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cbd for dogs

CBD for Dogs – Is It Safe? Exploring the Benefits and Side Effects

Pet CBD oil can have many great benefits, from helping with arthritis to seizures. But it doesn't come without risks. Learn if CBD is right for your dog and how to use it safely.

In my career as a vet, I’ve observed a growing interest among animal owners in the use of CBD oil for their dogs. 

Derived from the hemp plant, dog CBD oil is gaining popularity as an alternative treatment option for various canine health conditions.

However, it’s crucial to understand what this compound is and how it interacts with your dog’s body before introducing it into their routine.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve deep into the world of using CBD for dogs – exploring why it’s such a buzzword recently and examining its possible benefits and side effects.

What is CBD Oil?

You may have heard about CBD oil through its use in humans, but recently, it’s become increasingly popular amongst dog owners too. But what exactly is it?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a compound found in the hemp and cannabis plants. Unlike THC, another substance found in these plants, CBD lacks psychoactive properties – so it won’t get your dog high! Instead, it’s been gaining popularity for its potential therapeutic uses without the mind-altering effects.

CBD oil is produced by extracting cannabidiol from plant matter and then blending it with a carrier oil like coconut oil. It’s important to note that hemp-derived CBD contains less than 0.3% THC, making it legal on a federal level. However, cannabis-derived CBD products can contain higher levels of THC, depending on state laws.

So how, if at all, can CBD products benefit our furry friends? Well, studies have shown that it may help with pain, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer-related symptoms – but how accurate is this?

How Does CBD Oil Work?

You might be wondering how CBD oil actually works. Well, it turns out that all mammals have something called an endocannabinoid system (ECS) – this is just a series of pathways in the body that help regulate things like pain, mood, and appetite. CBD interacts with the ECS to help promote balance and homeostasis in the body.

What are the possible benefits of using CBD oil in dogs?

cbd for dogs

There are several potential benefits of CBD for dogs, but it’s very important to mention that there is currently no definitive scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs. 

A few studies have been done but these only show possible benefits. Little is known about the correct dosages to use and as such more research has to be done to validate the use of CBD oil in dogs. 

That means that at present, any benefits reported should be considered largely anecdotal, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t true – just more research has to be done!

Some possible benefits of CBD oil for dogs include: 

  • Pain relief

    CBD oil may help reduce inflammation and chronic pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis – this study showed promising results.  

  • Anxiety reduction

    CBD oil’s calming effects may help soothe dogs with separation anxiety or noise phobias.

  • Seizure control

    Some studies suggest that CBD oil may be beneficial in controlling seizures in dogs.

  • Skin conditions

    Topical application of CBD oil may help improve skin conditions like atopic dermatitis by reducing inflammation and relieving itching symptoms.

Click the links below to see the scientific research on the uses of CBD in dogs:

There is also anecdotal evidence that CBD oil may be effective alongside chemotherapy in treating cancer, but further research is needed to validate its efficacy.

Is CBD oil safe for dogs?

cbd oil for dogs

As pet parents, it’s important to understand that while CBD products may offer potential benefits for your furry friend, they can also come with possible side effects. Just like any other supplement or medication, CBD oil for dogs isn’t without its risks.

The primary challenge here is the lack of scientific data regarding the use of CBD oil in dogs. Most information available is based on human studies and anecdotal evidence from pet owners. Therefore, understanding how these products affect a dog’s body specifically remains somewhat limited.

Some studies have shown that CBD can affect liver enzymes that are involved in the metabolism of other drugs, therefore it’s not known if CBD could interfere with how other medications interact in your dog’s body. For now it may be best to avoid CBD if your dog is on other long term medication. 

It’s also important to note that CBD oil use in dogs is still not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and therefore, there is little known about the correct dosage to use in dogs. 

Potential Side Effects Based on Human Studies

Humans may experience dry mouth, decreased blood pressure, and somnolence when using CBD. It’s plausible that dogs might experience similar reactions when given CBD oil:

  • Dry Mouth: CBD can cause dry mouth, leading to increased thirst in dogs. Make sure your pup has access to plenty of water if you give them CBD oil.
  • Lowered Blood Pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure in humans, which could lead to feelings of light-headedness in dogs.
  • Drowsiness: The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when used in higher doses.

Increase In Appetite

Another potential side effect seen among human users is an increase in appetite; therefore, it’s important not to overfeed your dog if they are on CBD oil. However, an increased appetite might actually be beneficial in some cases, for example, in pets needing to gain some weight or in those dealing with conditions such as cancer, where maintaining proper nutrition becomes crucially important.

What dose of CBD oil should I give my dog?

pet cbd oil

How much CBD oil to give your dog can be challenging as there are no official guidelines on the correct or effective dosage. As a general rule, it’s recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase it until you achieve the desired effect.

A good starting point is to give your dog between 0.1-0.2mg of CBD per pound of body weight twice daily.

For example, If your dog weighs 40lbs, then you can start with a dose of 4mg twice daily. It’s crucial to monitor your dog’s response and adjust the dosage accordingly.

Always use high-quality, broad-spectrum CBD oil for dogs. Many CBD products have been found to only contain a tiny proportion of the amount of CBD listed on the label. This isn’t a reason to give more than the recommended dosage, but rather a reason to only buy high-quality products.

Dog CBD Dose Calculator

Use the calculator below to work out the best CBD oil dose for your dog:


Can a dog overdose on CBD hemp oil?

While CBD hemp oil is generally considered safe for dogs, it is possible for them to overdose on this substance. Too much CBD can lead to adverse effects such as drowsiness, lethargy, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. It’s important to follow the dosage instructions carefully; always start with a low dose to see how your dog responds before increasing it gradually over time.

Things to Keep in Mind When Giving CBD Oil to Your Dog

If you’re thinking about giving your furry friend some CBD oil, it’s important to know that not all products are created equal. Quality matters, and choosing a high-quality product can make a big difference in terms of effectiveness and safety.

First and foremost, go for organic CBD oil for dogs whenever possible. Organic products are free from harmful pesticides and chemicals that could potentially harm your pet. While they may be a bit pricier, they offer peace of mind knowing that you’re giving your pet something safe and natural.

Avoid cheaper options that may contain harmful additives and always opt for high quality CBD oil – use broad spectrum or full spectrum CBD oil over a simple CBD isolate whenever possible. One study found that some CBD pet products were contaminated with heavy metals and that others may contain much lower concentrations of CBD than advertised. 

The pet CBD industry currently has no regulation so be very careful when choosing the right product. Cheaper options may not provide the same advantages as more costly ones, or even worse, they could cause adverse reactions because of impurities or low-grade components.

Here are some important things to consider before starting your dog on CBD:

The Importance of Liquid Form

An important consideration is purchasing CBD oil in liquid form. Most come as CBD oil tinctures that allow you to easily control the dosage, which is essential since different dogs will require varying amounts based on factors like size, weight, breed, age, and health condition. Having this control ensures that you can adjust the dose according to your vet’s advice without having to purchase new products each time.

Reading Labels Carefully

Always read labels carefully before purchasing any CBD product for pets. Buying CBD oil for dogs can be confusing so always look out for information about potency (expressed usually as milligrams per milliliter), type of extract (full-spectrum, broad-spectrum or isolate), and presence of other cannabinoids besides just cannabidiol. All of these factors play into how effective the product will be at providing relief from various ailments.

Talk to Your Vet First

Last but certainly not least, always consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplement regimen, including CBD. They’ll help ensure that it won’t interact negatively with existing medications or conditions while also guiding you towards appropriate dosages based on individual needs and circumstances. Remember, our pets rely solely on us to make informed decisions regarding their healthcare, so let’s do our best for them.

Do vets recommend cbd oil for dogs?

puppy at the vet

Dog CBD oil is all the rage these days, and for good reason – it may help reduce anxiety and manage pain in our furry friends.

But before you go giving your pup some CBD oil, make sure to consult with your vet and do your research to avoid any potential side effects or interactions with other medications. While some vets may support the use of CBD, others may be strongly against it so it’s best to get their opinion since they know your dog best.

Remember to always buy broad or full spectrum cbd oil for dogs. It’s also important to realise that every dog is unique and what works for one may not work for another, so proceed with caution and care.

With the right guidance and information, CBD oil could potentially improve your dog’s quality of life – and who doesn’t want that for their beloved pet?


Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

Yes, when used properly and sourced from reputable manufacturers, CBD can be safe for dogs.

What Happens When a Dog Takes CBD?

Dogs might experience temporary side effects like drowsiness and dry mouth, but these usually subside once they adjust to the dosage.

What are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs?

Possible benefits include:
– Potential reduction in anxiety
– Possible anti-inflammatory effects
– Might help control seizures

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