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Getting a puppy can be one of the most wonderful gifts that life can give. It really makes you appreciate things and gives life a new perspective when you get to witness a baby dog taking its first steps into a brand new world. Exploration and adventure around every corner, and a whole bunch of new things to discover. But sometimes being a puppy is a tough job, and you might be wondering if CBD is a viable natural means to help your puppy. Here’s everything you need to know.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp plants. Unlike THC, CBD does not produce a “high” effect. Instead, it has been shown to have various therapeutic benefits for both humans and animals.
CBD interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is responsible for regulating various physiological processes such as mood, appetite, and sleep. The ECS is also involved in regulating pain and inflammation responses.
In puppies, CBD may help to reduce anxiety, relieve pain and inflammation, improve appetite and digestion, and enhance overall well-being. However, it’s important to note that research on the use of CBD in puppies is limited, and further studies are needed to fully understand its effects.
When choosing a CBD product for your puppy, it’s important to look for a high-quality, reputable brand that uses organic hemp and third-party lab testing to ensure purity and potency. It’s also recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as needed, while closely monitoring your puppy for any adverse effects.
Overall, while CBD may offer potential benefits for puppies, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before starting any new supplement or treatment regimen.
Is CBD Safe for Puppies?
As of now there are no formal studies on the use of CBD in puppies, but there are many to support its safe use in dogs and humans for a variety of conditions. A 2018 study found that dogs given 2mg/kg of CBD oil every 12 hours for 4 weeks had no observable side effects while decreasing pain levels (Gamble et al., 2018). And a 2020 study (Vaughn, et al.) found that escalation of doses of CBD had no serious adverse effects with doses as high as ~62mg/kg. It has an extremely good safety profile for dogs, especially in comparison to other medications that might be prescribed by vets.
It’s also worth noting that the only currently FDA approved drug derived from hemp is used to treat rare drug-resistant forms of epilepsy in (human) babies as young as 2 years old.
Relievet does not recommend CBD for use in dogs that are pregnant, lactating, or under 12 weeks old without consultation with your veterinarian.
Evidence suggests CBD is likely safe for puppies, and it may help with some of the common issues that puppies can experience in their developmental stage, but it’s always important to discuss any therapy you’re considering with your veterinarian (including CBD!) to decide whether it’s appropriate for your specific situation.
What Are the Benefits of CBD for Puppies?
While there are no studies specific to using CBD in puppies, there are studies which show the effects that CBD can have in dogs and in humans. In studies CBD is shown to reduce pain in dogs. It also has anti-inflammatory effects that could help in situations where discomfort is occurring as a result of inflammation.
When puppies are teething, their teeth are pushing out of their gums, which can be a very painful process for them. It can cause inflammation and bleeding of the gums, and will often make your puppy want to chew on things for chew on things for relief.
In studies CBD was shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, which may reduce or alleviate some of the discomfort that puppies experience as a result of teething, the natural process where a puppy’s teeth are replaced first by deciduous teeth, and then adult teeth. Read more about that here: CBD for Puppy Teething.
In a recent study (Hunt et al., 2023), dogs who were given a proper dose of CBD were found to be less anxious during car rides and from separation anxiety. This may indicate that puppies who are experiencing anxiety may benefit from CBD. Puppyhood can be a challenging time (we all remember it, right?), so it’s not uncommon that some puppies may experience anxiety. But when that anxiety is so extreme that you’re worried that it will shape your puppy’s outlook on life forever, then it’s time to consider options on how to mitigate it.
There is evidence to suggest that CBD may be helpful in the treatment of seizures in puppies, but it’s extremely important to consult with a veterinarian before trying it. Seizures can be destructive to the brain, and so they pose a special risk to the developing brains of puppies. A vet can help determine an underlying reason for seizures in puppies and suggest the best treatment approach, which may include CBD.
What to Look for When Buying CBD for Puppies
It’s important to note that there are generally two kinds of products with CBD for dogs. One is broad spectrum, which contains all of the beneficial extracts of the hemp plant without THC, and the other is full spectrum, which does contain THC.
THC has been linked with toxicity in dogs, even at doses as low as 0.3% which is the maximum legal limit of Full Spectrum CBD products. It’s critical to avoid THC when getting CBD for your puppy to avoid its potentially dangerous side effects.
It’s also worth taking the time to look for a CBD product that is USDA Certified Organic. The easiest way to do that is to look up the company on the USDA’s Organic Integrity Database. Any company that is Certified Organic will show up there.
Products which are USDA Certified Organic have had every single step of their development scrutinized by a third party on behalf of the USDA. It guarantees that the product is free of inorganic solvents, pesticides, and other contaminants that could harm your puppy during development.
Also look for a product made by a company that makes a whole range of CBD products for different animals. This indicates that the company has taken special care to formulate their products for a wide range of animal sizes, from big dogs all the way down to puppies. Using just one formulation for different sizes of animals doesn’t make any sense and is not backed by science.
Dosage Guidelines for CBD for Puppies
When picking the correct dosage of CBD for a puppy, it’s best to err on the side of caution and start with a relatively low dose, such as 0.25mg/kg. So if your puppy weighed two and a half pounds (1.13kg) you would give him about 0.28mg of CBD. In a tincture that has 150mg total per 30mL (like the kind Relievet sells), that would be about 0.056mL. Our droppers each contain 1mL, equivalent to about 30 drops, so that would be ~2 drops.
Notice that when you’re dealing in such minuscule doses for relatively very small animals, it’s important that the dosages be very precise so that you don’t accidentally overdo it. This becomes very hard if a company doesn’t give you a good dose measurement device like a dropper, as well as its capacity and unit of measurement.
If you’re going to give CBD to your puppy, first consult with your veterinarian to make sure that it’s a good option for you, and start with a low dose, working your way up until you see the results that you want.
Side Effects of CBD for Puppies
There are relatively few side effects of CBD observed in dogs, but here are some of the side effects observed in studies:
- Dry mouth
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased appetite
Some products are formulated without regard to weight, so that it requires a large amount of the oil tincture to get a proper dose, and too much oil can definitely cause an upset stomach, and potentially diarrhea or vomiting.
While studies have shown that CBD supports dogs with various issues, such as decreasing anxiety, pain, and inflammation, it’s important to discuss with your veterinarian whether CBD may be a good choice for your puppy. At this point there are no formal studies on the use of CBD in puppies, so it cannot be said definitively whether CBD will have the desired effect in any puppy, but tangential studies have very promising results, and indicate that CBD has a very good safety profile.
It’s important to pick a CBD product made by a company that’s put in the work to come up with formulations that can be used for all sizes of animals. Relievet has done that, with CBD Oils designed for animals as small as 80 gram birds, all the way to 2,000lb horses, covering the entire range in between. Our 150mg CBD Oil for Dogs is formulated for dogs from as little as 1-5lbs.