The Benefits Of CBD Oil For Dogs
The good news is that it can help with many of your dog’s health issues from allergies to cancer. The bad news is that the CBD industry for pets is still unregulated. That means the majority of pet owners might be getting ripped off.
So today I want to talk about all the good things CBD oil can do for your dogs. Then I’ll show you how to find the best product for your dog and talk about how to give it.
What Does CBD Oil Do For Dogs?
There’s a messenger system in your dog’s body called the endocannabinoid system. It helps regulate sleep, appetite, pain, the immune system and more. CBD impacts the activity of the messengers in this system and stimulates the nervous, digestive and immune systems, as well as the brain. And it can do this because the endocannabinoids in CBD are very similar to the ones found in your dog’s body.
That’s why the benefits of CBD can be deep and significant. And why CBD oil is the fastest-growing healthy plant in the world!
6 Ways CBD Oil Can Help Your Dog
Let’s take a look at common conditions where CBD can help dogs. And after I’ll talk about which CBD oil you should buy and general dosing information.
1. Dogs With Joint Problems
If your dog has joint pain, your vet might prescribe NSAIDs or other pain meds like Gabapentin. But NSAIDs can cause deterioration in joints and soft tissues … and they can damage your dog’s liver. Gabapentin can also cause kidney damage. Plus, it’s not all that effective.
CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory that doesn’t carry the same risk of side effects as drugs. It works by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain. These receptors stimulate the immune system to reduce inflammation. CB1 receptors also change the way the brain responds to pain.
CBD also binds to CB2 receptors found in the nervous and immune systems. When this happens, the body may produce more cannabinoids naturally. This helps reduce inflammation even more and reduce the pain associated with it.
In fact, researchers at Cornell University found that dogs taking CBD for arthritis were more active and showed a decrease in pain.
Some of the common people buy CBD Oil for dogs as an anti-inflammatory for joint problems include:
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Sprains and strains
- Torn ligaments (CCL)
2. Dogs With Cancer
Sadly, 50% of adult dogs will get cancer. Cancer is a massive health challenge for dogs, especially if they undergo chemotherapy or radiation.
Cancer researchers are always looking for new ways to treat cancer and release the pain and nausea that can go with it. And CBD has been extensively researched as a cancer-fighting substance.
A study in mice showed that CBD slowed the growth of mammary cancer cells. And in 2018, researchers found that CBD increased survival time in mice with pancreatic cancer. Other animal studies show CBD oil has cancer-fighting abilities and can slow the growth of tumors.
In another study, cancer cells became more sensitive to treatment with CBD. That means CBD can increase the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments.
CBD also kills cancer cells by blocking their ability to produce energy. And it can stimulate the immune system to produce killer cells that cause death in cancer cells.
Researchers also found that CBD blocks a cannabinoid receptor called GPR55. This is important because GPR55 increased the growth rate of cancer cells in mice.
CBD oil can also help with nausea associated with many cancer treatments. And studies have shown CBD can significantly reduce cancer-related pain.
3. Dogs With Seizures And Epilepsy
It’s estimated that about 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. They can be terrifying for both dogs and their humans … and they can cause anxiety.
Most vets treat epilepsy and seizures with antiepileptic drugs. Common options are phenobarbital or potassium bromide. But these drugs are extremely harmful to your dog’s liver and other organs. And even if the drugs don’t cause unmanageable side effects, they don’t always work …
So researchers at Colorado State University got excited when they studied CBD as a treatment for epilspsy in dogs. A whopping 89% of dogs that received the CBD had a reduction in seizures.
In human trials, CBD even worked in patients with drug-resistant epilepsy. In one study, 7 out of 8 patients saw a marked improvement within 4 to 5 months.
CBD reduces the frequency and severity of seizures because of how it interacts with the endocannabinoid system. It’s believed that abnormal electric charges of the neurons in the nervous system cause seizures. But CBD can bind to receptors in the brain … researchers speculate this can improve the functioning of the nervous system.
4. Dogs With Anxiety
Anxiety is a common reason dog owners turn to CBD. Anxiety can appear in different forms, including:
- Noise phobia
- Separation anxiety
Of course, there are anti-anxiety drugs available … but CBD is being studied for anxiety because it doesn’t carry dangerous side effects.
Most human users of CBD take it for pain, anxiety and depression. Over a third of these users report that CBD worked “very well by itself.” CBD has even helped manage anxiety and insomnia in children with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And animal studies show its antidepressant effects aren’t just for people.
CBD can work quickly given directly by mouth when your dog gets stressed. It usually only takes 5 to 20 minutes to work. But CBD appears to be most beneficial for anxiety when given over a period of time. So if your dog is prone to stress, a daily dose might work best.
A 2012 study looked at stress in rats exposed to cats. The rats given repeated doses of CBD had less anxiety than those given a single dose.
Researchers aren’t certain how CBD relieves stress and anxiety, but it’s thought that it can help regulate serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that regulates mood, social behavior, digestion, sleep and appetite.=
5. Dogs In Pain
Probably the most promising research on CBD is that done on pain. From nerve pain to arthritis, it works well … without the harmful side effects of pain medications.
CBD binds to both CB1 and CB2 receptors in the brain and nervous system and this helps change the way your dog’s brain perceives pain. Plus, CBD can help manage the other symptoms that accompany pain, such as sleeplessness and nausea.
CBD can also help manage acute pain from injuries.
6. Dogs With Allergies
Allergies are on the rise in dogs. And they’re difficult to treat … so, sadly, allergies are a common reason dogs are euthanized. Skin conditions in general are one of the most frequent reasons for vet visits.
The endocannabinoid system is also found in the skin … and that’s good news for dogs with allergies. It means CBD can help relieve dry and itchy skin. And it can promote the growth of new healthy skin cells.
You can give CBD internally for allergies, or use it externally for hot spots or interdigital cysts.
Now that you know a bit more about WHY you would give your dog CBD oil to your dog, let’s about HOW to choose a good quality product.
How To Choose The Best CBD Oil For Your Dog
CBD (Cannabidiol) is a naturally found substance in cannabis and hemp. Both deliver amazing health benefits … but there are differences.
Cannabis (marijuana) contains a relatively large amount of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). THC is what causes the psychoactive activities of cannabis. It’s why marijuana can give a “high” or “buzz.”
CBD oil made from hemp contains much lower amounts of THC. To sell hemp legally, it must contain less than 0.3% THC. So while your dog can still enjoy the calmness and reduction in anxiety that CBD provides, he won’t get high. And that’s important … because you might enjoy the high, but your dog definitely doesn’t!
Your dog will also get the same pain-relieving and immune-supporting benefits from hemp CBD.
But not all hemp CBD products are the same …
1. Look For A Full Or Broad Spectrum Hemp
Check the label of your CBD product to make sure it’s full spectrum or broad spectrum.
This means your dog’s CBD oil contains not just CBD, but other important cannabinoids that occur naturally in full-spectrum hemp. This includes CBC (Cannabichromene) and CBG (Cannabigerol).
Researchers have looked at CBC for its …
- Cancer-fighting activities
- Ability to block pain and inflammation
- Positive effect on brain cells
CBG is also studied for its medicinal use. It can decrease inflammation in the digestive tract and it can protect nerve cells and the eyes. It also supports healthy bladder function and fights cancer cells.
A full-spectrum CBD oil will also contain terpenes such as limonene, alpha-pinene, and beta-pinene. These are also naturally occurring medicinal substances found in all hemp.
Together, cannabinoids and terpenes create the entourage effect. This happens when compounds in hemp oil work synergistically to boost the medicinal properties of hemp oil.
CBD extracted with CO2 (I’ll talk about this in a moment) pulverizes the terpenes. This will make them hard to detect in testing and they won’t show up on the Certificate Of Analysis …
… but they’ll still be there and will contribute to the CBD oil’s medicinal effects.
CBD extracted with solvents will better preserve the terpenes. So you will find them noted on the Certificate Of Analysis.
But I don’t recommend solvent extracted products, which leads me to my next point …
2. Make Sure Your Dog’s CBD Uses CO2 Extraction
There are two common ways to extract the CBD oil from the hemp plant:
As you’ve probably guessed, CO2 extraction uses carbon dioxide to extract oil from the plant. Using a high-pressure chamber, CO2 puts pressure on the hemp. This breaks down the hemp and releases the oil.
This method of extraction creates oils with a higher concentration of CBD. That means your dog will get more from his supplement. Of course, that also makes the product more expensive … but it’s better than the alternative.
The cheapest way to extract oil from the hemp plant is with solvents, such as …
- Petroleum products
But residue from these solvents will be in the product and they can be toxic to your dog.
Some CBD extraction uses natural solvents, such as ethanol or olive oil. This is much safer for your dog but these oils can destroy the hemp plant’s waxes and the resulting oil isn’t as beneficial.
3. Look For A Certificate Of Analysis
If your dog’s CBD oil doesn’t have a certificate of analysis (COA), run away!
A certificate of analysis is a document that shows the amount and type of cannabinoids in the CBD product. And it usually comes from a third-party laboratory,
COAs protect your dog from poor quality products and the manufacturer should have one for each batch of hemp. If there isn’t a COA on the company’s website, you’ll want to ask for one before you buy any CBD oil.
When looking at the COA, there are 5 important things to look for.
CBD Is The Same As Advertised
This is more common than you would think … in fact, we were once tricked by this!
What you might see is something like “500 mg CBD” on the product label. But don’t take the label at face value! Make sure the COA says the same amount as the label does.
Some lab tests express the CBD content in mg/g. So to calculate the amount of CBD, you need to know how many grams are in the bottle of CBD.
For example, let’s say the COA shows 16.9 mg/g CBD. To calculate how much CBD is in the product, multiply the number of mg/g by the number of grams the bottle weighs. (A typical 1-ounce dropper bottle of CBD will weigh 30 grams.) This will give you the total mg of CBD in the bottle. In this example, it’s 507 mg (16.9 mg/g x 30 gram bottle).
CBD Is Really Full Spectrum
Again, never take the label at face value! Some CBD is from isolate, which means it won’t have other important cannabinoids and terpenes.
Remember the entourage effect? You won’t get this extra boost with CBD isolate. So how do you find out if your dog’s CBD is from isolate? The COA will show that the product only contains CBD and no other cannabinoids. Stay away from these products.
There’s Not Too Much (Or Too Little) THC
If your dog’s CBD contains more than 0.03% THC, it’s probably marijuana and not hemp. It’s not legal and your dog won’t enjoy the psychoactive effects.
You also want to avoid products with zero THC. If there’s none, then your dog’s CBD is from isolate … and the health benefits will be fewer.
A Third-Party Did The Tests
Once again, never take the manufacturer’s word that the product is high quality. Make sure the product was properly tested by a third party lab. Unfortunately, the CBD industry isn’t regulated, which leaves you vulnerable to poor products.
There’s No Contaminants
You need to know where and how the hemp that’s used to make the CBD oil is grown. This plays a huge role in those test results you see in the COA.
Always look for an organic product to reduce any environmental toxin risks. You want to know that the soil and water it’s grown in is as clean as possible. That’s because hemp plants are really good sponges and can absorb contaminants as they grow. And it’s why heavy metal toxicity can be a concern when looking at CBD oils.
So be sure that you check the COA for any contaminants such as pesticides, heavy metals and solvent residues.
Cost Shouldn’t Be A Priority
It can be hard to compare products and some people give up and look at costs only …
… but this is not the best approach!
You want a high-quality and safe product for your dog. Extracting CBD from hemp requires a lot of plant material as well as careful monitoring.
If the product you’re considering has a price that’s significantly lower than the competition, there’s probably a reason for that …
But the most expensive doesn’t mean it’s the best CBD oil for dogs …
Instead, consider what we’ve reviewed …
- How was the CBD oil extracted? (CO2 is best.)
- Is the CBD concentration different than advertised? (CBD on COA should match the bottle.)
- Is it full-spectrum? (The product should have other cannabinoids, not just CBD.)
- Is the THC content worrisome? (THC should be less than 0.3% but higher than 0%.)
- Is it organic? (Hemp is a sponge for contaminants.)
- Was it third party tested? (If you can’t find a COA online, ask the manufacturer for one.)
These variables are what you need to look for when determining the quality of a product. The cost is never a sure sign of a product’s quality.
Side Effects Of CBD Oil For Dogs
The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association surveyed dog owners. They wanted to see what, if any, side effects they noticed. And the great news is that there weren’t any major effects reported.
The most consistent side effects noticed were:
- Sedation 19%
- Overactive appetite 5%
- Lack of energy 4%
- Panic reactions 2.7%
- Dry mouth/excessive drinking 2.3%
- Nausea 1.7%
- Vomiting 1.7%
- Increased seizures 0.69%
- Impaired mental functioning 0.68%
This means the most likely side effect you may see is that your dog gets sleepy. And that isn’t a bad thing. Especially if your dog suffers from seizures, anxiety, or has any pain, and you’d like to give CBD oil a try …
… but some CBD oils will have other additives and may not be safe.
Caution With CBD Oil Additives
You want to be sure there are no chemical additives or preservatives in the product you buy. These will cancel out the health benefits, even if the hemp is grown organically.
Also be aware of companies who have added essential oils (EOs) to their CBD oil. Even though they’re “natural,” EOs can affect animals profoundly.
If your holistic vet has recommended using a CBD oil with an EO, then follow her dosing recommendations. She’ll know what’s best for your dog’s unique health needs.
Some will recommend using CBD with frankincense as it’s good for tumor reduction in cancer patients. But always check with your holistic vet or herbalist first.
Dogs Taking Other Medications Or Supplements
If your dog is taking any other medications or supplements you will want to check with your holistic vet as well. CBD oil has many health benefits but it can change how your dog metabolizes some medications or supplements.
Researchers have looked at how CBD oil changes metabolism in humans. It can be similar to grapefruit, which causes significant reactions. So if your dog is taking any of the following medications you’ll need to ask your vet about dose changes:
- Allergy medications
- Liver or kidney medications
- Heart medications
- Anxiety medications
Hopefully, your holistic vet has helped you find alternatives to the medications above. But even then … CBD can affect herbs and natural supplements.
This doesn’t mean you can’t give your CBD oil if he uses other supplements or medications. You may just need to make adjustments. CBD changes the metabolism of other things but sometimes for the better! Meaning you can use less of another product or skip on the medications altogether.
And less is often more.
CBD Oil Dosage For Dogs
Each bottle of CBD has a specific concentration expressed in milligrams (mg). Most dogs are okay with the taste, so you can just put it on your dog’s food.
Dr Robert Silver recommends giving your dog 0.05 to 0.25 mg/pound of body weight, twice daily. He also suggests starting with a lower dose and working your way up. If 0.05 mg/pound is enough, stay at that dose. There’s no need to increase unless the lower dose stops working. If that happens, increase the dose to 0.125 mg/pound, twice daily and only continue to increase if your dog needs it.
For anxiety or health prevention, you’ll usually find that the lower doses work well. But if your dog is dealing with pain or immune issues, you’ll probably need a larger amount.
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CBD oil for dogs is a natural, safe remedy that can help your dogs with pain, anxiety, caner, seizures and more.
McAllister SD, Christian RT, Horowitz MP, Garcia A, Desprez PY. Cannabidiol as a novel inhibitor of Id-1 gene expression in aggressive breast cancer cells. Mol Cancer Ther. 2007 Nov;6(11):2921-7.
Corroon J, Phillips JA. A cross-sectional study of cannabidiol users. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. 2018;3(1).
Aviello G, Romano B, Borrelli F, Capasso R, Gallo L, Piscitelli F, Di Marzo V, Izzo AA. Chemopreventive effect of the non-psychotropic phytocannabinoid cannabidiol on experimental colon cancer. J Mol Med (Berl). 2012 Aug;90(8):925-34.
Reviews of the Best Sites for CBD Dog Products
CBDFX carries a line of organic CBD oils that includes only the highest-quality ingredients for an all-natural product you’ll love. They have several wellness boosting CBD oils that are made with a special formula per bottle, to ensure your dog has the right dosage, no matter his size.
When you hop onto their website, you’re immediately presented with a couple of savings offers, which allow you to save up to 25% when you purchase three or more CBD products. Their options for CBD oil for dogs are available for small breeds at 250 mg of CBD. If your dog is a medium breed, you can purchase a CBD oil that contains 500 mg of CBD. For large breeds, you can choose the 1000 mg of CBD, or for extra-large breeds, you can get the 2000 mg of CBD.
All of their pet CBD oil options contain broad-spectrum CBD that’s both human grade and vegan. The most exciting part of their products is that they are all bacon flavored, which means your dog won’t have a single excuse not to enjoy his daily dose!
2. CBDistillery – Runner Up
- Risk-free satisfaction guarantee
- Subscribe and save 20%
- Full lab results easily accessible
- Non-GMO hemp oil
- You must spend at least $75 or subscribe to qualify for free shipping
CBDistillery has created a line of products made specifically for pets that are derived from non-GMO industrial hemp. They practice natural farming to ensure that your pets get some of the best CBD oil for dogs available on the market today. Whether you want to help your buddy manage pain or want to give him relief and ease, you’ll love the CBD products offered by CBDistillery.
They offer two main CBD products at different concentrations, including a CBD tincture that contains full-spectrum CBD oil made from cold pressed hemp seed oil. This CBD oil for dogs is available in a 600 mg tincture or a 150 mg tincture. The other pet CBD oil they offer is their Relief and Relax variety. This tincture is available in 150 mg or 600 mg. Bundle both of them to enjoy extra savings!
3. HolistaPet – Honorable Mention
- Free shipping on all orders
- 30-day money back guarantee
- 30% off for new customers
- 100% natural ingredients
- Only natural flavor available
HolistaPet offers natural CBD oil for dogs that is made with broad-spectrum CBD oil to include other beneficial cannabinoids. It’s concentrated in a convenient dropper bottle that you can use to easily drop the CBD oil into your pet’s mouth or mix it along with his food. It contains zero THC, which means that there is no psychoactive effect when you administer this product.
They only use 100% natural ingredients, including organic superfoods along with their best CBD oil. You’ll never find any GMO, gluten, or dairy in their CBD oil and they keep it clean without any additives or preservatives. Their CBD products are manufactured in the USA, and they are available in a couple of different concentration options, depending on your pet’s weight. Simply select your pet’s weight from the drop-down list and the recommended pet CBD oil is made available.
4. Anxious Pet – Reputable Brand
- Sign up with your email to get 15% off
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Ships free next business day
- Veterinarian formulated
- Limited product variety
The Anxious Pet was created to “give pet anxiety something to worry about.” They offer an organic CBD oil that is available in two dosages: 400 mg of CBD oil or 800 mg of CBD oil. The CBD oil comes in a box that has a dosage chart that you can use at home, especially if this is your first time trying CBD oil for dogs. Once you have identified the correct dose, go ahead and administer the CBD oil orally, whether that means you have to sneak it in with a treat or whether you can just pop it into his mouth. Give your dog CBD oil one time per day along with food for three days, then you can increase it to twice daily with breakfast and dinner.
CBD oil is the most effective and fastest way to deliver CBD to your cat. This CBD oil will help your pet feel significantly calmer, with reduced anxiety related behavior. Along with helping to ease his days, it also works to improve his immune health and brain function. If he has any inflammation or skin irritation, CBD oil also helps with that. And if he suffers from seasonal allergies, CBD oil also comes in handy to help with managing those symptoms.
5. Petly CBD – Good Customer Service
- Subscribe and save 20%
- 100% organically grown hemp
- Always third-party tested
- Completely THC free
- Veterinarian approved
- On occasion, products may be out of stock
Petly CBD has created 30 mL droppers so that you can provide organically grown phyto-cannabinoid rich hemp to your pup. You can easily select from three options, depending on whether your dog is small, medium, or large. All you need is one full dropper, and your pet will begin to experience the relief that comes with a great broad-spectrum CBD oil. Pet parents remark how much better it is for their pets, having switched off prescribed medications that were producing horrible side effects.
Instead, Petly CBD uses organic farming, raw hemp processing, and a proprietary extraction and solid separation method. They make sure to remove even the most minute traces of THC, to protect your dog against the psychoactive effects of THC. They also lab test every batch to make sure that the potency and quality is at the standards they designate. They want to ensure they are creating a consistent, pure, high-quality CBD oil product that you can count on for years to come. They even give back to pets, which means that every time you purchase from Petly CBD, they pledge $1 to pets in need!
6. Charlotte’s Web – Pioneer Brand
- Full-spectrum hemp extract
- Available unflavored and in chicken flavor
- Subscribe and save 20%
- Quality tested 20+ times
- Products priced higher than other options
You may already be familiar with Charlotte‘s Web and now they have created a full-spectrum CBD oil made especially for your dog. Their CBD oil comes in a plastic bottle with a marked dropper that makes using it simple. Even if your dog has a really picky palate, he is sure to love the chicken flavored option. All their pet products use human grade hemp extract, so that they can benefit just as much as you do. Their CBD oil is available in a 100 mL bottle or a 30 mL bottle.
Help your pet rest easier with full-spectrum CBD oil that includes approximately 17 mg of plant-based cannabinoids. For best results, administer one serving twice per day. Your dog is like you in that he has an endocannabinoid system that helps his body stay in good health. When you administer CBD oil that’s also infused with other naturally occurring compounds, you get to play a part in helping him maintain his overall health well into his senior years.
7. CBD American Shaman – Water-Soluble, Full & Broad-Spectrum CBD Oil
- Water soluble CBD oil for dogs
- Choose between .3% THC or no THC
- Money back guarantee policy
- Competitive pricing
- Limited CBD concentration options
CBD American Shaman offers two CBD oil options for your dog. If you noticed that your pup has been experiencing a lot of stress or needs support for mobility, you’ll love these water-soluble CBD oil options. Choose between the canine CBD and terpene rich option that is water-soluble or the canine CBD hemp oil tincture.
The first option is designed to revitalize all stages of your dog’s life. It is created to be water soluble because it increases bioavailability, accelerates absorption, and lasts a lot longer in the body than CBD oil. It contains 300 mg of CBD per 30 mL bottle. The second option is available in a beef and cheese flavor and contains 300 mg of full-spectrum hemp extract. This CBD oil tincture is designed to promote well-being, no matter your pup’s age.
8. Extract Labs – All-Natural
- Join their mailing list and save 15% off
- 60-day money back guarantee
- Full-spectrum CBD oil
- Lab tested
- CBD oil comes in clear containers — keep away from sunlight
Extract labs sells an award-winning hemp tincture that contains 500 mg of CBD per 30 mL. They’re pet people, so of course they want to make sure that they create a product their pets will love and benefit from. They keep their ingredients simple and their practices honest to provide you with a trustworthy CBD oil for dogs.
Using natural ingredients allows Extract Labs to pave the way toward wellness, both for humans and for man’s best friend. You can feel great when you purchase from Extract Labs, because not only do they provide items you can trust the purity and consistency of, but you will also be contributing to the CSU veterinary school that studies CBD‘s effects on canine cancer cells.
9. Penelope’s Bloom – Includes Chamomile
- New customers can enjoy 10% off their first order
- Vegan and fast acting
- Free shipping
- Full-spectrum CBD oil
- CBD oil does contain tiny traces of THC
Penelope’s bloom offers an entire selection of both CBD oil and other CBD products, including treats. They have three main blends that are designed to meet a specific need and that work well together to provide comprehensive wellness. Their CBD tinctures are available in four concentrations, starting at 250 mg for pets under 30 pounds and up to 1000 mg for pets over 120 pounds.
When you select any combination of three tinctures, you get a bundle price that reflects 20% off the total cost. Their CBD oil includes organic CBD, MCT oil, and chamomile to create a relaxed mood that improves your dog’s quality of life. They test all their products via a third-party lab to make sure that they’re potent, effective, and completely safe. They also make sure their formula is easy to digest so that your pet can experience rapid relaxation.
10. Just CBD – CO2 Extraction
- Chicken and beef flavored
- Available in different concentrations
- Discount codes available
- Members of the Florida Hemp Council
- Limited CBD oil potencies
Just CBD offers a couple of different CBD products for your pet, including chicken flavored CBD oil and beef flavored CBD oil. All you have to do is utter the word chicken, and your dog comes running. With a flavored hemp extract oil, you can make sure that your dog is excited for his daily dose. Whether he prefers chicken or beef, you can decide which concentration is best for him. They offer a 100 mg bottle, a 250 mg bottle, and a 500 mg bottle of dog CBD oil.
They wanted to make sure that they could provide you with CBD oil for dogs that’s not only easy to use, but that also is full of flavor. Use the dropper to administer the CBD oil for dogs – give it as a standalone treat or include it with your dog’s favorite food. You can trust that their best CBD oil for dogs is made with pure hemp oil, is always free of herbicides, additives, preservatives, and pesticides, and you can always find a certificate of analysis confirming this information.
What is CBD?
CBD is a natural chemical, or cannabinoid, that’s derived from the cannabis sativa plant, which is also considered the hemp plant. Currently, there is a specific form of CBD called Charlotte’s Web that has been approved as a medicinal drug that treats seizures.
Both the cannabis and hemp plants have multiple cannabinoids that have different uses. You’ve likely heard of THC, known as weed or marijuana; it’s one of the most popular cannabinoids, both loved and hated throughout the world.
CBD comes from the hemp plant, which is a type of cannabis that contains only tiny traces of THC. It’s important to know that CBD does not compare to THC. THC definitely has medicinal properties, but it also has a psychoactive effect that many people don’t appreciate.
CBD oils and other CBD products offer medicinal benefits that don’t come with any kind of psychoactive effects, which makes it perfect for users who aren’t interested in mind altering properties or experiences. It’s vital you understand that CBD is a completely naturally occurring compound. It’s safe and non-addictive and has a notable number of therapeutic benefits.
You’re probably already a fan of CBD for yourself if you’re looking at websites that offer CBD oil for dogs. You’ve also probably taken medication as prescribed by a doctor that has left you feeling a little worse than when you went into their office. While prescription medication can offer a host of benefits to treat symptoms, they usually also come with a lot of unpleasant side effects.
This is why CBD has gained so much popularity. Its side effects, if you experience any, are minor. That means that your pup can enjoy pain relief, better mobility, improved mood, and better sleep all with a natural substance that doesn’t make him feel sick. Imagine that!
Benefits of CBD Oils for Dogs
If your dog suffers from anxiety during stressful moments, like when you’re moving or during a loud celebration that includes fireworks, then you’ll be happy to know that CBD can help to completely calm him down and make him feel like he’s in a bubble of safety, no matter what’s going on around him.
Beyond helping his anxiety and nervousness, CBD oil is also known to help with seizures. If your dog has gone through a recent surgery or has recently been injured, CBD is fantastic for helping to alleviate pain without taking any strong prescription medication that sometimes causes even worse side effects.
CBD oil for dogs is also great for reducing inflammation. When your dog is dealing with inflammation, existing medical conditions can be exacerbated, pain can be dramatically increased, and his overall quality of life starts circling the drain. He doesn’t want to go on walks with you, he looks at you with those total puppy eyes that make your heart melt, and he just stops being the joyful, sweet bub that he normally is! CBD cuts right through to the root problem and brings your baby back with eyes filled with curiosity and an innate excitement that cannot be replicated by any human you know.
CBD Dosage for Dogs
Finding the perfect dose for your dog may take a few different tries. However, you can always start by using the recommended dose as identified by the manufacturer. You may be using hemp oil to help your dog feel more at ease or you may be using CBD oil to help him feel better following an injury. How much he needs on each occasion may differ.
Similarly, if you’re using CBD oil to help manage pain, you may need to administer it every couple of hours or as needed. But if you’re using CBD oil for dogs to meet another need, like to boost overall health or to reduce separation anxiety while you’re away at work, you may just need to administer the CBD oil once or twice per day. For example, if you have a dog that weighs around 40 pounds, a low starting dose may be about 4 mg of CBD oil. A medium dose for a dog that weighs 40 pounds would be 12 mg of CBD oil. The strongest dose for a 40-pound dog would be 20 mg of CBD oil.
Stick with the recommended dose on the product packaging to start and then adjust it as you notice the CBD oil for dogs taking effect. You may need to use a little bit more or you may need to bring it down a little bit. Give yourself grace during this process because it may take one or two weeks before you really understand what the best dose is for your pet. But once you do, you’ll both be much happier.
Are There Side Effects When Giving CBD to Dogs?
When you’re administering the right dose, your dog likely won’t experience any of these side effects. Side effects mostly come up when the dose is too strong, and some of those symptoms may include:
CBD oil for dogs can cause a reduction in the production of saliva, so your dog may experience this side effect. So long as he has fresh water available to him throughout the day, it’s a minor side effect that he may not even notice.
Slightly lowered blood pressure
CBD oil, because it can help to calm a pet, especially one that it’s highly anxious, may reduce blood pressure temporarily.
Drowsiness or sleepiness
CBD oil may also cause your dog to experience drowsiness. If your dog is napping an unusual amount of time, you may be giving him a CBD oil dose that’s too strong. Simply lower the dose and keep an eye on how active he is throughout the day.
There’s seriously nothing worse than watching someone you love suffer. And when it’s your furry best friend? When the most open and giving soul you know is suffering? At that point, you start going through all the “what-if” scenarios and worst case scenarios. You may start to blame yourself, thinking that you didn’t do enough. Thinking that you didn’t buy all the right health foods, that you didn’t use the right supplements, and that you didn’t go to the vet enough times.
You’re not the only one who suffers this heap of regret when they see their pet going through a hard time. It’s natural. And what we can tell you, from experience, is that it’s better to take preventive measures from the start. Regret doesn’t make our pets feel better, it doesn’t bring them back from the other side of the rainbow bridge, and it doesn’t take away the pain we feel when we watch them suffer or when we lose them. Take control of your pet’s health today — they’re counting on you.
Your medicine cabinet or pantry is probably filled with all kinds of medicines to help you deal with minor aches and pains, with supplements to keep you in tiptop health, and with shakes and other protein supplements to keep you on top of your game when you’re at the gym. Now, be honest. When you look at your dog’s shelf in your pantry, does it contain nearly as many nutritious and helpful health foods? It’s okay if you’re relying on just a good kibble or wet food brand — even if you’re supplementing with scraps from the dinner table! We get it. Every pet owner is different but there are some things you should know.
It’s time for your dog to enjoy all the natural health benefits that come with taking CBD oil. With so much information available on the wellness benefits, there is no doubt that your dog’s health will improve when you start him on this new health regimen. Try different brands and CBD products until you find one you both love!
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!