Let’s face it – when your feathered, furry or scaly friend is experiencing distress, you will try to do everything to make them feel better. Whether your dog is subjected to chronic pain, nausea or anxiety, CBD and its promising health benefits have a great potential to improve the quality of life for many pets.
However, much like with any medication or supplement, there are some things you need to be aware of before giving CBD oil to your dog. Here are the top five things to keep in mind prior to implementing CBD products into your dog’s routine.
Why Using CBD For Pets?
Just like humans, horses, cats and other mammals, dogs have a complex endocannabinoid system, which is known to regulate vital bodily functions, such as sleep, memory, appetite, pain, learning, etc. and keep systems in balance. Due to the positive effect on this biological system and promising healing qualities, administering CBD oil to your pet can help with a wide variety of animal-specific conditions and diseases.
So, can you give CBD products to your dog? While studies regarding CBD use for dogs are lacking, early research suggests that CBD oil can significantly improve pain levels and therefore quality of life without discernible side effects.
Five Tips On How To Give CBD Oil To Your Dog
Consult Your Veterinarian
One of the essential recommendations is to always visit a licensed veterinarian before incorporating any new supplements or medications into your pet’s daily regimen. A vet consultation will help you find the right answers to any questions you may have regarding CBD, its specifics and potential adverse reactions.
Plus, your vet will also check your pet’s entire body closely for signs of injury or illness, review any other medicaments they are taking and advise on the best way for administering CBD to your dog as well as appropriate CBD dose for your pet.
Opt For CBD Products That Are THC-Free
While legal CBD products usually contain no more than 0.2% of THC compound, which is considered safe for animals, it is better to stick to products where the THC content is 0.0%. Animals are often more sensitive and can react to even small traces of THC. Therefore, consider purchasing the best CBD oil for pain relief, anxiety or any other ailment of your pet. Such products should be completely THC-free for your dog’s safety and most importantly, watch out for possible symptoms of THC poisoning such as anxiety, vomiting or diarrhoea.
Additionally, always choose well-established CBD brands and ask for a Certificate of Analysis (COA) to double-check that the CBD and THC concentrations and ensure products are effective.
Find The Right Time To Give CBD
Each pet owner always wants to pamper his fluffy friend with the best possible support, including offering quality food with natural and safe ingredients that will improve their overall quality of life. Adding CBD to food will make it even more beneficial to their health. Aside from supplying essential vitamins and minerals into your pet’s diet plan, CBD can ensure they recover faster after daily exercise or play routine and remain as active and joyous as possible.
You can also add CBD treats into your pet’s training schedule. Since CBD can be beneficial for improving memory and cognitive functions, it can help to provide better results when you train your pet. CBD can also boost their focus and sense of calm, which can be a great solution for pets that are easily distracted. You can give CBD infused treats as a training reward; just be sure to check the concentration of cannabidiol in the treats so you can manage your planned daily dose appropriately.
Whether you choose to combine your massage session with products that contain CBD oil, pamper yourself with an infused bath bomb, inhale CBD vape oil for fast effects or drink relaxing CBD tea, most users prefer to take their daily dose before bed because it is thought to promote restful sleep. This also applies to your pet. Giving CBD at night will help to relax the mind of your pets, reduce any discomfort they might feel and allow them to enjoy better quality sleep.
Start With Low CBD Dosage
It is always best to start with low doses to give your pet’s body time to adjust to the new supplement and prevent any unpleasant reactions. Also, as you introduce CBD to your pet’s daily routine make sure to analyse the effect it has on them. Monitor any changes in your dog’s temperament, behaviour and habits, and then gradually increase the CBD dosage for the best results. Starting slowly with the lowest CBD dosage possible allows minimising even mild side effects, providing a positive experience from CBD use.
Remember About Potential Side Effects
According to the 2017 report by the World Health Organization, CBD in its purest form is considered safe and well-tolerated by animals. However, in two subsequent 2018 dog studies, the treatment with CBD was associated with an increase in liver alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzyme activity. Veterinary neurologist Dr. Stephanie McGrath was one of the first researchers to use therapeutic potential of cannabis in veterinary practice. During the course of her research, she performed a liver function test to ensure that the dog’s liver works properly and is gradually returning to normal.
“I would be a little worried about introducing CBD for dogs that are subjected to liver problems”, says Dr McGrath. Similarly, since CBD appears to be metabolised by the liver, McGrath says that you also need to be careful when administering CBD to a dog that is already taking medications that are metabolised by the liver. “We don’t know that these items are interacting now,” she says.
“We did not find anything that would be super alarming regarding the use of CBD infused products for animals,” says Dr McGrath. “But, on the other hand, we still know very little about this product, and it is really important for the owners to know this and use it with caution until we have more information.”