Dogs can experience inflammation and anxiety just like us. However, before giving CBD to your canine companion, here are six important things to know.
Reading Time – 6 min
When we use CBD products, the molecules interact with our ECS (endocannabinoid system) to influence various physiological systems. Sometimes that means less inflammation, less anxiety, a more balanced sleep cycle, etc. Surprisingly, CBD can provide some of those same effects for dogs as well!
Yes, you read that right. Dogs also have endocannabinoid systems, so CBD can interact with their physiology in much the same way. However, there are several critical pieces of information you’ll want to know before grabbing the nearest CBD product for your dog.
First, How Do Dogs Benefit From CBD?
CBD can provide alternative pain management solutions, anxiety relief, insomnia relief, and more for humans. Luckily, evidence shows that dogs benefit from CBD in a very similar way.
Depending on your dog’s unique physiological needs, they may experience less nausea, reduced anxiety, more robust appetite, improved mobility, and less joint and arthritis pain. One dog owner even said,
“Singy’s CBD has saved my dog’s life. He tore some ligaments and was supposed to have a $20,000 surgery. He’s a big Labradoodle and very active, so the post-surgery cast would have been traumatic. After I read about the benefits of CBD for dogs, I started giving him half a dropper of the 2000mg CBD Oil twice a day.
After just one week, he was limping less and his mood had clearly improved. After another week, his limp was gone, and after a month, he was moving around more easily and could play fetch again. It’s been over a year now and I still give him half a dropper of 2000mg CBD Oil every morning. I’m so grateful for Singy’s CBD and thrilled to see my dog so happy and healthy.”
One study found that epileptic dogs who were administered CBD alongside their seizure medication experienced fewer seizures. Another study looking at canine osteoarthritis pain determined that different doses and CBD formulations can help reduce pain. Each dog was randomly given a placebo or CBD (one of three CBD formulations).
The study results showed that “…CBD significantly decreased pain and increased mobility in a dose-dependent fashion among animals with an affirmative diagnosis of OA.” However, it’s important to note that the dogs in both the placebo and low CBD groups showed no improvement. That means a dog might only experience relief if the dose is appropriate.
Dog Size Helps Determine Dosage
With the previous study in mind, it makes sense that dog size will help you determine an appropriate dosage for your dog. While several studies have illustrated both the safety and efficacy of CBD for dogs, dosage and strength still play a significant role. We recommend asking your veterinarian what an appropriate dosage would be for your particular dog.
In one study, owners documented better activity levels and overall comfort when the dogs were given 2 mg of CBD for each kilogram of body weight. A good rule of thumb, however, is to start low and go slow.
That’s always what we recommend for humans, and since dogs can’t say, “Hey, I don’t feel so great,” it’s best to be cautious. Start with 1-2 mg for every 10lbs of weight and then wait several hours before administering more. Also, depending on what you’re trying to help your dog with (anxiety, joint pain, etc.), it may be more effective to give them CBD at certain times of the day.
Possible Side Effects
CBD is a very mild supplement, but it’s essential to monitor your dog for side effects. While no one has ever overdosed on CBD, some individuals are extremely sensitive and have experienced side effects like dry mouth, diarrhea, fatigue, dizziness, and even nausea.
Your dog can’t verbally tell you if they’re experiencing any of these things. That’s why it’s important to monitor them closely until you’re confident about how they’ll react to each dose. Pay attention to excessive panting (dehydration), excessive water consumption (dry mouth), changes in energy levels, and bowel movement changes.
Be Careful With THC
THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in very small amounts in full-spectrum CBD products. For legal purposes, most CBD products have a minuscule amount of THC. This small amount helps provide additional analgesic and sleep-aid properties, but it’s not enough to have a psychoactive effect.
Your dog, however, could be particularly sensitive to THC. Several studies have indicated dogs may have more ECS receptors in their brains than humans. So, while the amount of THC in a product might not have intoxicating effects on you, your dog could be more sensitive.
Keep a close eye on your dog if you’re administering a CBD product with THC, and avoid anything with more than 0.3% THC.
Only Use High-Quality CBD For Your Dog
It should go without saying, but make sure you’re using high-quality CBD products for your dog. You wouldn’t want to give them anything that could potentially harm them, so we highly recommend reading the COA (certificate of analysis) for every CBD product.
This document includes a detailed report of everything in the product. That means you’ll be able to determine the precise amounts of CBD, THC, and if any hazardous compounds (heavy metals, pesticides, etc.) were detected.
How to Give Your Dog CBD
The American Kennel Club recommends sticking with high-quality, organic CBD products, and they also encourage using CBD Oil. While there are CBD-infused dog treats, they can make it difficult to give your dog the correct amount of CBD.
There are several methods to give your dog CBD, so it depends on what’s easiest for both of you. Some dogs tolerate medicine better than others, so you may have to get creative. Here are some of the most common methods:
- Simply use the dropper and administer CBD Oil directly into their mouths. Be gentle and consider giving them a treat afterward to reward them.
- Mix CBD Oil with wet or dry food.
- Use a particularly porous treat and let it absorb the CBD Oil before giving your dog the treat.
You may have to experiment with different methods until you find what works best for you and your dog.
Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy With CBD
We want to take a moment and remind everyone to discuss any new supplements with your dog’s veterinarian. A veterinarian who knows your dog’s unique medical history can help you determine the correct dosage and CBD strength to give your dog the relief they need.
Yes, dogs are pets, but they’re also family. Consider giving your dog CBD to keep them healthy and happy for years to come. Feel free to contact us with questions, and don’t forget to stock up on all your favorite products.