CBD for Dogs: Your Questions Answered!
When you examine the state of the CBD industry these days, one thing becomes incredibly clear: CBD oil for pets has become a very, very big deal. When you think about it, that shouldn’t be so surprising. Anecdotal evidence from CBD users suggests that people are experiencing great results using CBD for a wide variety of different purposes. All animals have endocannabinoid systems – so if you’ve experienced benefits from using CBD, you might wonder if your furry friend would enjoy some of those same benefits.
Today, we’re going to dive into the subject of CBD for dogs. What does CBD oil do for dogs? Is it safe to give CBD to your dog – and more importantly, what does the latest research say about how CBD may benefit your dog?
Since you’re here: While you read this article, we encourage you to browse our selection of CBD for dogs. From bacon-flavored CBD oil to CBD dog treats that look like miniature T-bone steaks, we’re certain that your dog is absolutely going to love our amazing products.
Let’s learn more about the possible benefits of CBD oil for dogs!
What Does CBD Oil Do for Dogs?
The first thing you need to understand about giving CBD to your dog is that research investigating the potential benefits of CBD for dogs hasn’t progressed nearly as far as research on humans – which itself has a long way to go. Therefore, the only evidence that really exists for helping us understand what CBD does for dogs is based on scant research and anecdotal stories from pet owners. If you want more experiential evidence, consider asking your veterinarian about CBD. It’s likely that he or she knows several people who are already giving CBD oil to their dogs.
According to the American Kennel Club, the most common reasons why people give CBD to their dogs include:
- Chronic pain and arthritis
- Neuropathic pain
- Seizure control
- Reduction of inflammation
- Cardiac health
- Appetite stimulation
In short, people give CBD to their dogs for essentially the same reasons why they use CBD themselves – but does CBD actually work for dogs? We’ve uncovered some clinical studies that you may find useful. First, though, let’s discuss a topic that’s even more important. Is it safe to give CBD oil to your dog?
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
In May 2021, the American Journal of Veterinary Research published a study examining the safety of CBD for dogs. The study was randomized and placebo controlled, and it represents probably the most intensive canine CBD safety study conducted to date. In performing the study, the researchers divided 20 healthy beagles into five groups. Four groups received CBD oil each day in ascending doses by body weight up to a maximum of 12 mg/kg (about 108 mg for a 20-pound dog). The fifth group received a placebo. The researchers observed no clinically significant adverse events, with the most common side effects being increased salivation and loose feces. In short, daily CBD administration was well tolerated by the test group, and the study produced no evidence suggesting that CBD for dogs might be unsafe.
One potential side effect of CBD for dogs is that it can inhibit production of cytochrome P450, an enzyme that aids in the metabolism of many prescription drugs. In many cases, prescription drug dosages are based on the expected amount of time that it’ll take to metabolize the drugs. If CBD causes a drug to build up to unhealthy levels in your dog’s body, that could be unsafe. If your dog is on any medications, talk to your veterinarian before starting a CBD regimen.
Is There Any Research Suggesting that CBD Can Help Dogs?
If you talk to your veterinarian – or to pet owners who give CBD to their dogs – you’re going to get a good amount of anecdotal evidence that can help you decide if it’s appropriate to give CBD to your canine. In the clinical world, though, anecdotal evidence isn’t enough. The goal is to prove that a drug has a particular benefit by demonstrating that the effect is predictable and repeatable with a large test group. The studies that have been conducted so far haven’t reached the goal of being able to say definitively that CBD has specific benefits for dogs, but some of the results have certainly been promising. Here are a few recent studies that you may find helpful.
- Arthritis: In 2020, Pain published a study examining whether CBD could be helpful for dogs with osteoarthritis. The study was randomized, placebo controlled and double blind. The dogs in the CBD group were given 20 mg of CBD per day for four weeks, and the researchers found that CBD significantly decreased the dogs’ pain and increased their mobility.
- Arthritis: In 2018, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published a study examining the potential benefits of CBD for dogs with arthritis. Like the study cited above, this one also produced promising results. The dogs were given 2 mg/kg or 8 mg/kg of CBD oil twice daily for four weeks and showed significant reduction in pain and increased activity levels.
- Seizures: In 2019, the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association published a study examining CBD’s potential for reducing seizures in epileptic dogs. The researchers divided 26 dogs into two groups, giving CBD to one group and a placebo to the other group. The dogs in the CBD group received a dose of 1.1 mg/lb twice daily in addition to whatever medications the dogs were already using. Two of the dogs in the CBD group had side effects and were withdrawn from the study. Of the remaining dogs, about half responded to the CBD treatment, and their seizures were reduced significantly.
- Cancer: In 2021, Veterinary and Comparative Oncology published a study examining whether CBD could be useful in addition to chemotherapy as a cancer treatment for dogs. The researchers found that using CBD in combination with chemotherapy inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells more than chemotherapy alone.
- Anxiety: In 2020, Frontiers in Veterinary Science published a study examining whether CBD could be helpful for dogs suffering from noise-induced fear. The researchers divided 16 dogs into four groups: a control group, a group receiving CBD only, a group receiving the prescription medication trazodone only and a group receiving both CBD and trazodone. The researchers used a recording of fireworks as the noise stimulus and found that CBD was not as effective as trazodone in reducing the dogs’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Aggressive Behavior: In 2021, Scientific Reports published a study examining whether CBD could be helpful in reducing anxiety-induced aggression in sheltered dogs. The researchers divided 24 dogs into two groups, giving CBD to one group and a placebo to the other group. Although the CBD group did show a reduction in aggressive behavior, the researchers concluded that the reduction wasn’t clinically significant.
What Is the Best CBD Dosage for Dogs?
As you probably did when you added CBD to your own supplement regimen, we recommend starting slowly when giving CBD to your dog. If you’re using CBD dog treats, start by breaking a treat into smaller pieces and giving your dog a piece every day. If you’re using CBD oil, start with just a drop or two per day. Watch for potential side effects and increase the dosage slowly. If you’re hoping to achieve a specific effect, you may find it helpful to read the studies that we’ve linked to in this article. In all cases, the studies include descriptions of the dosages given and the effects observed.