Is CBD Safe For Dogs? Veterinary guidelines for administering CBD to your dog

  • CBD seems safe for dogs, but there are only a handful of studies.
  • The administration of CBD can help your dog cope with pain, anxiety, or seizures.
  • It’s important to only give your dog CBD products that are designed for pets.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in hemp that can have benefits for your dog, such as: B. reducing seizures, relieving arthritis pain, and reducing anxiety.

Short-term studies seem to show that CBD is safe for dogs, with only minor side effects, but less is known about how it can affect dogs in the long term.
Here’s what you need to know about how CBD can help your dog and the safest ways to use it.

Is CBD okay for dogs?

Many experts agree that CBD appears to be safe for dogs, but unfortunately there are only a handful of veterinary studies that have so far reported its safety, says Lara Sypniewski, DVM, professor of small animal medicine at Oklahoma State University.

For example, in a small 2019 study, researchers tested how dogs would respond to a 12-week CBD supplement given twice a day. For each dose, the dogs received 2 milligrams (mg) of CBD per kilogram of body weight, which means a 13.6 kilogram dog would receive around 27 mg of CBD.

Throughout the study, the researchers ran blood tests to monitor whether the dogs had any harmful side effects. The results showed that dogs did not show any negative reactions, suggesting that this dose of CBD is safe for dogs.


However, at higher doses, CBD can pose a greater risk to dogs. In a 2018 study, researchers gave dogs a daily dose of either 10 mg / kg or 20 mg / kg of CBD. In other words, a 13.6 kg dog would be receiving either 136 mg or 272 mg per day.

In this higher dose study, all dogs had mild diarrhea. About a third of the dogs also had elevated levels of certain liver enzymes, but none of the dogs had serious reactions such as liver failure.

Types of CBD for Dogs

There are many different types of CBD products that you can use on your dog, including:

  • Oil tinctures
  • CBD-infused dog treats
  • Capsules
  • CBD infused skin cream

Because CBD molecules dissolve in fat, oils or greasy treats like peanut butter-based treats may work better for your dog than other forms of CBD like dry capsules.

“CBD incorporated into a fatty substance shows the most efficient and consistent absorption,” says Stephanie McGrath, DVM, professor of veterinary neurology at Colorado State University.

It may take some trial and error to see what type of CBD your dog can tolerate. Some dogs may not mind swallowing CBD oil, while others may need to be tried with treats.

Guidelines for Administering CBD to Your Dog

  • Give your dog CBD at breakfast or dinner. “CBD is better absorbed when given with a meal, so it should be taken with meals to maximize absorption,” said Joseph Wakshlag DVM, professor of veterinary medicine at Cornell University.
  • Products labeled “full spectrum hemp” may be more effective. “CBD-rich hemp is likely better than CBD alone,” says Wakshlag, adding, “If you provide the full hemp extract, you may need less overall CBD in the mix to get a clinical effect.”
  • Always get CBD products made specifically for dogs. If you’re a CBD connoisseur too, do your dog a favor and don’t share your CBD goodies with them. “Human products can contain additives like xylitol or caffeine that can be toxic to your pet,” warns Sypniewski.
  • Follow the dosage on the label: Determining the right dose of CBD for your dog will depend on your dog’s weight – larger dogs generally need higher doses to be effective. But the exact doses that will work best for each disease are still being worked out, says Wakshlag. Start with a very low dose, says McGrath, and increase the dose slowly, looking for any reactions.

What does CBD do in dogs?

Research into CBD in both dogs and humans is still growing, but there is promising evidence that CBD can help with several different conditions in your canine companion.

“CBD appears to have analgesic (pain relief), anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety and anticonvulsant effects,” says Sypniewski.

Some of the science-based uses of CBD in dogs include:

  • Relief from pain. Several studies have shown that CBD can help reduce pain in dogs with arthritis. Although most of the research focuses specifically on arthritis, Sypniewski says that CBD can help with other chronic pain conditions as well.
  • Reduce seizures in dogs with epilepsy. Early studies show that dogs have significantly fewer seizures when CBD is combined with standard treatments for seizure disorders.
  • Reducing anxiety. While there aren’t any formal studies, many dog ​​owners and veterinarians claim that CBD can help reduce anxiety in nervous dogs. This can be helpful in stressful situations such as thunderstorms, car trips or visits to the vet.

It takes about half an hour for CBD to set in, and your dog should feel the effects for about four to six hours, However, this depends heavily on your individual dog’s metabolism.

The CBD compound is believed to work on the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which helps keep many of your dog’s body functions in balance. “The job of the ECS is to relax, eat, sleep, forget and protect,” says Sypniewski.

More specifically, CBD can help with pain by dampening the effects of pain signals on receptors in your dog’s brain, says Wakshlag. “It can also have an activity on the serotonin receptor in the brain for general well-being,” says Wakshlag.

Possible side effects and risks of CBD for dogs

The side effects of CBD are believed to be similar in humans and dogs. Some of the possible side effects are:

  • sleepiness
  • Dry mouth, which in dogs may appear as increased thirst
  • Low blood pressure or drowsiness

There is no evidence that CBD can have any short-term effects health Risks, but less is known about the long-term effects on dogs. The main concern is that CBD can increase dogs’ liver enzymes, which could potentially damage your dog’s liver over time. Sypniewski advises talking to your veterinarian about any testing your dog may need before starting CBD, especially if your dog is on medications that affect liver function.

CBD can also interact with certain drugs, such as blood thinners, heart rhythm drugs, anti-epileptic drugs, and thyroid medications. So ask your veterinarian about other medications your dog is taking.

Note: Never give your dogs products that contain THC, another cannabis compound. THC is toxic to dogs and can cause side effects such as vomiting, low heart rate, and body tremors.

Insider tips

CBD has shown promising results in treating conditions such as pain, seizures, and anxiety in dogs with relatively few side effects. It seems safe for dogs in the short term, but it’s best to speak to your veterinarian if you want to use it on a chronic condition.

“It never hurts to spend some time with your vet discussing your pet’s problems and working together to develop an effective treatment plan,” says Sypniewski.

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