Most everyone has heard of CBD oil. This all-natural treatment has been trending for humans for a long time. Now, treatment for pets has become a popular topic as well. So, are there benefits of CBD oil for dogs in your household? Here is some background on CBD oil and whether it’s safe or beneficial to use on your dog.
What Exactly Is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is an extract from the flowers of cannabis, so either hemp or marijuana plants. However, CBD doesn’t give you the “high” you often associated with marijuana because it does not contain THC or the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol.
To clarify, marijuana and hemp come from a cannabis plant, but they do contain different THC levels. Hemp plants only contain a maximum of 0.3 percent THC while the marijuana plant contains up to 30 percent THC in comparison. That means hemp-derived CBD oil is legal in every state while marijuana-derived CBD oil is illegal in most states.
Hemp Oil versus CBD Oil – What Is The Difference?
Hemp oils are derived from a cannabis seed that contains almost no CBD or THC. The hemp seed doesn’t have the same therapeutic features as CBD, but it does have its own unique nutritional benefits. Many pet owners turn to hemp oil for dogs as a nutritional supplement thanks to its mineral and vitamin content.
In contrast, CBD oil is made from an active cannabinoid compound, which comes from the flowers, leaves, and frequently stems from a mature cannabis plant. This compound provides the therapeutic and potential medical benefits that you receive from CBD oil.
Is CBD Safe to Use with Dogs?
While CBD oil has grown in popularity among humans, you may wonder if CBD oil is safe for dogs. Some vets have started to recommend CBD oil for dogs, but keep in mind the research being done is still at the very beginning.
A study from Colorado found that overall healthy dogs could tolerate CBD well. There have been reports of slightly elevated liver enzyme levels and some moderate diarrhea. More extensive studies are still needed to ascertain if there are long-term effects from CBD on a dog’s liver, but there have not been any findings of an immediate liver toxicity threat.
Several studies in humans have shown that cannabinoids can have an anti-inflammatory effect, and they can help with muscle spasms, seizures, pain, aggression, and neurological disorders. Many owners find that CBD oil is an effective supplement that they can give their dogs for anxiety.
There have been other reports from social media, online forums, and other outlets from pet parents of the many benefits they have seen in their own dogs from using CBD. Remember, that it’s important to state that there haven’t been any negative health concerns or side effects from vets or pet parents when CBD oil has been used.
The Endocannabinoid System
Both humans and dogs have an endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system affects your stomach, eyes, heart, skin, and brain as well as your mood. And it can do the same for your dog.
Found in cannabis as well as plants that are related to cannabis, cannabinoids are also made by our bodies. As you may guess, cannabinoids will affect your endocannabinoid system, which is why it has a large range of effects on a human body. While this is true for you and me, it is also true for dogs.
How Can CBD Oil Help My Dog?
Like a human, a dog and a cat have an endocannabinoid system that lets them benefit from CBD oil. Allowing the active ingredients in CBD oil to relieve symptoms, CBD oil can be beneficial for many conditions that your dog may suffer from chronically or occasionally that include:
- Joint Pain and Arthritis
- Chronic Inflammation
- Severe to Moderate Pain
- Stress and Anxiety
- Digestion Problems
- Cancer Symptoms
It has been reported by some dog owners that CBD oil can also help treat seizures caused by epilepsy, but studies are still being done to confirm this benefit. It is always recommended to talk to your veterinarian before you start CBD oil treatment to make sure it is safe for your dog and to verify any other claimed benefit.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Remember that when you begin to give CBD to your dog, you should do so slowly at first. It is recommended to give your dog a CBD dosage between one and five mg per 10 pounds of his body weight. Start on the lower end of the range and then increase the dosage gradually as needed.
When you first give your dog CBD, look for signs of any negative or positive reactions, and remember that you can always adjust the dosage if your pet happens to experience any of the common side effects of CBD oil in dogs. You should also consult your veterinarian to find a helpful method of introducing CBD oil to your dog.
How do you tell if CBD works for your dog?
One way to measure the effectiveness of CBD is to administer it to see if it helps keep your dog calm during fireworks. If you find him lying relaxed and comfortable during the fireworks celebration instead of hiding or pacing as he normally would, then it a safe bet to say the CBD oil is effective.
Another measurement is observing his mobility issues or stiffness after taking CBD. If you find he can play and run around like he used to or doesn’t seem to be limping anymore, then CBD oil can be seen as a benefit for him.
Keep in mind that it can take time for CBD oil to have a positive effect on the body. Some dog owners have seen almost immediate results after just one to three days while others didn’t see the effects of CBD until after a month or had gone by. It all depends on the dog’s specific condition, so it can take longer to alleviate symptoms.
You may also want to try increasing the dosage of CBD to see if a more potent amount will have a better effect. Remember that it’s important to stay in the recommended CBD dosage guidelines for CBD and dogs in order to prevent unwanted side effects.
Where Do You Buy High-Quality CBD Oil?
CBD oil is not yet regulated for dogs, so there are a few important things to look for when you are ready to buy a safe and effective product. Always consider whether it is organic or not, since you want to buy a high-quality CBD oil that is made from hemp that is grown organically and is free from toxins.
You also want to consider how it is processed. The best CBD oils for dogs use cold press and carbon dioxide extraction. Keep in mind that some companies will use cheaper methods that could use toxic solvents like butane, propane, and hexane in order to extract the THC out of the plant.
Independent testing allows companies to provide a certificate of analysis and can include heavy metal, residual solvent, mycotoxin, pesticide, and microbiology testing. Also, check the THC level to see what its potency level is since products that contain a higher level of THC could harm your pet. You want a product with under 0.3 percent THC, so if you choose a product that is derived out of hemp, then it should be safe under that percentage.
Here are a few other things to consider when choosing the best CBD product for your pet:
- Look for quality CBD oil that certifies that the product was tested. Also, check online reviews to make sure that the manufacturer is delivering on its promises.
- Look for a full-spectrum CBD oil that is better than a CBD isolate product. Full-spectrum means that the oil contains some trace number of other cannabinoids that can be beneficial and work to boost the effectiveness of the CBD oil.
- Keep in mind that hemp oil and CBD oil aren’t exactly the same product. So, if a product states it is hemp oil and doesn’t mention anything about CBD, you will not be getting all the CBD benefits you are looking for. The number of milligrams of CBD should be listed on the packaging, plus it will have a higher price based on how much CBD is in the product.
- It is also possible to find capsules and dog treats with high-quality CBD in them. These products should also list the number of milligrams of CBD that is in one capsule or treat.
How Much CBD Oil Do You Give A Dog?
Believe it or not, these days, you can buy CBD oil in different forms for your dogs. It’s available as CBD oil or as CBD chews and treats. There is even a CBD topical like coconut oil that is infused with CBD oil.
Typically, you will find CBD oil as the most common CBD product on the market. It’s also called a pet tincture. When you use CBD oil, you can better regulate the amount of CBD that your dog receives since every bottle includes a handy dropper that clearly marks the amount of CBD you are giving your dog.
Usually, a CBD product will also include dosage recommendations on the labels and packaging. Remember that to achieve the proper CBD dosage for dogs, the amount of CBD oil you should give them depends on the CBD’s oil concentration. So, you may find that the CBD oil you want to purchase comes in concentrations of 1000 mg, 500 mg, 250 mg, and 125 mg. Plus, other products made with CBD like capsules and dog treats will also have a variety of concentrations that they come in such as 5 mg of CBD in a dog treat.
You need to determine the right amount of CDB for your dog to prevent side effects while also support his health and managing the unique issues that your dog has. You will want to choose a concentration or potency level by calculating your dog’s weight and the CBD oil. Typically, you want to give him between one and five mg of CBD for every 10 pounds that he weighs. Vets recommend that you start your dog on the lowest end of the range and watch how he reacts before increasing the dosage gradually as needed.
Determining the Correct CBD Dosage for A Dog
- Your dog’s weight – Obviously a Great Dane would receive a different dosage of CBD in comparison to a Chihuahua based on their size.
- CBD oil potency – The CBD oil concentration in one full dropper is sometimes different than the CBD’s concentration in just one dog treat.
- The ailment or condition of the dog – Depending on the issue you want to manage in your dog, you want to choose a dose that will relax a stressed dog, support an older dog’s mobility, or provide pain relief for an injured dog, so you will need to adjust the dosage of CBD naturally to achieve the best results
It’s also important to contact your vet when helping to determine the right amount of CBD to give a dog.