What you need to know about CBD oil for dogs
Companion animals, especially dogs and cats, are valuable family members. It means that their well-being is vital. Although animals may have different anatomy and physiology nonetheless, most mammals share numerous traits with humans.
It means that many health products that are good for humans might have health benefits for dogs. In recent years, CBD has gained popularity as a nutraceutical for humans and pets. Initial experience with CBD appears to confirm certain health benefits of CBD oil for dogs.
Is CBD Oil safe for my dog?
When choosing any remedy or health supplement, safety should be of prime concern. After all, it is necessary to ensure that it should not do more harm than good.
There could be many reasons for considering CBD for dogs, from managing pain and inflammation to reducing aggressive behaviour.
CBD is safe for pets when used as indicated and at the correct dose. In addition, CBD products that are free from THC are less likely to have any side effects. However, full-spectrum CBD with small amounts of THC may have greater benefits in some cases, so one has to weigh the risk against the benefits before choosing CBD products.
Experience with CBD products shows that most CBD adverse effects are transient. It means that they would be gone in few days after discontinuing the product. Moreover, none of the side effects appears to pose any severe health risk to dogs.
Some of the known side effects that might occur at higher dosages are:
- Mouth dryness results in low saliva, which may be a concern in some warm climate zones.
- Lowering of blood pressure – again an infrequent side effect, which may occur at much higher dosages.
- Lethargy – which may occur due to calming effect of CBD on dogs. It might not be an unwanted effect in many cases, especially when CBD is used to manage anxiety in the dog or control aggressive behaviour.
- Behavioural changes are more probable on exceeding dosage or if any given product is high in THC. In such cases, owners may notice specific behavioural changes.
There is a firm reason to believe that CBD won’t cause any side effects in most cases and only minor hassles in some. Moreover, in the last few years, numerous clinical studies have emerged, confirming its safety. For example, in one of the dose-escalation studies in 21 dogs, CBD oil (even products with THC) was well tolerated, causing mild adverse effects only.
How does CBD oil affect dogs?
Pets like dogs differ from their human friends in a way that they have a pretty different kind of digestive system and metabolism. Although there is some research on how dogs metabolize CBD, it is worth keeping in mind that the difference between various breeds may be considerable.
Pharmacokinetics of CBD in dogs
Pharmacokinetics is the study of the movement of drugs or other substances into the body. The study of CBD in dogs show that it is absorbed pretty quickly, with a peak concentration in plasma reaching 1.9 to 2.3 hours. It means that CBD starts acting after a couple of hours in dogs. Further, studies show that half of the CBD would be gone from the dog’s plasma (not essentially body) in about 14 to 24 hours.
Since the half-life of CBD may be as long as 24 hours in dogs, it means that the concentration of CBD may increase with repeated dosages. It also means that maximum benefit could be seen after few days only.
Pharmacodynamics or how CBD works in dogs
Once inside the body, CBD has to start working. Studies show that the endocannabinoid system is present in all members of the animal world. So, it may explain why CBD may have similar kinds of health effects in humans and dogs.
Targeting endocannabinoid receptors may modulate pain, inflammation, anxiety, reduce stress, have a calming effect, and much more. Researchers have identified various endocannabinoid receptors present in different body parts, from the brain to the skin.
What are the benefits of CBD for dogs?
As dogs reside with humans, they have become physically less active and prone to specific health issues. Therefore, supplementing the canine diet with CBD may have several health benefits for dogs:
Behavioural issues like not listening to human friends, frequently whining for attention, continuing chewing objects may become issues. CBD may help alter behaviour in many cases. It may also help reduce unnecessary aggressiveness in some cases.
Dogs are pretty emotional and highly attached to their human companions, and they are also prone to anxiety. In addition, some dogs may have a fear of separations, others may respond inadequately to noises. CBD may help calm the nerves of dogs and thus help not only reduce stress but even prevent the condition from becoming chronic.
Pain and inflammation
CBD for pain relief in dogs is quite effective. Pain and inflammation may occur due to numerous reasons like trauma, arthritis, age-related illnesses. Adding CBD to regular treatment may help in many cases. CBD may also be the right choice for chronic pain issues when continuous use of medications might not be an option.
Lowers risk of neurological conditions
Quite like humans, dogs may also develop epileptic seizures, diseases of the brain and spine. Although CBD might not be a cure for most of these conditions, it may provide considerable relief and thus improve the quality of life.
Lowers risk of tumours
CBD has anti-tumour properties. It means that regular supplementation of a canine diet with CBD may help prevent the development of certain types of tumours.
CBD also alters metabolism, and these effects are even more important considering that dogs are becoming prone to metabolic disorders. Dogs are not as active as they need to be due to limited space in cityscapes and other limitations. CBD has a proven ability to alter or enhance metabolism.
Reduce skin itching
Dogs often have problems with flicks and fleas, skin dryness, dermatitis, and much more. To a degree, scratching is normal. However, if a dog scratches too often, it might be a cause for concern. Although CBD is not a remedy for underlying causes, it may provide much needed symptomatic relief.
What is the best type of CBD to give to my dog?
CBD products for pets come in numerous forms like edibles, oils, gummies, and much more. Although most dose forms are equally good, each has its pros and cons.
CBD oil – is the most common form for use by humans and pets alike. It can be used in various ways, either directly taken orally or added to food items. For quick and consistent effect, it is always good to squirt it directly into the dog’s mouth, as this will result in fast and dependable absorptions.
Broad-spectrum CBD is a good balance of efficacy and safety. It contains CBD, other cannabinoids, terpenes, and so on, resulting in entourage effect or greater effectiveness. However, it is still free from THC, thus the lower risk of neurological side effects.
Full-spectrum CBD – quite like broad-spectrum CBD oil, it has multiple beneficial phytocompounds along with CBD. At the same time, it has a low amount of THC in legally permissible levels. Although THC poses a greater risk of neurological side effects, it should not be demonized as (in the proper dosage) it may considerably boost specific health effects like providing greater anxiety relief.
Adding hemp oil to food products is also an option. However, it may result in lower bioavailability and thus the need for a higher dosage.
A word of caution:
when choosing hemp oil, pay particular attention to the source of oil and its total CBD content. Remember that many online hemp oil products are extracted from hemp seed, which may not have any CBD at all.
CBD isolate– as the name says, it is an isolated form of CBD, usually in a powder form containing more than 99% of CBD. Using such a product has cost benefits, reliability. Additionally, one can use isolate in many ways like adding to food products, and so on. However, CBD isolate does not contain other cannabinoids or terpenes, which may result in fewer benefits in some disease conditions due to the absence of entourage effect.
Edibles – edibles are a good option in a way that they are much easier to use. However, one of the issues with many edibles is an extremely low amount of CBD, which may not result in expected health benefits.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog?
Dosing CBD in pets can be challenging due to the huge variance in body weight between various breeds. Thus, unlike humans, it is best to calculate the dose based on body weight.
Generally, it is a good idea to start with the lowest dose and increase it gradually. Since CBD has some accumulating effect, it exerts its maximum effect in 3-5 days. It means that one may increase the dosage after 5-7 days if expected results are not achieved.
Most experts recommend starting from 1 mg per 10 pounds of body weight and then increase to 2 or 3 mg per 10 pounds of body weight (once or twice a day). One may even increase dosage much further for severe health conditions. Pharmacokinetic studies regarding the daily dosage say that up to 2 mg per kg is still a low dose. Up to 5 mg per kg is a moderate dose. Higher than 5 mg per kg can be regarded as a high dosage.
It means that CBD products have a broad safety range, and one can safely increase dosage when and as required. There is barely any risk of overdosing until or unless someone completely neglects recommendations.
Some of the other common questions regarding CBD dosing are:
Can I give my dog CBD oil for humans? Well, in short, the answer is yes. Vital here is proper dosing.
How many drops of CBD for dogs are adequate? It would depend on the strength of CBD oil, that is, the amount of CBD in each drop. However, in most cases, one can give dogs few drops of CBD oil.
Can CBD help relieve my dog’s health issues?
There is lots of research going on into CBD’s role in various health conditions. For example, it might help manage some disease conditions, be an add-on treatment, and even help counter specific symptoms.
CBD for dogs with cancer
Although there is limited research into the subject, CBD remains among the preferred non-pharmacological means of managing cancers in dogs. However, this does not mean that there is no supporting evidence in favour of such use. Numerous experimental studies show that CBD may alter immune responses, prevent tumour growth, and even induce the death of specific cancer cells.
Additionally, one can use CBD to manage pain and anxiety related to cancer. CBD may have a calming effect on the nerves. It may also improve metabolism and promote the survival of dogs.
CBD for arthritis in dogs
CBD may reduce inflammation and pain sensation. There is some research indicating that CBD may help dogs with arthritis. In one of the studies, 4 weeks of CBD oil could reduce pain and increase periods of activity in dogs diagnosed with arthritis. In the mentioned study, researchers gave CBD oil in the dosage of 2 mg per kg, twice daily.
CBD oil for dogs with heart problems
Although CBD oil for dogs with heart problems is not a well-studied remedy, there are reasons to believe that it can help. CBD has a calming effect, may alter stress responses, lower blood pressure a bit, and thus ultimately reduce cardiac load, and has a beneficial impact on heart health.
Cannabidiol oil for dog seizures
Cannabidiol based medications are already approved for managing resistant cases of epilepsy in children in the US and UK. However, in recent years, researchers have turned their attention towards using CBD oil for dog seizures. Many cases reports have confirmed that CBD oil, especially when added to the regular treatment, may help reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. Additionally, some pilot clinical studies also appear to confirm that adding CBD oil to standard treatment for dog seizures may help.
CBD for anxiety in dogs
Dogs are loving, dedicated, sensitive, and emotional beings. They are quite prone to anxiety, which may result in unexplained behavioural issues. Adding CBD to the daily regime may help overcome anxiety in dogs. One study demonstrated that CBD could reduce noise-induced fear in dogs. Yet another study showed that CBD could lower aggressive behaviour in shelter dogs towards humans due to its anti-anxiety action. CBD could be considered to manage subtle, unwanted changes in a dog’s behaviour due to anxiety.
Cannabidiol for inflammation in dogs
CBD is good for suppressing inflammation and reducing related pain. However, such use is not limited to arthritis. Supplementing a regular canine diet with CBD may help lower general inflammation and thus lower the risk of various other painful chronic ailments.
CBD oil for dogs may help counter numerous health issues. It can help prevent certain disorders, be used as an add-on treatment, or counter disease symptoms. CBD is good not only for dogs but also for various pets, and it is also suitable for cats.
Those looking for CBD products for managing their pets’ health can check the list of our finished products. Please feel free to reach out after choosing from different CBD oils for pets. Queries from those interested in manufacturing custom CBD pet products are also welcome.