CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know
As with any pet wellness trend, when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, there’s a lot of information floating around the internet, and it’s difficult to know what’s accurate and what’s exaggeration. Of course, you want to do what’s best for your pup, which leads to the question: What do I need to know about CBD oil for dogs?
The AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, explains what CBD oil is, what it does for dogs, and its safety concerns and potential side effects.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Dr. Klein says it is essential to note that in most cases, CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. In fact, most CBD products are derived from hemp and not from marijuana.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Currently, there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs. What scientists do know is 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.
What Dog Health Problems Can CBD Oil Treat?
While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.
According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there’s no conclusive data on this use.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.
- Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
Risks of Using CBD Oil for Dogs
The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart. Therefore, we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.
CBD Products on the Market
If you and your veterinarian decide that you should try CBD as a treatment for your dog, 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.
- Look for organic. If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
- Don’t only shop based on price. 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.
- Get the analysis. The manufacturer should provide a certificate that certifies the amount of CBD that is 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.
- Buy CBD as a liquid. You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is an oil or tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop.
The CBD Wellness Trend
Why are we hearing so much about CBD oil now? Dr. Klein points to the legalization of marijuana in many places, which has triggered interest in potential health benefits of marijuana-related products. “We are likely to see continued interest in CBD and an increase in research about its uses and efficacy in the coming years,” he says.
Learn more about the CBD study funded by the Canine Health Foundation.
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CBD Oil For Anxiety: Can It Calm Your Anxious Dog?
Does your dog hide under the bed every time there’s a thunderstorm? How about when you take him for a car ride or when he has to meet new people? Or what about when you leave him alone at home for a few hours?
If your dog gets nervous, anxious or stressed out, there are certain things you can do to calm him down …
… and one of the best is to use CBD oil for anxiety.
But what is it? Is it safe and and how do you find the highest quality?nd will it calm your anxious dog?
What’s Causing The Anxiety?
Anxiety affects dogs in many different ways and like people, some are more susceptible to it than others. Common reasons for anxiety can be …
- Situational – such as thunderstorms, fireworks, strangers and travel
- Behavioral – like separation anxiety
Symptoms of dog anxiety include:
- Peeing or pooping on the floor despite being house trained
- Nervous licking of the lips
- Loss of appetite
Luckily, CBD oil can work on all of these symptoms and give your dog some much needed relief.
CBD Oil For Anxiety
What is CBD oil? CBD oil (Cannabidiol) is a natural substance extracted from the hemp plant. For thousands of years, people have been using the hemp plant for everything from rope to medicinal purposes. One of those medicinal purposes is anxiety relief … but not in the way you might expect.
There’s a lot of confusion between CBD and marijuana. They both come from the same source, the hemp plant … but there’s an important difference: CBD doesn’t contain THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) … the component that makes you high. Instead, research shows CBD oil works by interacting with the body’s naturally occurring endocannabinoid system to soothe and calm anxiety naturally.
The endocannabinoid system is a complex biological system that’s not yet well understood. What we do know is that the body has cannabinoid receptors throughout the central nervous system, the organs and the brain … and hese receptors make up the endocannabinoid system.
When the body naturally releases endocannabinoid chemicals, they connect with the receptors. That stimulates the body’s natural ability to create serotonin, a natural mood stabilizer. CBD oil enhances this natural ability.
CBD Oil Isn’t Just For Anxiety
Studies show that CBD oil is beneficial for both acute and chronic issues – not just anxiety.
Because CBD oil supports the immune system’s ability to modulate activity, it allows the body to manage cellular degeneration. This helps prevent conditions like …
Studies also show it helps with:
Using CBD oil for anxiety is just one of the ways to help heal your dog naturally.
How To Find High-Quality CBD Oil
You can find CBD oil for dogs in the form of tinctures, treats, extracts and topical creams and in a variety of strengths. But with so many products on the market, the quality and effectiveness varies widely. So which is best for your dog?
You want to start with the source. Here are some questions to ask the seller of your product:
- Is it organic? High quality CBD oils are made from organically-grown hemp.
- What’s the extraction method? The best extraction method is super-critical C02 (carbon dioxide). Other products use ethanol or other natural solvents, which can reduce the product’s effectiveness. Avoid cheaper products made with propane, butane or petroleum products. These solvents will leave a residue in the product and can be toxic to your dog.
- Is it independently tested? Independent lab results and a certificate of analysis should be easy to access … always ask to see a COA to check that your product is full-spectrum, contains the amount of CBD it claims, and is free ot contaminants.
- What’s the THC count? Some companies make CBD oils from a high THC plant which can also be toxic to animals. It should be less than .3% THC.
One critical factor you can use as a gauge to the quality is price. Expect to pay around $50 for a bottle of high quality CBD oil in a 250 mg strength … though that’s not the only marker. It’s also important to investigate the company’s website and/or talk with a distributor. Reputable dealers conduct independent lab tests and are committed to the quality of their product.
Besides quality, CBD oils vary in strength too … usually from 125mg to 1000 mg. As a good starting point, buy CBD oil for dogs in a 250 mg to 500 mg to help your dog with anxiety.
CBD Oil Dosage For Anxiety
The actual dosage amount will depend on the size of your dog and the product strength. Follow the manufacturer’s dosing guidelines for the appropriate product strength as well as your dog’s size.
What can you expect after dosing your dog?
Some dogs show immediate relief. Others may require a few days before they show the effects. It’s a good idea to make notes (or even take a video) after each dose to see if there are changes. Every dog has different cannabinoid receptors, so don’t be afraid to increase the dose by a few drops until you find an effective level.
With ongoing research in the world of CBD and the endocannabinoid system, there’s still a lot to learn and new discoveries will continue to be made. Meanwhile, it’s clear CBD oil is a great remedy to have in your dog’s medicine kit … for anxiety, pain and more.
Alexandre Rafael de Mello Schie et al. Cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent, as an anxiolytic drug.
Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria, Volume 34, Supplement 1, 2012, Pages S104-S117.
Bruni N et al. Cannabinoid Delivery Systems for Pain and Inflammation Treatment. Molecules. 2018;23(10):2478. Published 2018 Sep 27. doi:10.3390/molecules23102478