CBD oil is a wellness trend that is getting a lot of buzz in the human wellness world. However, it is also trending in the world of fur moms and dads across the United States. Perhaps you’ve heard that CBD oil can benefit your cat or dog. Or you’ve just seen those new treats that have CBD in them at your local pet store or grocery store. If you’re curious about how CBD might benefit your dog, then you’re in a good place.
Humans can benefit from CBD in several ways. And while human biology and canine biology differs, there is some evidence that CBD can benefit dogs in some ways similar to how it benefits humans.
First, let’s look at what CBD is and then we can explain how it might benefit your canine companion.
What is CBD?
The cannabis plant contains hundreds of beneficial compounds. The two most prevalent are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that is psychoactive and responsible for the high that many people feel when they use vaporizers to smoke marijuana. CBD, however, is not psychoactive and does not cause people to get high. In fact, it can counter the psychoactive effects of THC.
In humans, there is evidence that CBD can be a valid treatment for pain, epilepsy, anxiety, and even some kinds of cancer. CBD fights inflammation, which can give rise to a host of health issues.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
Many veterinarians have recommended using CBD with dogs. However, veterinary scientific research on this subject is still in its infancy. A small study from Colorado State University found that healthy canines tolerated CBD relatively well. However, there have yet to be studies on how CBD can affect the long-term health of your pet.
If you do treat your dog with CBD, be sure to choose a version that is specifically formulated for pets. THC toxicity can occur in dogs, so you want to make sure that any CBD treat or oil you use for your dog is sourced from hemp and contains as little THC as possible.
What Ailments can CBD Treat in My Dog?
CBD is beneficial in treating several conditions and symptoms in humans. With canines, there is anecdotal evidence from pet owners that CBD can help with the following.
- Arthritis – Because CBD can work as an anti-inflammatory, it may be useful in treating dogs with arthritis, a common inflammatory condition seen in canines. When given twice daily at appropriate dosages, research suggests that CBD can help relieve the pain associated with arthritis.
- Pain – The anti-inflammatory benefit seen with CBD and arthritis may also help to alleviate pain in dogs suffering from other conditions, such as intervertebral disc disease.
- Seizures – While there is a wealth of information supporting the use of CBD to treat seizures in humans, few studies exist to test the efficacy in pets. Because seizures can be caused by a number of conditions, it is important to know that CBD may not provide relief in some dogs. In dogs with idiopathic epilepsy, CBD may reduce the frequency of seizures. However, these benefits have only been seen in dogs who are receiving traditional anti-seizure medication at the same time.
- Anxiety – There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that CBD has helped calm a pet’s anxiety. However, there isn’t much actual scientific evidence to back these claims up. However, many pet owners have found that a CBD treat or a dose of CBD oil mixed in their dog’s food can help cause anxiety triggered by things such as thunderstorms, fireworks, and general anxiety.
- Cancer – Cancer is an umbrella term that refers to a set of very specific diseases with very different pathologies. CBD has shown some benefit in humans in treating the tumors directly as well as treating the secondary symptoms of cancer. However, the anti-nausea properties of CBD have been shown in lab animals such as mice and ferrets, showing that it may be beneficial in dogs receiving chemotherapy.
Potential Side Effects of CBD Use in Dogs
Like with any medication, there is a potential for side effects in your dog. While the risks are considered to be minimal, you should keep an eye out for the following side effects.
- Dry Mouth: CBD can decrease the production of saliva in both humans and dogs. In dogs, they would experience increased thirst, so always make sure that your dog has fresh water available while treating with CBD.
- Lowered Blood Pressure: High doses of CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Your dog might show signs of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: Because CBD can help treat anxiety in dogs, it may also cause drowsiness, especially at higher doses. This side effect seems to resolve itself once you find a good dosage.
Finding a Good CBD Product for Your Dog
Not all CBD oils or CBD products are created equal. When shopping for a CBD oil or treat for your dog, you will want a high-quality product. Unfortunately, this means that you may not be able to get the cheapest product out there. With CBD, the higher the quality and the purity, the higher the cost. When it comes to choosing either CBD oil drops or treats, drops may be the best way to go. This way, you can precisely control and adjust the dosage.