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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How Long Does CBD Stay in a Dog’s System?
It’s important we as pet owners do everything we can to ensure our dogs have the happiest and healthiest lives possible. After all, a dog’s job is to play and provide companionship.
How often have we thought about how we can either maximize our dog’s quality of life, or help them maintain the quality of life they currently have? If there’s anything we can do to make our dogs happier and help them thrive, we’re definitely going to do it.
One thing that has been critical in providing better care for our dogs is the availability of better and more affordable pet care, and the increasing availability of total wellness products and supplements to help support our dogs’ overall health. Just like we as humans can benefit from creating a health stack that includes proper nutrition, diet, exercise, and supplements, your dog can benefit from these measures too.
When considering supplements for your dog, you should always speak with your veterinarian to determine if the supplement you’d like to give is appropriate for your dog.
All dogs are different, and each will react differently to different supplements. Speak to your veterinarian and voice your concerns, discuss other medications or treatment plans your dog may be undergoing, and the potential benefits of supplementation. These are all important aspects of deciding if you should give your dog a particular supplement.
What is CBD?
A great supplement that is relatively new in terms of supplementation for canines is CBD. Cannabidiol, or “CBD,” is an all-natural chemical compound found in the leaves, flowers, and stems of the cannabis-sativa plant. The cannabis-sativa plant contains over one hundred of these cannabinoids, which can be taken to help support overall health and wellbeing, and support certain systems in our dog’s physiology.
CBD is typically extracted in an oil form, and this oil can be delivered in isolate, broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum formulas. Isolate oil delivers only CBD oil–no other plant parts are included, which is why isolate oil cannot deliver the “entourage effect.” The entourage effect refers to all compounds of the cannabis-sativa plant working together synergistically to provide the most benefit that the plant can offer. You can only find the entourage effect in a full-spectrum CBD oil.
To quell any fears you may have about CBD oil being intoxicating to your dog, you should know that CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC,” CBD does not get your dog “high” or make them feel impaired. In fact, for CBD to be legally distributed, it must contain less than .03% THC. It’s important that a trace amount of THC is included, however, so the entourage effect can be achieved.
How does CBD React with Your Dog’s Body?
CBD is generally well tolerated by canines, and very few side effects are reported from owners of dogs who are given CBD and CBD products.
CBD interacts with systems in your dog’s body that are responsible for things like mood, sleep, appetite, and memory. CBD is a great supplement to give your dog for:
- Healthy GI function. CBD helps support happy tummies, so if your dog suffers from occasional gastric upset, CBD can help provide much needed temporary comfort and help maintain your dog’s natural gut flora.
- Healthy brain function. CBD helps support cognitive function in dogs and gives them essential fatty acids that promote healthy brain function.
- Joint and mobility support. We want our dogs as mobile and as happy as possible, for as long as possible. CBD supports joint and cartilage health which can help your dog maintain their mobility.
- Temporary environmental stress alleviation. Dogs that are stressed by everyday environmental factors can benefit from CBD’s soothing benefits. CBD promotes calmness and relaxation for better emotional balance.
Factors that Affect How Long CBD Stays in a Dog’s Body
Every dog and breed is different, and the length of time that CBD will stay in your dog’s body depends upon many factors. As such, it can be difficult to determine how much CBD to give your dog and how frequently.
Here are some factors that will determine how long CBD will stay in your dog’s body.
- Activity level
- Your dog’s own biochemical makeup
- Frequency of CBD dosing
While it may seem as though getting the right amount of CBD into your dog is very complicated, it’s really just a matter of experimenting with the recommended dosing and developing a system that works well for your dog. You’ll know you’ve found the right amount when your dog responds positively to treatment.
You can give VETCBD’s CBD oil tincture directly to your dog, as our CBD oil is formulated with high-quality olive oil, which helps a dog’s body better absorb CBD quickly and with less breakdown in the first parts of digestion.
How Frequently Should You Give Your Dog CBD?
It’s first important to decide how much CBD you will give your dog.
For VETCBD’s hemp oil tincture , a dosage of .2mg of CBD per pound of bodyweight is a good median amount of CBD that is well tolerated and effective. However, achieving this dosage will depend on the delivery method of the CBD you choose.
You may need to dose your dog with CBD oil more than once daily, but determining how frequently your dog needs CBD will also depend on the factors listed above (i.e. weight, diet, activity level, etc.). The best option is to begin with a small dose and see how your dog responds to it. If your dog seems unaffected or non-responsive to the CBD treatment, consider a second dosage after 12 hours has passed since the first dose.
How Long Do the Effects of CBD Last?
When we discuss how long a supplement lasts in your dog’s body, we are referring to that supplement’s “half-life.” Half-life refers to the amount of time it takes for the concentration of the supplement to decrease by half the amount that was originally given.
The half-life of CBD in dogs is about four hours, which means CBD can be present in a dog’s system for twenty-four hours, but it may need to be present at a certain level to achieve desired benefits.
This means that even though you gave your dog 2mg of CBD in the morning, and you know it will be present in their system through evening, the amount of CBD present in their system by the end of day may not be enough to give them the desired amount of temporary comfort they need.
If you are giving your dog CBD oil as an overall addition to their health stack, they may only need one dose per day. Other dogs may need twice a day dosing, especially if being used to help promote relaxation. Again, it depends on your dog’s physiology and metabolic rates.
CBD oil is a great supplement for supporting your dog’s overall health and wellness and giving them comfort when they need it the most. CBD will remain in your dog’s system for up to twenty-four hours, but depending on the dosage amount, the severity of your dog’s symptoms, and his own physiology, your dog may need more or less than a full recommended daily dose of CBD.
It’s important to always speak to your dog’s veterinarian prior to starting any new supplementation routine, including CBD oil supplementation, to make sure it’s a good fit for your specific pup’s health profile.