Since its legalization in 2018, more people are using CBD oil as a natural remedy in their daily lives. It's created waves in the health and wellness industry, which has outpaced the studies that back up the claims.
A lot of pet owners are confused about whether or not they can use CBD oil for their dogs. Here's what you need to know about if it's safe for dogs and how it can affect them.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD oil is a derivative of the cannabis plant. In the USA, only CBD oil made from hemp plants is legal— marijuana-based CBD is not. CBD is one of the organic compounds found in the plant that has been shown to have a lot of potential as a natural remedy. It's not to be confused with THC, which is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
Is CBD Effective?
While there are a lot of studies underway, there's still a lot of unconfirmed scientific claims. However, there's a lot of evidence indicating that CBD might be an effective treatment against anxiety, depression, joint inflammation and pain, etc. It's recently been approved by the FDA as a treatment for epilepsy after completion of studies in that arena.
Using CBD Oil for Dogs
Our four-legged friends are susceptible to a lot of the same ailments as humans. Anxiety during thunderstorms, joint pain and inflammation that comes with aging, and even seizures affect dogs. Initial studies have shown improvements in these areas for humans and animals (rats) through CBD oil use.
Risks Associated with CBD for Dogs
While initial studies haven't shown any harm in using pure CBD oil with cats and dogs, pet owners must exercise caution. CBD oil can cause side effects for both humans and animals, and those can vary case-by-case. CBD can alter blood pressure, cause dry mouth, cause drowsiness, and even trigger an increased appetite. While none of these are serious to a healthy person or pet, they're worth considering if your dog has any underlying issues.
The other risk is ensuring that your CBD oil is under the legal threshold for THC (0.03%). THC can cause a negative, worrisome reaction in dogs.
How to Choose CBD Oil for Dogs
Control the Dosage
When picking the right CBD oil for your dog, it's better to buy a tincture or salve, so that you have more control over the dose. That way, you can start with a small dose and see how it affects them before you scale up. With a salve, you can apply it topically if your pet has sore joints.
Read the Label
As mentioned before, read the label carefully and note the THC component. Purchase your product from a reputable supplier that you can trust. Suppliers who are transparent about their third-party testing are more likely to have a pure product.
Do Your Research
When choosing CBD oil for a pet, quality is everything. It's worth spending more to ensure that you're getting something that won't harm your beloved animal. Bonus if you can find organically-sourced CBD oil.
Ask a Vet
Never hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian with questions before using CBD oil with your dog.
While vets can't legally prescribe CBD, they can highlight any concerns based on your animal's health history. They can also tell you what signs of distress to look for when administering CBD oil for the first time.
A vet with CBD experience can also help you identify the right dosage based on your dog's size.
Should I give my dog CBD?
CBD oil has the potential to be a powerful treatment for your dog's ailments. However, it's important to be smart when using CBD to protect your pets' best interests.