CBD for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know
In certain states, medical marijuana is an option for people seeking relief from ailments like seizures, pain, anxiety, and cancer.
Pet parents and veterinarians alike are naturally wondering whether cbd for dogs, in the form of products such as cbd oil for dogs or cbd dog treats, can provide the same benefits.
Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.
THC vs. CBD for Dogs
CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that have been derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive.
Instead, CBD shares important metabolic pathways with a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Rimadyl. These pathways control many processes in the body, from inflammatory responses to blood clotting.
Do not give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. There is simply not enough research to justify the use.
CBD-based products, however, may help improve your dog’s quality of life when used in conjunction with other therapies.
Why Use CBD for Dogs?
CBD is often mentioned as a useful therapy for a variety of conditions, including pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Although the use of CBD in treating each of these conditions is under-researched, there are varying levels of scientific evidence for each scenario.
Because CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs, it makes sense that it would help with certain inflammatory conditions (anything that ends with -itis is an inflammatory condition).
Osteoarthritis, often abbreviated as arthritis, is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs.
One in four dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime, and by some estimates, as many as 60% of dogs exhibit some degree of the disease.
Research has shown that CBD can provide substantial pain relief in dogs with arthritis when given twice daily at appropriate doses.
In theory, the anti-inflammatory benefit seen in arthritic dogs could also be seen in dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, especially back pain from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
Preliminary studies in people have shown that combo products containing both CBD and THC are more beneficial for pain relief than when either drug is given alone. But no such research has been done on dogs, so THC should not be given to them.
Seizures are probably the most-studied application of CBD in people, but limited research exists for pets. In dogs, seizures can be caused by a vast number of underlying conditions.
With regards to idiopathic epilepsy specifically, there is some research that suggests that CBD could be useful in reducing seizure frequency in these dogs. However, these benefits are only seen with dogs that are given traditional anti-seizure medications at the same time.
Like seizures, the term “cancer” is an umbrella term that refers to an extremely diverse set of specific diseases, each with their own set of beneficial treatments.
In people, CBD has been studied for possible use in cancer patients, both to treat the tumor(s) directly, as well as to treat the secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Very limited research has been done on the use of CBD for dogs with cancer.
However, the anti-nausea effects of CBD seen in people who undergo chemotherapy have also been documented in rats and ferrets, suggesting that dogs receiving chemotherapy may benefit from CBD treatment.
Perhaps the biggest misconception is that CBD is useful in managing a dog’s anxiety. In theory, it is possible that CBD, by reducing pain and inflammation, could indirectly reduce anxiety caused by pain or inflammation.
But because CBD is not psychoactive, it is unlikely that CBD has the ability to directly treat canine anxiety in the way that Prozac and other medications do. The use of CBD for anxiety in dogs, as with most conditions, requires substantially more research.
Potential Risks of CBD for Dogs
Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe in dogs and cats. However, numerous scientific papers have found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP).
We are not yet sure whether the elevation of this liver value has any medical significance. It could signify that CBD causes irritation or damage to the liver. Alternatively, it could be an artificial finding in which the drug interferes with the way the lab measures the liver value.
Anecdotal reports do exist of dogs becoming somewhat sleepy or sedate if they receive extremely large doses of CBD, but those effects appear to resolve on their own with time.
CBD doesn’t appear to have any drug interactions when it’s given to a dog that’s on an anti-inflammatory drug like Rimadyl.
Because there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any medication, you should consult your veterinarian first before treating your dog with CBD.
THC Dangers for Dogs
Unlike CBD, THC ingestion can cause serious problems for your pet.
“The most significant [issue] is THC toxicity, meaning, essentially, they are high,” says Dr. Gary Richter, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California. “Depending on how significantly a pet has been overdosed, the effects of that can be quite long-lasting, even days.”
During these episodes, a pet may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect THC toxicity, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Secondary effects of THC, especially respiratory depression, should be monitored closely to avoid complications.
Overall, life-threatening risks for dogs from cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Dr. Richter says. There is no documented lethal dose for THC in dogs. In fact, a dose of THC 1,000 times greater than the dose needed for a dog to feel “high” is still not lethal.
THC toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that also contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients,” says Dr. Richter.
How Much CBD Can You Give Dogs?
Though there are some topical treatments, CBD oil is typically administered orally to dogs, and giving the correct dosage is imperative. “As is the case with any medication, success has everything to do with dosing,” Dr. Richter says.
Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate (roughly 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight), twice daily.
This dosage has been found to be both safe and somewhat effective for just the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures). Additional research is needed to evaluate the necessary dosages for CBD in treating other conditions.
One complication in attempting to properly dose dogs with CBD is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that many CBD products actually contain little, if any, CBD.
The only FDA-approved cannabinoid product, Epidiolex, could theoretically be prescribed by a veterinarian for epilepsy in dogs, although this would likely be cost-prohibitive. Because it is FDA-approved, though, the CBD content of this product would be accurate, unlike most other CBD products on the market.
Can Veterinarians Prescribe CBD for Dogs?
U.S. veterinarians are forbidden from prescribing/dispensing CBD, and cannot encourage or instruct clients to purchase CBD products.
However, they are free to talk to you about the potential risks and benefits of a treatment plan you may have devised on your own. If you are considering giving CBD to your dog, speak to your vet, and you may want to also speak with a veterinarian who has experience with CBD.
Is Human CBD Oil Safe For Dogs? A Total Explanation
This is likely because you have your own CBD oil made for human consumption and you wonder if you and your dog can use the same one.
YES, human CBD oil is technically safe for dogs. However, it is highly recommended to give your dog a pet-specific version of CBD oil.
Why is it recommended to give your dog pet-specific formulations? That will be explained, in-depth, in the article below
Can I Give My Dog Human CBD Oil
Technically, yes, you can give your dog human CBD oil. You can give your dog human CBD oil because the endocannabinoid system that humans have is a system that dogs also have. That means it works in the same biological way in dogs that it does in people.
Most mammals also have the same endocannabinoid system. That is why you can technically give your dog CBD oil that is made for human use.
Many pet owners have tried human CBD oil in their pets to see how they react.
CBD Oil Specifically For Dogs
There are CBD oils made for dogs and pets like cats and horses specifically. It helps dogs in much the same way that it helps human beings. It can assist in lowering pain, inflammation, nausea, vomiting, and anxiety. There are even more health ailments that it can help, too. Studies have shown this to be the case, and that is why there are dogs
How Can I Give My Dog Human CBD Oil?
If you are going to give your dog human CBD oil, it is imperative that you follow dosing instructions as best you can.
Human CBD Oil Dosing For Dogs:
Because CBD is a natural and non-toxic product,
it does not typically hurt a dog to give them too much at once.
So, it likely won’t hurt your dog if you give them too much. However, some dogs become lethargic and tired if given too much CBD. Thankfully, that is not life-threatening or permanently damaging to their health. It can be annoying to the dog, though. Rarely, giving a pet too much CBD can cause them to have diarrhea. It doesn’t often happen, though. The good news is that it is temporary. However, avoiding giving them too much is the best course of action.
Start Low, Go Slow
Firstly, it is essential to start giving your dog small amounts and slowly increase their dosage over the course of a few weeks. This is to see how well they do with what they are being given. After all, pets are just like people, and they all have individual reactions to different things.
So, if you are going to give your dog human CBD oil, it is best to provide them with a dosage that is based on their body weight.
Here is an example of 3 different strengths of dosage to give your dog:
- LOW TIER = 0.05mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight
- MID TIER = 0.125mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight
- STRONG TIER = 0.25mg CBD x 0.5kg of body weight
Doses should be given twice a day. However, some dogs may react better to one dose. Keep a close eye on your furry pal when they first begin. The dosing times are usually morning and evening. However, it can be different if you have a unique schedule. People that work night shifts may have to have a different schedule than someone that works during the day. That’s perfectly okay.
A helpful example is a 30 ML bottle of 125 mg CBD oil contains 4.16mg of CBD per ml. So, you will have to do the math on how many drops to give your dog based on their body weight if you are choosing to provide them with human CBD oil. The examples above can help you come to the right calculation.
It is recommended to give them CBD oil under the tongue. However, if you would rather not, you can mix it into their food. They get a faster reaction when they have it administered under the tongue. With food, it takes at least half an hour for them to get the benefits.
As you can see, giving your pet human CBD oil can be done. But, it can be confusing to
CBD Oil for Specific Pets Makes It Much Easier To Correctly Dose
These products have been specially formulated for pets and are much easier to use and dose. Pet parents that want to ensure that their dogs are getting the correct dose should use pet-specific CBD oil. These are products that have been made specifically for pets and are easier to give to pets. There is little to no confusion over dosage amounts with these products. This is why it is recommended to give dogs CBD oil that is made for dogs.
It takes the guesswork out of dosing and gives pet parents the peace of mind that they aren’t offering their pet too much or too little.
Specially formulated pet CBD oils and products are also convenient for other reasons. Many CBD pet companies make treats and other pet-friendly versions of the product that allows a pet owner some choices that work best for their needs.
CBD treats are made organically from hemp extracts. They are often found in flavors that many pets find appealing. This makes it easier to give certain dogs that may be picky eaters or that don’t want to get their dosing under the tongue. It’s true that some pet parents have feisty dogs. Not every dog will be keen to have a dose given
under the tongue. Hence, the option of giving them CBD in treat form is much more appealing to both the dog and the pet owner.
How Do I Know If My Dog Will Benefit From CBD?
CBD has many amazing benefits that have been proven in research, with a couple listed below. It helps dogs and humans in many of the same ways. It allows for inflammation to be lowered, pain to be improved, nausea to be lessened, and anxiety to be decreased. These are all wonderful benefits, and they can really help a dog that is going through some of these health issues.
If your pet has any pain or significant health issues, they will likely benefit from CBD. Because there are almost no side effects, you won’t be putting your dog’s health in jeopardy. NSAIDs and prescription medications can have very harsh side effects for animals. There is usually a list of side effects on these types of drugs that can leave a pet parent stressed and concerned. Worrying about the side effects of medications is stress that pet parents don’t need to add to their growing list of concerns. After all, there is plenty of stress in having a pet that is suffering from health concerns.
CBD is a much safer option to prescriptions and NSAIDs. It contains healing properties and offers nothing but benefits. So, it is very likely that your dog will benefit from CBD. They may benefit from CBD much more than from medications. They certainly won’t have to worry about some of the awful side effects that prescriptions often come with. And that means that pet parents won’t have to worry, either. It is perfectly safe to give your dog CBD, and it is likely going to help them with pain, inflammation, nausea, anxiety, stress, and more. Dogs that have arthritis can benefit greatly, too. Many reports have been made by pet parents that their pets with arthritis are moving much better and don’t seem to be as sore. This can really improve their quality of life and enable them to get up and move around much more.
So, it is recommended that you start out with a small dose. This is to gauge their reaction. Slowly increase their dosage to the recommended amount over time. You will likely be able to see for yourself if the product is helping your dog. Many pet parents
have reported positive health changes in their dogs after only a week or so. That means you will be able to tell if CBD is helping your dog after a few weeks or a month.
How Do I Give CBD Oil For Dogs To My Dog?
The good news is that CBD oil for dogs is made specifically FOR dogs and contains dosing instructions along with it. Pet parents can give CBD oil for dogs to their dogs either under the tongue or mixed in with their dog food.
Reading the instructions that come along with the product is your best bet. Reputable companies will have instructions that you can follow sent along with the product, in an email, or on their website. However, if you have any doubts or concerns, don’t be afraid
to contact the company through their customer support. They should be able to help you right away with any questions or concerns that you have.
Do I Have To Have A Vet’s Approval For CBD?
You do NOT have to have a vet’s approval for CBD. CBD is legal in all fifty states and in many countries. As long as the CBD has less than .3% THC, it is perfectly legal to buy and give to your dog. Veterinarians do not have to give prescriptions for CBD, and so you do not need their approval at all. It is something that pet parents will have to decide for themselves if it will benefit their furry pal.
It is imperative to note that there are some vets that recommend CBD for certain pets. More and more veterinarians are learning about the significant benefits of this product. This is mostly because more research has been released over the last few years that has touted its benefits and its healing properties in animals, just as in humans. Also, because it has become legal and more acceptable, many veterinarians are becoming comfortable in recommending it to pet parents that have a pet that could benefit from CBD products.
Believe it or not, some veterinarians are actually selling CBD products in their office. This means that they have fully embraced the proven research of CBD in pets and are even willing to sell it in their vet office. Holistic veterinarians are exceptionally open-minded about CBD oils, treats, and products that are made for pets.
So, in summation, you do not need your veterinarian’s approval nor recommendation to give your pet CBD. However, it is likely that your vet will recommend it if they have kept up to date with current research and information. Unfortunately, not all veterinarians are keeping current on CBD and have not yet decided to recommend it. But, thankfully, you don’t need their approval to give it to your pet.
Pet parents can choose to give their dogs CBD on their own. Researching the benefits of CBD and which health ailments it can help will be the best way to decide if it is something that you want to give your pet. There are a lot of studies and articles that show the benefits of CBD and that offer pet parents the ability to research it for themselves and decide if it is something worthwhile for their dog or other pet. It is always highly recommended to research anything that you are going to give your pet and have as much knowledge as you can when making decisions. This includes even researching dog foods that you are going to give your pet so that you know what they are
Where Do I Buy CBD Oil For Dogs?
Buying CBD oil for dogs can be done at certain veterinary offices, in some pet stores, and online. The easiest way to buy CBD oil for dogs is online. You can order it from your phone or computer and just wait for it to come in the mail. It is important to look for products that are made specifically for pets. First-time buyers should be especially careful when buying online. There are tons of places that sell CBD for human use. However, only certain retailers have CBD oil for dogs. So, pay careful attention to the type of CBD oil you are buying and ensure that it is made for dogs specifically.
Here at Innovet, we offer safe and natural CBD oil for dogs. It is made from organic hemp extract that is sourced in the United States and has been tested by a third party for safety and efficacy. There is less than .3% THC, and that means that it is totally safe and legal. Because there is less than .3% THC, there is no chance that your dog will be getting “high.” So, your dog will not be getting any type of high, and they will be consuming something natural and safe. Naturally organic and safe, your pet can begin taking it right away and enjoying the significant benefits that CBD has been shown to give. Pet parents that are suspicious of prescriptions and chemicals should be pleased to know that this natural alternative is out there and that it can help their dogs with pain, anxiety, inflammation, and much more.
There are also pet treats that you can give your finicky eater. Some dogs do not like to have supplements given under the tongue. CBD treats in different flavors are a great option for pet parents that know their dog will not be happy to take oil under the tongue. Here are some great Innovet’s Hemp Treats For Dogs that can really give your dog a tasty treat that comes with the health benefits of CBD. They are organic and
completely natural, and that means there are no chemicals to worry about. They are made with hemp extract and consist of only organic ingredients.
Final Thoughts on Giving Human CBD Oil To Dogs
Giving human CBD oil to dogs can be done and likely be done safely. After all, their systems are like ours, and they can benefit in the same ways. However, giving them too much accidentally is much more likely when giving them human CBD oil. As discussed earlier in this article, too much CBD is likely to make them lethargic and, although rare, they can have diarrhea. This is why we recommend NOT giving them human CBD oil on a regular basis and why we recommend pet-specific CBD oil and products. It takes the guesswork out of the dosages and makes it much more likely that you won’t give them too much. At Innovet, we want pet parents to be able to give their pets the very best and have the knowledge that they need to make important decisions for their furry friends.