Seeing your pet convulsing on the floor is stressful and worrying. To add to the anxiety factor, epilepsy is the most common neurological condition in dogs.
This reality has led to the investigation into natural options to help the normal nervous system function and slow down seizure activity in the brain. The benefits of CBD for dogs are vast, but can it affect brain activity?
This article takes a look at how CBD dog treats can help dogs with seizures and epilepsy and covers some use and dosage recommendations for pet owners.
Do CBD Dog Treats Help With Seizures?
Yes, the great news is that there is finally research confirming that CBD can help your pet and reduce their seizure frequency. The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is currently funding a clinical trial on the “Efficacy of Cannabidiol for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy.”
The AKC Epilepsy Research Initiative works to understand the condition of seizures better. With their cannabidiol CBD clinical trial, the goal is to determine if medical professionals and dog owners can use CBD to treat seizure frequency.
Participants have stated the positive findings – a “potential to improve the quality and length of life for dogs with uncontrolled epilepsy and add a much-needed tool for veterinarians in the treatment of canine epilepsy.”
Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University, is the leading researcher on the current study. In her experience, over 30% of dogs on standard antiepileptic drugs (phenobarbital, potassium bromide) continue to suffer and are experiencing harsh side effects.
So far, Dr. McGrath has described the trial as “promising” and “exciting.” During a pilot study with sixteen dogs with seizures, McGrath found that 89% of canines who received CBD oil had a reduction in seizure frequency. “It’s really exciting that perhaps we can start looking at CBD in the future as an alternative to existing anticonvulsive drugs,” McGrath said.
Are CBD Treats Safe for Dogs With Seizures?
Yes, CBD treats are safe for dogs with seizures. A study that investigated the safety of CBD in 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. Similarly, based on the World Health Organization report on cannabidiol, “CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile.”
Simply put, since pet CBD treats from hemp contain little to no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), your dog cannot get high, but instead, it will enjoy the therapeutic and health benefits of CBD dog treats.
Plus, when giving your dog CBD treats instead of CBD tinctures, it does not even feel like medicating your dog – it is like rewarding your pup for being such a good boy or girl.
Best CBD Dog Treats For Seizures
Honest Paws was launched by pet owners for pet owners. Therefore, the Honest Paws Wellness Bites are our pick as the best CBD dog treats for seizures. But, do not take our word for it – let’s take a closer look at each ingredient and explain the science behind the choice:
- Organic full-spectrum hemp oil – all our organic full-spectrum hemp oils are free of GMOs, soy, corn, and other contaminants and rich in health-boosting cannabinoids. They are also third-party tested for purity and potency.
- Organic barley – also grown here in the US, organic barley can help your pet with digestion and keep it regular. Now, do not forget the poop bags on your walk!
- Organic oats – our palate-cleansing whole grain oats are grown right here in the US and may help with inflammation. Inflammation, or better said, neuroinflammation is an important aspect of seizures.
- Organic peanut butter – made from peanuts grown here in the US, our human-grade and creamy peanut butter definitely amps up the flavor in our bites. Plus, formulated exclusively for pets, it is xylitol-free.
- Organic coconut – added in the form of organic coconut shavings, coconut oil can help reduce seizures in dogs. The exact anti-epileptic mechanism is unknown but confirmed by various studies.
As you can see, we use only the best CBD oil from organic, Colorado-grown hemp and high-quality, 100% natural ingredients to make our creamy coconut-flavored bites. They are non-GMO and contain no gluten, no dairy, no soy, or other contaminants.
In simpler terms, our Wellness CBD bites check all boxes for quality, safety, efficacy, and dog-friendly flavor.
How do CBD Treats for Dog Seizures Work?
CBD for dogs with seizures works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a complex regulatory system made from endocannabinoids, endocannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2 receptors), and enzymes.
This endocannabinoid system balances many vital functions in the body, including neurological actions. CBD may affect the CB1 receptors in your pet’s brain to calm overactive neurons, thereby normalizing the brain activity and preventing seizures.
Studies show that CBD decreases both the frequency and severity of seizures and is associated with fewer side effects than conventional treatments for dogs.
How Many CBD Treats do I Give My Dog for Seizures?
How many CBD treats your dog needs for seizure management depends on its weight and the amount of CBD per treat. A general guideline falls within the range of 1-5 mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight.
The CBD dosage instructions for our Honest Paws full-spectrum CBD Bites and Chews are as follows:
- Dogs less than 25 lbs: 1 x 5mg treat per day
- Dogs between 25 and 50 lbs: 2 x 5mg treats per day
- Dogs over 50 lbs: 3 x 5mg chews per day
Dogs with seizures usually benefit from a larger quantity of CBD and need a more potent dose. Studies on using CBD for dogs with seizures generally suggest dosing your dog twice a day.
CBD Side Effects and Safety Concerns for Dogs with Seizures
CBD (cannabidiol) is a natural option and has very few side effects when compared to traditional seizure medications. Dogs with sensitive tummies may experience some diarrhea, but this is temporary and will subside by lowering the dosage. To avoid diarrhea in the first place, we recommend adding the hemp plant oil slowly so your pup can adjust to the supplement.
Another possible side effect is low blood pressure, which can result in nausea or lethargy. Let your pet sleep these effects off, and they will feel ready to run around after a few hours. A dry mouth and increased thirst are also common side effects, so make sure your pet has plenty of water.
While a high dose of CBD oil may affect your dog in the abovementioned ways, you can be comfortable knowing that dogs cannot overdose on CBD. So even if your pet finds its way into the bag of CBD dog treats, a bout of diarrhea and a long nap are your only concerns.
We strongly recommend talking to your veterinarian or vet neurologist before starting your dog on CBD products. CBD can interact with certain prescription medications, thus warranting your vet’s approval to use.
Finding the Right CBD Treats for Your Dog
Buying CBD product after product to find the perfect solution for your pet’s seizures can be expensive and disheartening. We want you to get it right the first time.
Shopping for high-quality CBD treats can be overwhelming. So, how do you tell the good products from the bad? Here are a few things to look out for when it comes to buying CBD dog treats for seizures:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil. Full-spectrum hemp is full of active cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes, while broad-spectrum CBD and CBD isolates contain fewer active compounds. These additional ingredients have more potent health-boosting properties when used together.
- THC-free CBD products. Hemp contains lots of cannabinoids, 0.3% or less THC, and is legal in all U.S. States. On the other hand, marijuana is poor in cannabinoids, loaded with THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and toxic to pets. Therefore, pet CBD treats must be made from the hemp variant of the cannabis plant.
- Whole hemp extract. Ensure that hemp seed oil is not the only hemp product in dog treats. While the hemp seeds are beneficial, they do not contain CBD and will not have the same therapeutic qualities as hemp CBD oil extracted from the hemp plant’s flowering heads, leaves, and stalks.
- Organic from farm to bowl. Organic farming practices keep GMOs out of their crops; they cultivate healthy soil without pesticides and harmful chemicals. The result is high-quality products with supreme efficacy. The CBD dog treats are kinder to your sensitive dog’s tummy when made of natural ingredients and excluding common fillers and allergens like soy, gluten, and dairy.
- Certificate of Analysis (COA). CBD companies that you can trust have sent their products to be tested by third-party labs. They then receive reports called a Certificate of Analysis. These reports display the actual contents of the CBD supplements. An honest brand will be transparent and should show you these lab results upon request.
- Ethical and reputable CBD brand. An A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau speaks volumes to the brand’s ethical practices. Do your research so that you can be confident that you are giving your pup the very best. Do not be swayed by appealing price points, but go with an appropriate pricing category without compromising high quality.
Dog Seizures: Signs & Symptoms
There are many reasons why your pet may be spasming, but if your dog is experiencing seizures regularly, then they may have a form of epilepsy. First off, let’s start by defining these two terms:
- A seizure is a sudden and involuntary electrical impulse that takes place in the brain. These episodes can last a few seconds or several nail-biting minutes.
- Epilepsy is a term used to describe neurological disorders characterized by accented seizure frequency.
There are several types of seizures, including:
- Generalized seizures or grand mal seizures – are the most common types of seizures in dogs. The disturbance occurs in all parts of the brain. Grand mal seizures can look like involuntary twitching in all limbs and may include loss of consciousness.
- Focal or partial seizures – affect one section of the brain, resulting in seizure activity in a single area of the dog’s body. Pets may remain conscious during a focal seizure which can be distressing for the animal.
- Psychomotor seizures – make the pet behave strangely and exhibit unusual movements or actions, like biting the air or chasing unseen objects. Psychomotor seizures can be challenging to detect, but the regular occurrence of the same strange behavior patterns can confirm the diagnosis.
- Idiopathic Epilepsy – structural brain lesions often characterize idiopathic epilepsy. While many believe that it is genetic, the seizure cause is usually unidentified.
As with idiopathic epilepsy in dogs, seizures often have unknown causes. Here are some of the causes behind frequent seizing:
- Genetic disorders
- Poison toxicity
- Head trauma or strokes
- Brain inflammations, infections, or tumors
- Kidney or liver disease
- Low or high blood sugar
While experiencing a seizure episode, dogs show a combination of symptoms such as collapse, shaky eye movements, clenched jaw, incontinence, kicking limbs, whining, barking, twitching, and dilated pupils.
Our Final Thoughts on CBD Dog Treats for Seizures
Is your dog feeling shaky? Try some CBD dog treats. The effects of CBD for dogs with seizures are promising. The hemp plant compounds offer a natural alternative that is even getting veterinarians excited.
CBD dog treats are a great way to introduce hemp oil to your dog. They are tasty, convenient, and full of natural ingredients that will get your pup’s tail wagging. With one CBD treat at a time, those shaky days may become a thing of the past.