CBD (or to unpack that name, Cannabidiol) products have been making waves in the world of wellness for humans, as people enthusiastically embrace the possibilities it offers for pain management, soothing mental health issues and helping to promote a general sense of wellness. The latest evolution of the CBD movement is for people to offer CBD oil to their pets.
Can Cannabidiol products help pets or is this a waste of good CBD? Dayzed is looking into this issue.
What Does CBD Do for Dogs?
The claimed benefits that CBD has for dogs are very similar to the list of benefits for humans: it can help to calm anxiety, soothe pain and promote healthy sleep. There are also studies in progress assessing how effective CBD is at treating epilepsy in dogs. Drug-resistant epilepsy is one of the few conditions that doctors can prescribe clinical concentrations of CBD for in humans, and there are reasonable grounds to suspect that it may be able to help dogs in the same way.
There are some persuasive reasons why you might want to try CBD products for your dog, rather than more conventional medications available from a vet.
To begin with, dogs can indeed suffer from anxiety and extreme fear. This can manifest in as many ways in dogs as it can in humans: it can be a chronic, all encompassing condition; it can be situational, caused by stressful situations or particular triggers; it can the result of previous trauma; or it can simply be how a particular dog or person is wired. This means it’s well worth looking into the different options you have available for making that dog’s life more comfortable and less fearful and anxious. Epilepsy is also a widespread health problem for dogs, and it’s estimated that 30% of dogs on standard epilepsy medication don’t actually have their seizures controlled.
CBD products in particular could be a good option because they’re well tolerated: that is to say, they have few side effects. This is as true for dogs as humans, and make it CBD well worth investigating as an alternative to clinical medications as the side effects for canine epilepsy treatments can include symptoms as mild as slight sedation and wobbliness, and as serious as liver toxicity and blood abnormalities like reduced white cell count.
What to Watch Out For
The side effects that CBD can cause in dogs are well worth being aware of. CBD is associated with dry mouth (which your dog will show as increased thirst); low blood pressure (high doses can cause a small drop in blood pressure: this will feel like a short episode of light headedness; and drowsiness. You can handle all of these side effects by keeping a close eye on your pet, ensuring you have water on hand, and not administering a dose of CBD oil immediately before a walk.
While you can get specialised CBD dog treats, it’s best to buy CBD oil, as you would for yourself. This allows you measure out the dose drop by drop and find precisely the right level for your dog – not rely on the concentration ‘baked into’ the treat.
When you’re buying CBD products, look for oils that have been made from organically grown plants. Pesticides and other toxins can have a more pronounced toxic effect on the smaller body of a dog so make sure you’re not introducing more toxins to their system!