CBD oil is a fast-growing market and the compound is now being touted as a treatment for dogs too.
Indeed, the therapy is already big business, with a study by Grand View Research estimating the market size for CDB oil surpassed $37.4 million as of 2020.
However, the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, cautions while CBD oil boasts potential benefits for dogs, owners should always consult their veterinarian before starting such medical treatments.
He told Newsweek: “Cannabinoids such as CBD appear to hold therapeutic promise in areas such as the treatment of epilepsy and the management of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis, neurogenic pain and possibly anxiety although much of the available scientific evidence pertaining to their use in animals is currently limited.
“While findings from a few well-controlled studies have been published, much of what we know is related to anecdotal or case reports.
“It is of utmost importance for people to know that CBD is not marijuana which is TOXIC to dogs and should never be given to dogs under any circumstances.
“Additionally, it is always recommended consulting with your veterinarian before starting and medication or supplements as your veterinarian best knows your dog’s individual medical history and needs.”
Here are some of the most important facts you should know about CBD oil for dogs.
1. What Is CBD Oil?
While CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp, the oil it is derived from rarely contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound responsible for providing marijuana its psychoactive properties.
Note, hemp-derived CBD oil products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws.
2. Does CBD Affect Dogs?
Currently, there has been no formal research conducted about how CBD oil affects dogs.
However, research has shown cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.
3. What Dog Health Problems Might CBD Oil Treat?
Although definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs is still lacking, the AKC states “anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggests it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.”
CBD is also used by humans for its purported anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, as well as potential anti-cancer benefits, although conclusive data on this use is also lacking.
4. Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
Due to the lack of scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, experts can only speculate about the possible side effects based on how the compound can affect humans.
Research suggests CBD can decrease the production of saliva. The AKC said: “For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.”
High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure, capable of triggering brief light-headedness.
Humans have used CBD on their pet dogs to treat anxiety, while CBD oil’s calming effect can also cause slight drowsiness.
The AKC cautions in a statement: “To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.”
5. Potential Risks of Using CBD Oil With Dogs
The safety and risks of using CBD for dogs have not yet been researched and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has neither approved CBD nor issued a dosing chart.
As a result, it remains unclear what size dosage of CBD oil would be toxic for dogs.
The AKC warns any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction, writing on its site: “It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. And always check with your veterinarian first.”
6. Can Dogs Taking Medications Use CBD Oil?
Owners of dogs taking any medications or supplements should always check with a vet.
CBD oil can change how the animals metabolize some drugs, in the same way that grapefruits can cause significant reactions in humans.
Owners will need to consult their vet about dose changes if a dog is taking any of the following medications: steroids, allergy medications, liver or kidney medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, heart medications and anxiety medications.
7. CBD Dosage for Dogs
Each bottle of CBD has a specific concentration expressed in milligrams. Some owners add CBD oil to their dog’s food.
Dr. Robert Silver from NurseYourPet suggests giving a dog 0.05 to 0.25 mg/pound of body weight, twice daily is a “safe place to start,” as well as suggesting beginning with lower doses and increasing these only gradually if the lower dose appears ineffective.
It is important to note, that is only from his anecdotal experience.
8. What Are the Best CBD Oil Products for Dogs
Should consultation with a vet result in a decision in trying CBD oil to treat your dog, there are some key things to consider when buying the compound.
The AKC states: “Not all oils are the same; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil to have a better chance of it working.”
If the CBD oil is not organic, it at least should not contain pesticides, fungicides, or solvents.
Higher quality and purity are usually associated with a higher cost, meaning cheaper options can potentially more likely contain toxic substances including pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals.
The manufacturer should provide a certificate stating the quantity of CBD in the product, with some CBD products containing minimal amounts of CBD. People buying CBD oil for their pet dogs will also want to ensure there is little or no harmful THC in the product.
The AKC also advises people to purchase CBD as a liquid whenever possible, stating: “You can buy dog treats containing CBD, but the best form to administer is an oil or tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop.”