The question is, of course, how is it working. Verdino says, “So is it helping with the anxiety, or is it just making him drowsy? I don’t know, but it seems to help. So we have a symptom, and it helps with that symptom.”
Could there be risks? At the moment, we don’t know. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved CBD for use in dogs (or humans) and has not issued dosing recommendations, and any medication or supplement carries the potential risk of reaction, so it’s important to try a small dose first and monitor how your dog reacts to it.
As some states have begun to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis, the market has enjoyed an influx of readily available CBD, including CBD oil for dogs to treat pain, anxiety, to control seizures and more in the family dog.
“At night time when the lights are dimmed down, it’s dark out, they don’t see it well in the dark, and he gets a little spooked. And when I give him the CBD, he seems to just go to sleep.”
CBD oil is everywhere, and seemingly in everything. You’ve probably heard someone mention CBD, especially if you live with a chronic condition like pain or anxiety, or if you follow Kim Kardashian, who had a relaxing CBD-themed baby shower to celebrate her fourth child with husband Kanye West.
But, much like the use of CBD in humans, not a lot is known about how CBD oil for dogs works – and if it actually works. According to the American Kennel Club, there have been no formal studies in how it affects dogs, and our expert backed that up.
And with good reason, as many human friendly CBD products are in gummy form. “There’s really nothing to prevent a CBD company from making it flavored with an artificial sweetener like Xylitol, which is toxic for animals. So I would definitely choose a veterinary-specific product, and I would choose one that seems to be from a more reputable manufacturer,” according to the doctor.
One complication in attempting to properly dose dogs with CBD is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that many CBD products actually contain little, if any, CBD.
Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate (roughly 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight), twice daily.
Unlike CBD, THC ingestion can cause serious problems for your pet.
How Much CBD Can You Give Dogs?
Research has shown that CBD can provide substantial pain relief in dogs with arthritis when given twice daily at appropriate doses.
CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that have been derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive.
In theory, the anti-inflammatory benefit seen in arthritic dogs could also be seen in dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, especially back pain from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).
Though there are some topical treatments, CBD oil is typically administered orally to dogs, and giving the correct dosage is imperative. “As is the case with any medication, success has everything to do with dosing,” Dr. Richter says.