The popularity and widespread use of cannabidiol infused health and wellness products has been gaining momentum and this is true even for our pets. The most popular among them is CBD oil which is used by pet parents to treat chronic pain and inflammation conditions especially in older dogs. This surge in demand for CBD treatment for dogs is due to cannabidiol’s wide variety of therapeutic and medical benefits. The purpose of this article is to better understand how CBD is useful for dogs, read on to know more.
Is It Safe To Give CBD For Dogs?
Cannabidiol is the acronym for CBD and it is one of the major phytocannabinoids found in the cannabis plant, another one being THC. Legally available CBD pet products are made using hemp derived extracts because they contain less than 0.3% of THC and hence do not produce any psychotropic effects associated with it. As a result, it is safe to be used in CBD treatment for dogs for managing or curing their various ailments.
How CBD For Dogs Work?
CBD is useful in the treatment of various ailments in dogs due to its positive effect on the endocannabinoid system (ECS) which is a network of hormones and neurotransmitters responsible for homeostasis. This is common to all vertebrate mammals including both humans and dogs; a deficiency in any of the components of the ECS causes health issues. Administering cannabidiol products like CBD oil to your pets helps in restoring the deficiency of the ECS because they are rich in phytocannabinoids that are very similar in function to the endocannabinoids. A well functioning endocannabinoid system means, improved immunity, better cardiovascular health, good bone, emotional and neurological health.
Why Use CBD For Dogs?
It is obvious by now that CBD has a positive effect on the homeostasis of dogs by enhancing the functioning of the endocannabinoid system. So, CBD treatment for dogs is useful in mitigating various ailments of your dearest pets; listed below are some of them.
- Arthritis: CBD is useful in treating arthritis especially in older dogs due to its anti-inflammatory effect. Using it helps to reduce the inflammation and as result, the pain ensuing from it; this combined with its analgesic properties makes it effective in managing chronic pain that is part and parcel of this disease.
- Chronic Pain: The analgesic effect of CBD makes it useful in the treatment or management of chronic pain due to multitude of reasons. It is better than pharmaceutical drugs due to its lack, or in rare cases very minimal side effects.
- Cancer: CBD is known to have anticancer effect due to its inhibition of GPR55 receptors and the activation of PAAR’s. Besides, its analgesic effect helps to mitigate the pain due to cancer as well as chemotherapy treatment. It is assumed that making cannabidiol infused pet products part of your dog’s daily diet will help to prevent the onset of cancer.
- Seizure: Seizures are caused by the excessive firing of neurons due to overstimulation and this causes neuronal damage. This usually happens due to certain somatosensory triggers and CBD helps in reducing it due to its calming effects. Besides, its neuroprotective effects help to reduce the damage to neurons and maintain brain health.
- Anxiety And Fear: It is a scientifically known fact that CBD improves the serotonin levels in the brain, as a result it helps in reducing anxiety and other disorders associated with it in dogs. Anxiety and fear usually affects the behaviour of dogs and in many cases makes them more aggressive. So, the anti-anxiety and stress reducing quality of cannabidiol makes your dog more manageable. It is found to be effective when administered over a given period of time.
- Allergies: Allergies are the unusual response of the immune system to seamlessly harmless substances. Using cannabidiol products like CBD oil helps to reduce the symptoms from allergies like dry and itchy skin in dogs. Also, ingesting it helps in reducing the severity of symptoms due to its effect on the immune system as well as due to its anti-inflammatory effect.
Products For CBD Treatment Of Dogs
Liquid based CBD products are more suitable for treating the ailments in dogs as it is more easy to control the dosage and can be used in multiple ways. Listed below are some popular types of liquid CBD products.
- CBD Oil Extract: CBD oil is the most popular of all because of the versatility in its usage, and the control that it offers enabling to administer precise dosage to get the maximum effects. These are usually made from full-spectrum hemp extracts that have the added advantage of entourage effect. They can be given directly, or added to food or water to mask the taste of the oil. You should also know that they are highly potent compared to all other products. If your dog has any kind of plant allergy, then pure CBD oil without any of the plant compounds including the phytocannabinoids are also available.
- CBD Tinctures: These are available in bottles with droppers that help to deliver precise dosage. They are administered orally under the tongue where it is absorbed directly into the bloodstream giving quick effects. It can be used to give relief from pain, nausea, stress and anxiety.
- CBD Topical: These are used as topical creams or oils to give localised relief from muscle and joint pains for arthritic dogs due to CBD’s analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect. It can also be used to treat skin allergy issues like rashes, dry skin, skin irritations and thereby soothing it. Because of its enhancing effect on the endocannabinoid system, applying it on wounds helps in accelerated healing.
- CBD Edibles: CBD edibles are another way in which you can administer cannabidiol for its health benefits. They are available in the form of CBD oil capsules or pills delivering precise dosage per serving. It can be embedded in food items which is easier than administering tinctures or oils directly to the mouth of a dog. Other forms of edibles are ready-made cannabidiol treats that have similar effects, but they have the risk of overconsumption if not used responsibly by pet owners. However, their disadvantage is that it takes longer to feel the effects and they are more suitable for long-term treatment of ailments.
Dosage Of CBD Products
The dosage of CBD products for dogs varies according to various factors and there is no standard dosage that suits all. CBD oil is the most suitable product for treatment of dogs because you can easily control and vary the dosage based on the changing needs of your pet. The dosage depends on the severity of ailment, the nature of ailment, the weight, age and the breed of your dog. The best recommendation regarding dosage of CBD oil is to start at a small dose based on the manufacturer’s dosing guideline, and gradually increase or titrate until you arrive at the optimal dose.
How To Calculate CBD Oil Dosage?
It is easier to calculate CBD oil for medicinal use like for arthritis, seizures, chronic pain etc, based on the weight of your dog. You begin by calculating how many milligram (mg) of CBD is required per pound of weight and this is determined by the cannabidiol tolerance of your pet.
To make the calculation easier and as a safe thumb rule let us assume your dog needs 0.2mg of CBD per pound, so it requires 5mg of CBD if its weight is 25lbs. Next, you calculate how much mg of CBD is there in each ml of the CBD oil and this depends on the formula strength of the oil. So, a 30 ml bottle containing 75 mg of CBD will deliver 2.5mg of CBD per ml of CBD oil. So, for a 25lbs dog who requires 5 mg of CBD, you administer 2 ml of 75mg formula strength CBD oil. The dosage for standard formula strengths of CBD oils available are listed below.
- 75mg formula strength CBD oil = 2.5mg per ml of oil
- 150mg formula strength CBD oil = 5mg per ml of oil
- 300mg formula strength CBD oil = 10mg per ml of oil
- 600mg formula strength CBD oil = 20mg per ml of oil
The Side Effects Of CBD For Dogs
You should know that there are very minimal side effects and they can be temporary in many cases when you administer CBD products to dogs for the first time. Some of the side effects are:
- Dry Mouth: The endocannabinoid system has receptors in the mouth and CBD will reduce the secretion of salivary glands, so dogs will show increased water intake.
- Drowsiness: Because CBD has a calming effect, it will induce drowsiness in dogs. So, when administering it you must make a journal entry about your pets sleeping schedule or pattern.
- Low Blood pressure: Giving CBD for your dog might lower the blood pressure and it will make them feel tired and lethargic.
So, before giving CBD for dogs you must consult with the veterinarian.
Veterinarians Opinion About CBD For Dogs
Even though the medical use of CBD is legal in some states and at the federal level with the US Farm Act of 2018, veterinarians cannot prescribe or discuss the use of CBD treatment for dogs. Having said that, they can discuss it if asked or enquired by their pet owner clients. But according to the silent consent of many veterinarians, CBD for dogs is useful in treating or mitigating multitude of ailments. Not only that, vets are an integral part in the research and development of many cannabidiol products for pets as they are aware of its benefits.
On a final note CBD treatment for dogs is a viable treatment option and it holds promise as a complementary treatment.