CBD for Dogs Overview
With the rise of CBD’s popularity among people, is it any wonder that there’s a great deal of interest in CBD for dogs? Dog owners across the country are using CBD to treat their dog’s various health conditions including:
- & Arthritis
But with any new health trend, there is a lot of information floating around out there. The same is true for CBD and dogs. In this post, we’re going to try and answer some of the more general questions about CBD, and tell you what to look for when buying CBD for your dog.
What is CBD?
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and won’t cause intoxication. The lack of intoxication has led the World Health Organization to state, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential….”
Most CBD products are also derived from federally legal hemp and not from marijuana; the big difference is that hemp plants by definition produce minimal THC.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs?
There aren’t any FDA-approved, peer-reviewed studies on how CBD affects dogs yet— expect those in the months and years to come.
Scientists and veterinarians do know that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system located in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Both humans, dogs, and other animals, have this native biological system.
Will CBD Make Your Dog High?
As mentioned above, there are big differences between CBD hemp and marijuana (cannabis that produces THC.) Most CBD products are made with hemp plants that contain high levels of CBD and very little psychoactive THC.
How do Dogs Benefit from CBD?
While there isn’t any FDA-approved data on CBD for dogs, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that CBD can treat your dog’s pain, neuropathic and otherwise, and help control seizures.
Preliminary data for veterinary-specific use of CBD to treat seizures in dogs was published in 2019. Researchers found a statistically significant 89% reduction in seizure frequency in dogs treated with CBD as compared to a 43% reduction in the control group.
The American Kennel Club is also currently pursuing additional research into CBD for dogs to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs.
Karen writes of our 600mg Full Spectrum Pet CBD Oil Tincture:
“I bought this tincture because my miniature pinscher had two seizures. She is an otherwise young, healthy and active dog. Because of this she is not a good candidate for anti seizure medication at this time. Her seizures are not frequent and they do not last for long periods of time. I decided to put her on CBD in the hopes it would stave off more seizures, preventing the necessity of putting her on anti seizure medication for the rest of her life. She has not had another seizure since I began using Sunset’s pet tincture.”
If your dog has been chewing up your house, peeing inside, or generally freaking out they may have a bit of anxiety. CBD may be able to help. While many humans take it to help manage symptoms of anxiety, CBD may also benefit your dog in the same way.
Maggie writes about our 600mg Full Spectrum Pet CBD Oil Tincture:
“We’ve been using CBD products for our dogs for years now. We’ve switched to Sunset Lake to support a local Vermont business and we’ve noticed a huge difference in our dogs’ anxiety. We love the pet cbd specifically as the measuring is simple and not too overpowering. Hits just the right spot.”
Pain and Mobility
A recent study from 2018 looked into the anti-inflammatory properties and anti-pain properties of CBD for dogs with osteoarthritis. Researchers gave dogs 2-8mg of CBD per kilogram (2.2lbs) of body weight.
Eighty percent of participating dogs showed improvements in pain management and mobility, as measured by veterinarians. But, it’s important to note that a CBD producer funded this study.
Cindi writes about our 600mg Full Spectrum Pet CBD Oil Tincture:
“Our 9 year old GSD, Sierra has severe hip dysplasia and this CBD oil has been such a relief from pain and mobility issues for her. She can play with our younger GSD (her bestie) for longer stretches of time and take gentle walks again. Thank you for the ♥️ you grow into your crops.”
Are There Side Effects of CBD for Dogs?
Because there is little research into canine CBD use, veterinarians can extrapolate potential animal side effects based on how CBD affects humans.
- Dry mouth: CBD can slow the production of saliva. CBD for dogs could manifest itself as increased thirst.
- Low blood pressure: Large doses of CBD can cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. This can lead to brief feelings of light-headedness.
- Drowsiness: While many owners have been known to use CBD to manage anxiety, there is a possibility of overdoing it. Too much CBD could make your dog drowsy.
The best way to avoid any unwanted side effects is to consult your vet. Based on the weight and condition of your pet, they may have some insight into whether CBD may conflict with your dog’s other medication. Also, look for dosing instructions on your CBD product and start on the lower end of that spectrum.
What do Veterinarians Think About CBD for Dogs?
A recent VIN News Service survey of 2,131 veterinarians found that at least 63% had been asked about CBD oil for dogs at least once a month. But, because CBD is still relatively new, many vets can’t prescribe it to their clients.
Some states have relaxed said restrictions. California passed a law that prevents regulators from penalizing veterinarians for talking with clients about the potential benefits and risks when using CBD for their dogs.
How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
Consult your veterinarian if your dog is already on medication. We always recommend starting on the lower side and increasing the dosage as needed. Start with 1-2mg of CBD for every 10 pounds your dog weighs.
How to Find the Right CBD for your Dog
Check the Certificate of Analysis (CoA)
Perhaps the most crucial step: check the certificate of analysis and make sure that it’s from an accredited third-party lab. It should include the amount of CBD and THC present in the product.
If you can’t find the certificate of analysis on the vendor’s website, and they don’t offer any when you ask, it’s time to find a new vendor.
For help, check out our post How to Read a Certificate of Analysis.
Is it CBD or Hemp?
CBD and hemp are not interchangeable terms. A product may include hemp oil that’s totally free of CBD. Make sure that the product you’re interested in contains CBD and not just general “hemp oil.” You can do so via the certificate of analysis mentioned above.
Check the Ingredients
Ask yourself this question: What’s in the product? Insist on seeing the ingredient list and look for any unnatural additives. Don’t be afraid, too, to reach out to the vendor and ask about any ingredients you’re unsure of.
If you wouldn’t take it, is it acceptable CBD for your dog?
Sunset Lake’s CBD for Dogs
Both are made with the highest (and simplest) ingredients we could find, and are crafted with the high-quality, pesticide-free CBD hemp that we grow on our own farm in northern Vermont.