As a pet owner, you are well aware of the CBD health trend. However, as a responsible dog parent, you probably wonder –can I give my dog CBD oil?
Yes, the good news is that dogs and cats can take CBD oil, provided it has been sourced from the hemp plant and is of high quality.
Let’s get into CBD oil for dogs and how CBD may benefit your pet. We’ll also give you a guide on what to look for when you are buying CBD for your dog.
What is CBD Oil for Dogs?
You are probably familiar with the Cannabis plant or at least know the association with drug usage. However, many misunderstand CBD, a naturally occurring compound of the plant.
Early studies of the Cannabis plant focused on THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) because of its ability to produce typical psychotropic effects. CBD was sidelined mainly due to its complicated legal status.
Even after research on the cannabinoid began, it was restrictive. Finally, a 1940 study on the Structure of Cannabidiol (CBD) found that CBD is not responsible for the “physiological activity typical of marijuana.”
There are many cannabinoids in cannabis plants, but THC and CBD are present in the highest concentrations. For decades, federal law in the U.S. grouped all cannabis plants in the “illicit drugs” category.
Both hemp and marijuana production was illegal. Farmers and scientists finally cracked the barrier of politics and legality, and the 2018 Farm Bill was signed, allowing a change in the hemp policy.
As stipulated by the Farm Bill, hemp is the cannabis plant that contains 0.3% or less THC, unlike marijuana. CBD that is readily available and legal is, therefore, an extract from the hemp plant.
With CBD’s legal status being cleared, we are free to say that CBD is safe and has health-boosting effects. Before going into details, we should explain how CBD oil for dogs works.
CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a regulatory system managing various body functions (metabolism, inflammation, pain, immunity, memory, sleep, mood) with one goal – ensuring a state of health and homeostasis.
The cannabinoids from the cannabis plant replace the body’s endocannabinoids and bind with the endocannabinoid receptors, boosting the ECS functioning.
Can I Give My Dog CBD Oil?
Yes, you can give your dog CBD oil. In fact, human-grade, high-quality CBD oil has several beneficial effects on your dog’s physical and mental wellbeing.
Here is a short overview of the benefits of CBD oil:
- CBD for arthritis reduces joint pain and has strong anti-inflammatory properties, thus supporting mobility
- CBD for allergies alleviates the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and helps with seasonal allergies
- CBD for epilepsy decreases the frequency and severity of seizures and increases the efficacy of conventional anti-epileptic drugs
- CBD for cancer inhibits the reproduction of cancerous cells, thus exhibiting tumor-shrinking features and increasing survival rates
- CBD oil for anxiety relieves stress and anxiety, manages noise phobias like fireworks and thunderstorms, and improves sleep
- CBD for hyperactivity balances the dog’s mood and emotional wellbeing and promotes calmness and relaxation
- CBD for glaucoma: lowers the intraocular pressure and protects the eye cells from damage.
Can I Give My Dog Hemp Oil
You need to understand the difference between hemp seed oil vs. CBD oil for dogs. Since labels can sometimes be confusing, we should explain.
Giving your pet hemp seed oil or just hemp oil will not have the same benefits as whole-plant hemp CBD oil.
Hemp seed oil is still safe and suitable for your pet as its omega fats will provide nourishment for your dog’s coat. However, hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids.
Can You Give Human CBD Oil to a Dog?
No, you cannot give your dog human CBD oil. Giving your dog CBD oil formulated for humans is not the best idea because of several reasons.
First, human CBD oils are allowed to contain more than 0.3% of THC, and you already know that THC is toxic to pets.
Second, CBD products for humans are usually more potent than pet CBD supplements. In theory, you could adjust the dosage, but the math behind the calculations is confusing.
Third, many human CBD chews and other edibles contain ingredients that can be harmful to pets. For example, they are often sweetened with artificial sugars like xylitol, and xylitol is extremely toxic to dogs.
Finally, human CBD tinctures do not feature dog-friendly flavors. So, even if the above-mentioned issues are not present, you will have difficulty administering the bitter-tasting oil to your pet.
Is CBD Oil Bad for Dogs?
No, CBD oil is not bad for dogs, but it can experience minor side effects. Stay alert and look out for any side effects of CBD oil in dogs after giving your pet CBD oil. Dogs and humans tolerate CBD oil with only a few adverse symptoms: mild diarrhea, low blood pressure, drowsiness, and dry mouth.
These side effects may be caused by too high a dose and will subside after a few hours. Try a smaller amount in the dropper next time. Once your pet has become accustomed to CBD, you can try higher doses.
Always check with your veterinarian before starting your dog on CBD oil or CBD dog treats. CBD can interact with certain medications metabolized in the liver. The vet will determine whether the CBD supplements are compatible with your dog’s ongoing therapy.
Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
Yes, CBD oil from the hemp plant is non-toxic and safe for dogs. A study that investigated the safety of CBD on healthy pets concluded that “hemp-based CBD appears to be relatively safe in healthy populations of dogs and cats.” According to a similar study from Colorado State University, CBD is a well-tolerated supplement.
Understanding CBD Dosage Guidelines for Dogs
The general rule of thumb is that dogs need between 1 and 5 mg of CBD oil per 10 pounds of weight a day. Obviously, large dogs need higher CBD doses than small dogs.
However, when calculating exactly how much CBD oil your dog needs, there are other factors you should consider like age, breed, activity level, overall health, and underlying ailment.
It is advisable to start with a smaller CBD dose and gradually increase it until reaching the recommended dosage. That way, you are allowing your dog’s body to adjust to the new CBD supplement.
Check our CBD oil for dogs dose calculator to decide where to start with CBD dosage amounts for your dog.
Why the Quality of CBD Oil for Your Dog Matters
When you are looking to buy dog CBD products from a pet company, it is important to purchase top-quality CBD oil.
Some CBD manufacturers cut corners, and their CBD products are tainted with harmful chemicals, bacteria, and unsafe quantities of THC.
Buying anything less than a high-quality CBD oil is not only a waste of money, but it can be unsafe for your pet.
Here is a brief explanation of what to look for when buying CBD oil.
Full Spectrum Oil
As its name suggests, full-spectrum CBD oil contains all of the beneficial cannabinoids found within cannabis plus health-boosting compounds like flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.
In addition to cannabidiol (CBD), it also has potent cannabinoids like Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabicyclol (CBL), and Cannabichromevarinic Acid (CBCVA).
This full-plant extract is preferred over isolate CBD oils or broad-spectrum oils, although those can still do some good.
Hemp CBD Oil
Pet CBD oils must be extracted from hemp and not marijuana. This is because the marijuana plant contains high THC amounts.
Plus, the CBD needs to be extracted from the whole hemp plant and not just the hemp seeds. Hemp seed oil is still healthy but does not contain cannabinoids. Therefore, giving your pet hemp seed oil will not have the same benefits as whole-plant hemp oil.
Organic and 100% Natural
Make sure the hemp oil came from a farm with organic practices. Ideally, you want a CBD oil that was not treated with pesticides, solvents, or fungicides. Even the carrier oil (usually coconut oil) should be organic.
You also want a CBD oil free from compounds with questionable quality like GMO ingredients and allergens like soy, dairy, corn, or gluten.
The extraction process can alter the quality of the CBD oil that you buy your dog. When manufacturers use CO2 extraction, the result is a full-spectrum CBD oil free from impurities and potentially harmful ingredients.
Certificate of Analysis (COA)
Dog owners can ask their CBD brand for a Certificate of Analysis to guarantee the oil’s purity. When done correctly and by a third-party lab, the COA will clearly state the oil’s content (good and bad).
Our Final Thoughts: Giving Your Dog CBD Oil, Your Greatest Gift
Can you give dogs CBD oil? Yes! Hemp-derived CBD oil is non-negotiable to ensure safety. Just remember to adjust the amount of CBD based on your dog’s weight and needs.
Many pet owners have found that CBD has helped them with emotional balance, relief from strain and discomfort, sleep, focus, and general wellness.
For more information about CBD for pets, browse the topics on our Honest Paws website. We want you to be informed and confident in the CBD products you choose for your pets. Make sure to also check for CBD for dogs reviews.