CBD For Dogs: What You Should Know
Disclaimer: DGW does not recommend the administration of any treatments without the advice of your veterinarian. The safety of dogs is our number one priority. We have gathered the information in this blog post in the hopes of helping pet parents make the best informed decision on what is right for their dogs.
What is CBD?
CBD, shortened for cannibidiol, is a natural chemical found in cannabis or hemp plants. Are you wondering if that means whether it will get your dog ‘high’? Fortunately you’ll be happy to know that most CBD products are derived from the hemp plant and do not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical that produces a ‘high’.
If CBD doesn’t get you high, then what does it do? While there is little research on how it affects dogs, what we do know from studies on humans is that it interacts with endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, which may provide a range of benefits that we will talk about in the next section.
What Health Conditions Can CBD Treat in Dogs?
It is important to know that at this time no CBD products are approved by the FDA for use in animals. Research on CBD is currently in its early stages, so most health benefits listed here are from human studies and anecdotal evidence provided by dog parents that, like you, are looking for the best way to give their doggies a quality life.
From what we know, CBD may be effective in treating anxiety, pain, inflammation, nausea, loss of appetite, and possibly even cancer!
One study, published by Cornell University in 2018, sought to assess safety, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-pain properties of a CBD oil in dogs with osteoarthritis. They saw that 80% of dogs dosed with CBD showed improvement with pain and mobility.
Another study, published by Colorado State University in 2019, found that epileptic dogs given CBD in addition to their seizure medication had fewer seizures than those in the placebo group. However, they reported that similar numbers of dogs in both groups had overall decreases in seizure activity, prompting the authors to recommend further testing.
Of course there’s also many stories of pet parents that report positive effects on their dogs after giving them CBD oil or treats, like treating severe anxiety and improving the quality of life for a dog diagnosed with cancer. With so many praising the benefits, veterinarians are becoming more eager to study the medicinal uses of CBD on pets. Soon we may see more studies to confirm CBD’s medicinal potential for our beloved furry family members!
Possible Side Effects
As with any medication or supplement you may give your dog, you’ll want to keep a close eye and watch for any unwanted reactions.
- Dry mouth: Human research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. This would mean an increased thirst in your pup.
- Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Keep an eye out for your dog feeling overly tired, lethargic, or off-balance.
- Tremors: Human patients with Parkinson’s disease have reported increased tremors at high doses of CBD. Tremors of any kind are cause for concern in a dog.
- Drowsiness: The calming effect of CBD may cause slight drowsiness, especially if used at higher doses.
Remember that every dog’s body may react differently – what worked for your neighbor’s pooch may not work quite as well for yours. That said, start at a low dose, keep an eye on your doggy, and adjust from there. Also, make sure to keep your CBD items safely away and out of your dog’s reach.
Should you notice any worrying effects in your dog, get them checked out by your vet. Always let your vet know about anything you give your dog.
Finding the Right Product
CBD is the latest health fad trend for both human and pet products. Since the FDA doesn’t currently regulate CBD, some products may be more effective than others. With more and more companies marketing pet CBD products, how can you be sure that you’ll find the right one for your dog?
It pays to do a bit of background research on each brand before purchasing. Check on the product’s website for ‘certificates of analysis’ and any other evidence of third-party testing. Certificates will tell you about the quality of the product, and if it is pesticide and heavy metal free.
You’ll also want to check out unbiased reviews about the product. Try to look across multiple review websites. These are real pet parents in similar situations to you that may have experienced the positive effects you are looking for (or not).
Also important to note is whether the product contains any THC. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists THC as a toxic substance for dogs and cats.
And remember, as the old saying goes: you get what you pay for.
Are you interested in trying CBD for your dog? Contact us and ask about our options and samples!