CBD for Dogs: Is It Okay to Give CBD Oil to Dogs?
By now, you’ve likely heard about CBD and its many potential benefits. CBD oil can now be found in stores across the country and is being touted for its many benefits. Many people have begun to use CBD for dogs who seem anxious or hyperactive.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a chemical naturally found in the cannabis plant. However, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (also found in cannabis), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning it does not produce a “high.”
Research on CBD oil and especially the effects of CBD for dogs is still in the early stages. Still, there are studies and anecdotal evidence that show it can be helpful in treating conditions such as anxiety and pain. CBD pet products are being marketed as a natural way to treat these conditions, and pet owners are curious.
Pet Owner Note: It’s important for any pet owner interested in CBD products to understand that these products being for sale does not mean they are considered safe or beneficial. CBD pet products are not approved by the FDA for use in animals as either a drug or food. This post includes some current research as well as potential risks and benefits.
What Vets Say About CBD for Dogs
A recent survey of 2,131 participants found that 63 percent of veterinarians reported being asked about CBD for pets at least once each month. Veterinarians aren’t always legally able to discuss these matters, though. Any veterinarian who advises clients on using CBD for dogs risks penalties in some states as well as the potential suspension of their license.
Even states where medical marijuana is legal might have laws that only allow for human healthcare providers to prescribe cannabis. This means that vets are not authorized to administer, prescribe, or even recommend CBD pet products such as dog treats.
Use of CBD for Dogs
Research has shown that CBD may have health benefits in humans when treating certain conditions, such as chronic pain, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and anxiety. However, there have been few reliable studies on the effects of CBD for dogs.
A study from 2018 sought to assess the safety of CBD products in dogs with osteoarthritis. Eighty percent of these dogs showed improvements in both their pain and mobility. It is also important to note that this study was funded by a CBD producer, meaning results could be biased.
While this and other studies provide a window into potential uses of CBD for dogs, more time and studies are needed to confirm the research.
How to Choose CBD Pet Products
Since the FDA does not currently regulate CBD, there is a broad spectrum of products out there. This means that certain CBD products, for humans and pets alike, are more effective than others.
When you’re dealing with products not regulated by the FDA, a good rule of thumb is to look for “certificates of analysis” on a product’s website. These certificates should provide you with information like whether the products are free of pesticides or heavy metals as well as whether the quality is as advertised.
Effects of CBD for Dogs
Should you choose to give your dog CBD pet products, watch for signs of a positive or negative reaction. Carefully monitor the situation and be sure to discuss what to do with your vet before treatment. If you give your dog CBD before a firework show and find them comfortable when they would normally be cowering, the CBD has possibly been effective.
Negative side effects could include excessive panting, vomiting, dribbling urine, loss of balance, or lethargy. When your pet experiences symptoms like these, they may have consumed too much or may be experiencing more toxic effects.
Should this happen, visit your veterinarian as soon as you are able. They’ll be able to help you at this point regardless of whether they are allowed to discuss CBD.
CBD for Dogs: What to Take Away
Overall, pet owners should recognize that research on the topic of CBD for dogs is still sparse. Because it is not regulated by the FDA, there are safety issues with products that aren’t labeled accurately. Still, there is anecdotal evidence that suggests CBD can be useful as a treatment for certain conditions.
Before you try CDB with your dog, try to talk to your vet in case they are able to discuss the potential benefits or detriments. If you decide to use CBD pet products, start with a smaller dose and monitor your pet for both negative and positive effects.