Should You Give Your Dog CBD Oil?
CBD—the current darling of the world. Fans say that this natural medication will cure just about anything. While I agree that CBD oil shows a lot of promise, I think we need to temper our enthusiasm a little.
With CBD oil now being added to everything from gummies to cool drinks, it was only a matter of time before it started becoming a pet care trend. Who could have predicted that giving your dog CBD oil would be a thing?
Many pet owners speak glowingly about the results they’ve gotten using CBD for their fur babies. I’ve researched the subject thoroughly because my older schnauzer Archie is very frightened of thunder and loud bangs. This post is an amalgamation of what I found.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol (CBD) oil is just one compound extracted from cannabis or hemp. In order for the oil to be legal, it should contain less than 0.3% of another compound found in cannabis or hemp—THC. THC is the compound in marijuana that’s responsible for making you high.
CBD oil products are not currently allowed in popular online retailers, you can buy them in niche stores like Kingkanine.com.
However, there are tons of hemp oil products available for dogs. Below is one of the best hemp oils used to treat pain & anxiety in dogs.
How Will Your Dog React?
We’re thin on the ground when it comes to CBD research and its effects on dogs. In humans, the oil interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, bringing balance and improving wellness. The oil has been proven to have anti-anxiety and analgesic properties.
Dogs have a similar endocannabinoid system, and so the theory is that it acts the same way in them. Just like in humans, therefore, different dogs might react differently. Some dogs might experience increased anxiety, so it’s best to start with the smallest dose possible.
With Archie, I started with a drop on his biscuit. It does make him calmer when there’s a storm outside or when someone’s lighting fireworks. All that happens to him is that he gets sleepy.
How Can CBD Help?
Again, there’s no definitive evidence of the benefits of CBD oil in treating dogs. That said, pet owners have reported that CBD helps calm their dogs, manage pain, and control seizures.
CBD’s anti-anxiety, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-seizure properties are well-documented and backed up by science in humans.
It’s not a leap to suggest that dogs experience the same benefits, particularly when you consider the anecdotal evidence.
Some doctors believe that CBD oil could also help stimulate appetite, reduce nausea, and possibly protect against cancer. Science has yet to confirm these properties.
Are There Side Effects to Consider?
The World Health Organization deems CBD oil safe, even at relatively high doses in humans. That said, there’ve been no trials that examine the long-term effect of using the oil. I don’t advise giving a dog CBD oil daily unless necessary.
Also, it’s essential to get the dosage right. A dose for your dog must be worked out according to body weight. Dogs can’t take the same amount that a human would. Always start with the minimum dose and increase only if necessary.
Calculating CBD Oil Dosage for Dogs
Now we must determine how much we can safely give our dog (this is relative to the amount of CBD in each milliliter (mL) of CBD oil). The calculation of the dosage would ultimately depend on the manufacturer of the CBD products and the specific product that you are buying.
Always check with your dog CBD oil manufacturer to determine the amount of CBD in their products.
Please ask your veterinarian for guidance before giving your dog CBD products, especially if your dog is currently taking other medications.
General guidelines are as shown below.
For example, a dog CBD oil product that contains 300mg of CBD and 10mg of CBD per/mL of CBD oil can be given to a 50-pound dog.
Let’s say you bought the 75mg formula instead (approximately 2.5mg/ 1mL), and you would then have to give your 50-pound dog 4mL of CBD oil.
Some side effects that pet owners report include:
- Dry mouth: CBD oil does decrease the amount of saliva. Signs of this in your dog would be increased thirst. Make sure that they have access to plenty of water.
- Lower blood pressure: You’ll notice that your dog seems to feel slightly unsteady on its feet or seems to stand up and fall back down quickly.
- Drowsiness: CBD’s anti-anxiety effects are to blame here, so make sure that your dog is safe at all times.
Is There a Risk Here?
There are risks. Firstly, we don’t understand the long-term implications of using CBD oil on dogs. Secondly, we’re not sure of the correct doses if your dog is on another medication. Thirdly, CBD may interact with other medications your dog’s taking. Finally, low-quality oils might contain a high percentage of solvents.
My best advice is to consult your vet before giving your dog CBD oil, especially if there’s another treatment in place. My two boys, Archie and Peanut, have no pre-existing health problems and don’t need any medication.
Choosing the Right Product for Your Pet
Paying more for a reliable and organic product is worthwhile. Cheaper brands may use marijuana or hemp treated with pesticides as source material. Solvent extraction is a fast and inexpensive method that less expensive brands may prefer.
Unless you choose a reputable brand, you don’t know what you’re getting. Some products contain barely any CBD, while others contain far too much THC.
Check the manufacturer’s website. Ideally, the company should have an independent lab to test its products and provide a certificate to prove that.
It’s best to buy the oil for your dog. With Archie and Peanut, I put a drop of the oil on a biscuit. If your dog will tolerate it, dropping the oil under the tongue is a more effective delivery system.
There’s mounting evidence that shows that CBD is beneficial to humans in treating pain and anxiety.
Would I give it to Archie and Peanut daily?
No, I don’t feel that we know enough about the side effects of long-term use.
I do, however, give it to the two boys when there’s a big storm or fireworks. I find it invaluable in those situations.
And remember—when in doubt about giving your dog CBD oil, speak to your veterinarian before dosing up your dog.