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What CBD can do for your dog or cat

What can CBD do for pets? Cannabidiol (CBD), one of the active constituents of the cannabis plant, can exert profound healing and balancing effects on all mammals. By stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD can help the body rebalance to homeostasis.

Pet owners use CBD for a broad range of behavioral and medical issues, including cancer pain, anxieties, obsessions, arthritis, seizures, neurological and digestive disorders, past traumas, social withdrawal, irritable moods, and getting along with other dogs and cats better.

While recovering from illness or surgery, CBD can stimulate appetite and speed healing. At the end of life, CBD can minimize the pain and anxiety your pet may be experiencing.

What is the endocannabinoid system and how does it work?

The endocannabinoid system is a network of receptors located throughout the body and it’s named after the plant that led to its discovery. Natural endocannabinoid substances are synthesized by the body to maintain a stable internal environment, which is known as homeostasis. If the body’s endocannabinoid production lags behind what it needs, CBD supplements can help. CBD supplements can also stimulate the body to build more receptors, which makes natural cannabinoids work more effectively.

CBD interacts with the body’s system of receptors. To date, two types of receptors have been identified: CB1 receptors, which are mainly present in the brain, nervous system, glands, and organs; and CB2 receptors, which exist predominantly in the regulatory cells of the immune system.

One of the main roles of the endocannabinoid system is to control inflammation by regulating the immune response. An overactive immune response can trigger allergies and auto-immune problems; an underactive response can make the body vulnerable to infections or make it a more favorable host for the growth of cancer cells.

Is CBD safe for dogs and cats?

Hemp and marijuana are both classified as cannabis, but they are very different varieties. Marijuana is high in THC (which is responsible for the feeling of being high). Conversely, hemp plants contain almost no THC but are rich in the beneficial CBD compound. CBD extracted from hemp is will not make your pet high and it has no negative side effects. Because of this, hemp crops are not a controlled substance, and hemp products containing less than 0.3% THC are legal in all 50 states.

What is the best kind of CBD for my dog or cat?

CBD for dogs and cats comes in many convenient forms. The most common types are extracts, also known as CBD oil, which can be given from a dropper bottle directly into the mouth, added to food or a treat, rubbed into bare skin inside the ears, or dropped on an animal’s paw to be licked off. You may also want to give your dog or cat CBD biscuits, CBD capsules, and topical CBD balms that absorb quickly into the skin. Read How to Give Your Dog CBD to learn more.

How much CBD should I give my dog or cat?

The right CBD dose will vary from animal to animal and depends on the situation, so it may be necessary to experiment to find the right amount and frequency of dosing.

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The typical suggested CBD dose for dogs and cats is 1 mg – 5 mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight. Make sure you’re looking at the actual amount of CBD in a dose, because potencies vary quite a bit, so the actual amount of liquid oil or biscuits you give may vary.

Typical suggested starting dose: 1 mg – 5 mg per 10 lbs. of bodyweight

Cats: 1 – 5mg

Dogs: 10 lbs 20 lbs 30 lbs 40 lbs 50 lbs 60 lbs 70 lbs 80 lbs
1 – 5mg 2 – 10mg 3 – 15mg 4 – 20mg 5 – 25mg 6 – 30mg 7 – 35mg 8 – 40mg

It’s often best to start with a dose in the middle of the range. Visible results usually occur within 30 minutes. If there is no change after an hour, offer a bit more CBD to get to the high end of the recommended range. For severe pain or anxiety, offer CBD approximately every 8 hours. For other uses, dose your pet with CBD once or twice a day.

Which is the best CBD for my dog or cat – isolate, broad spectrum, or full spectrum?

When choosing the best CBD for your pet, keep in mind that each type of CBD has its benefits. If you want maximum effectiveness and your pet isn’t picky, consider full-spectrum CBD products. They are the least refined and contain the greatest amount terpenes and cannabinoids – beneficial plant compounds that can work together with the CBD to create an entourage effect to increase effectiveness. Keep in mind that it does have a grassy flavor that may be off-putting to some pets.

On the opposite end of the scale, CBD isolate for dogs and cats is pure CBD, making it the most refined option. Because it contains no plant matter, it has no flavor. Even the pickiest pets will take it.

The middle ground is broad-spectrum CBD. This option retains enough plant material and terpenes to support the entourage effect, but it has a very mild taste.

CBD Oil for Dogs: 8 Key Things to Know

CBD oil is a fast-growing market and the compound is now being touted as a treatment for dogs too.

Indeed, the therapy is already big business, with a study by Grand View Research estimating the market size for CDB oil surpassed $37.4 million as of 2020.

However, the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, cautions while CBD oil boasts potential benefits for dogs, owners should always consult their veterinarian before starting such medical treatments.

He told Newsweek: “Cannabinoids such as CBD appear to hold therapeutic promise in areas such as the treatment of epilepsy and the management of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, neurogenic pain and possibly anxiety although much of the available scientific evidence pertaining to their use in animals is currently limited.

“While findings from a few well-controlled studies have been published, much of what we know is related to anecdotal or case reports.

“It is of utmost importance for people to know that CBD is not marijuana which is TOXIC to dogs and should never be given to dogs under any circumstances.

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“Additionally, it is always recommended consulting with your veterinarian before starting and medication or supplements as your veterinarian best knows your dog’s individual medical history and needs.”

Here are some of the most important facts you should know about CBD oil for dogs.

1. What Is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is a fast-growing trend in human health supplements and the compound is now being touted as a treatment for dogs too Photoboyko/Getty Images

While CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp, the oil it is derived from rarely contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for providing marijuana its psychoactive properties.

Note, hemp-derived CBD oil products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws.

2. Does CBD Affect Dogs?

Currently, there has been no formal research conducted about how CBD oil affects dogs Tinnakorn Jorruang/Getty Images

Currently, there has been no formal research conducted about how CBD oil affects dogs.

However, research has shown 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.

3. What Dog Health Problems Might CBD Oil Treat?

CBD oil is being used on dogs for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation and anti-anxiety impacts fusaromike/Getty Images

Although definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs is still lacking, the AKC states “anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggests it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.”

CBD is also used by humans for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, as well as potential anti-cancer benefits, although conclusive data on this use is also lacking.

4. Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs

Research suggests CBD oil can decrease the production of saliva. The AKC said: “For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.” gorodenkoff/Getty Images

Due to the lack of scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, experts can only speculate about the possible side effects based on how the compound can affect humans.

Research suggests CBD can decrease the production of saliva. The AKC said: “For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.”

High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure, capable of triggering brief light-headedness.

Humans have used CBD on their pet dogs to treat anxiety, while CBD oil’s calming effect can also cause slight drowsiness.

The AKC cautions in a statement: “To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.”

5. Potential Risks of Using CBD Oil With Dogs

The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has neither approved CBD nor issued a dosing chart.

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As a result, it remains unclear what size dosage of CBD oil would be toxic for dogs.

The AKC warns any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction, writing on its site: “It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.”

6. Can Dogs Taking Medications Use CBD Oil?

Owners of dogs taking any medications or supplements should always check with a vet, as CBD oil can change how the animals metabolize some drugs herraez/Getty Images

Owners of dogs taking any medications or supplements should always check with a vet.

CBD oil can change how the animals metabolize some drugs, in the same way that grapefruits can cause significant reactions in humans.

Owners will need to consult their vet about dose changes if a dog is taking any of the following medications: steroids, allergy medications, liver or kidney medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heart medications and anxiety medications.

7. CBD Dosage for Dogs

Each bottle of CBD has a specific concentration expressed in milligrams and it is thought the majority of dogs do not mind the taste of CBD oil, meaning it can simply be added to your pet’s meals IRA_EVVA/Getty Images

Each bottle of CBD has a specific concentration expressed in milligrams. Some owners add CBD oil to their dog’s food.

Dr. Robert Silver from NurseYourPet suggests giving a dog 0.05 to 0.25 mg/pound of body weight, twice daily is a “safe place to start,” as well as suggesting beginning with lower doses and increasing these only gradually if the lower dose appears ineffective.

It is important to note, that is only from his anecdotal experience.

8. What Are the Best CBD Oil Products for Dogs

Should consultation with a vet result in a decision in trying CBD oil to treat your dog, there are some key things to consider when buying the compound pcess609/Getty Images

Should consultation with a vet result in a decision in trying CBD oil to treat your dog, there are some key things to consider when buying the compound.

The AKC states: “Not all oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working.”

If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.

Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost, meaning cheaper options can potentially more likely contain toxic substances including pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals.

The manufacturer should provide a certificate stating the quantity of CBD in the product, with some CBD products containing minimal amounts of CBD. People buying CBD oil for their pet dogs will also want to ensure there is little or no harmful THC in the product.

The AKC also advises people to purchase CBD as a liquid whenever possible, stating: “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.”