Dosing your dog with CBD oil may be done with some trepidation, especially if you are concerned about the side effects CBD oil may have on your dog.
Studies show that “hemp-based CBD appears to be relatively safe in healthy populations of dogs and cats.” However, as a responsible pet owner, you should always err on the side of caution.
In this article, we will talk about potential side effects of CBD oil in dogs. To ensure a positive encounter with dog CBD oil use, we will also provide tips on minimizing the adverse effects.
CBD Oil Safety Concerns for Dogs: What is CBD?
Let’s start with what CBD is and all the good you can expect from giving your dog CBD oil products.
CBD stands for cannabidiol, and manufacturers extract it from the hemp cannabis plant. The cannabis plant contains cannabidiol and other cannabinoids, as well as flavonoids, terpenes, and fatty acids.
The cannabinoids bind with endocannabinoid receptors and encourage the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to operate at a more efficient level. The ECS is a regulatory system maintaining a state of balance by regulating various functions like metabolism, inflammation, pain, appetite, sleep, mood, memory, etc.
Here is a short overview of the benefits of CBD oil:
- CBD for arthritis in dogs reduces joint pain and has strong anti-inflammatory properties, thus supporting mobility.
- CBD for dog allergies alleviates the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and helps with seasonal allergies.
- CBD for epilepsy in dogs decreases the seizure frequency and severity and increases the efficacy of conventional anti-epileptic drugs.
- CBD for dog cancer inhibits the reproduction of cancerous cells, thus exhibiting tumor-shrinking features and increasing survival rates.
- CBD oil for anxiety in dogs relieves stress and anxiety, manages noise phobias, and improves sleep.
- CBD for hyperactivity balances the dog’s mood and emotional wellbeing and promotes calmness and relaxation.
- CBD for glaucoma in dogs lowers the intraocular pressure and protects the eye cells from damage.
Can Dogs Have Bad Reactions to CBD?
However, some pets are sensitive and can display mild adverse reactions to CBD. As with any other drug or supplement, it is recommended you talk with your trusted veterinarian before adding CBD to your pet’s healthcare regimen.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Plus, even if the dog develops side effects, they are mild, short-lasting, and usually resolve within a day or two. A simple CBD dosage modification is enough to manage the potential side effects.
If you and your dog are new to the CBD health trend, look out for these symptoms and help your dog overcome them.
Dry mouth: CBD can lead to a decrease in the production of saliva. This typically presents itself as an increased thirst in your pet.
Ensure that your dog always has access to clean water so that they can slake their thirst as needed.
Diarrhea: When introducing a new food or supplement, dog diarrhea is an expected side effect. The gastrointestinal upset may not be caused by the CBD itself but rather the carrier oil.
Slow CBD introduction and offering the CBD oil at mealtime as opposed to on an empty stomach can help with your dog’s digestive system.
Vomiting: CBD oil has a bitter taste, most dogs are not very fond of. In fact, in some dogs, the bitterness is so repulsive it can cause vomiting.
If your dog cannot handle the CBD oil’s bitter taste, try a flavored product or mix the oil with your dog’s regular meal.
Low Blood Pressure: CBD oil may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure for your dog. The drop is small, but it can create a feeling of lightheadedness in your pup.
Be sure to stay within the recommended dosage range for your dog’s weight whenever offering them CBD. If your dog is experiencing low blood pressure, they will sleep off the effects.
Drowsiness: CBD has calming effects, meaning your dog may seem a little heavy-eyed when first introduced to CBD. This can be a desired effect when dealing with anxiety or hyper dog.
However, if your dog nods off and naps the rest of the day, chances are it needs a lower CBD dosage.
Inhibited Liver Enzymes: CBD can interfere with the production of certain liver enzymes for your dog. Considering many over-the-counter and prescription medications are metabolized in the liver, it is safe to assume that CBD can interact with these meds.
Risks of Using CBD Oil for Dogs
To avoid the potential side effects and ensure a safe and health-boosting CBD experience for your pet, make sure you chose a high-quality CBD product. Here are some other safety considerations.
- Consulting with your trusted vet. As mentioned, CBD can interfere with your dog’s ability to metabolize certain medications. Therefore, before using CBD oil or dog treats, make sure there is no risk of interactions.
- Using the right CBD dosage. The general rule of thumb is that dogs can handle between 1 and 5 milligrams of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight a day. The correct CBD dosage for dogs depends on several factors, including age, breed, overall health, and underlying ailment (check our CBD oil for dogs dose calculator).
- Gradual CBD introduction. It is recommended to start with a small CBD amount (usually half the recommended dose) and gradually increase it while allowing your dog’s body to adjust to the new CBD supplement.
What Happens if I Give My Dog too Much CBD Oil?
A recent study by the Frontiers of Veterinary Science was performed to determine the safety of high doses of CBD in dogs. Based on the results, “CBD has shown to be well-tolerated at doses ranging from 2 to 2.5 mg/kg twice daily for 4 or 12 weeks to 5 or 10 mg/kg twice daily for six weeks.”
Worst-case scenario, if you overfeed your dog on CBD oil, your pet will sleep off the effects and probably feel the urge for more frequent toilet breaks.
How Long do the Effects of CBD Oil Last in a Dog?
Usually, CBD oil stays in the dog’s system for about 24 hours. However, as the amount of CBD in the body decreases, its effects are slowly wearing off.
Therefore, depending on your dog (age, breed, activity level) and the reason for using CBD, you may need to consider administrating CBD twice per day.
What to Look for When Buying CBD Oil for Your Dog
Just because some product has a “CBD for dogs” label does not mean it is a quality product. Since not all CBD products are created equally, and a high-quality CBD oil is also less likely to trigger side effects in your dog, it is important you know the few must-haves for selecting the best CBD oil for dogs.
- Organic Farming Practices. CBD you buy should be 100% natural and organic, human-grade, and free from ingredients with questionable quality (GMO, soy, dairy, gluten).
- Full Spectrum is Best! CBD oils come in isolate oil, broad and full spectrum. While all options are healthy, a full spectrum CBD for dogs contains additional flavonoids, terpenes, omega fatty acids, and other beneficial cannabinoids.
- THC-free oil. The oil must come from hemp plants and not marijuana plants to ensure less than 0.3% THC content. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive and toxic compound causing life-threatening “brain fog.”
- CBD hemp oil. The oil must be extracted from the whole hemp plant (leaves, flowers, stalks) using CO2 extraction methods. Hemp seed oil boosts skin and coat health but does not contain cannabinoids.
- Reputable CBD brand. Check the CBD product’s Certificate of Analysis (as proof of its chemical makeup) and read the CBD for dogs reviews on the manufacturer’s website before making a purchase.
Our Final Thoughts: Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
Introducing CBD to your pet’s wellness routine can be an exciting process. Take care by choosing a trustworthy brand, learning the correct CBD dosage for dogs, and using the CBD supplement according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Honest Paws CBD for pets provides you with CBD products that tick all right boxes in safety, certification, and quality. And remember, the risk of side effects decreases as the quality of the CBD product increases.