CBD is having a moment. As cannabis becomes legalized in more and more states, people are taking a close look at the many benefits this plant brings—especially that of CBD. Because CBD is derived from the hemp plant, it contains no psychoactive effects. As such, it offers a number of unique benefits without the “high” associated with cannabis and THC—making it a great option for treating your dogs.
As our favorite four-legged friends get older, they may begin to suffer from any number of health issues. Other dogs are born with conditions like epilepsy, seizures, and chronic pain. CBD is quickly becoming a preferred option for treating pets with pain as it has very few side effects and promotes balance in a dog’s body.
Here’s everything you need to know about using CBD to treat your dogs:
Giving CBD Oil to Your Dogs
CBD, also known as cannabidiol, is an organic compound derived from the hemp plant. CBD, and cannabis, has been used for hundreds of years to treat a variety of different health issues. The best part of CBD is that it contains no THC, the psychoactive element of cannabis that produces a “high,” so it is completely safe for dogs.
While no formal studies on CBD and canines have been completed, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD may be effective at alleviating bad symptoms and making dogs feel more comfortable. This is how it works: CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems in a dog’s body. These receptors help maintain the body and keep it in a normal, balanced state.
The most popular product to use with dogs is CBD oil, as it’s easier to hide in their food or treats.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Again, there are no definitive studies on using CBD to treat dogs. However, many owners report seeing positive side effects from using CBD on dogs with treatment-resistant epilepsy. In fact, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study to research just that.
According to the AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, CBD is often used because of its many beneficial properties. These include:
- Appetite stimulation
- Cardiac benefits
Additionally, dog owners report that CBD can have a calming effect on their pets in events of high stress, like during the 4th of July fireworks.
What Side Effects Does CBD Have?
As with any other remedy, CBD does have a few side effects that are worth noting. Luckily, these side effects are extremely mild. For dogs, they typically include:
- Dry mouth: decreased saliva to your dog’s mouth will make them thirstier
- Drowsiness: the calming effects of CBD can sometimes cause drowsiness in dogs. If this is the case for your pet, giving them CBD before bed time can be a great option to help them sleep.
Lowered blood pressure: high doses of CBD can occasionally cause a slight decrease in blood pressure. In dogs, this may manifest as a temporary moment of dizziness.
How Do You Give Dogs CBD?
The best way to treat your dog with CBD depends on their temperament and how well they respond to changes in their diet. With picky dogs who are resistant to taking their medicine, you may have to get creative with how you treat them.
Be careful to choose CBD products that are designed for dogs specifically. Some human-specific CBD products may contain additional ingredients or additives that are bad for dogs.
A CBD tincture may be a great option for your pet if you’re comfortable administering it to them by mouth multiple times a day. If not, we have a number of CBD treats and even some peanut butter in stock to make it easier. Generally speaking, here are three helpful tips for giving your dog CBD:
Find a CBD Treat They Like
Just like humans, dogs can be picky when it comes to their food! If you use CBD supplements, you can try experimenting with a pill pocket or folding it into a treat or something else that they like to eat.
Mix it in With Their Food
If you use a CBD oil or tincture, you can add it directly to their food. This is a great way to regulate when they take CBD and how much they’re getting. Dry food is usually better at absorbing and masking the taste of CBD oil. With wet food, it can sometimes separate from the food and become more noticeable to your dog.
Administer it Directly
A CBD tincture makes it easy to squirt a drop or two onto your dog’s tongue—leading to quick relief for your dog.