With the legalization of hemp-derived CBD in all 50 states across the US, it’s not uncommon to hear all manner of claims about the newly popular drug. From being a miracle wonder drug – a solution to virtually any illness your dog may have to be amazing at relieving pain, the claims related to CBD for dogs are widespread and varied.
The truth of the matter, though, is that there really isn’t all that much to figure out. All you need to know is the how and the why.
How does CBD for Dogs Work?
Just like all mammals, dogs have a complex system of neurotransmitters and receptors spread throughout the body and referred to as the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The functions of the ECS include regulating hunger, sleep, and pain.
CBD is able to bind with various parts of the ECS and offer benefits like pain relief, improve heart health and help your let sleep better.
What Benefits does CBD have on Dogs?
CBD has been shown to have a number of positive effects on dogs so far. The most prevalent are:
- Pain relief: It can be used on animals with a history of experiencing pain as a result of other diseases or, for instance, after surgery.
- For anxiety: Dogs can get anxiety due to loud noises, trauma or a natural predisposition to it. CBD helps to keep them call at such times.
- Better sleep: CBD helps the body to regulate the natural sleep and wakefulness cycle that may be messed up within senior dogs, for example.
- Appetite and nausea: Due to illness or eating something unsafe, dogs may end up vomiting all over or feeling nauseous. CBD oils for dogs helps to prevent such symptoms from manifesting.
- Anti-inflammatory: Dogs that take CBD can benefit from it’s anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This is such that it can control symptoms of diseases like arthritis.
How is CBD Administered?
In dogs, the most common way of administering CBD is orally. This is usually done in conjunction with other medicine, of which there is evidence to suggest that CBD helps them to be active faster.
Anyone with a pet will tell you just how difficult it is to get your dog to take a pill unless it has specifically been trained to do so. That’s why CBD also comes in the form of treats since it’s not the tastiest thing in the world, to begin with.
Alternatively, it can be found in the form of a powder that can be added to drinking water or when cooking food for your dog.
How Much CBD Should You Give Your Pet?
No drug is going to be good for you if you have too much of it, no matter how beneficial it may be. Giving your dog the correct dosage of CBD is imperative.
The catch here is that unlike with humans, there isn’t a formula for how much CBD is going to be just enough and how much is going to be too much for your pet. The dosage you administer is going to depend on the weight of the dog and its age, primarily.
Since it might be difficult to estimate exactly how much is going to be enough, it’s best to start small and go up from there. If the minimum dose you’ve given them doesn’t seem to have any effect, add a little more until you find that sweet spot.
Are there any potential risks?
Like any medication out there, there exists such a thing as ‘too much.’ It’s pretty difficult to overdose on CBD, and even then, the symptoms aren’t usually too severe, but different dogs handle it in different ways. Symptoms might include drowsiness, nausea, confusion, fatigue, and anxiety.
The most significant risk when it comes to CBD for dogs, however, is the presence of THC. Since the two compounds are usually extracted together before purification, there’s a chance the brand you’re giving your dog contains too much of it.
THC is much more severe in dogs than humans and a lot less predictable. It might cause episodes of restlessness, extended sleep or a complete lack of appetite. If you suspect an overdose, see the vet as soon as possible.