CBD oil for dogs can be used as an alternative medication for dogs that suffer from ailments such as seizures, anxiety, stress, arthritis, back pain, gastrointestinal issues or cancer symptoms among other diseases. Dr.Adam Christman, an award-winning veterinarian and a board member of the New Jersey Veterinary Medical Association in an interview with HuffPost1 stated that CBD oil can he effective when relieving dogs’ anxiety, cause by fireworks, for example.
Why Can CBD Oil be Beneficial for Dogs?
While there’s not many dedicated medical studies on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can help relieve pain, as well as to control seizures.
A great example of this is the story of the Hungarian dog shelter, “Paradise of Dogs”. Dogs in the shelter are being regularly treated with CBD oil for dogs donated by a CBD company and show significant signs of improvement.
The above picture shows a before/after comparison of a dog with a demodicosis skin disease. The two photos were taken one month apart. The dog was regularly treated with CBD oil.
Anecdotal evidence such as this has inspired the Canine Health Foundation to officially explore the effectiveness of CBD in dog’s epilepsy. The ongoing study, called Efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for the Treatment of Canine Epilepsy, aims to determine if CBD is effective in decreasing seizure frequency, as well as wheter it has the potential to improve the quality and length of life for dogs with uncontrolled epilepsy. The results will shine light on much-needed information, especially for veterinarians.
CBD has shown to stimulate appetite or rectifies the loss of appetite2 and relieves inflammation by interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which is the one that helps to maintain the dog’s natural balance within its body3. The maintenance of natural balance in the body is known as homeostasis. It is this endocannabinoid system that is responsible for the regulation of appetite, inflammation and pain. CBD manages to provide relief in respect to the ailments mentioned.
The effectiveness of CBD for dogs has been endorsed by many dog owners. Testimonials are widely available online, showing the positive effect this compound has had on man’s best friend.
How is CBD for Pets Different than CBD for Humans?
The CBD oil that is administered to dogs and pets by extension has one major similarity to the CBD oil that is administered to humans. They all have a common factor, which is that the CBD oil does not make the user high. However, there are 2 vital differences between CBD oil for humans and CBD oil for dogs:
- The lack of terpenes in pet oils
- The flavoring
When it comes to packaging, the Food and Drug Administration has imposed strict standards that insist on different labeling for human and pet dietary supplements. So naturally, CBD oil for pets comes in a different, clearly marked packaging.
CBD oil for dogs is usually flavoured to make it more appealing to canines. Cod liver oil has also been known to be added to the CBD oil when administering it to pets to enhance its overall effects, but this is not the case with CBD oil designed for human consumption.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis
Arthritis is an extremely common problem with dogs. The condition usually leads to the inflammation of the joints. Dogs suffering from arthritis usually have to contend with discomfort, pain and stiffness4. CBD for dogs with arthritis can be effective as it also reduces the pain associated with it5.
While traditional methods of pain management of arthritis, which involve prescription medication on opioids, may be highly effective in tackling pain, they come with their baggage which consists of serious long term side effects. These may include liver damage and long-term chemical dependence associated with opioids. This is basically addiction with the possibility of overdoses, and it could be lethal. CBD for dogs with arthritis has, however, been seen to be effective as a natural alternative with very minimal side effects.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Cancer
There is often some confusion when it comes to CBD and cancer. While cannabidiol can help improve the quality of life for both dogs and humas, it is not a “miracle drug” and in no way cures cancer. With that said, CBD can be a great additive to your dog’s diet, as it acts as a boost to the already ran down immune system.
There is also medical evidence that CBD can help stop bad cell growth in tumors6. While this study is not mainly focused on dogs there is still weight to the argument that CBD oil can help cancer in dogs.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Anxiety
CBD works with the endocannabinoid system. When the dog’s body releases endocannabinoid chemicals, which connect with cannabinoid receptors that are located all through the central nervous system, the dog’s body will be stimulated to generate a natural mood stabilizer that is referred to as serotonin7 When CBD for dogs with anxiety is administered to a dog facing acute anxiety, the natural ability of the dog’s body to produce serotonin would be enhanced. This would naturally stabilize the dog’s mood.
CBD Oil for Dogs with Epilepsy
Epilepsy amongst canines is quite common and accounts for up to 5% of all the dog population. Therefore, any treatment associated with epilepsy in dogs would be of great benefit to a big population of dogs. A study conducted on sixteen dogs that had epilepsy showed that those that were administered with CBD had the frequency of their seizures reduced by 89% which is quite a big decrease8.This shows that CBD could be used as part of a dog’s epilepsy treatment and is a step forward in the development of CBD oil for dogs with epilepsy.
How Much CBD Should I Give to my Dog?
CBD is not psychoactive, which means it doesn’t make users or pets high. This clears the worry of overdosing the dog to the point of being ‘high’. However, it is important to adhere to dosing guidelines for pets. The basic rule when dosing dogs is 1-5 mg of CBD oil for every ten pounds in weight of the dog.
CBD oil for dogs presents a viable option for treatment of various ailments in dogs to the traditional opioids used to relieve pain, fight arthritis and help manage cancer. This is because opioid use comes with various disadvantages which includes addiction and the probability of overdosing your dog to lethal limits which may cause death. Some of these synthetic drugs have been seen to cause long-term, chronic liver problems. It is prudent for all pet owners to try out CBD oil treatment for their dogs to reap the benefits of natural treatment.
- Gonzalez, D. (2019). HUFFPOST FINDS Could CBD Keep An Anxious Pet Calm During Fourth Of July Fireworks? We Asked The Experts. [online] Huffpost.com
- Iffland, K. and Grotenhermen, F. (2017). An Update on Safety and Side Effects of Cannabidiol: A Review of Clinical Data and Relevant Animal Studies. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, 2(1), pp.139-154.
- Reggio, P. (2010). Endocannabinoid Binding to the Cannabinoid Receptors: What Is Known and What Remains Unknown. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 17(14), pp.1468-1486.
- The Kennel Club (2019). Arthritis in dogs. [online] Available at: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/health/for-owners/arthritis-in-dogs/
- Vanegas, H., Vazquez, E. and Tortorici, V. (2010). NSAIDs, Opioids, Cannabinoids and the Control of Pain by the Central Nervous System. Pharmaceuticals, 3(5), pp.1335-1347.
- Davis, M. (2016). Cannabinoids for Symptom Management and Cancer Therapy: The Evidence. Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, 14(7), pp.915-922.
- Shannon, S., Lewis, N., Lee, H., & Hughes, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente journal, 23, 18–041
- COLORADO STATE UNIVERSITY (2019). CBD clinical trial results on seizure frequency in dogs ‘encouraging’. [online] EurekAlert!. Available at: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2019-05/csu-cct052019.php