If your dog develops joint pain, anxiety, or any other debilitating health condition, there’s no doubt you’d do anything to relieve their distress. Taking them to the vet, trying new treatments, and doing a whole lot of research would just become another part of your life.
If that’s already your current reality, you’ll love to know that many owners are using CBD to treat a variety of conditions with great success. But you also surely have lots of questions as you try to figure out if it’s the right choice for your beloved pet.
Thankfully, we are here to help you answer all those questions as you weigh the pros and cons of CBD for dogs.
Is CBD Oil Bad for Dogs?
CBD oil is actually considered safe for dogs but only when it’s extracted separate from THC. You do not want products with any THC since that compound can prove toxic to pets, especially in high concentrations.
Fortunately, most CBD products sold across the nation are only legally allowed to have 0.3% of THC or less in their formulas. Manufacturers also sell CBD isolate extracts that are free of all other cannabinoids.
With either option, you can rest assured that your pup won’t have THC pumping through their system, keeping them safe from the toxic effects and the high. Besides a little drowsiness, they’re also not likely to develop any side effects, which are quite common with traditional medications.
Do Vets Recommend CBD Oil for Dogs?
Since hemp and marijuana products are illegal at the federal level, many veterinarians are not allowed to prescribe them. They also have to skirt away from recommendations to keep their licenses intact.
But that doesn’t mean vets haven’t noticed the research and anecdotal evidence related to using CBD oil for dogs. In fact, many have even tried the oil to help control their dogs’ seizures and treat many other serious health conditions.
You are always welcome to ask about CBD for dogs, however, and should open up that conversation with your vet before trying this option. This is especially important if your dog is already taking any medications or undergoing other treatments.
What are the Benefits of Giving Dogs CBD?
When people say that CBD can treat everything from migraines to sleep disorders, they’re really not joking — and the results are no different in pets. Since it’s a cannabinoid, the CBD molecules act on the endocannabinoid system that reaches every part of the body. They do so through the CB1 and CB2 receptors that are found in the brain of all animals, including people and their canine companions.
When the molecules bind to those receptors, they may:
- Relieve intractable pain
- Decrease inflammation
- Bolster the immune system
- Reduce anxiety
- Control seizures
- Soothe nausea
- Aid digestion
The beneficial effects tend to kick in within an hour of giving your dog CBD. You’ll need to follow the dosing instructions on the label or from your vet to get the desired effect.
Which Dogs Benefit Most from CBD?
CBD works best for dogs with inflammation, pain, and other symptoms that prove hard to treat with traditional methods. It’s also a great idea if your dog’s medication causes a lot of side effects or doesn’t provide enough relief. In some cases, CBD can even help when used in tandem with other medications and treatments.
You might want to consider CBD if your dog has:
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
- Autoimmune conditions
- Intervertebral disc disease
CBD is also beneficial for dogs with severe general anxiety, separation anxiety, and other mental health problems.
Like most treatments, you just have to try it to see if it works. You can keep a journal of their symptom types, duration, and severity to gauge the effectiveness of each dose. Also, jot down any changes to your dog’s mood, activity levels, and overall demeanor. If you notice improvements, then you’re likely on the right track.
What Kind of CBD is Best for Dogs?
Not all CBD for dogs is created equal, so you have to take your time in picking the right one. As mentioned above, always make sure to check that the product does not contain more than 0.3% THC. If you can find 100% pure CBD, then that’s even better but don’t stop there.
Before you buy CBD oil, verify that the manufacturer has independent lab test results available for you to review. By reading through the third-party testing results, you can learn the total concentration of cannabinoids and other compounds in every dose.
While browsing the data, take a moment to look for the presence of organic solvents, which are used to extract the CBD and should evaporate away in full during processing.
The most important ones to look for include:
- Isopropyl alcohol
These substances will only show up on the chemical makeup of the CBD oil if they did not evaporate fully.
As a final check, look for any sign of biological contaminants, like mold and bacteria, to ensure you’re getting the highest quality product.
What’s the Best Way to Administer CBD Oil to Dogs?
Although there are other CBD products on the market today, oil is the easiest to measure and administer to your dog. You just have to use an oral syringe and gently push it in the gap behind their teeth. As you press down the plunger, the oil will hit the back of your dog’s throat, causing them to swallow. Then, since it doesn’t usually have the best taste, provide their absolute favorite treat for a job well done.
Despite the unpleasant flavor, many dogs look forward to taking CBD once they discover how much relief it provides. So, don’t be surprised when your dog eagerly comes over for their dose when you pull the bottle out of the cupboard. Just make sure to put the CBD far out of their reach as they may try to get to it themselves if you’re even a few minutes late with the next dose.
Now that you have answers to all your questions about CBD oil for dogs, you can decide if you want to take a trial run. If so, just remember to get the highest quality products possible and objectively gauge the results to see if you're on the right track.