Cannabidiol or CBD, as it is more popularly known, is a chemical found naturally in cannabis. However, according to the American Kennel Club, it does not produce a “high” since it is non-psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). While you may see several CBD products targeted at treating pets, pet owners must understand that just because they can buy the products, they may not be beneficial or even safe for use on pets.
Reasons to Use CBD for Dogs
Preliminary research on the effect of CBD on humans shows it may be effective in treating some ailments like anxiety, epilepsy, chronic pain, and irritable bowel disease. However, while there are not too many studies on the effect of CBD on dogs, a 2018 study established 80 percent of dogs administered CBD showed improvement in their mobility and pain using two different credible veterinary resources. Another study conducted in 2019 showed significantly fewer seizures in epileptic dogs treated with CBD and seizure medicines compared to the dogs given only the seizure medication and a placebo.
How to Administer CBD to Dogs
According to Capital CBD American Shaman of Austin, you can buy CBD medication in many forms, like oils, creams, and treats. A 2018 study conducted by Colorado State University found that administering CBD oil orally to dogs with epilepsy was more effective than a CBD cream or gel capsule. However, more research is required.
CBD Doses for a Dog
The 2018 study on the effect of CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis revealed that 2 mg per kilo of the dog’s weight is the most effective dose for increasing the dog’s activity levels and comfort. However, the bias in the study and the need for more research prevents this from being conclusive. Since you can expect every dog to respond differently, you should ideally start with a low dose and keep adjusting it until you get the most effective results. You should increase the doses slowly.
Choosing A CBD Product for Your Dog
Since the FDA does not regulate CBD products, you may have many choices of products, and some may be more effective than others. You should visit the manufacturer’s website to see the certificate of analysis and results of testing by third parties if you are considering buying a CBD product to treat your dog. You will learn whether the products are free of pesticides and heavy metals and if the quality is per the manufacturer’s claim. You may like to avoid products containing THC since the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says THC is toxic for dogs and cats. While the lethal dose of THC is 3 g per kilo of the dog’s body weight, you can always expect some negative effects even for lower doses. If you are unsure, you can consult a veterinarian for advice on side effects and toxic impacts, however, vets cannot prescribe CBD medication.
You must appreciate that currently there is insufficient evidence of the effect of CBD on dogs. You must research the products yourself and consider anecdotal evidence before commencing treatment with a small dose and monitor your pet’s progress.
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