Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
DISCLAIMER: This blog post is for informational purposes only. No product claims implied.
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a natural compound that comes from cannabis plants, and is most often extracted from the hemp plant. CBD is thought to promote a sense of calm and support overall wellbeing.* Because of these beneficial qualities,* CBD has exploded in popularity. It’s not just for humans either. Because CBD may help dogs with a broad range of issues from physical discomfort to stress,* pet products like CBD oil for dogs have become widely available.
Not only does CBD work on dogs, it’s even more effective for them than it is for us. Here’s how it works.
Similarly to humans, dogs also have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of receptors that interacts with many parts of the body. The ECS interacts with the immune system and cardiovascular systems and helps support homeostasis, or day-to-day physical functions.
In humans, CBD interacts with the ECS to help promote balance and manage stress without causing intoxication or other negative psychoactive effects.* Dogs have more ECS receptors than humans, so cannabinoids like CBD have a greater effect on them than they do on us.
There’s been a lot of research into the effects of CBD on dogs over the last several years. Though findings aren’t yet conclusive, here’s what the science says:
- CBD has been proven as an effective treatment for epilepsy in humans. The AKC Canine Health Foundation is currently sponsoring a study at Colorado State University to determine if these health benefits are also present for dogs with seizures.
- A 2017 report by the World Health Organization stated that CBD has a “good safety profile” in both humans and animals.
- In 2019, preliminary safety findings from a veterinarian study suggested that CBD had no adverse effects in healthy adult dogs.
- An inter-college US scientific study found that “in healthy dogs and cats, an oral CBD-rich hemp supplement administered every 12 h was not detrimental based on CBC or biochemistry values.”
- In 2016, scientists in Europe suggested that CBD may show promise for treating arthritis and inflammation in animals.
- A 2015 animal study concluded that CBD isolate may offer certain health benefits, and that full-spectrum hemp extract may have more pronounced benefits.
CBD may help dogs with a wide variety of problems such as physical discomfort from aging, skin and paw irritation, and different kinds of stress.*
Joint health problems are common in older dogs, causing them to become stiff and uncomfortable. Over time, the effects can worsen until they seriously impede your dog’s quality of life.
CBD may help dogs with some of the discomforts of aging.* A study by the National Institute of Health on the effects of CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis showed that dogs given CBD experienced decreased pain and exhibited increased activity compared to dogs given a placebo.
In addition, veterinary researchers from the University of Milan found that CBD in conjunction with certain pain-management medications may reduce a dog’s pain levels and improve their quality of life.*
Many dogs can suffer from skin irritation known as “hot spots” due to allergies, sensitive skin, or rough environments. Organic hemp balms are formulated with natural ingredients that soothe skin irritation in dogs, and may help relieve this irritation.*
Much like humans, dogs can get stressed for a variety of reasons. Some common causes of stress for dogs are separation, fear of thunder or loud noises, and overall restlessness in energetic breeds.
Dogs often act out when stressed. A stressed dog might run and hide, bark constantly, destroy furniture, or behave aggressively. The addition of CBD chews or CBD oil to a dog’s routine could potentially help them stay calm under otherwise-stressful circumstances.*
When taken in high doses, CBD has been known to have only mild harmful side effects such as dry mouth, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Based on its effect in humans, the American Kennel Club suggests that CBD has similar side effects in dogs.
Dogs are more sensitive to cannabinoids than humans are, so it’s important to follow the product instructions to find the correct dose for your furry friend. When giving your dog CBD for the first time, start with a low starting dose and monitor how your dog reacts.
If all goes well after a low dose of CBD, consider incorporating it into your dog’s routine by slowly working up to a higher dosage. This will help you avoid side effects and find the correct daily dose for your dog.*
Like anything your dog consumes, it’s important to make sure you only buy your dog CBD products from a trusted source. The best CBD producers use only organic hemp, natural ingredients, and carrier oils such as olive oil or hemp seed oil.
In addition, there are several third-party laboratory certifications that can help you identify the best options:
- Buying from a producer that follows the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Processes ensures that you’ll get the safest, highest-quality CBD for your dog.
- A Certificate of Analysis (COA) will show exactly what’s in your dog’s CBD oil or chews, and confirms the quality of the cannabinoids and the absence of contaminants like pesticides or heavy metals.
- Look for brands carrying the National Animal Supplement Council Quality Seal. This seal guarantees that the producer undergoes regular audits from a third-party lab to confirm its products are of high quality.
CBD oil comes in three forms: full-spectrum hemp oil, broad-spectrum hemp oil, and hemp oil isolate. If you decide to give your dog CBD products, it’s best to purchase full-spectrum hemp oil, topicals, or chews.
Full-spectrum CBD hemp oil is best because it contains other beneficial cannabinoids, essential oils, and flavonoids that work together for increased potency in what’s known as the entourage effect. That means buying full-spectrum hemp oil or other full-spectrum CBD products for your dog will give you more bang for your buck.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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