CBD Oil for Dogs: A Complete Guide on Uses, Benefits, and Safety
CBD products are getting hugely popular across the world. You may come across several CBD oils and tinctures that claim to ease pain and help you lead a healthy life. We also have detailed research on the effects of CBDs on humans, even though scientists aren't entirely sure how it works.
However, things are completely different when it comes to using CBD for Dogs. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), we don't have any reliable studies on how CBD works on dogs. So, there is no scientific evidence to recommend CBD products for your pets.
Does that mean CBD is not beneficial for dogs?
In this post, we will explore CBD and its uses for dogs based on all the evidence we can find. You will learn quite a few things and what to expect if you are considering CBD products for your furry friend.
What is CBD?
CBD refers to cannabidiol, the second most active ingredient in cannabis plants after THC. CBD is non-psychoactive and does not make us high. Instead, CBD is responsible for many therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana, like pain management and supporting health.
Therefore, your dog will never get high on CBD oil. It is also legal across the United States and available freely in many countries.
How Does CBD Work in Dogs?
Scientists are yet to understand how CBD works. However, we know it binds to the cannabinoid receptors present throughout our bodies. THC also targets the same receptors of our endocannabinoid system (ECS) but does not work similarly.
CBD also works in dogs in a similar way to humans. It binds with mammal's ECS that is responsible for immunity and functions like decision-making.
All other claimed benefits of CBD are also said to come from influencing the ECS.
Can CBD Oil Treat any Dog Health Issues?
The FDA is yet to approve CBD for dogs or any other animals. It has only given the green signal to one medicine that treats severe forms of epilepsy in children and young adults.
As a result, we don't have scientific evidence to back up any claims made by CBD manufacturers. All the benefits of CBD are based on personal experiences and anecdotal evidence.
According to WebMD, CBD oil for dogs may help in:
- Managing seizures
- Calming or relaxing your dog
- Reduce swelling
- Pain management
- Increasing appetite
- Improving mobility
Effect of CBD on Dogs with Seizures
A small study found CBD to reduce the frequency of seizures in dogs. However, their counterparts from the placebo group also showed similar results.
Therefore, the scientists called for more research to reach any conclusion. Fortunately, we may have some answers soon, as the AKC is sponsoring a study on the effects of CBD on epileptic dogs.
For the time being, we may refer to a survey conducted by the Veterinary Information Network (VIN). The survey found that 41% of dog owners use CBD products to help their pets manage the severity of seizures.
Can CBD Help Manage Pain?
Another claimed benefit of CBD for dogs is pain management. However, we don't have any reliable evidence to recommend CBD oil to reduce pain. A study in 2018 did find promising results for dogs with osteoarthritis but was conducted by a CBD product manufacturer.
As a result, we cannot blindly trust the findings of the study. However, according to some experts, CBD may improve mobility and tolerance to low pain stimuli in dogs.
According to the VIN survey, 79% of pet owners found medical marijuana as helpful as analgesics to manage pain.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Anxiety
In addition, CBD oils may be able to relax dogs with anxiety. It can make your loyal companion less restless and better prepared to deal with stressful situations, like a fireworks show.
According to VIN, 62% of pet owners find cannabis products helpful to manage anxiety. However, always seek professional medical advice before trying CBD oil for any medical condition in your dog.
Note: The VIN survey is based on the experiences of pet owners and is not scientific evidence. Additionally, the products used may not always be CBD. Also, pets include animals other than dogs.
Can CBD Oil Cause Side Effects in Dogs?
We don't have any research on the side effects of CBD for dogs. You should always be cautious and try out a small serving size to avoid any potential discomfort in your pet.
Humans can get a few side effects from consuming CBD oil. You may encounter similar effects in your dog, especially when taken in large amounts:
Dry mouth: CBD may reduce our ability to produce saliva, resulting in dry mouth. Your dog can feel more thirsty after having CBD products. Always keep a bowl of water nearby before giving CBD oil to your pets.
Drowsiness: Too much CBD can cause drowsiness in humans and dogs. Test your serving size to find the right amount that suits your furry friend.
A drop in blood pressure: CBD can lower your blood pressure temporarily and make you feel light-headed. Your dog may be prone to similar effects, especially for high serving amounts.
According to the VIN survey, over 80% of pet owners didn't report any side effects apart from drowsiness.
Is CBD Oil Risky for Dogs?
The World Health Organization (WHO) says humans don't have any known health problems related to CBD use. So, CBD products are safe for pet owners.
However, is it the same for your pets?
Sadly, no one has researched the risks of CBD for dogs. Additionally, the FDA doesn't recommend or regulate CBD products.
Therefore, we cannot say for sure if CBD is risky for your dog.
You should always begin with a small serving size when you give your dog CBD oil for the first time. Observe any changes in your pet, and then refine your serving size accordingly.
Additionally, seek medical advice before starting CBD for your pets.
Can You Ask Your Vet about CBD Oil for Dogs?
Vets are in a tough position when it comes to recommending CBD products for pets. In most US states, they cannot legally discuss or prescribe CBD oils or tinctures for animals. Only California voted in favor of a bill allowing vets to discuss medical marijuana for their clients' pets.
However, they still cannot prescribe or dispense CBD to dogs. So, should you ask your vet about using CBD for your pet?
Vets get ample questions on CBD from their clients. As per the VIN survey, 63% of vets get asked about cannabis products a minimum of once per month.
You can go ahead and seek your vet's advice for CBD products, risks, and serving sizes. They will play along with your queries as long as they are for educational purposes. But you cannot expect them to prescribe or recommend any product.
What Makes Excellent CBD Oil for Dogs?
You will find countless CBD oils online or in your local stores. However, not all products are made the same. You may come across products that are inferior or don't provide the desired results for your pet.
So, consider the following when you want to buy CBD oil for your dog:
Method of Extraction
Manufacturers use two primary ways to extract oil from plants:
CO2 extraction: The process uses carbon dioxide to extract CBD from hemp plants in a high-pressure chamber. CO2 exerts pressure on hemp and forces it to break down and release oil. CO2 extraction produces a higher concentration of CBD.
Solvent extraction: Manufacturers use solvents like butane and petroleum products to extract CBD. Some brands also use natural solvents like ethanol.
Go for CBD oils that use CO2 extraction for more potency and safety. Oils produced with solvents may contain residues of petroleum products and be harmful to your pets.
Moreover, solvents can take a toll on the effectiveness of CBD, even if they are natural.
CBD oils may not contain the advertised amount of CBD. As a result, it's your responsibility to determine if the amount mentioned on the label is true. You can look for a certificate of analysis that tells you the potency and contents of a product.
In addition, make sure your CBD oil doesn't have more than 0.3% of THC. You should also check if the certificate mentions full spectrum CBD as it contains other therapeutic substances from hemp plants.
Made for Dogs
It's always better to choose CBD oil meant for dogs and not humans. These are formulated keeping canines in mind and suit your pets perfectly.
You can find a range of CBD products for dogs, including tasty CBD treats.
CBD oil shows promise for dogs to calm restlessness, manage pain, and support seizure treatment. You should always buy organic products that are formulated especially for dogs. In addition, talk to your vet before starting CBD for your pet for tailored serving size and advice.
We have more interesting articles on CBD and pets in our blog. Click here to read more exciting articles.