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Hailed as an all-natural treatment for everything from arthritis to insomnia, cannabidiol (CBD) is a hot topic in the wellness world. Experts are still investigating the full extent of CBD’s health benefits, but studies show CBD has the potential to relieve an array of symptoms in humans.

What about dogs? While veterinarians are not legally allowed to prescribe CBD, pet products containing CBD are available through online retailers. You’ll find everything from CBD dog treats to paw balm.

Considering purchasing some CBD dog treats for your woofer? Here’s what you need to know.

Dosage

At the time of writing, the FDA has not released a dosage chart for CBD in dogs. This makes it difficult to determine how much CBD could cause adverse effects. Read and follow all package instructions carefully. However, keep in mind that the CBD dog treat manufacturers set the recommended dosages, not veterinary professionals.

Before you order your first bag of CBD dog treats, be sure to talk to your vet. They know your dog’s health best. However, some veterinarians may be prohibited from providing an opinion due to state laws.

Need veterinary advice about CBD? Veterinarians on the Wag! platform are available to answer any questions you may have about CBD dog treats.

Dosage instructions

Follow all package instructions carefully. Monitor your dog closely, and consult your vet if you notice any adverse effects.

Efficacy

Because the FDA has not approved CBD for veterinary use, much of the evidence supporting CBD as a treatment for dogs is anecdotal. Some pet parents have observed mobility improvements in dogs with arthritis. Others claim CBD helps their dogs calm down during firework shows and other anxiety-inducing events.

Researchers are still studying the benefits of CBD for dogs, but the findings are pretty promising so far. Dogs diagnosed with epilepsy and arthritis may benefit most from CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties. However, it’s important to note that some studies funded by CBD manufacturers could contain biased data.

One ongoing study sponsored by the American Kennel Club’s Canine Health Foundation seeks to evaluate the efficacy of CBD for dogs with epilepsy. To learn more about this study, check out the portfolio page.

Cost

The cost of CBD dog treats varies depending on the type of treat, the amount of CBD, and whether the product is certified organic. A bottle of CBD soft chews could set you back anywhere from $30 to $130.

Side effects

Few serious side effects have been observed in dogs taking CBD oil or eating treats containing CBD. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Watch out for adverse effects after your dog eats CBD treats. These include:

  • Vomiting

  • Excessive drooling

  • Excessive urination

  • Dry mouth

  • Loss of coordination

  • Lethargy

  • Low blood pressure

Alternatively, you may even notice some improvements in your dog’s mood, mobility, sleep quality.

Considerations

Always opt for organic CBD that’s free of THC, pesticides, and other harmful additives. The packaging should clearly state the amount of CBD in the product. Look for a certificate of analysis on the website of your preferred retailer.

Research on the efficacy and side effects of CBD for dogs is ongoing. If your dog is taking CBD, be sure to keep up with the latest findings.

Drug interactions

Researchers are still investigating how CBD affects humans and dogs. However, a recent study found that CBD affects the human body’s ability to metabolize drugs. Taking CBD alongside other drugs can heighten or suppress their effects. It’s unclear whether this also applies to dogs. If your dog is taking other medications, contact your vet before administering CBD treats to your dog.

Allergic reactions and sensitivity

Can dogs be allergic to CBD? Maybe. So far, no CBD allergies in dogs have been reported.

Frequently asked questions about CBD for dogs

What is CBD?

Cannabidiol is a naturally occurring chemical compound found in hemp and cannabis. Unlike THC — the primary compound in cannabis that causes a “high” — CBD is not psychoactive. Most CBD products available on the market are derived from hemp rather than cannabis.

Isn’t cannabis harmful to dogs?

THC is harmful to dogs. This compound is psychoactive and produces the “high” associated with cannabis use. Dogs have cannabinoid receptors in their brain — more than humans, in fact. That means it only takes a very small amount of cannabis to cause toxicity for dogs.

Is CBD legal in the US?

The Farm Bill of 2018 legalized CBD on a federal level in the United States under certain circumstances. CBD produced according to federal regulations on hemp is no longer considered a Schedule I substance. However, the legality still varies from state to state. 

Can I make my own CBD dog treats?

Making CBD dog treats at home is relatively easy, but be cautious. Some sites with CBD dog treat recipes offer dosage charts, but dosage charts haven’t been approved by the FDA. If you’d like to whip up some tasty treats at home, follow the golden rule and consult your vet for advice and instructions.

How many CBD dog treats should I give my dog?

This depends on the concentration of CBD in the treats, as well as your dog’s needs. Always follow your vet’s instructions and the package directions.

*Wag! may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Items are sold by the retailer, not Wag!.

Written by a lover Mel Lee-Smith

Veterinary reviewed by:

Published: 12/07/2020, edited: 12/07/2020

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