Does CBD Work for Dogs?
Topper, a 7-year-old Ibizan Hound, could hardly walk after being diagnosed with severe arthritic changes due to Valley fever. “The pain became so debilitating he had to be carried outside to eat, drink, or use the bathroom,” recalls owner Christy Moore. “He was on pain medication but it wasn’t working. A friend recommended pet CBD. Within three days he could walk on all four legs and I was crying tears of joy. It was the miracle we needed.”
Lady Amelthia, a Greyhound, was so petrified of thunderstorms she would destroy a crate to escape. “Holding her only made her claw to get away. A ThunderShirt reduced her from 100 to 90 on the anxiety scale,” recalls owner Jenn Boswell, director of the Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center. “Veterinary-prescribed trazodone took it down to a 50. Tried three drops of CBD oil and it went down to a 5.”
Success stories abound of dogs overcoming anxiety, slowing seizures, and even beating cancer due to cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. But how can one substance help so many unrelated problems? Or can it?
Cannabinoids are substances including CBD and THC that mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals naturally produced in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The body’s endocannabinoids act as master regulators that signal other systems when to speed up or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homeostasis. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant affect these same receptors, each in slightly different ways. For example, THC causes a high, while CBD does not.
Is It Harmful?
Unlike THC, which can cause toxicity and even death in dogs when given at prescribed human dosages, the worst CBD has been documented to do is cause diarrhea and changes in some liver enzyme values after several weeks. The main concern with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450 that is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. If a drug’s efficacy depends on its metabolized product, CBD could render it less effective. If a drug’s safety depends on it being cleared from the body within a certain time frame, CBD could cause it to build up to toxic levels. Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarian’s knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs.
Does It Work?
Research with dogs is still scarce, but there’s a huge body of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well. The results in dogs? It depends.
Arthritis: Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life. Lead investigator Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar improvement, adding that CBD worked better when delivered in a liposomal formulation.
Itchiness: Two recent double-blind, placebo-controlled dog studies report CBD significantly reduces itchiness. An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation, and skin lesions by 51 percent after eight weeks of treatment. An American study conducted by the company ElleVet found their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduced owners’ reports of itchiness.
Cancer: Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. In a Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer, researchers found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians have claimed CBD shrunk cancer cells or put dogs into remission.
Behavior: Anxiety, and especially noise reactivity, is a major reason dog owners seek help using CBD. But despite anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, no controlled study so far has shown it to be particularly effective. A study from the University of Western Australia may show promise for aggressive behavior. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies exhibited less aggression toward humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study from the University of Kentucky, physiological measurements of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different for CBD versus placebo, and were worse compared to trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Note, however, that in this study the CBD was administered four to six hours before testing, which may have been too long a waiting period.
Seizures: Lots of anecdotal reports hail CBD’s success combatting seizures in dogs, but the single controlled study delivered moderate results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher CBD doses. Note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product for seizure control. In addition, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 could interfere with prescribed anti-seizure drugs, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.
Other: There’s also evidence from laboratory animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain, but these have yet to be specifically examined in dogs.
How to Choose CBD For Dogs?
With hundreds of CBD products on the market, and little regulation of them, it’s not easy to know which is best. Look for a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance, and one that has a third-party certificate of analysis that includes potency, lists all ingredients, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides. Avoid edible products formulated for human consumption, which often contain ingredients such as xylitol that are toxic to pets.
Choose broad-spectrum products, which include other cannabinoids and substances known as terpenes that are also in the cannabis plant. CBD seems to work best when it’s in conjunction with these rather than isolated. But avoid full-spectrum products that include THC.
Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, given twice daily by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD, as sometimes the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn’t work if you give too little or too much.
Is It Legal?
Many veterinarians are reluctant to suggest CBD, whether because they believe CBD is not yet sufficiently proven helpful or because they fear professional or legal repercussions. CBD products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dogs, but neither are common supplements such as glucosamine or fish oil; nor the majority of human-approved prescription drugs routinely prescribed in veterinary practice.
While it is legal to sell hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC, until recently the American Veterinary Medical Association did not approve of veterinarians suggesting any cannabis products, including CBD, for patients. Even now, the law is unclear enough that many veterinarians fear repercussions if something went wrong due to their suggestion of CBD.
While some veterinarians are hesitant to suggest CBD, almost all are eager to discuss it once you bring it up. Of course, some veterinarians are more versed in its pros and cons than others. The main concern is its possible interaction with prescribed drugs.
Overall, the evidence is compelling that CBD can help at least some conditions. The endocannabinoid system is the largest system in the body, and the least explored. Every year brings new discoveries—and new claims. It’s the beginning of a brave new world of health, but as with any new path, expect some wrong turns, dead ends, and false hopes. CBD is not a miracle drug, but it may be the miracle your dog needs.
This article originally appeared in the award-winning AKC Family Dog magazine. Subscribe today!
Cbd oile for dogs application
By Andrew Gora
June 30, 2020
Cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, is an organic compound that exists naturally in the cannabis Sativa plant species. Its popularity has skyrocketed thanks to its beneficial properties. We know that it’s useful for human beings, but did you know you can also use it on dogs?
This is because dogs have the same endocannabinoid system that is commonly found in human beings. CBD usually interacts with the endocannabinoid system to produce several positive health effects.
The FDA’s Stance on CBD Oil
Currently, the FDA disapproves of CBD oil for dogs, but many people still give their dogs CBD oil because of some of the latest clinical study results. The FDA is currently open to studies on CBD oil and its safety and effectiveness, but its approval may be slow.
The FDA recognizes CBD oil’s potential, but they are still unclear on its safety. And they also don’t want you to use CBD to treat serious diseases when you should take your dog to the vet for proper veterinarian care.
You should always consult your vet before starting your dog on a CBD product.
Reasons Owners Give Their Dogs CBD Oil
CBD Oil does not cure any ailments, but it may be able to help manage pain and symptoms of:
A study found that CBD oil of 2.5 mg twice daily can reduce seizure frequency by 33%. While most dogs in the study had no adverse behavioral effects, two dogs were removed from the study because they developed ataxia.
Clinical studies on the cannabidiol treatment in osteoarthritic dogs found that 2 mg of CBD oil twice a day can significantly decrease pain and increase activity for dogs with arthritis. Compared to NSAIDs, which cause adverse gastrointestinal effects, CBD oil had little to no side effects.
CBD oil becomes a viable, natural alternative to NSAIDs for dogs that suffer from osteoarthritis. The easiest method for dosing during the study was an oral tincture of CBD oil. This method allows for quick absorption.
Pain, Inflammation, and Soreness
Dogs can vary in their responses to pain, soreness, and inflammation caused by injury, age, or chronic illness. Sometimes dogs show more subtle signs of pain by moving reluctantly or withdrawing from social contact. CBD oil may reduce pain and inflammation, allowing your dog to increase activity and sociability.
Studies are finding that CBD can reduce chronic pain and inflammation when adequately dosed. To properly dose your dog, you should talk to your vet.
Some dog breeds are predisposed to develop anxiety, most dogs can suffer anxiety from environmental conditions, and many dogs suffer from separation anxiety. Common signs of anxiety are pacing, panting, licking, trembling, hiding, urinating, and barking.
To help their dogs cope with anxiety, many owners offer their dogs CBD oil because studies have found that CBD oil can have a calming effect on animals. These doses were at 2.5 mg, 5 mg, and 10 mg, which showed a reduction in anxious behavior. Higher doses showed little effect.
Methods for Administering CBD Oil to a Dog
If you want to give your pet CBD, there are several methods that you can use to administer CBD oil to a dog:
Place the Product Directly in the Mouth
This is considered one of the easiest and best ways to give your dog CBD. Direct placement is ideal because your pet will get the exact amount of the recommended dose. It should be noted that most CBD oil products are dosed. This could be based on the number of drops that you need to give your dog, the severity of the dog’s condition, weight, or size.
Draw the oil and move carefully to your dog’s mouth to get a good aim. Be careful because you need to avoid making your dog gag, as this will make them more aggressive. Slowly squeeze in the recommended oil drops using the dropper. To ensure that they thoroughly swallowed everything, make sure that you give them a treat after the administration.
Studies show that administering CBD oil directly by mouth is the most effective way for your dog to absorb the oil for the best results. While treats and other methods can work, an oil tincture is best for absorption because a dog’s gastrointestinal tract can react differently depending on the dog’s breed.
Mix The CBD with Food
If there’s one thing all dogs have in common, it’s that they LOVE food, and could eat all day if we let them. These four-legged animals will quickly clear their bowls if you feed them their favorite meal. If you want to give your dog CBD, then you can add CBD oil to his or her’s favorite meal. This helps to ensure that they will consume all the CBD.
This method usually works because the taste of CBD is masked with the flavor of their food. Dry foods are highly effective in masking the texture as well as the taste of the CBD product. Most wet foods may not thoroughly blend with this organic chemical compound. As a result, your pet may quickly notice a change in the appearance and taste of their regular food. Therefore, make sure that the food will pass as your dog’s regular food.
When you are mixing this cannabis compound with food, start by using a smaller dose. As time goes by, you can gradually increase the dose. It’s important to note that when you are adding the oil to food, give it a few minutes so that it can thoroughly soak in. After that, you can go ahead and feed your dog.
Mix the CBD with Something Tasty
Even though mixing CBD with food may seem like the most effective way, sometimes it’s not easy. Foods contain various molecules, and sometimes this organic compound may fail to blend with the food molecules properly. However, you can easily mix it with delicious treats such as peanut butter. Since peanut butter contains oil, adding CBD oil can be easy. Just make sure that you mix the recommended dose with the appropriate amount of peanut butter.
Ensure that you use quality and delicious treats. Avoid products that are made with xylitol because this type of sweetener can cause serious side effects. While this method can work, it isn’t as effective as an oral tincture because the foods may decrease the oil’s potency.
Present CBD Oil As a Treat
Yes, you can easily give your pet CBD oil like a normal treat. Since treats are usually rewards for good behaviors, this is a great way to have your dog associate CBD with something positive. Plus, they help to enhance the bond between you and your dog. Most dog treats are generally in the form of cookies and biscuits.
Their dry nature makes them effective alternatives for absorbing cannabidiol oil. To give your dog CBD in the form of treats, you need to place the required drops on the treat. Leave it for a few minutes for absorption to take place. If that’s too much work, check out our CBD dog treats!
CBD formulated dog treats are another easy way to administer CBD oil to your dog. A recent study found that 2 mg CBD-infused soft chew given twice daily to dogs had a 96.7% acceptance rate.
The study showed that CBD had very few or mild side effects for relatively healthy dogs. Although, the same study found that cats did not fair as well, having way more side effects.
For dogs with some health issues, CBD oil-infused treats can cause mild signs of elevated liver enzymes and benign CBC fluctuations. If your dog has some health issues, talk to your vet first before giving your dog a CBD-infused treat.
Dilute the CBD Oil with Water
Administering CBD tinctures, which are typically used under the tongue, can be challenging for your dog. However, you can replace this method by diluting the CBD oil in water. Understand that quality CBD Oil is usually almost tasteless and odorless. You can add the oil into your pet’s water without them knowing. Just make sure that you put the appropriate dosage so that at the end of the day, your pet will get all the benefits of CBD.
Note: if your pet doesn’t drink water frequently, then this method may not be effective. By diluting the oil, you can’t ensure that your dog will get the proper dosage needed for effectiveness. And you’ll need to be mindful of replacing the water every time instead of adding water and more oil that could affect the dose.
But if you have a super thirsty dog, where you can ensure they will drink all the water in one sitting, then this method would work for them.
Use Homemade Treats
It’s possible to make your dog treats from home. As a pet owner, you understand what your dog loves and hates. You can add or replace the CBD oil in any recipe that you are using. This is especially effective when you are frying the treats.
Do not add CBD oil to baked treats. The baking process may lead to the evaporation of the CBD oil. As a result, your dog may not get the full benefits.
Find A Quality Cbd Product That Your Dog Will Definitely Love
As a pet owner, you know what flavors your dog loves the most. The best thing about CBD oil is that it’s versatile with its flavors. This makes it effortless to find a flavor that your pet will love. Apart from the natural flavor, you can find CBD in the form of chicken nuggets, salmon, coconut-infused or cheese-infused CBD oil, bacon flavor, mint, and others. These flavors usually help to mask the taste and texture of CBD.
Examine the Quality of the CBD Oil
You want to purchase CBD oil products for dogs that derive from the industrial hemp plant because they should have little to no THC and should be safe for your dog. You’ll want to ensure the CBD Oil comes from a legal, reputable supplier that has been tested for safety. You’ll also want to make sure it doesn’t contain pesticides, toxins, or fungicides.
Dope Dog is very committed to the quality and safety of its CBD oil. Dope Dog rigorously tests the CBD oil in their CBD products through a third-party laboratory to validate the correct potency and quality of their products.
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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