CBD Oil for Dogs
Suddenly it seems like CBD oil is everywhere and being recommended for everything. But as with most new products that experience a seemingly “overnight” success, CBD oil itself is not anything new.
According to historical accounts, CBD in one form or another has been in existence and in use since – wait for it – as early as 2737 B.C.
What is new is the mainstream popularity and acceptance of CBD oil, and not just for people, either. CBD oil for pets is now offering companion animals and their people a newer, potentially safer and healthier alternative to many mainstream medications, some of which can have worrisome side effects.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about CBD oil for dogs.
What Is CBD?
CBD stands for “cannabidiol,” a naturally-occurring chemical compound found in plants belonging to the cannabis family, which includes a number of varietals such as marijuana and hemp, hops, hackberry, blue sandalwood and others.
CBD’s connection to marijuana, with its known psychoactive impact, has created resistance to CBD oil in some circles.
What you need to know is that, unlike marijuana’s active compound, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC for short, CBD’s active compound does not produce a “high.” You get all the health benefits without the altered state.
What Is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is the cannabidiol-containing plant oil extracted from the cannabis plant itself.
The oil can be extracted in a number of ways. What is most important here is to be sure the CBD oil product you select is pure and contains no additives or fillers.
Why Use CBD Oil for Dogs?
Just like their people, pet dogs experience a wide range of health and wellness issues, many of which have a less than stellar treatment success rate.
While many people find that just having a pet dog is a great way to ease anxiety, stress and other health troubles, what help is available for your dog when anxiety, stress or pain arises?
Pets don’t respond to medications the same way that people do and you can’t tell them why they are feeling woozy or tired or weird. Many prescription medications have potent side effects that can alter mood or state and thus induce more anxiety, aggression or mood disruption in your dog that then interferes with healing.
And some medications can also induce mood issues and uncomfortable side effects that then need their own medications to manage.
CBD oil isn’t without the potential for side effects, but to date reported issues have been rare, mild and largely easy to remedy without additional medications. For example, drowsiness (great in an anxious pup), an increase in thirst and the possibility of lower blood pressure are potential side effects in dogs.
When you step back and look at the bigger picture, CBD oil has a lot to recommend it as a remedy for dogs who haven’t responded well to other treatments as well as in situations where modern medications may not be a viable option.
Now we will take a look at some frequently asked questions dog owners often have about using CBD oil with their pups.
What Is the Best CBD Dosage for Dogs?
Because CBD oil isn’t a prescription medication, and research on the use of CBD oil with pets is still relatively new, questions like “how much CBD oil should I give my dog” do not have any standardized answer as of yet.
As well, often CBD oil manufacturers will offer dosing instructions, but typically these are for people, not pets.
So the best approach here is to first talk with your dog’s veterinarian. It is important to factor in every aspect of your dog’s health, including other medications, chronic health conditions and current treatment needs, before deciding on the right starting CBD dosage for dogs.
It is always smart to start with the lowest recommended dosage and work your way up as needed. Perhaps you will find the lowest dose is just right, but if not you can increase the dose bit by bit, adjusting until your dog experiences the relief you are seeking.
How Can You Choose the Best CBD Oil for Your Dog?
CBD oil is not yet regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so you will need to be very diligent in doing your own research to choose the best CBD oil for your dog.
As always, if you have questions, it is a smart idea to talk with your dog’s veterinarian for guidance.
Here are some key aspects to look for in any CBD oil product you consider using:
- Organic and pure
- Free from fillers, additives, GMOs
- Easy delivery method (such as a powder, spray or tincture)
- Free of THC (the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana)
- Reputable manufacturer that offers a quality guarantee
- Sourced from plants free from toxic heavy metals and pesticides
What Dog Health Issues Can CBD Oil Help With?
At this point you are likely wondering about specific ways that CBD oil can help your dog.
Because the field of CBD oil research is still emerging, and available research to date has focused on the use of CBD oil for people, you will notice recommendations are similar for CBD oil use in both people and dogs.
You may want to talk with your dog’s veterinarian about using CBD oil to treat the following canine health conditions:
- Ease symptoms of seizures and treatment-resistant epilepsy
- Reduce anxiety and stress
- Reduce incidents of aggression
- Ease symptoms of arthritis and osteoarthritis
- Assist with pain management, such as with glaucoma, joint problems or muscle spasms
- Reduce inflammation
- Ease allergy symptoms
- Reduce incidence of chronic skin irritation
- Reduce the risk of certain cancers
How Will You Know CBD Oil Is Helping Your Dog?
This is perhaps the number one most frequently asked questions pet owners have about trying CBD oil with their dogs.
Of course, dogs can’t talk to us and tell us whether they are feeling better, so pet owners have to stay watchful and look for signs of improvement.
Happily, there is a growing body of anecdotal research (owner-reported stories) suggesting that it is relatively easy to know that CBD oil is helping their dogs.
These are just a few examples that are easy to find in a simple internet search:
- Dog owners talk about how their formerly aggressive dogs are now cuddly and calm.
- Owners share how dogs who haven’t responded well to weather vests to ease storm or fireworks anxiety will suddenly nap peacefully through a thunderstorm.
- Owners report that dogs with chronic skin itching go days without tearing up their skin in a scratching frenzy.
- Owners of pups with separation or social anxiety say their dogs are now able to manage alone-time or meetings with new animals with ease.
These are all tell-tale signs that CBD oil is helping your dog navigate daily life with more confidence, less pain and improved quality of life.
Is Now the Right Time to Try CBD Oil for Your Dog?
This is a question only you can answer, and in many cases it is a question best answered with input from your dog’s veterinarian.
If other remedies have not delivered the desired results and your dog is suffering, now may be the right time to give CBD oil a try.