CBD Products For Dogs - What Does It Do And Is It Safe?
CBD products, including oils, capsules, and dog treats, have become a popular treatment for pets, especially for relieving pain and anxiety. The pet CBD product market is growing fast -- It’s estimated to generate $629 million sales in 2021 and is projected to generate $1.1 billion sales by 2025. Like me, a lot of dog owners are probably wondering how CBD can help their dogs, and if it’s safe to use.
What is CBD?
Also known as cannabidiol, CBD is a compound found in cannabis plants which include marijuana and hemp. Some people think that hemp is the same as marijuana, but in most cases, CBD products are made from hemp instead of marijuana. CBD products do not contain or only contain less than 0.3% of THC, which is a compound that makes users feel “high”. While both offer medicinal benefits, CBD products are safe for dogs without causing them to get that feeling of being “high”.
What does CBD do for dogs?
As of now, studies about CBD have been going for years, but there are still many questions regarding its safety, efficacy, dosage, and more. This is most likely due to the effects of legal policies regarding CBD and marijuana. With that in mind, most CBD benefits are backed up by anecdotal evidence or studies that require further research. Many dogs can benefit from CBD products, which may include pain relief, treating mild cases of seizures, and anxiety relief.
Anti-inflammation and Pain Relief
A recent study published by the journal PAIN shows that CBD products help with osteoarthritis in dogs, which is an inflammatory condition marked by pain, stiffness, and loss of mobility. Dogs who used CBD showed great improvements in pain and mobility compared to dogs who didn’t use CBD.
A study conducted by Stephanie McGrath, assistant professor at the James L. Voss Veterinary Teaching Hospital, has shown that CBD helps with decreasing the frequency and severity of idiopathic seizures in dogs. The study only has a small sample of 16 dogs, but it found a significant 89% reduction in seizure frequency in dogs receiving CBD at 2.5 mg/kg q12h compared to a 43% reduction in the control group.
Help with Anxiety
One of the most common uses of CBD is to help dogs with anxiety. Some dogs have separation anxiety, social anxiety, or some are terrified of fireworks or certain noises. My dog is very anxious on car rides -- he pants a lot and won’t sit down in his seat. CBD oil might help them calm down, nap or cuddle with you rather than panting, drolling, running away or hiding under the couch.
Potential Side Effects of CBD
Currently, the FDA has not approved CBD or issued a dosage chart. It’s always wise to consult with your vet first and start with a small dose. There are some potential side effects of CBD products that might not happen to every dog, but please keep them in mind*:
Nausea and diarrhea: Some dogs are reported to feel nausea or have mild diarrhea after taking CBD products. Keep an eye on your paw friend when you first try out CBD on them.
Dry mouth: CBD can decrease the amount of saliva in their mouths. Some dogs show an increased thirst after using CBD products.
Lower blood pressure: CBD can temporarily lower the blood pressure on some dogs, which make them feel light-headed.
Drowsiness: Dogs usually feel very relaxed after using CBD, but some might feel more sleepy than usual.
*If your dog shows extreme signs of the behaviors listed above, stop using the product and consult your veterinarian.
How to choose a good CBD product?
A good way to choose a CBD product is to look on the product’s website for “certificates of analysis” and other evidence of third-party testing. You can:
Look for organic -- the product shouldn’t have additives, pesticides, fungicides, or solvents in the ingredients.
Check the amount of THC -- make sure they don’t or they only contain a very small amount of THC. THC is listed as a toxic substance by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) when it is over a dose of 3g per kg.
Choose liquid over solid -- compared to CBD treats, liquid CBD is easier to adjust the amount according to your dog’s weight. Besides that, a study by Colorado State University shows that liquid CBD is easier to be absorbed by pets compared to cream or gel capsules.
Like any other medications, CBD products can bring many benefits, as well as some possible side effects. Always consult with your vet first before giving your dogs CBD. Remember to start with a small amount and see how it goes. Hopefully your fur baby can get rid of pain or anxiety with the help of CBD!