CBD Oil for Dogs: Why use Hemp for pain, anxiety, seizures, old age & more!
Little Jack the Boston terrier is scared of being left home alone...
He misses his family, gets quite anxious, and worried - maybe CBD oil for dogs will help him to relax? Let's find out!
This example of separation anxiety is a common problem for dogs and can result in you being upset too when you come home to a chewed up chair, scratched door or complaints from neighbors your dog has been howling and barking while you’ve been away.
We have spent a lot of time researching ways to help dog health issues and prepared this very long article to help explain the details around using CBD oils for dogs. We hope to give you all the information you need to make an informed decision about whether CBD oil is right for your dog.
Table of Contents
- What is CBD oil?
- What can CBD do for my dog?
- Is CBD safe for dogs?
- How much CBD oil should I give my dog?
- Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
- Can humans take dog CBD oil?
- Is it legal to give my dog CBD oil?
- Will CBD oil fix seizures in dogs?
- Is CBD oil good for old dogs?
- Does CBD oil work for dogs with arthritis?
- Does CBD oil work for dogs with Cancer?
- Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate, which CBD oil is best for dogs?
How do we know about CBD for dogs?
We are Chris and Monica - a husband and wife team who love animals.
We own and work at our mobile dog grooming business. Monica is a Registered Veterinary Technician and Chris manages the business and financial side of things. We have our own 2 family dogs - Biscuit and Gravy who are both rescue dogs.
As dog groomers, we were constantly being asked about CBD for dogs by our customers - they were interested to try CBD oil drops, shampoos, etc... so we decided to learn more. We tried a few products ourselves...
Then, we worked with a chemist to develop a broad spectrum organic CBD oil. We tried oil drops on ourselves first, then on own dog Biscuit, who has arthritis and joint pain. The results were great!
What is CBD Oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) is one of the many natural cannabinoids found in the hemp plant. The hemp plant is a variety of the Cannabis Sativa plant species. Industrial hemp has lower concentrations of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and higher concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD), which decreases or eliminates its psychoactive effects. Relievet CBD oil products are derived from the industrial hemp plant* (which contains less than 0.3% THC).
Scientists know that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems of people and animals, which help maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.
CBD is not psychoactive, unlike THC which is. It can impact an individual’s psyche in positive ways. It’s apparent that CBD is a powerful mood-altering compound with potentially significant therapeutic properties. In short, your dog won’t get “high” from CBD oil but he may be relaxed without being intoxicated.
Limited pre-clinical research indicates that CBD may have potent anti-tumoral, antioxidant, antispasmodic, antipsychotic, anti-convulsive, and neuroprotective properties. CBD is believed to activate serotonin receptors, potentially causing an anti-anxiety effect, as well.
Thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill It is likely that clinical research/trials about CBD’s uses and efficacy will increase over the next few years.
What is the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)?
Animals, similar to humans have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) which monitors a wide range of bodily functions. When these functions become unbalanced the ECS triggers a chemical response to return them to normal.
Naturally occurring, non-toxic CBD is similar in molecular structure to your animals own endocannabinoids and can stimulate your pets ECS encouraging it to keep bodily functions in balance.
The ECS regulates many of your pets bodily functions, some of which include:
Immune Response, Appetite, Metabolism, Sleep, Memory, Pleasure, Movement and Coordination.
Read our other article about the Endocannabinoid System (ECS)
What can CBD do for my dog?
CBD may compensate for deficiencies in your dog’s health by supplementing the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to optimise a healthy mind and body. Dogs and CBD oil are a match made in heaven.
Many people who have used it say that they have found it to be particularly beneficial without any negative side effects. Our Relievet CBD oil for pets is also non psychoactive as it doesn’t contain any THC (the psychoactive compound in marijuana).
CBD oil is thought to benefit those who suffer from:
- Pain (from arthritis, joint/mobility issues)
- Inflammation/skin problems
- Anxiety /stress
- Sleep problems
- Digestive issues
CBD may be able to help to relieve certain medical conditions and improve the health and quality of life for many. We recommend you try our Relievet CBD products for dogs.
You want to find organic CBD (hemp) oil in the products with no dangerous additives. We believe the best CBD oil for dogs are independently lab tested to ensure quality, purity, and consistency.
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
CBD can be safe for dogs, but some products are safer than others. Many CBD products for pets also contain THC, which at high doses causes toxicity in dogs. (Research)
CBD has been used for many years as a natural alternative to pharmaceuticals and can take the ’edge off’ when your pet is feeling pain, anxiety or fear.
Monica tested CBD oil on herself first and then tried it on her own dogs. The older dog, who has joint pain following a broken bone that happened when still a pup, appeared more at ease and could run around fine. The younger dog (only 2 years old,) gets upset and scared when he hears loud noises like fire engines sirens, so she tried adding CBD to his daily regime and that worked well - he was more relaxed when he heard loud noises.
Is it legal to give my dog CBD oil?
Yes it is legal to give CBD oil to dogs, now that the Farm Bill was passed in December 2018. See note above*. There are many potential benefits of CBD oil for dogs, including pain relief.
Use Broad Spectrum CBD Oil for Dogs
The CBD oil for dogs we created uses a broad spectrum CBD oil, which contains no THC, but does contain many other potentially beneficial cannabinoids.
There are a lot of inferior CBD products being sold, some are derived from marijuana (unlike legal industrial hemp) and some contain no CBD at all. Independently lab tested products will show exactly what compounds they contain.
Dose Liquid CBD Without a Glass Dropper
Some products marketed for pets contain glass droppers and recommend that the cbd drops be placed directly in the pets mouth. Putting glass in your pets mouth could be a hazard, we chose to use a plastic oral syringe, which is specifically designed for dosing liquids safely.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Pending research on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, here are potential side effects based on how CBD affects some humans.
- Dry mouth: Research shows that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
- Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD known to cause a temporary small drop in blood pressure. which might make you feel light-headed.
- Drowsiness: The calming effect of CBD may also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
Note: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD and has not issued a dosing chart. Therefore, we do not know what size dosage would be toxic. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction. It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. Always check with your veterinarian first.
Can humans take dog CBD oil?
No - it is really not appropriate for products designed for dogs to be taken by people for various reasons, such as dosage and the directions / warnings on the product label should always be followed.
While it may not be harmful, it is better for people to use CBD products that are developed specially for humans. Consult your doctor.
How much CBD oil should I give my dog?
See our CBD oil dosage chart and decide based on size and condition.
The right amount of CBD oil for dogs varies with the size and condition of the dog. The dose of CBD oil suitable for anxiety in dogs is less than the dose required to treat chronic pain.
Use this step-by-step dosing guide to see our recommendations. Please don’t ever exceed the recommended dosage.
Oil is the Most Effective Delivery Method
Oil is the most effective delivery method and is dropped directly under their tongue. It is far better than dosing with CBD dog treats which may seem easier to manager. The reason is that using an oil is said to be more effective.
Raw CBD oil tastes bitter, our Relievet CBD oil for pets uses an odorless broad spectrum CBD oil in an MCT carrier oil derived from coconuts to make it more palatable and enabling us to create a range of oils suitable for dogs of various weights. We recommend you dose directly under the tongue every time.
Can I give too much CBD oil to dogs?
No, it is unlikely. Follow our recommended dosage chart and you will find the range of options depending on dog's conditions.
We recommend you start your dog off slowly and observe the effects before decreasing or increasing the dosage slightly, but never exceeding the recommended amount. If your dog does accidentally consume too much CBD, consult your vet as you would for any excessive consumption issue.
How long does it take for CBD oil to work on dogs?
Typically, it will take 20 - 30 minutes for CBD oil to start to calm your dog for anxiety problems. For pain, it may take longer to start to work. Chronic and more serious issues tend to take longer (up to a couple of days) for the body to reset and then be kept in a normal healthy state.
What’s the best way to give CBD to animals?
For our CBD oil, a few drops can be administered directly in the mouth (either under the tongue or in the cheeks) using the oral syringe we provide. This is the way we would recommend as you are sure of the amount taken and there is no glass near your pet’s mouth.
Alternately, you can add to water or a food bowl. This is less effective as the dog may not drink / eat all of the contents so the amount may not be enough to take effect.
There are some CBD dog treats too but be careful that you know the percentage of CBD in them. It is common to lose track of how many treats you have given your dog.
Will CBD oil fix seizures in dogs?
It is too early to say for sure, but research is currently being conducted for the use of CBD to treat seizures in dogs. A CBD drug was recently approved by the FDA to treat seizures in humans.
The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is currently sponsoring a study, through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, to evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific data on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.
Is CBD oil good for dogs with old age?
Yes, as it can provide pain relief and may act as an anti-inflammatory.
Using CBD oil for diarrhea can be worth trying for older dogs with digestive issues. In Monica’s mobile dog grooming business she experiences older dogs on a regular basis. One customer with two older dogs has been using Relievet CBD oil for pets for a month, told us about her dog's increase in energy and comfort in mobility.
Does CBD oil work for dogs with arthritis?
CBD oil for dogs with arthritis is believed to work well.
It can ease inflammation and pain associated with arthritis enabling them to move around more easily. CBD oil can also be helpful for other joint and mobility issues for pets. This pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with Osteoarthritis. (Research)
Does CBD oil work for dogs with Cancer?
No, there is little or no evidence to suggest that CBD cures cancer, but it is very possible that it may help with symptoms and pain associated with cancer.
We had a family dog who sadly passed away a few years ago at the good old age of 16 years - he had prostate cancer and was in some pain and discomfort in his last few weeks. We gave him the medicines and painkillers as prescribed by our fantastic vet, who we trusted 100% to do the best for our much loved dog and I am confident that she did do her very best at that time.
The painkillers did have some unwanted side effects...
When I reflect back, I wonder if our product Relievet CBD oil for dogs had been available at that time, would it have helped too? I certainly would have tried the best CBD oil for dog’s. It maybe have eased his pain but maybe not cured the cancer. Maybe the side effects would have been less severe too.
What is the difference between hemp seed oil and CBD oil?
Hemp seed oil vs CBD oil for dogs?:
- Hemp seed oil is made from hemp seeds and contains no CBD.
- CBD hemp oil is extracted from whole industrial hemp plants. The plants used are specially bred to contain high concentrations of naturally occurring cannabidiol (CBD).
The primary difference is the amount of CBD that each contains. Hemp seed oil, although rich in omega acids, contains very low levels of CBD (typically less than 25 parts per million or none at all), while CBD oil can range anywhere from 2% to 99.9% CBD depending on product, purity and source.
Be careful to always check for third party lab testing on a CBD product for pets to ensure it contains CBD.
Full Spectrum, Broad Spectrum and Isolate, which CBD oil is best for dogs?CBD products can be produced using different forms of CBD. To be considered legal under the 2018 farm bill they must be manufactured from industrial hemp and contain less than 0.3% THC. We have outlined the key points for each:
- Broad Spectrum CBD Oil:
- it has 0.0% Psychoactive THC
- It has a broad range of cannabinoids
- it contains very few residual flavors and aromas.
- Full spectrum CBD Oil:
- It has less than 0.3% THC and trace amounts of terpenes.
- Has a full spectrum of cannabinoids
- It can have a smell and taste (bitter)
- CBD Isolate:
- Is a powder
- Contains isolated CBD and no other cannabinoids
An Increase in Calls About Cannabinoid Ingestion Related to THC
As CBD tinctures for pets have become more popular, the “The APCC reports an increase in calls about cannabinoid treat and tincture ingestion, largely in dogs. Many of the dogs who have eaten more treats or more of the tincture than was recommended have shown clinical signs post ingestion, and those signs tend to be very consistent with pets who have had THC overdoses.” Read the full article here.
THC Toxicity for Dogs
We chose to use broad spectrum CBD Oil in our Relievet CBD oil for pets because it contains no THC, but it does contain a broad range of beneficial cannabinoids. We understand the benefits of the entourage effect but also the risks of THC causing toxicity in dogs. We have found that great results can be achieved without the risks associated with THC and pets.
What is the entourage effect?
The entourage effect is a proposed mechanism in which the cannabinoid compounds in cannabis modulate the overall psychoactive effects of the plant (principally THC, the main psychoactive component in cannabis).
Non-psychoactive CBD is believed to be the major modulatory component, reducing some of the negative, psychosis like effects of THC. It is also believed to reduce the loss of memory associated with THC. The idea of the entourage effect is widespread among the cannabis community, it is often based on conjecture and anecdotal evidence. Rigorous scientific research is still lacking.
CBD Buying Tips for Dogs
If you and your veterinarian decide that you should try CBD as a treatment for your dog, keep in mind when purchasing CBD oil that not all products are created equal; you’ll want high-quality CBD oil designed specifically for pets to have a better chance of it working.
- Quality Ingredients - Not all products are created equal. Look for a product with organically cultivated US grown hemp derived CBD oil.
- Lab Results - Look for a company who displays lab results for full transparency and shows you exactly what is (or isn't) in their products.
- Safety - Many CBD for pet products re-brand the same product for humans and pets which include glass droppers. Our Relievet CBD oil for dogs comes with a pet safe plastic oral syringe to ensure safety and dosage accuracy for your pet family.
- Range of Product - Look for a product which fits your pet weight, a product designed for a 5lb pet will be ineffective for a 150 lb Mastiff as they would have to consume very large amounts to receive an effective dose.
Final Summary of our Findings on CBD for Dogs
There have been and will continue to be many cases in which CBD oil has benefited pets, but it is not a magic elixir...
Research is still in the early phases, but is very positive in many cases. The industry is filled with misinformation and ineffective products, so it is important to do your research and buy from a reputable company. Remember to always consult your veterinarian before giving any new product to your pet.