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Sandra January 16, 2022

CBD for Dogs

CBD treats and oils for dogs have become increasingly more popular because of their benefits for our canine companions. Lambo got CBD oil for dogs in his stocking as a gift for Christmas. The thought behind this gift was to help Lambo with his separation and travel anxiety. I've heard about CBD for dogs and cats before, not only for anxiety but to help with arthritis, cancer, pain management, inflammation and more! This led me to dive in and dig a little deeper into how safe CBD oil is for dogs and what the benefits are.

What Is CBD Oil?

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp.

When CBD is consumed, it binds to cannabinoid receptors in the body. As a result, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which links things like memory, pain sensation, digestion, immune function, and more. Since mammals have the same endocannabinoid system, dogs and cats can consume CBD just like humans can. 

Scientists explain that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.

CBD oil for pets DOES NOT contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. THC can cause toxicity and even death in dogs! But the worst CBD has been documented to cause is diarrhea and changes in some liver enzyme values after several weeks. In higher doses, there are possible immediate side effects of dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. (Source: AKC Canine Health Foundation)

Many studies and reports consistently show the safe use of CBD oil for cats and dogs with minimal side effects and no risk of addiction or overdose. However, it is essential to note that pets should be taking pet products specifically and not a product designed for humans. In addition, our furry friends vary in size and need to be given CBD differently and follow the intrusions for dosage.

Is CBD oil safe for dogs? 

There's enough evidence out there right now to show that it does help some dogs. It's still important to make sure that you talk to your vet before giving your dog any CBD product and that you spend some time monitoring your dog after you give them a CBD oil treat. Doing so will ensure that you can catch any adverse reactions and that you'll be able to formulate a treatment plan that keeps your dog safe. 

What is the dosage?

Each CBD oil should have instructions for dosage on the bottle. You can also consult your vet or ask the brand via their website, email or in-store. Here is a good resource for reputable CBD oils for dogs. 

CBD oil that is specifically made for dogs also contains dosing instructions. This CBD oil can be given to dogs either under the tongue or mixed in with their dog food. They get a faster reaction when they have it administered under the tongue. With food, it takes more or less half an hour for them to get the effects.

It is recommended that you start with a small dose to gauge your dog's reaction. Then, slowly increase their dosage to the recommended amount over time. After that, you will likely see for yourself if the product is helping your dog. Many have reported positive health changes in their dogs after only a week. The studies indicate that you should be able to tell if CBD is helping your dog after a few weeks or a month.

Some online sources say to "aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog's weight, given by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD." Sometimes, the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn't work if you give too little or too much.

CBD Benefits for Dogs

CBD has healing properties and many benefits proven by research, including:
  • Decreased pain¬†
  • Decreases inflammation
  • Anti-nausea effects
  • Decreases anxiety¬†
  • Helps with stress
  • Aids in arthritis¬†
  • May help with seizures¬†
  • Appetite stimulation
These are all excellent benefits and can help a dog going through some of these health issues. If your pet has any pain or significant health issues, it is possible that they can benefit from CBD as NSAIDs and prescription medications can have very harsh side effects on animals.

What to look for in CBD products for dogs?

AKC's Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, says, "there are a few things to keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil. Not all oils are the same; you'll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working."

  • Choose organic: If the CBD oil is not organic, it should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
  • Spend the money wisely: Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost. A cheaper option could contain toxic substances such as pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives.
  • Research the details: The manufacturer should provide a certificate that certifies the amount of CBD in the product. Many CBD products contain only small amounts of CBD. You'll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
  • Choose liquid CBD: You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but an oil or tincture is the best form to administer. This way, you can adjust your dog's dose drop by drop.
Please remember, any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. Therefore, when giving your dog something new, it is always advisable to start with small amounts and closely monitor the effects.  Always check with your veterinarian first. (Please note I am not a veterinarian doctor, please do not use this information as medical advice for your dog).