How to use cbd oil for dogs
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.
Innovet created a product line of full-spectrum, pure hemp oils void of dangerous compounds. Their USDA-certified organic oil is formulated especially for animals, and is also third-party tested to ensure consistency and purity. Innovet offers more than 50 affordable products to help pets manage anxiety, pain, and other conditions. Get more information about Innovet’s CBD products.
CBD for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know
In certain states, medical marijuana is an option for people seeking relief from ailments like seizures, pain, anxiety, and cancer.
Pet parents and veterinarians alike are naturally wondering whether cbd for dogs, in the form of products such as cbd oil for dogs or cbd dog treats, can provide the same benefits.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.
THC vs. CBD for Dogs
CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that have been derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive.
Instead, CBD shares important metabolic pathways with a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Rimadyl. These pathways control many processes in the body, from inflammatory responses to blood clotting.
Do not give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. There is simply not enough research to justify the use.
CBD-based products, however, may help improve your dog’s quality of life when used in conjunction with other therapies.
Why Use CBD for Dogs?
CBD is often mentioned as a useful therapy for a variety of conditions, including pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Although the use of CBD in treating each of these conditions is under-researched, there are varying levels of scientific evidence for each scenario.
Because CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs, it makes sense that it would help with certain inflammatory conditions (anything that ends with -itis is an inflammatory condition).
Osteoarthritis, often abbreviated as arthritis, is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs.
One in four dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime, and by some estimates, as many as 60% of dogs exhibit some degree of the disease.
Research has shown that CBD can provide substantial pain relief in dogs with arthritis when given twice daily at appropriate doses.
In theory, the anti-inflammatory benefit seen in arthritic dogs could also be seen in dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, especially back pain from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
Preliminary studies in people have shown that combo products containing both CBD and THC are more beneficial for pain relief than when either drug is given alone. But no such research has been done on dogs, so THC should not be given to them.
Seizures are probably the most-studied application of CBD in people, but limited research exists for pets. In dogs, seizures can be caused by a vast number of underlying conditions.
With regards to idiopathic epilepsy specifically, there is some research that suggests that CBD could be useful in reducing seizure frequency in these dogs. However, these benefits are only seen with dogs that are given traditional anti-seizure medications at the same time.
Like seizures, the term “cancer” is an umbrella term that refers to an extremely diverse set of specific diseases, each with their own set of beneficial treatments.
In people, CBD has been studied for possible use in cancer patients, both to treat the tumor(s) directly, as well as to treat the secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Very limited research has been done on the use of CBD for dogs with cancer.
However, the anti-nausea effects of CBD seen in people who undergo chemotherapy have also been documented in rats and ferrets, suggesting that dogs receiving chemotherapy may benefit from CBD treatment.
Perhaps the biggest misconception is that CBD is useful in managing a dog’s anxiety. In theory, it is possible that CBD, by reducing pain and inflammation, could indirectly reduce anxiety caused by pain or inflammation.
But because CBD is not psychoactive, it is unlikely that CBD has the ability to directly treat canine anxiety in the way that Prozac and other medications do. The use of CBD for anxiety in dogs, as with most conditions, requires substantially more research.
Potential Risks of CBD for Dogs
Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe in dogs and cats. However, numerous scientific papers have found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
We are not yet sure whether the elevation of this liver value has any medical significance. It could signify that CBD causes irritation or damage to the liver. Alternatively, it could be an artificial finding in which the drug interferes with the way the lab measures the liver value.
Anecdotal reports do exist of dogs becoming somewhat sleepy or sedate if they receive extremely large doses of CBD, but those effects appear to resolve on their own with time.
CBD doesn’t appear to have any drug interactions when it’s given to a dog that’s on an anti-inflammatory drug like Rimadyl.
Because there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any medication, you should consult your veterinarian first before treating your dog with CBD.
THC Dangers for Dogs
Unlike CBD, THC ingestion can cause serious problems for your pet.
“The most significant [issue] is THC toxicity, meaning, essentially, they are high,” says Dr. Gary Richter, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California. “Depending on how significantly a pet has been overdosed, the effects of that can be quite long-lasting, even days.”
During these episodes, a pet may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect THC toxicity, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Secondary effects of THC, especially respiratory depression, should be monitored closely to avoid complications.
Overall, life-threatening risks for dogs from cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Dr. Richter says. There is no documented lethal dose for THC in dogs. In fact, a dose of THC 1,000 times greater than the dose needed for a dog to feel “high” is still not lethal.
THC toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that also contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients,” says Dr. Richter.
How Much CBD Can You Give Dogs?
Though there are some topical treatments, CBD oil is typically administered orally to dogs, and giving the correct dosage is imperative. “As is the case with any medication, success has everything to do with dosing,” Dr. Richter says.
Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate (roughly 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight), twice daily.
This dosage has been found to be both safe and somewhat effective for just the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures). Additional research is needed to evaluate the necessary dosages for CBD in treating other conditions.
One complication in attempting to properly dose dogs with CBD is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that many CBD products actually contain little, if any, CBD.
The only FDA-approved cannabinoid product, Epidiolex, could theoretically be prescribed by a veterinarian for epilepsy in dogs, although this would likely be cost-prohibitive. Because it is FDA-approved, though, the CBD content of this product would be accurate, unlike most other CBD products on the market.
Can Veterinarians Prescribe CBD for Dogs?
U.S. veterinarians are forbidden from prescribing/dispensing CBD, and cannot encourage or instruct clients to purchase CBD products.
However, they are free to talk to you about the potential risks and benefits of a treatment plan you may have devised on your own. If you are considering giving CBD to your dog, speak to your vet, and you may want to also speak with a veterinarian who has experience with CBD.