Currently, CBD is one of the most popular natural remedies we humans take every day. It is normal as a pet owner to question if you can give your dog CBD. Because dogs sometimes experience the same ailments as humans, many pet owners hope their dog can receive the same benefits they experience when using CBD. CBD works in humans by interacting with our endocannabinoid system. Dogs, like humans, also have an endocannabinoid system, and may be even more sensitive to CBD than we are. This means that by giving CBD to dogs, it may trigger similar and even more enhanced effects than those experienced by their owners. So….
Can you give CBD to dogs?
CBD is generally considered safe for dogs to take despite little research on it. Some evidence suggests CBD can help with some issues in dogs, including joint health support, giving a shiny coat, and improving appetite. Therefore, CBD could be an option for those looking for a natural approach to use with their pet. However, like humans, dogs may have different reactions to CBD based on their body weight, metabolism, and medical history. Because of this, you need to consult with your veterinarian before giving your dog any kind of supplement or medication. The FDA has not yet approved any CBD products for use in animals as of this writing. As a result, veterinarians may not be allowed to offer advice on the use of CBD products for dogs. This will largely depend on the state. If you decide to give your dog CBD, make sure the product you are giving them is safe. You should also ensure you’re using the right dosage regimen that would be the most effective for the situation.
How to choose a CBD product for your dog.
- It is crucial not to give your dog a product with THC. While CBD is considered safe for dogs, THC can be toxic. THC can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and many other adverse reactions in dogs. I would personally stay away from any full-spectrum products. Broad-spectrum and CBD isolate products are best when choosing a CBD product for dogs. If you are uncertain about the differences in full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate CBD, I break down their differences in this post here.
- Consider the source of the product. Specifically, is the company growing their own product or are they getting their CBD from the cheapest seller they can? Some companies get their product from 3rd party sellers, so they would not be able to verify exactly what is in the plant. Plants absorb whatever is in the ground or anything sprayed on it, so there could be unknown toxins, heavy metals, etc in the plant.
- Look for a company whose CBD is verified by an independent 3rd party testing facility. You do not want a company who solely does their own testing. Check the product to see if it has a Certificate of Analysis (COA) on the product label. It should give lab test results, including the amount of THC in the product. For dogs, you want zero THC. Each Certificate of Analysis should have the following test included.
- Microbial Test – Gives the results for pathogens like salmonella or E. coli.
- Heavy Metals Test – Shows results for pollutants, such as lead.
- Pesticides Test – Detects pesticides that could be present from the plant.
If the COA isn’t on the product’s label, check the company’s website to see if it’s located there. If it’s not there, it may be best to find a different product. encourage
Hemp oil vs. CBD
Both CBD oil and hemp oil are products of the cannabis family, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. Some manufacturers may use these terms interchangeably, since they aren’t regulated. Therefore, check the labels carefully. So what are the differences? Hemp oil is the oil obtained from pressing hemp seeds and is composed only of healthy nutrients such as omega fatty acids, protein, and fiber. While these nutrients help maintain health and wellbeing, hemp oil does not contain CBD. CBD oil is extracted from hemp flowers, leaves, and stalks which have an amount of cannabinoids. As mentioned above, you can find 3 different types of CBD oil on the market:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil: contains most cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, including low levels of THC
- Broad-spectrum CBD oil: contains several cannabinoids, but not THC. However, some broad-spectrum products can have traces on THC.
- CBD isolate: contains only CBD and has had all other cannabinoids removed. This is a pure CBD product.
Again, I break down the 3 CBD differences in this post here if you are interested. You need to make sure the CBD product you are purchasing is not hemp oil, but CBD. While hemp oil may have its own benefits, it will not have the cannabinoids for it to do what you are looking for in the product.
What’s the best way to give a dog CBD?
CBD for dogs and come in many forms. The most popular products are treats, oils, and creams. When considering a CBD product for dogs, most people choose CBD oils or treats over a cream.
The benefit with CBD oils is that they come with droppers, which make it easy to measure the proper dosage. Depending on the oil you choose, it may have a “earthy” taste which your dog may not like. This is usually the case with full or broad-spectrum CBD oil. This is due to the high amount of cannabinoids, which may boost its effectiveness. Isolate oils typically taste better due to the terpenes being removed, but are usually not as potent as full or broad spectrum. It may be best to stay away from the full spectrum due to the low amount of THC present in that spectrum.
Treats come with a predetermined dosage. CBD treats are convenient, and it’s more likely your dogs will take them. Some drawbacks of treats are: First, CBD treats can get expensive over time, especially if you give them to a large dog often. Second, CBD is broken down at higher temperatures. A company that heats treats at high temperatures reduces their CBD content. Therefore, your dog may not receive as much CBD as you think they might be getting. Third, CBD treats may have artificial dyes, preservatives, and grains in the ingredients. These are not good for your dog’s overall health.
With CBD creams, you can target your dogs problem, bypassing the digestive tract. If your dog is on other internal medication, this can reduce or prevent any interactions. The liver is responsible for metabolizing most pet medications, as well as CBD. Mixing CBD with other medications could be too stressful on your dog’s liver at one time. Ingesting CBD may also interfere with certain medications, like grapefruit does. This could cause too much or not enough of the drug in the body, which could lead to the medication not working, or an increased risk of side effects. Using a cream or applying an oil topically could avoid any of these unwanted interactions.
How much CBD should you give your dog?
There is no one size fits all when it comes to how much CBD a dog should receive. Potency of the CBD product, weight, overall health of the dog, etc., all impact the effectiveness of CBD. The general consensus is between 1-5 mg of CBD per 10 lbs. If you choose to give your dog a CBD product, start at a low dose, and work up slowly. Speak with your veterinarian who can advise you on possible interactions and proper dosage. Ultimately, rely on their recommendation. The science in CBD products is lacking especially with pets, so use these products at your own risk.