Is CBD Right for My Dog? And Other Questions About CBD for Dogs

4 min read

Is CBD Right for My Dog? And Other Questions About CBD for Dogs - Animals Matter, Inc.

Do you have a pooch that's been diagnosed with anxiety? Are you looking for a remedy for your osteoarthritic dog but want to stay away from heavy-duty painkillers and anti-inflammatory steroids? You've probably read about the benefits of hemp oil and cannabidiol (CBD) and wondered if CBD for dogs might benefit your pet.

The good news is that emerging studies focusing on CBD and dogs indicate that CBD for dogs may have a place in your medicine cabinet. Today, more and more veterinarians are open to including CBD in their patients' treatments.

How Cannabinoids Work

First, let's get this out of the way: CBD oil won't get your dog high. Of the two main active compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and CBD, only the former causes euphoric intoxication.

What CBD does is dovetail beautifully with the body's endocannabinoid system—a vast network of signals and cannabinoid receptors—to keep your body's nervous system in balance, or a state of homeostasis.

Yes, we're serious. Endocannabinoid system. No, this isn't a chicken-before-the-egg situation; these receptors were explicitly named for the body's ability to benefit from cannabis plant compounds. Endocannabinoids and their receptors exist in all parts of animal (and human) physiology, including individual organs and the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems. Since the discovery of THC, medical researchers have learned about the critical role endocannabinoids and their receptors play in our overall well-being.

In short, the endocannabinoid system is thought to directly connect brain activity to physical wellness. So with CBD, "mind over matter" is more than just a saying.

Which of Your Dog's Ailments Can CBD Oil Treat?

Dog owners who want an alternative or supplemental treatment for any of the following conditions—or who simply might want to keep healthy dogs on the right track—might consider adding CBD to their regimen of daily supplements:

  • Anxiety
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Allergies and skin irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Seizures
  • Blood pressure problems
  • Behavior problems

What Studies Back Up CBD's Efficacy on Pets?

Given that clinical trials on CBD's effects are in their infancy, it will be interesting to see how CBD fares in other veterinary applications. As of this writing, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only one CBD product, a prescription medication to treat epilepsy in children.

Here's some notable research: CBD effects on dogs with epilepsy are the subject of ongoing placebo-controlled studies of CBD on dogs' nervous systems led by Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital’s animal neurologist Dr. Stephanie McGrath. She's found that CBD treatment has a positive effect on the majority of participating dogs suffering from seizures, even when traditional pharmaceuticals alone weren't entirely successful.

How to Administer CBD Oil for Dogs

CBD oil is used to make chews, biscuits, capsules, topical salves and sprays, and tinctures to add to dog food or to apply directly to your dog's mouth. But the hard part is figuring out how much is safe to give to your particular pet. Veterinarians can determine the best CBD dosage for individual dogs based on their body weight, breed, and health history. Follow-up visits and observations of your pet's outward behavior can help your vet adjust dosages as necessary.

It's extremely important not to give your dog more CBD than is prescribed by your vet.

Common Side Effects of CBD for Dogs

Standard doses of CBD for dogs can cause the following in pets:

  • Lowered blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Drowsiness

While you'll want to let your vet know if you have noticed any of these side effects, they're usually nothing to worry about. But...

Not All CBD Products Are Right for Your Dog

Some cannabidiol products contain heavy metals and pesticides that cause toxicity in your furry friends. That's why pet owners must select high-quality CBD products that have earned a Certificate of Analysis (COA) from a reputable, licensed laboratory that tests for contaminants, potency, and THC content. These COA labels can be confusing to read at first, which is why we recommend this tutorial for deciphering them.

It's important to find a product that contains no THC, so look for "CBD isolate" on the label. This is especially important when you're considering full-spectrum CBD.

Still have trouble choosing the right CBD oil for dogs? Once again, your veterinarian is your best resource. They can help you read the COA labels and base their recommended dosage on the amount of CBD in the product.

Symptoms of Potential Toxicity

Regardless of whether you chose a product with a Certificate of Analysis, you should monitor your dog for adverse reactions that indicate toxic levels of heavy metals or THC. Signs that you should immediately stop the use of CBD on your pet and call your vet include:

  • Extreme lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Poor muscle control
  • Elevated liver enzymes

These symptoms might also indicate too much of a good thing; if you give your dog too high of an amount of CBD—even that of the best quality—your dog can get sick. Be sure to keep all products made from cannabis plants and hemp plants out of reach of your pets.

Pet Parents Who Want the Best for Their Dogs Trust Animals Matter

While we don't currently carry CBD dog treats (or treatments), you can give your dog its best life with our high-quality, luxurious orthopedic dog beds, mobility stairs, safety car seats, and wellness supplies. Contact us if you'd like to learn more about what we do or if you'd like to see CBD for dogs in our online catalog!

Quick FAQs

What does CBD stand for?

CBD stands for Cannabidiol, which is a compound found in hemp, a form of cannabis that has less than 0.3% or less tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

What are the health benefits of CBD for dogs?

CBD, which is becoming increasingly more accepted in veterinary medicine, can relieve anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, and pain in dogs, among other health issues.

How does CBD for dogs affect canine behavior?

Dogs experiencing pain or anxiety can express themselves through aggression, destructive behavior, and urination and defecation accidents. CBD can relieve discomfort and mental distress in dogs, which then helps to correct unwanted dog behavior.

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