CBD Oil for Dogs: An Expert's Ultimate Guide
For many people, their pets are just like other family members when it comes to providing them with comprehensive care. Like humans, pets can suffer from illness, chronic pain, allergies, and a range of other health conditions. When they do, they may need medication or treatment.
Holistic products may be effective, including CBD. If you are considering giving your pet CBD products, including CBD oil, it is critical that you know exactly what they can offer and what limitations apply.
Always discuss your use of CBD oil and other holistic treatments with your pet's vet before giving them anything. That ensures that your pet is safe when trying these new products.
What Is CBD Oil?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical found in marijuana. CBD oil comes from extracting the oil from the cannabis plant. It is then diluted with a carrier oil, such as hemp seed oil or coconut oil. CBD itself does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
That is the psychoactive ingredient that is found in marijuana. In other words, if you are using CBD oil for your pet, it will not cause the pet to become high. Most CBD products come from hemp, not marijuana.
Not all CBD oil is the same in terms of quality. It is critical to learn as much as you can about the manufacturer and the ingredients in the product before purchasing it. Some products contain a very small amount of the substance, which can make it hard for a pet to see any real benefits from it.
Science-backed Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs
There are a number of potential benefits of CBD oil for dogs. There is still a lot of research being conducted in this area, and there is a lot of insight that is not yet known about how dogs and CBD oil relate.
One of the most common benefits of using CBD oil for dogs is pain relief. Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine conducted a study that found the use of cannabidiol helped to reduce pain in dogs. Another study found that it offered significant benefits in helping fight cancer, including reducing the proliferation rate of cancer cells in some studies.
There are also studies that indicate that CBD oil may be helpful in treating osteoarthritis conditions in dogs. It showed that giving the dog treatment on a consistent basis helped to reduce the pain the dogs felt, and there were no negative side effects from using it.
Key Factors to Consider When Using CBD Oil on Dogs
Prior to using CBD oil for your dog, always take the time to find the right product and ensure it is safe for your dog. Just like people, dogs react in different ways to the use of CBD products, and that's critical to keep in mind when shopping for products.
What's most important is to talk to your vet as a first step. Be sure the CBD oil will not interact with any type of medication or treatment your pet is currently receiving. Second, be sure your vet understands what you plan to give the pet. That way, they can give you some insight into what is best for the animal and what may not be. Many of today's vets are fully aware and even recommend the use of CBD as a natural way to help dogs facing various products. If your vet does not recommend it, seek out one that does to get very specific guidance.
How to Choose the Best CBD Oil for Pups?
It's easy to see the dozens of products available online and wonder which to give your pet. Before you give them anything, learn as much as you can about the product. Here are some of the core factors to think about before giving this product:
- Choose full spectrum or broad-spectrum CBD. These products are much richer in terms of the components within them. They are more likely to produce results than other products. Some full spectrum products contain complementary molecules such as terpenes and flavonoids that support the healing process.
- Don't buy based on price. CBD isolate products are far less expensive, but they simply do not have enough of the active ingredient and supplemental components to make them worthwhile.
- Avoid products with additives. Some companies put a lot of chemicals and other components in CBD oil, and that is not a good thing. Look for those that are certified to contain the amount of CBD stated and that are organic whenever possible. Third-party lab testing is a critical factor to look for when choosing a product.
What's the Best Way to Give a Dog CBD Oil?
It is important to select a method that is best suited for your pet and to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for making this decision. Some CBD oils are topical. If our pet has pain and anxiety, these topical products can work very well if they are targeted the right way. Those that are in tablet form are a good option for treating conditions of the digestive system, cancers, more intense pain, neurological disorders, or other more advanced conditions. CBD dosage may impact the amount given.
How to Determine the Correct Dosage for Your Dog?
Dosing is a hard question because it depends on many factors. The dog's size and needs are primary factors. The type and quality of the CBD oil is also a factor to keep in mind. Most often, it is best to start with the smallest dose possible. See how the pet reacts and determine the next steps. If you notice your dog is no longer struggling with pain and seems to feel more normal, stick with that dose.
Most CBD oil manufacturers will provide basic recommendations for your pet based on weight, age, and condition. Use that as a starting point before giving the product. Learn the maximum dosage amount from the manufacturer, along with the most the dog can have per day. Your vet may also be able to help if they have experience recommending CBD oil for dogs.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
Many products on the market for dogs are not safe for them, but that does not mean you should assume it is okay to give your dog CBD. Remember, quality products make a big difference. You also want to be sure you start with a very low dose and work your way up so that you are never exposing the dog to more than it a handle.
In general, CBD oil is safe for dogs when you purchase a product that is designed for dogs to use. Do not give your dog products for humans.
Are There Side Effects from CBD Oil?
There is the risk that your dog will have a negative reaction to CBD oil. There is no scientific data that says dogs will have side effects nor the type or level of impact they may have. It is possible to apply the same logic as applied to humans. Some people may have side effects from using CBD oil as dogs may.
Some of the most likely side effects for a dog to have include:
- Dry mouth: Some dogs may experience dry mouth from the use of CBD products. This is because the products can reduce the production of saliva. It is important to ensure your dog has access to plenty of clean, cool water to overcome this potential concern.
- Drowsiness: Some dogs become tired when using CBD oil. This may be a sign of using too much of the product. Other dogs may simply feel more at ease. If the dog typically exhibits symptoms of anxiety, this could be a calming effect. Some dogs may sleep more when using it because it helps them to calm down.
- Lower blood pressure: Another potential side effect is a drop in blood pressure, especially if the dog is taking a higher dose. The drop in blood pressure is typically minimal and short lasting, but if you notice the dog dizzy or passing out, stop using the product and consult the dog's vet.
You may notice other symptoms. Do not overlook changes in your dog's behavior, as that could provide you with some indication of what is occurring.
Other, less common symptoms include:
- Panic reactions
- Overactive appetite
- Impaired mental functioning
- Increased seizures
If these occur, stop giving the CBD to the dog and consult a vet to determine what is occurring.
Is CBD Legal?
Yes, CBD oil is legal to use.
With the passing of the 2018 Farm Bill, CBD has officially been removed from the Controlled Substances Act and is legal to possess/consume/sell everywhere in the US. All hemp and hemp derivatives under 0.3% THC are compliant, and all our products are specifically designed to maximize benefits while always maintaining full compliance under federal law.
How Long Before CBD Starts Working?
The amount of time it takes for CBD to start working is really dependent on the type of product and the way you are using it. For example, it may take weeks to months to see any difference in using CBD oil as a treatment for cancer.
Other times, there is evidence that CBD can begin working right away. For example, topical products placed on the skin of a dog for the treatment of pain may begin to work right away. Products ingested, such as capsules used for the treatment of anxiety, may begin working in a matter of 30 minutes to an hour.
Can a Dog Overdose on CBD?
It is not likely that a dog will overdose from using CBD. It is important to remember that CBD does not contain THC in it. That means it does not lead to any type of psychoactive result. It is also not habit forming. That means that the dog is not likely to develop a craving for the drug (and therefore need a larger dose).
However, it is possible to give the dog too much CBD. Always start with the lowest effective dose. If the dog gets too much of the product, their blood pressure may drop. They may also become tired all of the time. This may be a sign that the dog is getting too much, and that can cause health problems in some dogs. It is not likely that this will cause a traditional overdose like what happens with people. Rather, the dog can become sick and require medical attention in rare situations.
Are There Harmful Ingredients in CBD for Dogs?
Unfortunately, poor quality CBD oils exist, just as they do for people. These products are manufactured and sold by companies that are looking to make a profit. They often sell products that contain additives and even harmful chemicals. Some companies will list the ingredients in them, but because there is very little oversight, most companies do not do this – and that means they could be putting just about anything in the product.
Human CBD products could contain ingredients that are not safe for dogs. This includes human foods like coffee and chocolate. Don't give your dog CBD products with unsafe ingredients like these.
In addition to this, do not give your dog products that contain essential oils, additives, fillers, Xylitol, and any other chemical ingredients. Pay a bit more for a higher quality product that is third-party tested.
Can CBD Oil React with My Dog's Medications or Supplements?
CBD oil, especially products that are ingested, can interact with some types of medications and supplements you are already giving your pet. That includes medications for anxiety, depression, pain, and insomnia. If you are giving any product to your pet, verify with the manufacturer that giving CBD is safe. Discuss it with your dog's vet as well, especially if this is a prescription medication your dog needs for overall health or as a treatment for a health condition they have.
If your dog is taking medications for these conditions, consult a vet before using CBD:
- Liver or kidney medications
- Steroids (often used to treat conditions)
- Heart medications
6 Common Dog Help Problems You Can Treat with CBD Oil
If your dog is struggling with any type of health condition, you want to give them the best chance at improvement. CBD may be able to do that for them. While research continues, the following are six of the most common reasons people use CBD to help with their pet's needs.
Dogs With Joint Problems
- Joint problems are common in older dogs, those with arthritis, as well as dogs that are overweight. They may have torn ligaments, arthritis, dysplasia of the hip or elbow, or sprains and strains of the tissues. According to webmd.com: In these situations, doctors often treat the condition with NSAIDs, but that can lead to deterioration of the joint.
- CBD works as a natural anti-inflammatory without those risks. It aids in buying with receptors in the brain that stimulate the function of the immune system, causing the onset of inflammation. CBD also helps to control the pain signals coming from the area to the brain, helping to provide pain relief overall. It may help spur healing, reduce pain, and help the dog to feel significantly better.
Dogs With Cancer
- CBD is often sought after to help with cancer and chemotherapy , according to studies done by cancerresearchuk.com : Cancer itself may improve or may slow in growth with the use of a high-quality CBD product.
- Studies indicate it may help to increase a dog's life by reducing the rate of growth of cancer cells and, ultimately, tumors. In addition to slowing growth, there is some evidence that CBD can kill cancer cells by blocking their source of energy. This can cause the cells to die.
- In addition to helping with slowing growth, CBD may also help to reduce the pain brought on by chemotherapy and radiation treatments. If your pet is receiving care for cancer, supplementing it with CBD oil may help make your pet less ill while reducing pain.
Dogs With Seizures And Epilepsy
- CBD has been shown to be highly effective in the treatment of seizures from epilepsy in humans. If your pet has seizures, most vets will use antiepileptic and antiseizure medications to control them. These are harmful to the dog's liver and other organs, especially if taken over the long term. Some may stop working well over time, according to some studies.
- Studies indicate that CBD can be very helpful in reducing seizure activity on its own. In some instance, the CBD products work well even in dogs who did not responds to antiseizure medications.
Dogs With Anxiety
- Many dogs have anxiety. It may be due to separation anxiety or noises. Some dogs exhibit this anxiety through fear and hiding, while others become loud and aggressive.
- There is evidence that CBD can be helpful in treating anxiety by calming the function of the brain's neurotransmitters. It can be given when a dog is showing signs of anxiety or given over time as a way to reduce the instances of anxiety occurring.
- Medically fact checked sites like healthline have shown that CBD can help to regulate serotonin, a hormone that controls moods. This, along with its slight sedative effect as a pain reliever, may help your dog to do better in intense situations. If you know your pet is going to struggle with a stressful situation, it is best to reach out to CBD oil that can be given orally. These may begin to work within 15 minutes.
Dogs In Pain
- Dogs struggle with pain for many reasons. CBD oil may help with managing the pain signals, but it does not always address the underlying cause of the pain. Treating that cause is still important.
- However, CBD can be helpful in reducing many types of pain. According to forbes.com, the benefits include relief from nerve pain, muscle and tissue pain, joint pain, and much more. This happens because CBC binds with the pain receptors in the brain and nervous system. That means that the brain does not sense or perceive pain in the same way. Your pet may be able to get up and play like they used to with the use of medications.
- Remember that these products only work for a short period of time. To reduce chronic pain, your dog may need to take CBD on a consistent basis as stated by American Kennel Club
Dogs With Allergies
- There is some evidence that dogs with allergies may benefit from CBD products. This may be exhibited in skin irritations and rashes, the most common indication of an allergy in a dog. CBD oils can help to reduce irritations on the skin, providing a soothing experience for those with skin inflammation.
- If your dog has other types of allergies, be sure to consult with the vet about what the cause is. Remove those risks from your pet's life. The use of allergy medications and CBD does not make it safe for the dog to be around those substances.
- Your vet may also be able to recommend other treatment courses for CBD oil for your pet. Don't be afraid to ask.
How To Choose The Best CBD Oil For Your Dog
Now that you have a good idea of all of the benefits of CBD oil for dogs, your next step is to select the best product on the market. You will find numerous options and brands. Instead of considering those factors, there are a few other specific things to look for when buying these products.
Most importantly, choose a product that is high in quality. It is going to provide the best possible results because it is likely to contain the right type of ingredients. Do not purchase a product that is made of artificial flavors or those that contain a high number of preservatives in it.
Remember to choose a pet-specific product. Do not give human products to your dog unless directed to do so by the manufacturer.
Only Full Or Broad Spectrum Hemp
When comparing products, one of the first things to consider is whether it is a full spectrum or broad spectrum. The best products are made from hemp, too.
Both CBD and hemp are extracts from the cannabis plant. Hemp comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, whereas CBD comes from extractions of the stalk, leaves, and flowers.
Full spectrum CBD oil or broad spectrum CBD oil means the CBD oil contains other cannabinoids that are naturally occurring. You want that full effect as this can make it far more successful. Specifically, you want to be sure it contains CBG, cannabigerol, and CBC, cannabichromene, both of which can complement and support the CBD oil's ability to help with brain function, pain reduction, and cancer improvement.
Researchers are working on better understanding how these products work. There is some indication that CBG may help to reduce inflammation found in the dog's digestive tract. It may also help to protect the eyes and nerve cells from damage. It may fight cancer and improve bladder function. The research is not fully complete, but these are some of the potential benefits of CBD oil with CBG.
Also, note that full spectrum products contain terpenes. This includes beta-pinene, limonene, and alpha-pinene. These all work well to support healing. When mixed with cannabinoids, they create the entourage effect. The compounds are able to work together to improve the results of hemp oil. Keep in mind that the CO2 extraction process that should be used in the creation of CBD oil will make it hard for terpenes to show up on the Certificate of Analysis. If you are buying the right product, they will still be there, though, and that is what you want to see on the labeling.
Ensure CO2 Extraction Was Used
CO2 extraction is not done by all manufacturers, but it is an important component of the process. In this method, the oils are extracted from the plant using carbon dioxide. This is done in a high pressure chamber where the pressure causes the hemp plant to break down, allowing for the release of oil. When done this way, a higher amount of the CBD is extracted, leading to a product that is higher in concentration.
CO2 extraction does make the product more expensive, but you are getting a higher concentration of CBD, therefore giving it a better chance to create results for your pet.
The alternative is for a manufacturer to use solvents that add toxins to your product. These often include solvents like butane and propane. There are some that use a natural solvent, which is safer, but they can destroy the waxes in the hemp, making them far less beneficial (and sometimes making the CBD ineffective).
Look for a Certificate Of Analysis
One of the most important things to look for as you compare products is the inclusion of a Certificate of Analysis. Legitimate, high-quality products have no problem with using a third-party analyzer to show the quality of the product along with what is in it. If the CBD oil for dogs does not have this, it is not worth purchasing (and probably contains some level of toxins).
Those with a COA will show you a lot of great information, including the amount and the type of cannabinoids in the product as verified by a third-party lab. You can look up the full COA on the manufacturer's website in most cases, which you should do before you buy the product.
When looking up this information, specifically look for:
- Is it full spectrum CBD oil or broad spectrum CBD oil? If the COA says it is an isolate, that means it lacks the supportive compounds necessary to help CBD work.
- How much THC is included? Remember that CBD can have as much as .03% THC., but most will not have that much either. It is not going to give your dog a "high" even at that level. Keep in mind that a zero isn't good either. If there is not even a trace of THC in the product, that means the CBD is an isolate.
- Is the company being truthful in its advertising? If it promises a certain amount of CBD in the product, the COA will verify or disprove that, helping you to know if you should bother with the product.
- Is the testing completed by a third party? If a company's products state that their own lab did the testing, that is less reliable than if a third party did the testing.
- Are there any types of contaminants in the product? You do not want to see any toxins in the product.
Does Higher Cost Indicate A Better Product?
A bigger price tag does not mean a better product. Instead of looking at prices for any reason, put that information aside and focus instead on all of the other steps we have included here first. Verify the product's ingredients and quality. Then, think about the price. The best quality products may be very expensive or mid-road. It really depends on the manufacturer.
A quality product for your dog is going to be the most important factor to consider. If the product is very inexpensive, that sometimes means it just does not contain the ingredients needed (or a high enough dose of them). In these products, make sure it is a quality product:
- Is it CO2 extracted?
- Is it full spectrum CBD oil or broad spectrum CBD oil (as the COA shows)?
- Is the product organic CBD oil?
- Was it tested by a third party?
- Is there some, but not more than .03% THC?
Quality first, whenever possible, to protect your pet and to give the dog the best chance at seeing the results desired. Seek out a full spectrum CBD oil as one of the best CBD oils available, especially when all other factors check out.
Should I consult my Veterinarian Before Giving My Dog CBD?
There are a lot of reasons why you should turn to your vet before you give your dog CBD. As noted, seek out a vet that is licensed and okay with using CBD. Some traditional vets may not have much information or understanding about the use of CBD. Others have researched it and can provide a very fair assessment of whether it is a good option for your dog in particular. CBD for dogs could be the best decision you make.
There are some very important times to consult a vet:
- Your dog is taking other medications.
- Your dog has a serious illness that may require careful monitoring of their diet.
- Your dog has a history of bad reactions to medications.
- You are not sure if CBD can help with your dog's specific needs.
- You've noticed any type of side effect in your dog from the use of CBD.
CBD oil benefits are numerous. CBD oil for dogs is a potentially essential tool for helping to reduce anxiety and improve overall health. It can help many dogs finally find pain relief that does not make them tired or cause a painful, upset stomach.
While it offers so many potential benefits, you simply cannot trust that all CBD oil manufacturers are creating a safe product for your pet. Instead of trusting, do the leg work yourself to make sure that any product you do pick up is one that is worth the purchase. Read reviews, but also ensure the product you select is a quality CBD oil with just as much focus on the quality for your dog as you would when buying it for yourself.
This allows your pet to get the best possible chance at seeing any improvement in their condition or needs. Inferior products may do nothing for them but could also introduce toxins to the pet. Be particular about what you buy, just as you would for any product you use for yourself as well.
FDA Disclosure: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.