Is CBD Safe for Dogs? Everything You Need to Know

By Harris Wheless
Berkay Gumustekin

In the past year, the consumer market has become flooded with all manner of CBD products and new brands and retailers attempting to cash in on the trend. Research on CBD and its effects is still ongoing, and the FDA has not approved CBD to treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition.

Most of this research has been done on CBD’s effects on humans. But some labs and universities are starting to dig into how CBD may affect pets. The results are promising. CBD may have the potential to yield many of the same results in pets that it does in does in humans. Benefits of CBD include alleviating symptoms like anxiety, pain, and seizures associated with canine epilepsy.

However, much of the evidence available online for CBD’s efficacy for dogs and other pets comes from anecdotal evidence. And if you’re a pet owner, you’re right to be skeptical. The effects of CBD products will vary depending on brand, chemical makeup, and dosage. Here’s our guide for pet parents looking into using CBD for their dogs.

What is CBD?

CBD, or cannabidiol is a compound found in cannabis plants which has become popular for its function as a wellness supplement with a range of health benefits. Most CBD products are derived from hemp rather than marijuana. Hemp typically has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The marijuana plant, however, is high in THC, which creates its trademark psychoactive effect.

In humans and dogs, once CBD enters the body it interacts with something called the endocannabinoid system. This system regulates other systems in the body and helps to maintain proper functioning and general wellness.

The potential legalization of marijuana has been a divisive issue in the US for some time now. In December of last year, a small breakthrough came in the form of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the production of industrial hemp. This opened the door for farmers and retailers to sell hemp products, spawning the CBD boom.

[Find the best CBD oil for dogs.]

The FDA is still trying to learn more about CBD and its long term effects, and has yet to approve the compound for use in treating, curing, or preventing any condition or disease. The lack of FDA approval means there is a lack of oversight in the industry and little regulation of the companies competing in the space. Consumers should do their own research before taking CBD or giving it to their pets.

What the experts say

In the emerging CBD space, it helps to look to medical professionals, review sites and other experts to help you decide if CBD is the right fit for your dog.

The American Kennel Club says “while there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.”

There is also some compelling research now being done on CBD’s effects on canines. For instance, a study conducted by Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine showed that treatment with CBD oil resulted in decreased pain for dogs with osteoarthritis.

And in a survey collected by the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association, data from over 600 pet owners found that CBD use in animals also seems to yield positive results. These owners found success using CBD for anxiety relief, sleep assistance, nervous response support, treating skin conditions, reducing nausea, and preventing inflammation in dogs.

Where to buy

For dog owners looking to try out the effects of CBD on their pet, your utmost concern should be finding a reputable brand that holds itself accountable for its products. Doing research on the brand’s website or product review sites will help you determine if you can trust a brand to take proper safety precautions and produce a quality product.

Here are some things to look for in a CBD brand: third party lab testing, hemp source, and extraction process. The best brands pay for labs to test their products and produce certificates of analysis that list the contents of the product.

These certificates and added research can tell you if the brand is using a safe, clean extraction process as well as if they get their hemp from a good place. As far as source goes, we recommend American grown hemp for its having been grown under conditions that meet our federal standards.

Other things to consider

In order to produce maximum results, pay attention to the concentration of CBD in each package or treat in order to determine proper dosages. CBD dog treats and other hemp products for pets should be taken once or twice a day at a consistent time for effective relief.

CBD dog biscuits and chews come in many different flavors your dog may find appealing, making fitting them into your dog care routine simpler. The advantages of using CBD oil for dogs are that oil normally has a higher CBD concentration than CBD dog treats, and oil can also be easily mixed into your dog’s food.

Although CBD shows potential in the world of veterinary medicine, many vets will be unsure of its long-term effects and if it’s something they should recommend. But it can still be helpful to consult a professional who knows your pet’s medical history. Talk to a vet about the potential side effects of CBD and how it could interact with any existing medication. If you’re cautious and thorough in your search, it will pay off and your dog will be healthier and happier for it.

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