Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoids found in weed. Not only has CBD been used to create epilepsy medication, but it’s also used for a ton of different ailments. Most of us know CBD for human use but people have been opting to give this trendy product to their pets. If you have a dog, you may be wondering about the benefits of CBD for dogs. Is it safe? How much do I give them? We answer your most pressing questions below and tell you how to treat your dog’s anxiety with CBD.

Photo: Unsplash

Is CBD Safe For Dogs?

We all want to do what is best for our pets and so there is no way we’d want something that could harm them. CBD is seen as pretty safe for people but that doesn’t mean it’s automatically safe for pets. 

What we do know is that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD for pets. However, they did say they weren’t aware of any adverse events related to cannabis products. The FDA says, “the agency is aware of reports of pets consuming various forms of cannabis, to date, FDA has not directly received any reports of adverse events associated with animals given cannabis products”.

Mark Verdino, MD, senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America explains in HuffPost that he gives his dog CBD. The article went on to say that it’s best to discuss your dog’s specific issue with their vet and listen to what they have to say. However, it seems as if CBD is safe for dogs to use. 

What Does CBD Do For Dogs?

CBD can provide a ton of benefits for dogs. For example, Dr. Verdino uses CBD so that his senior dog can relax at night. He said, “At night time when the lights are dimmed down, it’s dark out, they don’t see it well in the dark, and he gets a little spooked. And when I give him the CBD, he seems to just go to sleep.”

There are other possible benefits for dogs. According to American Kennel Club’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein outlined a couple of other benefits, CBD may be able to treat:

  • Seizures 
  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Cancer (possibly)
  • Anxiety
  • Low appetite

CBD is also said to be anti-inflammatory as well as be beneficial to cardiac health. 

Scientific Studies About CBD and Dogs 

The American Kennel Club admits there are no formal, however, there are anecdotal studies.

According to a study, CBD was found to be helpful in the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA). The study concluded that “2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA”. Eighty percent of the dogs in the study had a reduction in pain and improvement in their ability to move around. There were also no recorded side effects. 

How Much CBD for Dog with Anxiety?

As mentioned before CBD has anti-anxiety benefits. CBD comes in many different forms. You can opt to give your pup CBD oil, biscuits. The American Kennel Club recommends CBD oil. Whichever one you choose, dosage is pretty important. According to Canine Journal, this is what you have to consider:

  • The potency of the CBD in the product
  • The dog’s size and weight
  • The dog’s ailment

The Potency of the CBD in the Product

Be careful to read the label of whatever CBD product you purchased to find out how potent it is. Canine Journal suggests 75mg for small dogs and 300mg and above for large dogs. It should be noted that CBD is generally believed to be non-toxic for dogs. 

The Dog’s Size and Weight

According to Austin and Kat, a manufacturer that provides CBD for dogs, you give dogs CBD based on their weight. They suggest starting with 1-2mg of CBD for every 10 pounds. Canine Journal echoed a similar sentiment and said “A safe rule of thumb is 0.2mg of CBD per pound. So, if your dog weighs 25 pounds, you’ll give him 5mg of CBD.”

Once you’ve calculated how much CBD your dog, Canine Journal says, “calculate how much oil you should give your dog based on how many milligrams (mg) of CBD is in each milliliter (ml) of oil”.CBD products are produced with varying amounts of CBD in it. Canine Journal provided the following popular formula strengths and how much CBD would be in each ml of the oil:

  • 75mg formula=2.5mg of CBD per ml of oil
  • 150mg formula=5mg of CBD per ml of oil
  • 300mg formula=10mg of CBD per ml of oil
  • 600mg formula=20mg of CBD per ml of oil

Therefore if your dog weighs 20 pounds, the amount of CBD you’ll give him is (0.2 x 25) 5mg of CBD. If you get the 75mg formula then you’ll give them 2ml of that. That’s because 2.5 mg of CBD is found in each ml and since you need 5mg of CBD you’ll need 2ml. 

The Dog’s Ailment

If your dog doesn’t have a medical condition and you want to give them CBD for general well-being, you can give them less. In addition to that, Canine Journal says, ”Consider your dog’s other health conditions that may affect his ability to react to or metabolize CBD, i.e., liver or kidney problems.”

Tips for Buying CBD For Anxiety

If you’re looking to give your dog CBD to manage their anxieties, here is what you should bear in mind. 

  • Be wary of THC – While THC can provide humans with feelings of euphoria, it should be kept away from dogs The American Kennel Club says, “You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.” They suggest getting a certificate from the manufacturer to verify the amount of CBD. 
  • Buy CBD Products Made for Dogs – Dr. Verdino suggests buying CBD products made specifically for your furball instead of one made for humans. The reasoning behind this is that the manufacturer could use xylitol to sweeten the product. Xylitol is toxic to animals. 
  • Get an Organic Product – According to the American Kennel Club, organic products would rule out the possibility of getting a product with pesticides, fungicides and solvents. The Chicago Tribune says, “CBD that is organic and free from pesticides and not to go for the cheap stuff, as the higher the quality and purity the higher the cost will be.”

Conclusion

While there isn’t much scientific evidence about how CBD interacts with dogs, it seems to be pretty safe. CBD is non-toxic and pet owners have been trusting it to help relieve some of their pet’s ailments such as anxiety. We suggest having a chat with your vet about it first.