CBD is more popular than ever. Touted as a miracle cure for everything from anxiety to nausea, it won’t surprise most pet owners to find that there are plenty of businesses getting into the CBD space for pets as well as humans. If you’ve spent at least a few minutes looking at CBD oils, you already know that there’s no shortage of information out there. You may, however, also feel quite overwhelmed by all of the often contradictory data that’s available online.
Most pet owners are more than happy to do the research when it comes to pet products. After all, they want the best for their dogs and would never want to give their pets anything that could possibly hurt them. That’s why it’s so important that you spend some time reading up on the possible side effects of CBD oil in dogs before you decide on any CBD product.
Learning more about the side effects of CBD oil on dogs requires not just fear, but a bit of intellectual curiosity. You need to start by figuring out what CBD oil for dogs can do for your pet, then figure out whether the potential side effects are worth the risk. Fortunately, we’ve done the digging to help figure out exactly what you need to know about how these products can interact with your dog’s body.
Understanding CBD Oil
One of the most important things you can do as a pet owner is to try to take the time to understand what you’re putting in your dog’s body. CBD is no different than any other compound, in that you’ll need to know what it is, what it does, and how it can impact your dog before you use it in any type of treatment plan.
CBD oil relies on a compound called cannabidiol in order to work. This compound, found in both hemp and cannabis, isn’t the same thing as the compound that gives cannabis its notable psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD is routinely used for a number of medical uses and, unlike THC, it has been legalized for use across the United States.
Because CBD oil has either no THC in it or only trace amounts of that compound, it’s generally safe to give to your pets. It’s always a good idea to look at the individual product, of course, but most are going to be effective enough to make the average dog owner feel comfortable.
What Are the Effects of CBD Oil on Dogs?
One of the most important things you can know about CBD oil is that there aren’t actually all that many studies about how it impacts the health of dogs. While there are almost certainly some ongoing studies at the moment, this just hasn’t been one of those areas of research that’s been particularly well-funded over the years. As such, it’s almost impossible to say precisely what the impact of CBD is going to be on your dog from a purely objective standpoint.
If you’re willing to take more anecdotal evidence, though, you’ll be happy to know that a number of researchers who have begun looking at the impact of CBD on dogs have noted that the actual impact of the compound on dogs is generally positive. These compounds mostly impact the nervous systems of your dog, helping them to stay healthy and alert – definitely a good thing for most dogs.
What is CBD Oil Used For with Dogs?
CBD oil often feels like one of those compounds that are used for everything. It is commonly used for ailments like arthritis, of course, but it is also used for a number of other issues like separation anxiety and even to provide dogs relief when they suffer from illnesses like cancer. Though there aren’t necessarily enough completed studies to say exactly how CBD can be effective as a specific treatment, there are enough dog owners who swear by the substance to make the average dog owner at least a little bit interested.
It’s probably fair to sort the positive effects of CBD into three different categories. The first is the soothing effect – it helps to reduce anxiety and stress while helping to keep negative behaviors under control. The second is the regulation effect, which helps dogs to avoid mood swings and helps to eliminate wild emotional reactions. The final, and often most important, factor is the pain mitigation factor, which helps dogs to feel less pain whether they’re recovering from surgery or dealing with a long-term illness.
The biggest issue for many concerned pet owners is that there’s just not enough information about CBD out there yet. Studies are forthcoming and promising, of course, but it’s from these studies that we are most likely to get the necessary information about not only the positive effects of CBD oil but also the negative side effects for which pet parents should be on the lookout.
What are the Side Effects of CBD Oils for Dogs?
While CBD oil can and often is a fantastic treatment for many types of conditions, it’s not currently at the point where the FDA approves it for any kind of treatment. As such, you’re going to be dealing with a substance that isn’t as highly regulated or studies as many others on the market. To understand what you might be getting into, you’ll need to look at some of those same studies in the process that tout the beneficial effects of CBD oil for dogs.
One of the scariest-sounding side effects of CBD oil for dogs is that it can lead to an elevation in alkaline phosphatase in your dog’s liver. Though this might be a frightening statement, those same researchers aren’t actually sure what that means for your dog in a medical sense. It certainly could end up being something quite negative, but at the same time, it could be something that’s possible to ignore.
More pressing is the fact that CBD oil could have some bad interactions with other drugs. We already know that CBD can have negative interactions with anti-inflammatories, for example, so it’s worth looking at least talking to your doctor about CBD oils if your dog is on any other kind of medicine.
While those are the two great unknowns in terms of side effects, there are a few others that have more anecdotal data behind them. These are the side effects for which most pet owners should be on the lookout.
Dry mouth is one of those issues that are already fairly well-known when it comes to CBD products in humans, but it’s also one that can impact your dog. While you might not know this already, salivary production is actually a much bigger deal for dogs than it is for humans. After all, your dog’s saliva aids in digestion and dental health, as well as other bodily functions. If your dog doesn’t produce enough saliva, he or she is going to end up fairly unhappy.
So, what happens if your dog gets a dry mouth? Generally speaking, he or she is going to start drinking a lot more. That might not seem like a bad thing, but it’s not actually a solution to your dog’s problem. The lack of saliva production can still cause damage, so you’ll want to immediately respond to a dryer dog mouth by changing up your CBD dosage. If this doesn’t help, you’ll need to stop giving your dog CBD oil until you can get him or her to the vet.
Vomiting is never a good thing. It’s a normal side effect of CBD oil, though, and it’s not necessarily one that has to do with any bad interactions. CBD oil doesn’t always taste great and getting a CBD product that doesn’t have any kind of flavoring might make your dog choose to reject the product entirely.
With that said, you do want to make sure that the vomiting is something that’s caused by taste rather than the compound itself. If your dog throws up immediately as the CBD oil hits his or her tongue, you don’t have much to worry about. If your dog throws up sometime after he or she has swallowed the CBD oil or CBD product, though, you’ll want to pay careful attention to his or her behavior. This kind of side effect is one that could be very serious.
Diarrhea is another one of those side effects that you never really want to see. Again, it’s another one of those problems that never seem to be all that easy to diagnose. Diarrhea and dogs tend to go together somewhat naturally, as many dogs will eat plenty of things that make their own stomachs sick. Unfortunately, though, this means that you’re going to have to go through some trial and error to figure out if this is an actual side effect of CBD oil.
The easiest way to figure this out is to stop giving your dog CBD oil. In fact, you’re going to need to go to the blandest, most normal version of his or her diet as possible. Once your dog resumes having normal stool, you’ll be able to re-introduce CBD oil. If there are no problems, the cause of the diarrhea was not the CBD oil.
What do you do if your dog does have diarrhea because of the CBD oil? First and foremost, discontinue the CBD oil for the time being. Give your dog a bland diet, make sure that he or she has plenty of fluids, and keep an eye on your dog to determine whether or not he or she needs to go to the vet. If you do feel like reintroducing CBD oil is a good idea, make sure that you give it to your dog a significantly lower dose. Once you reintroduce the oil, start monitoring for signs of distress – if your dog continues to have stomach problems, CBD oil may not be the right choice for him or her.
Sluggishness and Lethargy
One very common side effect of CBD oil for dogs is lethargy. Your dog might slow down a little bit, acting more sluggish and maybe even sleeping a little bit more. While this isn’t necessarily always going to be a bad thing, it’s still something that you should talk about with your vet. This change in behavior could actually be because your dog’s blood pressure has dropped, which would mean that you need to discontinue using CBD oil products as soon as possible.
Is it Worth it to Use CBD Oil for Dogs?
Given the side effects of using CBD oil, it does make sense that you might be at least a little bit nervous about choosing to use CBD oil for your dog. After all, you would never want to do anything that could hurt your pet and you certainly don’t want to take unnecessary risks. What you do want to do, though, is to think about whether the benefits still outweigh the risks of side effects.
CBD oil is one of those products that treat things that might otherwise leave your dog in distress. From sleeping issues to mood regulation, CBD is thought to do a number of things that other drugs simply cannot match. While there’s certainly no such thing as a drug without side effects, it’s vital that you decide whether CBD’s benefits are enough to risk the problems that he or she might have with the products.