CBD for Dogs

How Safe is CBD for Dogs? Here are the Essentials

Dog owners will do anything to make sure their pups are comfortable and healthy, so it’s no surprise that the use of CBD for dogs has increased in popularity.

While CBD (cannabidiol), a therapeutic compound found in cannabis, has a good safety profile and few side effects for humans, it’s important to know the facts before giving your dog CBD. After all, chocolate and other human-friendly substances can be lethal to dogs while bringing joy to humans.

Fortunately, CBD is safe for dogs and can help alleviate several conditions for our furry friends. Understanding how safe CBD is for dogs and the proper ways to use it is crucial for success in improving your dog’s quality of life.

CBD for Dogs – The Basics

Cannabidiol is derived from cannabis which, as good dog owners are aware, should not be given to dogs. But CBD is just an extract of one of the many compounds present in cannabis, and it is entirely separate from THC, the compound responsible for getting people “high.”

Dogs and humans share a common system of functions in the body called the endocannabinoid system. As the name suggests, it’s a system of internal cannabinoids that interact with cannabinoid receptors throughout the body. So while humans and dogs produce their own cannabinoids, external cannabinoids, like CBD, can still interact with the endocannabinoid system.

The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping the body in balance, which can prevent the risk of or reduce symptoms of several conditions linked to an out-of-whack endocannabinoid system.

How Can CBD Help My Dog?

Targeting the endocannabinoid system with CBD can reduce inflammation in several areas, like muscles and joints. This means aging dogs may benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of CBD. If your dog has canine arthritis or overall chronic pain, adding CBD to their routine may help improve their quality of life by adding back some freedom of mobility.

If you have an anxious dog, CBD may also be able to help. CBD has been widely used as a remedy for anxiety in humans and dogs because it is subtle and effective without causing the same negative side effects some anxiolytic drugs induce.

It can be administered regularly if you’ve got a dog with fight-or-flight mode always turned on or with separation anxiety. Or it can be used preventatively in situations that cause stress for your dog (like the Fourth of July.)

CBD is also widely recognized as an effective treatment for seizures in humans, and this could extend to dogs too. Preliminary data from a Colorado State University Study is promising as researchers found nearly 90% of dogs given CBD in a clinical trial had a reduction in seizures. The use of CBD to manage seizures could prevent the need to euthanize dogs with uncontrollable, life-altering seizures.

How to Use CBD for Your Pet

While CBD is a relatively safe compound, it should still be given to your pet with caution, especially when done for the first time. It’s a good idea to start with small doses and increase them over the course of a few days or weeks until you start to notice results.

There is not a universally-accepted dosage to give your dog, but a common recommendation is to administer 1-5 mg of CBD per every 10 pounds your pet weighs. You may want to start on the low end and adjust accordingly over time once you’ve gauged your dog’s response.

It’s also crucial to buy high-quality CBD with no THC to give to your pet. You should shop CBD for your dog in the same way you would for yourself. Cheap, low-quality CBD producers sometimes sell cannabidiol that was extracted cheaply and contaminated with dangerous solvents or sourced from poor soil contaminated with toxins and heavy metals.

The easiest way to give your pet CBD is to use a CBD-infused treat or to add your desired dose of CBD oil to their food. Using CBD oils can allow more control over the dosage, though most dogs would not be upset if their owner needed to give them two treats instead of one to hit the optimal dose that way. Just make sure you’re not sharing your human CBD treats.

The Bottom Line

CBD has gained huge popularity over the years and while it can be effective for a lot of conditions, it’s not a cure-all, nor has it been anywhere near thoroughly and definitively researched outside of animal studies.

Still, it’s a tool that has allowed so many people to get their quality of life back, as well as their pets. It’s a promising way to help make our pups more comfortable without any harsh side effects.

Just be sure to choose the best CBD for your dog and talk with a veterinarian beforehand if your dog is under any other regimens. Unfortunately, laws in some areas will prevent veterinarians from recommending CBD and only allow them to “discuss” it if it’s brought up.

If you’re going to use CBD for your dog, start slow and gauge their response. It can be such a relief to provide comfort to your pet without costly prescriptions or other pharmaceuticals.

Macey Wolfer

Macey is a freelance writer from Seattle, WA. She writes about natural health, cannabis, and music.

Macey Wolfer
Macey is a freelance writer from Seattle, WA. She writes about natural health, cannabis, and music.

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