CBD for Dogs – What You Need to Know
Being an excellent all-natural solution for many different aches, pains, and ailments, CBD is quickly rising in popularity in the human world– as well as the pet world. As quickly as products have surfaced for our own two-legged woes, our four-legged counterparts are not far behind. It didn’t take long for dog-friendly CBD oils, treats, and salves to hit the market full-force. Whether “Fido” has extreme anxiety during thunderstorms, or “Fluffy” has hit the age where his hips and joints are stiff and painful, there is usually a CBD treatment that can help your furry best friend.
How Can My Dog Benefit From CBD?
Like human CBD products, CBD products for pets are still growing in research and studies regarding the full reach of their effects. However, it seems that CBD is helping to reduce symptoms in pets in a similar way that it is used to aid humans. Treatments are currently sold to treat pet stress and anxiety, acute and chronic pain, joint pain, lack of flexibility or mobility in cases such as arthritis, allergies, motion sickness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Pet-friendly CBD products can also support more generally calm and balanced behaviors, cognitive function, long-term eye health, and overall physical and mental well-being in older dogs. These products may even help dogs who experience seizures.
How Is CBD for Dogs Different Than CBD for Humans?
Even though CBD provides similar effects to animals and humans, dogs have more brain receptors for cannabinoids than humans do. This means that the same amount of CBD can have a more pronounced effect on our furry friends. For this reason, dog-friendly CBD products tend to be less potent– as human CBD products can legally contain up to 0.3% THC in order to provide us with the optimum desired effects– pet products typically contain well below this amount.
Is CBD Safe for My Dog?
It is recommended to only give dogs pet-specific CBD products, and to follow dosage directions carefully. If given the correct amount, CBD is typically safe for animals and brings them the same calming and soothing effects that humans receive as well. As with any CBD product (for humans or animals) be sure that you are purchasing your products from a reputable company with good reviews that are professional. A company that cares about their products and customers will ensure the safety and guideline regulations of their products. It is always wise to contact the manufacturer and ask as many questions as you can to ensure that the product you are giving your loved one (furry or not) is a quality product with no “surprise ingredients.”
While CBD is generally considered safe for pets, and is certainly safer than THC, there are some possible side effects that may occur. Sleepiness and an increased appetite are common side effects that are not uncommon to see. In rare cases, there can be increased liver enzymes (specifically alkaline phosphatase), diarrhea and vomiting.
If your dog’s CBD product has any THC in it, there is the risk of them experiencing THC toxicity. The symptoms of THC toxicity include vomiting, urinary incontinence, slow heartbeat, inactivity, loss of muscle control, excessive drooling, and sensitivity to stimuli.
It is known that CBD can inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes, which may inhibit or slow the metabolism of medications, including pet anti-seizure medications, so it is important to speak to your vet before trying to treat your pet’s seizures with a CBD treatments, especially if they are already taking medication for their condition.
If your dog experiences any significant side effects from taking a pet-friendly CBD oil product, take them to their veterinarian for treatment immediately.
How Do I Choose the Best Product for My Dog?
By now, you may have decided that pet-friendly CBD is right for “Spot.” Now comes the tricky part– finding the best brand for the job. There are several measures you can take to look into different manufacturers and products, making sure that you’re giving your pet friend the very best and nothing less.
Your first step will be to check the ingredient list. This includes looking into the type of CBD used in the product. Most products are either made with one of the three:
- Full-spectrum CBD— Contains several components of the cannabis plant, including trace amounts of THC. Federally legal full-spectrum products will always have less than 0.3 percent THC. In states where cannabis is fully legal, you may also be able to find full-spectrum products with higher THC levels. For your pet, it is recommended to use products with either no or very little THC, to limit possible negative side-effects.
- Broad-spectrum CBD— This type of CBD does not contain THC. It does contain other components of the cannabis plant, though, so it won’t be 100 percent CBD.
- CBD isolate— A pure CBD product, isolate contains no other compounds found in cannabis except for the CBD itself.
CBD oil products are also available in different doses, so be sure to choose the most appropriate dose for the size of your dog and his/her condition.
CBD oils for dogs should not contain artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, preservatives, or essential oils. Natural ingredients that are safe for dogs can include common carrier oils such as hemp seed oil and MCT oil.
When possible, look for CBD oils that are organic and have other organic ingredients. This decreases the potential exposure to pesticides and other chemicals for your dog. The best CBD oil for dogs will be third-party tested and may even be certified by entities like the National Animal Supplement Council. Websites should also have the product’s COA available for you to view to confirm the purity of your dog’s CBD product. Always choose a brand that is reputable with their customers and that has a clean legal standing. Look for brands that are B Certified Corporations and that don’t have any warning letters from the FDA. It is important to keep your pet safe as you treat him/her, and by fully researching the products you give them, you are doing your due diligence in this regard.