It is now common to see CBD products being sold in pet stores, both brick-and-mortar and online. Many well-known brands of pet food products have also jumped on the bandwagon and started offering variants that contain CBD. The big fuss over the use of CBD for veterinary purposes is well-earned, and you’d be glad to know that early studies have revealed that CBD is safe for dogs.
What is CBD and what does it do?
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid — which literally means “plant cannabinoid” — that is now being studied for its potential in alternative medicine, both for humans and animals. Cannabidiol is often associated with marijuana, as it was the study of the cannabis plant that led to the discovery of this phytocannabinoid. However, marijuana actually contains low amounts of CBD; it’s use for medicinal and recreational purposes is because of its THC content — which is the most popular phytocannabinoid and one that is responsible for the “high” of marijuana.
It’s important to point out that THC is toxic to dogs and other animals. Fortunately for pet owners who are interested in the potential benefits of CBD for dogs, CBD is also found and in higher amounts in hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant. Industrial hemp contains less than .3% THC — a non-toxic amount for pets -- so using hemp-derived CBD is the best option for dogs
A big body of anecdotal evidence shows that CBD can have a number of positive health effects on animals. Scientific studies looking into the veterinary uses of CBD, however, are still inconclusive. But initial findings do reveal that CBD has amazing potential as an alternative remedy for a variety of ailments in dogs and other pets.
As a cannabinoid, CBD has the ability to directly interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), and scientists believe that this may be how CBD produces the calmness, pain relief, anxiety relief, and other positive health effects associated with cannabis. Dogs and other mammals also have an ECS and, therefore, respond in a similar way as humans do to CBD treatments.
Some of the major benefits of CBD include:
- Increasing comfort and improving mobility of dogs with osteoarthritis
- Providing potential relief from pain associated with joint problems, surgery, and even cancer and other serious illnesses
- Assisting with anxiety and stress and promoting calmness
Is CBD for dogs safe?
Based on early study results and on actual experiences shared by an increasing number of pet owners, CBD may offer many great advantages for dog health with minimal to zero side effects. Studies have, in fact, found that pure CBD appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals. Additionally, there has been no evidence so far that CBD can cause an overdose or that it is habit-forming.
Because a lot of medications given to dogs cause side effects that can be mildly uncomfortable or even harmful long-term, using CBD as an alternative treatment method becomes an even better option. And with veterinary medicine not being as advanced as human medicine, many animal diseases still have no known cure or, at the very least, no effective treatments for symptom management. Again, CBD products may give pet owners a safe and effective alternative.
Safety, of course, also depends on giving your pet the proper dosage. You should always consider seeking your vet’s advice when it comes to giving your pet any kind of supplement, and especially when you still have to figure out the correct dosage. In general, dosing recommendations are determined by the dog’s weight and the specific condition that needs to be addressed.
You should also be able to find dosage recommendations printed on the product label, as well as the manufacturer’s website. Making a general search for CBD dosage recommendations for dogs online is another option, but remember that every CBD product is different and contains different amounts of CBD; every dog also responds differently to CBD. It’s best to follow the dosage recommendations specifically made for a particular product.
Is CBD safe for dogs? - Final Thoughts
Among the many natural remedies that are safe and effective for animals, CBD is one of the best options you should try. CBD products are quickly becoming more accessible to pet owners; you can choose from pure CBD oils, CBD treats, CBD capsules, and CBD creams, among many others.
It’s important to choose a good-quality CBD product so you can be sure that it’s safe for your dog. It should be derived from hemp and should indicate that it contains zero or less than 0.3% THC (THC is toxic to dogs and cats). As much as possible, buy a CBD product that has been tested by a third-party lab to guarantee its content and quality.
If your dog has liver problems and/or is already taking medications or supplements, it’s always best to consult your vet before starting him on a CBD treatment.