CBD for Dogs
CBD products are now everywhere, seemingly in everything and for everyone, including pets. With more research showing the potential of CBD in treatments, more people are convinced it will not only help them but also their furry friends. But how safe is it for dogs?
Some dog owners claim that CBD has helped their dogs overcome a myriad of medical conditions. Others, when they hear that CBD is extracted from marijuana, that is where the conversation ends. However, their fear is not without reason. According to ASPCA, calls about THC poisoning to their Animal Poison Control Center increased by 765% in 2019 compared to the same period in the previous year.
The fear is therefore understandable, even though CBD does not have the psychoactive properties that THC in marijuana does. CBD in humans has been said to help with various conditions, including reducing stress, pain, insomnia among other health benefits. Will dogs experience the same benefits?
It can be heartbreaking to see your canine companion suffering from pains and anxiety, especially those with conditions such as arthritis that are brought on by old age. Even though there are common medications for them, they may lose effectiveness or not improve the dog’s quality of life as quickly as you would like. But will CBD help?
How CBD for dogs works
CBD is one of the over 80 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, and unlike the most popular cannabinoid, THC, it does not have the psychoactive properties. Research and anecdotal evidence suggest that the compound may have many health benefits in humans and pets as well. This and the lack of ‘high’ inducing properties make it an ideal choice for alternative treatments.
CBD is thought to work in dogs the same way as it does in humans. Dogs, like all mammals, have the endocannabinoid system that helps in maintaining homeostasis in the body and keeping it healthy. However, it remains to be seen if it interacts the same way with CBD as it does in humans. If it does, CBD in dogs may interact with CB1 and CB2 receptors to provide the same benefits it does in humans.
Are there any benefits to giving your dog CBD?
According to research on humans, CBD may help to treat several conditions including anxiety, epilepsy, and chronic pain. Dogs suffer from these conditions too, can they benefit from CBD treatment? Recent research suggests that they may.
- Pain management
Many older and disabled dogs suffer from pain, either from surgery, injury, progressive and chronic diseases. While current treatments are effective, some including prescription drugs such as opioids may cause serious side effects including liver damage and addiction.
Currently, one in four dogs are diagnosed with some form of arthritis, more than any other domestic and pet animals because of their active lifestyle, and pain is usually the first observation. However, some studies suggest CBD may help reduce the pain and increase their quality of life.
In this study on the safety, analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties of CBD in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis, dogs were given between 2 and 8 mg CBD doses per kilogram of their body weight every 12 hours for 4 weeks. 80% of the dogs exhibited improvements in mobility and reduced pain after the treatment period. While this study shows CBD potential in pain treatments, more studies are still needed to confirm it.
This is probably one of the most studied CBD application in humans. The first FDA approved CBD drug, Epidolex, is used to treat seizures associated with two rare forms of epilepsy. Dogs too can suffer seizures due to several conditions. Can CBD help? Maybe. In this 2019 study on the effect of CBD on seizure frequency in dogs with epilepsy, researchers found that the frequency of seizures decreased significantly in epileptic dogs given CBD and seizure medication than those placed on medication alone.
CBD for dogs: Other benefits
According to dog owners, CBD may also help in managing anxiety even though there are not a lot of studies to support this. However, it is entirely possible to reduce anxiety caused by pain and inflammation. While a lot of studies have been done on people on CBD’s potential to reduce anxiety, it is not yet known if it works in the same way for dogs. CBD also has anti-nausea properties that may be useful especially in dogs undergoing chemotherapy.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
According to a 2017 Word Health Organization report, CBD in its pure form appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals. However, studies on canines observed an increase in the liver enzyme ALP (alkaline phosphatase) after the administration of CBD. It is still unclear why this increase happens and what the long-term effects are. It is therefore important to consult with your vet before giving CBD to a dog with liver problems.
Legally, CBD should have less than 0.3% THC content, which should be safe for dogs. However, to be on the safe side, you may want to use products with 0% THC on dogs to avoid THC poisoning. Most products may not have their contents written on the labels, you should, therefore, ensure you get your products from reputable sellers. You can also purchase quality CBD products for dogs online or at Urgent CBD Coppell and Richarson locations.
After using CBD for dogs, you should be on the lookout for THC poisoning symptoms such as restlessness, lethargy, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of coordination.
How to find quality CBD products for your dog
If you decide to give CBD to your dog, you should ensure it is safe and of the best quality. Since the CBD market is not regulated, there are a lot of fake and low-quality products. Here are some of the important considerations that you should make before purchase:
- Specifically made for dogs – Do not use CBD products made for people on your dog. They may contain flavorings and other additives that may harmful to your dog.
- Cheap may not be the best – Do not be lured by the low price of the product, consider the quality first.
- Look for analysis – Some manufacturers provide lab analysis for their products, ensure you go through them to see what is in the product
- Buy from reputable sellers
Bottom Line: Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
CBD is safe and well-tolerated by dogs. It has also been shown anecdotally to help animals with issues such as pain, arthritis, seizures, and anxiety. If you decide to give your dog CBD products, ensure you consult your vet and observe your dog for any effects.
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