The ever-expanding CBD market includes many options aimed at the pet population. However, since THC is known to be toxic to dogs at certain doses, it’s important to be cautious. A recent 5-year study out of Colorado showed an overall increase in canine toxicosis due to THC ingestion. In other words, unlike in humans, THC can be potentially toxic – even fatal – to our furry little sidekicks. But what about CBD?
While cannabis in any form is not an FDA-approved drug for animals, there are plenty of veterinarians out there who don’t hesitate to recommend CBD treats for dogs that suffer from a range of various diseases and chronic ailments.
But be careful — more than a handful of ‘reputable’ companies have recently been busted by the FDA for bogus claims of having CBD in their products, when in fact they’ve been found through testing to contain virtually no CBD.
In this article, we’ll discuss several of the purest and most effective products currently on the market.
How Does CBD for Dogs Work?
For the uninitiated, CBD (cannabidiol) is the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. Unlike THC, it doesn’t produce the euphoric or intoxicating effects consistent with marijuana use.
CBD still plays an active role in the body. It also influences a huge array of physiological processes and modulates endogenous cannabinoid receptors.
Numerous studies have shown that CBD works via manipulation of receptors in the CNS. According to research, CBD plays a role in reducing inflammation, easing chronic pain, and reducing the viability of tumor cells. It also appears to minimize symptoms of anxiety, reduce the severity of seizures, and more.
What Medical Conditions CBD for Dogs Address
A common use of CBD for dogs is to help treat pain associated with arthritis. However, CBD oil for dogs can be used for a host of conditions. However, much of the veterinary community remains skeptical about its effectiveness due to a lack of published research studies.
Darlene Arden, a certified animal behavior consultant and proponent for medicinal marijuana use in pets, says that the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will not approve the use of cannabis in pets until an acceptable amount of research and data is put forth on the subject.
And while she expressed the need for medication and drug functioning to be quantitatively backed up by science, she also lamented the fact that animals are suffering unnecessarily through pain, nausea, stress, and anxiety when CBD may be of benefit to them.
Additional veterinarian thoughts about CBD
However, there are veterinarians who do recommend CBD for its potential therapeutic quality. Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VETCBD, is one of these vets. He says the interaction of cannabidiol with the endocannabinoid system in dogs can provide relief from a wide variety of physiological and neurological conditions. This, he believes, is via modulation of the chemical components responsible for nausea, stress, anxiety, pain, and more.
Dr. Shu also says CBD is unlike other traditional prescription medications that veterinary clinics suggest. It also has no significant or life-threatening side effects if administered in the proper dose. He also states that CBD does not do any damage to internal organs, nor does it get the dog high. And unlike sedative medications that alleviate symptoms by simply masking the underlying condition, cannabidiol actively works to reverse abnormal functioning.
In addition to alleviating pain and nausea, CBD oil for dogs is also increasingly being used to calm overly aggressive dogs and easily frightened or skittish dogs that are sent into panic mode by things like loud noises or mailmen.
And lastly, another area that scientists are currently investigating is how CBD can help calm seizures in dogs. While there is no definitive research yet, many are giving this a try when other seizure medications have failed.
Ways to Give Your Dog CBD
Understanding the benefits and health advantages of CBD oil for dogs is one thing, but getting them to actually take it can be another thing altogether. If you’ve ever tried to give your pup their heartworm or flea and tick medication without administering some kind of trickery, you know what we’re talking about.
Fortunately, there are some products out there that are designed for convenient pet consumption.
Tinctures that come in a dropper bottle are great for measuring out exact doses. When one places CBD under the tongue, it absorbs directly into the bloodstream, allowing them to work quicker than topicals or edibles. If you’re wondering how to give CBD oil to a dog, a simple technique is to just place a dropper in a spoonful of peanut butter.
For dogs suffering from rashes, skin allergies, arthritis, or other general forms of muscle aches or joint pains, CBD topicals (salves and creams) are a popular and convenient way to go — they’re reliable, convenient, efficient for acute pain, and for the most part, are super easy to administer (have you ever met a dog that doesn’t love a good rub-down?).
Of course, though, nothing is likely easier or more convenient than good old-fashioned doggy biscuits, which are currently available from several different companies in a wide arrangement of sizes, flavors, and CBD dosages.
Benefits of CBD Dog Treats (In Doggy Biscuit Form !)
Obviously, the #1 benefit of giving your dog CBD in the form of treats is that your dog will love them. Products like PureKana’s Hemp Pet Treats or Premium Jane’s Hemp-Infused CBD Biscuits for Dogs are every bit as slobber-inducing as a normal doggy bone.
Another good thing about CBD biscuits for dogs is that they come in a huge range of sizes and doses. Most come with a label on the package that identifies the size and weight dog they’re appropriate for. This is great for eliminating the uncertainty that often comes along with trying to determine a proper tincture dose.
The only thing you might hear some people say is that they’re a little wary of how effective some treats and doggy edibles really are. Like we mentioned earlier, there’s been some instances of the FDA busting companies with bogus products, so it’s important to choose wisely when selecting the right option for your pup.
Key Things to Watch Out for When Purchasing CBD for Your Pet
- When selecting CBD products for your pets, ensure that the product actually contains CBD. A brand can easily enough label something as “hemp-infused” or “hemp-based.” It’s another thing altogether to actually have appropriate levels of cannabidiol present. Without sufficient CBD content, a product will not initiate any chemical or physiological change. Look for lab verifications reports, and if in doubt, get in touch with the company.
- Another key consideration is dosage. While CBD is less dangerous to dogs than THC is, improper dosing can result in lethargy or drowsiness, and in more severe cases, intense nausea and/or vomiting can ensue. The general rule of thumb when using tincture is to start out with one drop per 10 lbs of your dog’s weight (i.e. 4 drops of oil if your dog weighs 40 lbs), and administer the oil directly under the tongue once a day. Monitor the dog’s health and behavior closely for about a week or so, and if there isn’t any clear improvement in condition, try upping the dosage to twice per day. The goal is to start low and work your way up until you reach a point when you notice an obvious improvement.
- And of course, if you have the means to work with a veterinarian – particularly one who has experience in CBD products for pets – by all means make sure to do so.
If you have any other tips to share with the community, feel free to share them with us in the comments below or on our Facebook page.
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