Cbd oil for dogs side affects
Posted by Ian Koontz on Jun 29th 2020
With CBD oil rising in popularity as the trendiest wellness alternative online, it’s no surprise that it’s taking off for pets, too. There’s a lot of information available on the internet, from bloggers to influencers, so it can be overwhelming when you first start looking into CBD oil for dogs.
We all want the best for our fur babies, so you should make sure to research everything from the pros of CBD to the side effects of using CBD products on dogs.
What is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. The American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, notes that in most cases, the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties- delta 9-tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), is not present in most CBD products. Because of the absence of THC, most CBD products should be safe for consumption for your pet, but always double-check, just to be safe.
What effects will CBD Oil have on my dog?
At the moment, there has been no formal study conducted that conclusively says what the effects of CBD are on dogs. However, scientists have found out that the effects of CBD are mostly positive. The compounds in CBD interact with central and peripheral nervous systems, which then help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a healthy, optimal state.
For dogs, the effects of CBD are that of a holistic treatment for numerous ailments from anxiety to arthritis. A few studies on the side effects of CBD products on dogs are currently in the works, but in the meantime, pet owners are getting their information from testimonies from other pet owners online. A majority of pet owners report that as a holistic treatment, it’s effective on their ailing pets.
It can help soothe anxious dogs, regulate a pet’s mood, or even mitigate the pain of serious, terminal illnesses and its treatments, like cancer. Nothing is scientifically certified yet, but so far, pets seem to only have positive reactions to CBD based treatment. It may even be better as an alternative to traditional pharmaceutical medicines, which may have more pronounced side effects than CBD.
What are the possible side effects of CBD Oil for dogs?
CBD and hemp oil products are not FDA-approved remedies for ills for both humans and dogs (yet), it’s best to be informed of both the pros and cons of using CBD oil, including documented side effects your dog may experience.
Scientific papers have found that CBD can cause an elevation in an important liver value in bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase or ALP. While scientists are not yet sure if that specific liver value has medical significance, but it may signify that it can cause irritation or damage to your pet’s liver. CBD may also interact with other drugs, specifically anti-inflammatory medicines. Because of the risk of drug interaction, even if not proven scientifically just yet, it would be best to seek an opinion from your veterinarian before starting any CBD treatment regimen with your dog.
While you may not enjoy cleaning up after your dog’s slobber, saliva plays an important role in the health of dogs. It helps them in multiple areas from dental hygiene, to digestion. If saliva production in dogs were to stop or slow down, it can affect their health by affecting their teeth, gums, and give them bad breath, even making it difficult or painful for them to swallow.
Less saliva may also mean your dog will attempt to compensate for the lack of fluids in their mouth and throat by drinking an increased amount of water. While that may not be bad, per se, it is also not a real solution to your dog’s dry mouth and is more of a band-aid solution. If your dog starts to exhibit signs of having a reduced saliva production, you may have to reduce the dosage or stop giving your dog CBD for the moment. If it goes away, then you may resume giving your dog CBD with a reduced dosage. If not, it may be best to seek advice from your vet.
Another prominent side effect of giving your dog CBD oil is vomiting. Since CBD oil is bitter, your dog may not enjoy the taste and reject it. While there are CBD products on the market that have flavoring to help ease the bitterness of cannabidiol, you will have to find the right one for your dog to keep them from rejecting it. The best way to know if the vomiting is caused by CBD oil is to observe your pet but consult your vet as soon as possible, because vomiting may cause your dog to be dehydrated or lead to other pains.
Diarrhea may be one of the worst, grossest side effects of CBD oil for dogs. It may be hard to discern at first if the CBD oil is indeed the cause of your dog’s bowel troubles, or just because of a dog’s regular and often questionable eating habits. However, one way to check is to try and remove CBD completely from your dog’s routine to see if it is indeed the cause of your dog’s diarrhea. Remove all the possible variables from your dog first before you make the call.
A way to test this is to resume your dog’s diet as normal without the CBD, then see if diarrhea does go away. If it goes away but returns once you resume giving your dog CBD, then it’s a sign to reconsider the use of CBD oil for your dog. Otherwise, if diarrhea resumes either way, then it might be time to consult your vet.
Diarrhea in dogs can be caused by a number of things, from unclean drinking water to chewing on something they probably shouldn’t have, as dogs tend to do. Speaking of water, a good tip to keep in mind while taking care of a pet with diarrhea is to keep their water clean and constantly refilled, to keep them from experiencing dehydration as a side effect of diarrhea. You also have the option to mix other substances into your dog’s water to help regulate their digestion or to act as a supplement while they recover.
Low Blood Pressure
You may notice your pet becoming more sluggish and sleepy once you being using CBD oil for them. If that’s the case, it may be worth bringing up with the vet on your next visit to know for sure if it’s because of CBD. You should make sure to mention to your vet that you are treating your dog with CBD oil and keep an eye on your pet if they are lethargic or overly tired.
What health benefits can CBD oil have for my pet?
While research is still ongoing and inconclusive, a majority of pet owners seem to agree that CBD oil positives far outweigh any potential side effects. Giving your dog CBD products may help treat:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Appetite issues
- Digestive issues
- Sleep pattern problems
- Joint and muscle pain
- Mood regulation and comfort
- Cancer treatment pain
While CBD for dogs is taking off as a popular holistic treatment, it’s still best to research as much as you can about hemp oil for dogs and its side effects to make sure that your pet will be safe and healthy throughout your dog’s CBD journey.
10 Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs: Read This First!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, CBD has become one of the biggest wellness crazes in recent memory. Cannabis compounds were illegal until only recently, and CBD was the first to receive the praise and attention that helped to catapult it to its current popularity. It was only a matter of time until this wellness craze spread to our pets, and that time has come.
Today, you can find all manner of CBD products created specifically for pets, including treats, tinctures, and even toys. CBD is touted as a safe and natural compound for any adult to take, but is it the same for our dogs? Let’s take a closer look at CBD for dogs and the potential side effects that it may cause before you go and start offering CBD treats to your favorite canine compadre.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol; a compound that’s found in cannabis and hemp. Cannabis is quite famous for its psychoactive effects, but cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that CBD doesn’t produce any high like other cannabis products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
Within cannabis, THC is the main component that produces the psychoactive sensations, but CBD provides many of the other positive effects that the cannabis plant is known to provide, such as a host of medical benefits.
Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
CBD has been proven to provide positive benefits for people. For instance, it’s used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” But this is in regards to humans, which leaves us to wonder how safe CBD is for our dogs.
Currently, testing is ongoing. Groups like the AKC Canine Health Foundation are sponsoring studies about CBD’s effect on dogs, though there’s no definitive answer yet as to its efficacy or safety. However, according to PubMed, CBD has not been shown to be detrimental in healthy dogs.
10 Potential Side Effects of CBD for Dogs
Despite CBD’s purported benefits for people and relative safety, there are some side effects that your dog might suffer as a result of this compound; particularly if given too much.
1. Dry Mouth
Many people are aware that cannabis can cause cottonmouth in people, but CBD can also have a similar effect on your dog. While it might be gross that your dog drools everywhere, that slobber is actually important for their health. If CBD causes your dog’s mouth to become dry, it can result in poor dental health, bad breath, and even cause pain when swallowing.
Another common side effect of cannabis use in people is drowsiness or laziness. Though CBD doesn’t contain any THC, your dog could still show signs of lethargy when dosed with CBD. Generally, this is due to a dose that’s too large, so if your dog gets drowsy after a dose of CBD, you might want to reduce the dosage size.
Image Credit: Pixabay
CBD can also cause dizziness in your dog. You’ll have to look for signs that indicate your dog is dizzy, such as trouble standing up or repeated falling over. This can easily occur if the CBD you’re using isn’t pure and contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis that causes the “high” that users experience. While this might be pleasurable for some people, it might not be such a thrill for your pup.
4. Increased Tremors
One of the main reasons people administer CBD to themselves or their pets is to treat epileptic seizures. As such, you might think that it’s a good compound to help with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, CBD has the potential to increase the tremors associated with Parkinson’s, in both humans and canines.
You might notice that your dog tends to scratch, bite, and itch a lot after being dosed with CBD. If so, then you’ll either want to reduce the dosage or cease it altogether. While this isn’t a particularly common side effect, it’s certainly possible, and it’s something you should be on the lookout for.
Image Credit: Zivica Kerkez, Shutterstock
6. Low Blood Pressure
CBD has been shown to cause temporary drops in blood pressure when administered in high doses. This can cause light-headedness, which your dog won’t appreciate. Since this is usually dose-dependent, reducing the amount you’re giving to your dog should help to eliminate this side effect.
7. Upset Stomach
Anything your dog isn’t used to consuming can cause an upset stomach. Even switching dog foods will wreak havoc on many dogs’ stomachs. CBD is no different, and especially in high doses, it can cause quite a lot of discomfort for your canine.
When stomach discomfort is taken to the extreme, it can often induce vomiting. This could be as a result of the compound itself, or it might just be from the taste. CBD is a rather bitter substance and your dog may not like the taste of it. But if the CBD upsets your dog’s stomach enough, they’ll likely throw it back up.
Image Credit: Mumemories, Shutterstock
It can be hard to pinpoint CBD as the culprit when your dog has diarrhea since so many things can cause diarrhea in dogs. But if you’ve removed all other variables and narrowed your dog’s diarrhea down to the CBD you’ve given them, then you’ll either need to reduce the dosage or refrain from giving your dog CBD.
10. Inhibited Production of Liver Enzymes
CBD can affect the way your body metabolizes other drugs because it inhibits the production of liver enzymes. As a result, other drugs can become several times more potent, which can lead to accidental overdose; a deadly occurrence that you’ll need to take care to avoid. If your dog is currently taking other medications, be sure to get veterinary approval before adding CBD to its regimen.
Though CBD is considered safe for humans and even for dogs in most cases, it can have side effects for both of us. While we can decide if the possibility of side effects is worth the potential benefits we could see from taking CBD, your dog can’t make that decision. You have to decide what’s best for your dog. So, keep in mind all of the potential side effects your dog might suffer before you decide to dose them with CBD. And it’s always a good idea to get your vet’s professional opinion first.
- You may also want to read: Relievet CBD Dog Treats Review 2022: Our Expert’s Opinion
Featured Image Credit: Erin Stone, Pixabay
Lead Pet Expert & Pet-ditor in Chief
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.