to CBD type. The first are products made from full-spectrum hemp oil (FSHO). As the name implies, FSHO contains the full spectrum of healthful compounds found in hemp, including other cannabinoids, terpenes, and more.
Next are broad-spectrum hemp oil products which are like FSHO but without any THC. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for marijuana’s high. It is important to note that the 0.3% or less THC that’s in FSHO will not get your dog high.
Lastly are CBD isolate products. These oils and treats are made with pure CBD. They do not have any other healthful cannabinoids or healthful compounds. FSHO and broad-spectrum hemp oil are arguably the best when it comes to health benefits. This is thanks to something known as the entourage effect, which refers to the compounds in cannabis working better together than apart. That said, CBD isolates are usually far cheaper and can still exhibit benefits, which might be better for some families.
The quality of CBD is largely determined by the quality of the hemp plant that it comes from and how the CBD oil is extracted from the plant.
Pet owners should look for companies that use hemp grown in Europe or the US as the growing standards are higher. Additionally, organically-grown hemp is better than traditionally-grown hemp. Pet owners can only get information on where the hemp in question was grown if the manufacturer is transparent and honest. This means that the integrity of the manufacturer is critical to the quality of the product.
Lastly, read about the extraction method, which is how the CBD oil is separated from the hemp plant. If a company is using a high-quality method, like CO2 extraction, they will let you know on their website.
Many CBD products on the market aren’t what they claim to be.
Because they are not regulated as a drug or supplement by the Food and Drug Administration, it is up to the companies themselves to self-regulate.
Some companies are stepping up to this challenge and paying for third-party testing on every batch of their products. This ensures quality and consistency for customers. The information acquired from these tests should be available on the website and are called certificates of analysis (COA).
Study the information on the ingredient label to see if everything is all-natural. Additionally, you might find that some products include additional ingredients that can offer further benefits. For example, the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis might include not simply CBD, but also other natural compounds that help to reduce inflammation or pain.
One example would be turmeric, a brightly-colored yellow root that is another popular supplement for animals and humans alike.
We know how important it is to give your pets the best-of-the-best. CBD oil for dogs is a way to try and boost the health and well-being of our four-legged family members in a 100% natural way. Choosing a high-quality CBD product that your dog will enjoy can help make this daily addition fun for you and your pup.
The statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. All information presented here is not meant as a substitute for or alternative to information from healthcare practitioners. Please consult your healthcare professional about potential interactions or other possible complications before using any product. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act requires this notice.