CBD oil for my dog? Is this really going to work for my pet?
We’re all dog lovers here, and when your furry friend is under the weather, it’s a stressful and heartbreaking time. And a trip to the vet can cause even more stress with offers of different medications leaving you wondering if they’re all really necessary!
If you’re looking for another alternative, CBD (cannabidiol) may have popped into your mind, but you don’t entirely know how it will interact with your dog.
That’s why we’re going to break down exactly what CBD is, and why it’s a fantastic treatment for your dog suffering from a number of ailments.
Let us introduce: CBD for dogs.
What is CBD and What Does it Mean for My Dog?
CBD is a compound that can be extracted from cannabis, which includes marijuana and hemp. CBD oil and CBD-infused treats are becoming a popular method of treating dogs.
These products have been popping up all over the place as a possible treatment. You may have noticed them in pharmacies or retail stores for owners.
So, why the gain in popularity? CBD is thought to have many therapeutic properties to improve your dog’s quality of life. But unlike cannabis’s other main compound THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it doesn’t make the user high (human or animal).
The most commonly used uses of CBD for dogs include:
- sleep problems
- pain relief
- inflammation (perhaps due to arthritis)
- separation anxiety skin issues
- general anxiety
Of course, some of these issues go hand in hand and there is much research to support the idea that CBD may help ease some of your dog’s symptoms.
How CBD Oil Works in Your Dog’s Body
CBD oil works for dogs similarly to how it works in humans because dogs also have an endocannabinoid system. This system is a biological system involved in a host of functions, including modulation of pain and inflammation. This system is present in all mammals, which means that dogs respond to CBD as much as people do.
Incredibly, CBD interacts with a dog’s cannabinoid receptor to help bring the body back into a state of homeostasis (balance). This means your our dog using CBD oil might get the symptom relief you’ve been hoping for.
Let’s take a closer look at the research so you can decide if it is right for you furry friend.
The Science: CBD Oil for Dogs
- symptoms of epilepsy
- arthritic paininflammation
- chronic pain
- pain associated with nerve damage
CBD in mammals: In 1995, the 2 receptors now coined as CB1 and CB2 receptors were found not only found in rats, but within thousands of other species. Dogs. Cats. And humans, among a few!
CBD and epilepsy: The University of Colorado conducted clinical trials of the use of CBD for dogs affected by osteoarthritis and epilepsy. 16 dogs were enrolled in the clinical trial. 9 dogs were treated with CBD, which has 0.3 percent or less of the psychoactive component of cannabis, THC. In a control group, 7 dogs were treated with a placebo.
The findings? Interestingly, research found that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
CBD and pain: In a 2018 study, researchers determined whether CBD oil could help dogs experiencing osteoarthritic pain. This was a double-blind placebo trial with dogs suffering from osteoarthritis and multi-joint pain.
16 dogs received CBD oil made from industrial hemp or placebo oil every 12 hours for four weeks. Assessment and dog owner questionnaires were completed before the treatment. In addition, blood tests and measurements of the animals’ mobility and activity to assess pain levels were completed.
The results showed that over 80 percent of the dogs taking the CBD oil showed “significant improvement in pain levels and quality of life”. And without discernible side-effects!
CBD and delivery methods: In a 2016 study of CBD in healthy dogs, a study was conducted on 30 healthy dogs who were given 2 different dosages of CBD. 3 different methods of delivery were used – capsules, oil tincture and a cream applied to the skin. The study determined that CBD use in dogs is safe enough to warrant studies in a clinical population.
The results showed that CBD given orally in an oil tincture was most absorbed and bioavailable to the body. This means buying a CBD tincture for your dog may be the best way to go, even over CBD treats.
Trying CBD Oil For Your Dog: Pet Treats, Oil and Capsules
Before we get into the methods, as an overall rule with CBD Oil dosage is to start with a low dose and gradually, over a number of weeks, increase the dose. This ensures you slowly find the best dose for that dog and their symptoms.
Using CBD oil
CBD oil is easy to administer because you can drop it directly into a dog’s mouth or mix into their food. The main factor for determining where to start for CBD oil (tincture) is by looking at bodyweight.
A safe way to determine dosage is to take 1mg for every 10 pounds of body weight (i.e. If your dog weighs 40 lbs, that equates to 4 drops of oil). Then administer the oil directly beneath the tongue once a day (if your dog will sit still!).
Keep an eye on the dog’s movements and behaviour, and if the dosage doesn’t seem to be helping significantly, try increasing the dose to 2 times a day.
The end goal is to see a significant reduction in the symptoms – whether that’s joint pain, anxiety or sleep disturbances for your dog.
The same monitoring goes for all methods – capsules, oil or pet treats.
CBD capsules for your dog
Capsules are mild in taste and easy to administer to dogs. They can contain between 5 and 20mg of CBD each, depending on the brand and dosage of each variety. The appropriate number of capsules your dog needs to for a dose will vary from one product to another. Generally, a dog can take roughly 1 tablet 1-2 times per day.
CBD pet treats for your dog
For the case of picky eaters, pet owners may opt for choosing CBD pet treats for their canines instead. Concentrations and flavours vary from product to product. Unfortunately, there’s no clear way of dosing other than following the label instructions and researching for a credible brand.
Now that you’ve got the lowdown on how CBD works on your dog, it’s time to decide if cannabis oil will serve as an alternative medication to help treat their symptoms!