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Does CBD Work for Dogs? [Full Answer]

Green Shoppers Written by Green Shoppers
Updated on April 30, 2019

It is well-debated whether cannabis is good for you. No matter your stance on this, it is definitely agreed that cannabis is not good for your dog. In areas where recreational weed is legal, it is vital to keep your stash out of the way of your pooch – the THC in cannabis can have detrimental effects for dogs.

With this being the case, it’s easy to wonder whether the same is true of CBD. Plenty of humans take CBD as a means to keep up their general health without getting high. Since CBD is non-psychoactive and non-addictive, it makes sense that it could also be safe for our dogs.

Well, that matter is actually up for debate, too. The matter is little understood, but early research seems to indicate that it could well be safe. Many pet owners have been experimenting with CBD for their dogs, and so far, there have been no reported incidents. Nonetheless, it is important to be fully aware of the risks and possibilities before you purchase dog CBD oil.

The Endocannabinoid System in Mammals

As you may already know, humans have something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS). The system is responsible for controlling all manner of biological functions, ranging all the way from appetite and sleep to immune system response and mood.

It turns out that this same endocannabinoid system is present in all mammals, including your dog. Fido also has an ECS that keeps his body ticking over, regulating his temperature, pain response, and more. It’s vital to keep a dog’s endocannabinoid system healthy just as it is your own.

However, this is not to say that a dog’s ECS is exactly the same as our own. In fact, dogs are thought to have more cannabinoid receptors, or at least specifically sensitive ones. Both types of receptor – CB1 and CB2 – are found in dogs, just as they are in humans. The dense concentration of CB1 receptors that dogs have in the brain and central nervous system is what makes THC potentially fatal for animals. If dogs consumed whole flower cannabis, the THC could seriously harm them.

CBD is known to be kinder. It is non-psychoactive, non-addictive, and is purported to maintain health and wellbeing in humans. The sane could be true with your dog. So, how could CBD help your four-legged friend?

How CBD Could Help Dogs

Just as it does in humans, CBD can help to boost your dog’s endocannabinoid system by stimulating the production of endocannabinoids. This, in turn, ensures that your pooch’s ECS remains in tip-top condition.

A primary benefit of cannabidiol is its anti-inflammatory effects. These effects are the reason that many athletes – especially those in contact sports – are turning to CBD. Topical CBD treatments, in particular, are able to reduce inflammation by preventing the inflammation response from occurring in the first place. While inflammation is not necessarily a bad thing, it can be a burden to your dog if it is chronic. Just like us, animals can suffer from joint conditions like arthritis, and CBD could be a way to manage the swelling and reduce the pain.

Essentially, anything that cannabidiol may help with in humans could also be beneficial to your pet. If your dog is suffering from stress and anxiety, perhaps separation anxiety, then CBD could help to calm them down. The ECS’ intricate links with the serotonin system means that CBD has a remarkable ability to calm us down and relieve stress. It could do the same thing for your dog.

It is not currently recommended by any vets to give CBD to your dog. This does not mean that it is harmful to do so, just that vets would rather prescribe a medication they are 100% sure works. You can still give CBD to your pet alongside their usual medications as a way of helping their therapy. So how do you actually administer CBD oil to your pet?

Ways to Give CBD to Your Dog

There are plenty of ways to give CBD to your dog. The most common way is through CBD oils, which plenty of manufacturers sell. Make sure you look for CBD oils specifically designed for pets, ensuring that no harmful ingredients are contained. These dog-friendly CBD oils can be applied directly into your dog’s mouth using a dropper.

However, all pet owners will know that this is no easy feat! Dropping oil into your pet’s mouth will probably prove to be a wrestling match that you probably won’t win. Luckily, some manufacturers sell oils flavoured like bacon or other delicious treats, and you might find these a little easier.

Alternatively, you can drop the oil into their food and mix it in well, ensuring that they eat it that way.

Some manufacturers also sell CBD dog treats. These taste good and will have your dog wanting more and more. Plus, they have a pre-measured dose of CBD that is easy to administer.

Whatever method you choose, there are certain things that all pet owners need to be aware of when buying CBD.

Things to Be Careful of When Giving CBD to Your Dog

The same rules for buying regular CBD apply to pet CBD, too. Make sure that the company is reputable, shows third-party lab results, and has sustainable and legal practices. It is recommended not to buy your CBD from Amazon.

Another important thing to note is dose. We have already mentioned that your CBD should be dog-specific, containing only ingredients that won’t harm your pet. But this also pertains to the dose. While humans can take a lot of CBD without any effects, dogs need a lot less because of their numerous cannabinoid receptors. Generally, the guideline is to give your dog around 2mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight.

Your dog can’t tell you when something feels wrong, so you need to be vigilant. Side effects of CBD include diarrhoea, nausea, lethargy, and dizziness. The dizziness could be caused by a drop in blood pressure, and it’s something you need to look out for. Your pet could feel disorientated and confused if the CBD has any negative effects.

If you notice these side effects, cease use of CBD immediately. If no negatives are experienced, you may choose to up the dose if you feel that the CBD has not yet helped your dog’s symptoms. While vets are not yet muscling in on the CBD issue, it’s really up to your own perception as to how much CBD you give them.

We recommend at least talking to a veterinarian before giving CBD to your dog. They may not recommend it, but they can at least advise you on dosages and side effects in order to keep your pet safe.

Have you given CBD to your dog? If so, let us know how you found the experience in the comments; what methods worked for you and your pooch?