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Updated on January 23, 2024

CBD for Dogs

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Key takeaways

  • Dogs have an endocannabinoid system that can interact with CBD and other cannabinoids.
  • CBD works in dogs the same way as in humans. Researchers have reported its several benefits in dogs.
  • CBD may assist dogs with pain relief, seizures, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, digestive challenges and many more.
  • Dogs have a more sensitive ECS than humans hence they can be exposed to CBD toxicity. When this happens they show signs like vomiting, diarrhea, restlessness and anxiety.
  • CBD for dogs are formulated in a special way using pet-friendly manufacturing processes.

Humans are not the only animals with an active endocannabinoid system. The ECS is also present in other animals including dogs, cats, snakes, birds and many more. Just like in humans, the endocannabinoid system is responsible for controlling important life processes like regulating the immune system, protecting the brain and modulating several other biochemical activities. The presence of an ECS in dogs means they can also benefit from the possible healing roles of CBD and other cannabinoids. In this article we would discover the possible roles of CBD for dogs and how best we can maximize it.

What are the roles of CBD and cannabinoids in dogs?

Cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in dogs, playing several potential roles in their well-being. Here are key roles of CBD and cannabinoids in dogs:

  1. Pain Management: CBD is believed to have analgesic (pain-relieving) properties. It may help manage pain associated with conditions like arthritis, injuries, or post-surgical recovery.
  2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects: CBD has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce inflammation in dogs. This can be beneficial for conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.
  3. Anxiety and Stress Reduction: CBD interacts with receptors in the brain that regulate mood and stress responses. It may help alleviate anxiety and stress-related behaviors in dogs, including separation anxiety or fear of loud noises.
  4. Seizure Control: There is evidence suggesting that CBD may have anticonvulsant properties, making it a potential option for managing seizures in dogs with epilepsy.
  5. Appetite Stimulation: CBD may help stimulate appetite in dogs that are experiencing a decrease in food intake due to illness or treatment.
  6. Anti-Nausea Effects: CBD can interact with receptors involved in controlling nausea and vomiting, making it a potential aid for dogs experiencing nausea, whether due to medical treatments or other factors.
  7. Support for Cognitive Function: In aging dogs, CBD may offer support for cognitive function and potentially mitigate symptoms of cognitive dysfunction syndrome (similar to dementia in humans).
  8. Immune System Regulation: CBD interacts with the ECS, which plays a role in regulating the immune system. This may contribute to a balanced immune response in dogs.
  9. Skin Conditions: Topical CBD products may help with various skin conditions in dogs, including itching, inflammation, and allergies.
  10. Cancer Support: While research is in the early stages, some studies suggest that cannabinoids may have anti-cancer properties. CBD may be used as a complementary approach to support dogs undergoing cancer treatment.

What are the common CBD products for dogs?

CBD products for dogs are available in the following forms;

  1. CBD Oils
  2. CBD Treats
  3. CBD Capsules
  4. Topical CBD Products
  5. CBD Infused Pet Food
  6. CBD-infused Liquids

How can I determine the right CBD dosage for my dog?

Determining the right CBD dosage for your dog involves considering several factors, and it's crucial to approach it with care. Here are general guidelines to help you determine an appropriate CBD dosage for your dog:

  1. Consult with an expert: Before starting any CBD regimen for your dog, consult with an expert who understands cannabis medicine to provide the needed recommendations. These individuals can provide guidance based on your dog's specific health condition, weight, and overall well-being.
  2. Consider Your Dog's Size and Weight: CBD dosage often correlates with a dog's size and weight. Smaller dogs typically require lower doses, while larger dogs may need higher amounts.
  3. Start with a Low Dose: Begin with a low CBD dosage and monitor your dog's response. This allows you to observe how your dog reacts to CBD without exposing them to a potentially excessive amount.
  4. Follow Product Guidelines: Each CBD product may have specific dosage recommendations based on concentration. Follow the guidelines provided by the product manufacturer. These guidelines are usually available on the product packaging or the manufacturer's website.
  5. Monitor Your Dog's Response: Observe your dog for any changes in behavior, appetite, or overall well-being. If you notice positive effects, you may continue with the current dosage. If there are adverse effects or no noticeable improvement, adjustments may be necessary.
  6. Adjust Gradually: If needed, make adjustments to the dosage gradually. Increase or decrease the amount based on your dog's response. Sudden changes in dosage may lead to unexpected reactions.
  7. Consider the Purpose of CBD Use: The purpose of using CBD may influence the dosage. For example, higher doses may be appropriate for managing chronic pain, while lower doses may suffice for general wellness or anxiety relief.
  8. Be Consistent: Consistency is key when using CBD for dogs. Stick to a regular dosing schedule to maintain a steady level of CBD in your dog's system.
  9. Monitor for Potential Side Effects: Keep an eye out for any potential side effects, such as lethargy, changes in appetite, or digestive issues. If you observe adverse reactions, consult with your veterinarian.

Are there possible side effects of CBD in Dogs?

Dogs have a more sensitive endocannabinoid system than humans. While CBD is generally considered safe for dogs when administered in appropriate doses, excessive consumption can lead to CBD oil toxicity. Symptoms of CBD oil toxicity in dogs can vary, and it's essential to be aware of potential signs. If you suspect your dog has ingested an excessive amount of CBD oil, seek immediate veterinary attention. Common symptoms of CBD oil toxicity in dogs may include:

  1. Lethargy
  2. Vomiting
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Loss of Coordination
  5. Excessive Drooling
  6. Agitation or Anxiety
  7. Changes in Appetite
  8. Tremors or Shaking

How long does it take CBD to kick in for dogs?

Just like in humans, CBD may take from few seconds to several minutes to kick in for dogs. The amount of time taken for the effect to kick in is mostly determined by the dog’s size and the dosage used. In most cases, you should observe noticeable changes in your pet 30 minutes after using any CBD product.

Is CBD for dogs the same as humans?

CBD oil formulated for pets is generally quite similar to CBD oil designed for humans. The fundamental difference lies in the recommended serving sizes and potential flavorings that make it more appealing to pets. Essentially, the core CBD oil composition remains consistent across products for both humans and pets. The manufacturing processes for CBD oil are typically comparable, emphasizing high-quality extraction methods to ensure a pure and potent product. These methods often involve extracting CBD from hemp plants using CO2 or other solvents, followed by rigorous testing to confirm the absence of contaminants and the presence of the desired cannabinoids.
While the manufacturing processes may align, serving recommendations and additional ingredients can differ. CBD oil for pets is often formulated to be pet-friendly, considering factors like taste preferences and suitable dosage levels based on the pet's size and weight. It may also come in flavors that are more enticing to animals.

Want to Learn More?

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Sources

Alvarenga, I. C., Panickar, K. S., Hess, H., & McGrath, S. (2023). Scientific Validation of Cannabidiol for Management of Dog and Cat Diseases. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-animal-081122-070236

Gugliandolo E, Licata P, Peritore AF, Siracusa R, D'Amico R, Cordaro M, Fusco R, Impellizzeri D, Di Paola R, Cuzzocrea S, Crupi R, Interlandi CD. Effect of Cannabidiol (CBD) on Canine Inflammatory Response: An Ex Vivo Study on LPS Stimulated Whole Blood. Vet Sci. 2021 Sep 4;8(9):185. doi: 10.3390/vetsci8090185. PMID: 34564578; PMCID: PMC8473042.

Bradley, S., Young, S., Bakke, A. M., Holcombe, L., Waller, D., Hunt, A., Pinfold, K., Watson, P., & Logan, D. W. (2022). Long-term daily feeding of cannabidiol is well-tolerated by healthy dogs. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 9, 977457. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2022.977457

Hunt ABG, Flint HE, Logan DW, King T. A single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) positively influences measures of stress in dogs during separation and car travel. Front Vet Sci. 2023 Feb 22;10:1112604. doi: 10.3389/fvets.2023.1112604. PMID: 36908527; PMCID: PMC9992179.

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