CBD Oil for Dogs: 10 Things You Need to Know

Written by on March 13, 2019 in Healing & Natural Remedies, Health with 0 Comments

With the legalization of cannabis in a number of states, discussion about the health benefits of CBD is hotter than ever.

And with doggy products claiming to do everything from improving general wellbeing to curing cancer, CBD oil is the latest must-have for pet owners.

So what’s it all about?

Image source: Flickr

1) What is CBD?

CBD is short for cannabidiol, a compound found in hemp and marijuana plants.

CBD oil is extracted from the buds or flowers of these plants and is used as a natural pain reliever and relaxant, much like calming supplements for dogs.

CBD works by interacting with the endocannabinoid system within the body, which regulates functions including pain, sleep, appetite, and immune response. By targeting these cannabinoid receptors, which are the same in dogs as in humans, you can create a feeling of calm and provide pain relief.

Products made specifically for dogs are the safest way to introduce CBD oil and its benefits to your best friend.

2) What are the benefits of CBD oil?

CBD oil is used to treat anxiety, nausea, and seizures, provide pain relief, reduce inflammation and even provide relief from symptoms of cancer. While there are no formal studies of the benefits of CBD oil in pets (yet), there are plenty of happy dog owners and vets who will testify to the positive changes they’ve seen in their animal’s health.

Many people turn to CBD oil for their dogs as an alternative to traditional medication or pain killers, as some of these can cause harsh side effects and even damage to the liver, kidneys or digestion.

3) CBD for anxiety

There are a number of reasons your four-legged friend may be suffering from stress, anxiety or depression. Some stressors may be temporary, such as fireworks, travel or thunderstorms. Or it could be a more ongoing behavioral problem such as separation anxiety. CBD has shown to combat anxiety from a number of angles including dampening the body’s stress responses and stimulating the release of serotonin.

4) CBD for seizures

Just like humans, dogs can suffer from epilepsy and seizures. While there are traditional medications available, these can cause side effects such as vomiting, anemia and blood disorders.

Furthermore, up to 30% of dogs with epilepsy still suffer seizures even when medicated. CBD oil for seizures has shown very promising results, even in treatment-resistant epilepsy.

5) CBD for pain relief

Pain relief is one of the top reasons people buy CBD oil for their dogs. CBD interacts directly with the neurons in the brain, preventing the brain from sending pain signals to the body. CBD oil also reduces inflammation; this can ease the pain for dogs suffering from arthritis, pancreatitis and irritable bowel disease.

6) CBD won’t get your dog high

Yes, CBD comes from cannabis, but it won’t make your dog stoned. CBD is just one of more than 80 cannabinoids found in marijuana; the one that causes the psychoactive effects is TCH (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Hemp and marijuana both fall under the cannabis label, but are different varieties with different chemical compositions. Hemp and marijuana both contain CBD, but marijuana contains a much higher proportion of THC. The extraction of CBD means that is separated from the other cannabinoids, and in fact, CBD is often derived from hemp plants, and not marijuana.

By choosing a dog-friendly CBD oil product you can get the benefits without the buzz.

7) Choosing a CBD oil

A quick web search for ‘CBD for pets’ will bring up a long list of oils, treats, capsules, and creams, but with so much available it can be hard to know where to start.

Wherever you choose to shop for CBD oil, there are a few things to look out for that can help you get the best product for your pooch:

  • Look for organic – just because CBD comes from plants, it doesn’t mean all products are organic. At the very least, look for a product that is free from pesticides and fungicides
  • Look for quality – when it comes to CBD oil, be prepared to pay for purity. There are cheaper oils available, but they contain lowers levels of CBD, and more worryingly, may contain harmful additives
  • Look for details – the label should clearly state how much CBD is in the product. As well as being an indicator of quality, it will help you to determine the correct dosage for your dog. Also, check to ensure the product does not contain THC

8) CBD dosage for dogs

As the use of CBD products with pets is a relatively new field, there has been limited research into what constitutes a safe upper dose limit.

The CBD product you purchase should come with dosage instructions, but you may want to start with a lower dose and work towards their guidelines. CBD oil as a tincture will allow you to give very precise small doses.

When you introduce anything new to your dog, it is important to monitor their health and behavior for any adverse reactions. If your dog tolerates the CBD oil without a problem, you can gradually increase to the required dose.

Generally speaking, the dosage you give should be based on your dog’s body weight, and on what the CBD oil is intended for. A smaller dosage would be given for general health or situational anxiety, and a larger dose for medicinal purposes such as epilepsy.

9) Side effects of CBD oil

While CBD oil is generally considered a safe and non-toxic product, your dog may experience some side effects. Most of what we know comes from humans, who have reported the following side effects after using CBD products:

  • Dry mouth – this may present as increased thirst
  • Drowsiness – monitor your dogs sleeping patterns for any change
  • Lethargy – CBD may lower blood pressure, which can cause lethargy
  • Lightheadedness – your dog may seem dizzy or disoriented

10) Safe use of CBD

It should go without saying, but don’t give your own CBD or medical marijuana to your dog. While it’s true that humans and dogs can experience the same benefits from CBD, not all products are created equal.

To begin with, human products are likely to contain higher doses of CBD, and dogs have more sensitive cannabinoid receptors than we do. More importantly, some CBD oils and edibles made for people do in fact contain THC, which can be dangerous for dogs.

Also be aware that while the extracted CBD oil is safe for dogs, live hemp and marijuana plants themselves are toxic to dogs and cats.

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