Dogs, like people, can suffer from a range of chronic physical and psychological conditions. In the past, there was little that owners could do other than take them to the vet periodically and hope that there was some new treatment that they could try.
Since the studies of CBD’s effects on both humans and animals, however, people have begun to question whether there might be a better way. Could dogs benefit from CBD in a similar way to people?
CBD oil for dogs might sound controversial, but it’s not. Cannabidiol does not create a high, nor does it appear to be poorly tolerated. Instead, CBD seems to tap into mammalian pain systems and restore balance.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at CBD oil for dogs, how it works, and whether you should use it on your pet. Here’s what you need to know.
The Benefits Of CBD Oil for Dogs
Nobody can claim that CBD oil “cures” any condition; we don’t have all the scientific data to prove it yet. However, there is tantalizing evidence that CBD may be able to affect dogs positively and beneficially in several ways. Here’s how:
CBD Can Boost Appetite
Dogs can sometimes fall foul of digestive issues (or other health complaints) that cause them to lose their appetites. There may be a role for CBD, therefore, in helping dogs to restore the need to eat and enjoy their food more. CBD may offer pain relief that makes eating a more attractive prospect.
CBD Could Relieve Chronic Pain
Dogs, just like people, can develop chronic pain conditions, such as arthritis, which makes them less willing to engage in physical activity. CBD oil helps to blunt the pain and inflammation of these conditions simultaneously, leading to a reduction in symptoms. Anecdotally, many owners find that their pets are much more lively and energetic after eating CBD oil with their food.
CBD Might Reduce Seizures
There is good scientific evidence in humans and animals that CBD oil helps to combat seizures. Dogs with epilepsy, therefore, may stand to benefit from CBD’s positive effects.
CBD Might Combat Anxiety
Like people, dogs can fall prey to bouts of anxiety—albeit in a slightly different way. CBD oil can be a great boon for anxious or stressed dogs or those that appear depressed. CBD may be able to help owners cut down on their dogs’ problem behaviors, like urinating indoors and chewing on furniture.
The Difference Between Marijuana and Hemp CBD Oils
Many dog owners worry that by giving their dogs CBD oil, they’re giving them the cannabis drug. CBD oil, however, is not the same as smoking a joint.
CBD oil is an isolated compound from the hemp plant—part of the cannabis family of plants. Growers selectively breed hemp to have an abundance of CBD and a tiny amount of the high-producing compound THC. Hemp, therefore, is not the plant that people use when they want to smoke cannabis for its psychotropic effects. Instead, it is purely grown for its medicinal effects.
CBD is a compound in the hemp plant, just like any other. You can think of it as a separate compound that does not produce a “high” in your dog. Marijuana is a type of cannabis that contains a lot of THC.
How to Add CBD Oil to Your Dog’s Diet
So, you’ve decided that you’re going to include CBD oil in your dog’s diet, but exactly how should you do it?
It turns out that there are several ways to proceed:
- Use a CBD tincture and drip oil into your dog’s mouth
- Put a quality CBD oil on your dog’s food
- Use a topical CBD product to allow your dog to absorb the compound through the skin
- Buy CBD dog treats—special products designed to be delicious for dogs that contain CBD
- Buy capsules that your dog swallows
As you can see, there are a variety of methods for adding CBD oil to your dog’s diet. The most straightforward approach is to buy a dog-specific product—something that blends in with their regular food. You can, of course, use a tincture, though this might be less effective if your dog doesn’t like you poking around in its mouth.
What CBD Dosage Should You Give to Your Dog?
The amount of CBD oil that you give to your dog depends on the size of the breed and the brand of CBD oil that you buy.
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward answer to the dosage question, and it may require a little experimentation to get right. Most products will have a stated dosage on them. It’s best to cut this dosage in half to begin with and then to see whether there are any adverse effects on your dog.
Then, over time, increase the dosage to the recommended amount, checking to see whether your dog develops any of the overdose symptoms. Most owners gradually increase the dose every five days, checking to see whether their dog becomes more energized and happy.
What Are the Signs of a CBD Overdose in Dogs?
While CBD is a relatively safe compound, some CBD products can contain high levels of THC, even if the product labels claim that they do not. The risk of THC contamination is one of the reasons that you should only administer small quantities of CBD when first starting, just in case you buy from a disreputable supplier.
Signs of CBD overdose can include things like heavy drooling, tremors, weird behavior, agitation, and vomiting. Your dog could also seem unusually tired.
If you think that your dog might have consumed THC, then the FDA recommends that owners call their vet and book an appointment.
Is It Time You Tried CBD Oil on Your Dog?
There’s no such thing as a panacea in medicine. There is good evidence, however, that CBD may be beneficial for dogs and could help them in similar ways to people. CBD might be what dogs going through a difficult time need to help them through and be happier and healthier long term.