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CBD—Dog&'s Best Friend?

CBD seems to be everywhere these days, so it’s no surprise that many dog lovers wonder what benefits the compound might hold for their pets.

Is CBD safe for dogs? What conditions does it help to treat? How much should I give, and in what form? my dog? When looking for answers to these and other questions, your first thought might be to ask your dog’s vet.

While veterinarians do not prescribe or dispense CBD products to your pet, you can, and should talk to your pet’s vet about the potential risks and benefits of treatment based on your pet’s health record and needs. You might also find good information from the staff at your local pet supply store, especially those that carry CBD products and other leading-edge, healthier alternatives to mainstream pet products.

Is CBD okay to give to pets?

While it’s widely known that THC is toxic to both cats and dogs, CBD has been well-researched as a useful and safe treatment for a variety of conditions in our canine and feline friends. These conditions include general pain, arthritis, seizures, anxiety, and even cancer. While more research is still needed, dozens of existing studies have already demonstrated CBD’s effectiveness. One leader in the field, Frontiers in Veterinary Science (www.frontiers.org), has published many studies that demonstrate both the safety and efficacy in treating animals with CBD.

 

What conditions does CBD help to treat?

CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs, which means that it helps with such conditions such as osteoarthritis and other types of inflammatory pain. Epilepsy is another well-studied condition that CBD helps to treat, although there’s less research on dogs than on people; most studies in animals show that CBD boosts the power of anti-seizure medications. In humans, CBD has been shown to help those dealing with nausea due to cancer and cancer treatments like chemotherapy.

One area that shows particular promise is around anxiety. Because CBD does not cause a high, it is thought that it is not as effective as say, Prozac; the use of CBD for anxiety in dogs is still being researched. Some pet owners report that CBD helps their dogs and cats with anxiety; researcher believe that these animals may have underlying chronic pain that cause the anxiety.

 

How do I give CBD to my dog?

CBD for dogs is generally given orally, though some topical treatments also exist. The most benefits can be found in CBD oil or in CBD-containing treats. Oil can be administered directly, or mixed with food, but the flavor is not palatable to dogs. Treats in the form of biscuits, on the other hand, can better mask the unpleasant taste, and can help ensure accurate dosing.

 

Can much and how often should I give my pet CBD?

In terms of dosage, studies on dogs suffering from arthritis and seizures generally recommend a dose between 2 and 8 mg per kilo (or approximately 1-4 mg per pound) of the dog’s weight, administered twice daily. This amount is considered to be safe for these conditions. Additional research to evaluate the correct dosages for treating other conditions is still needed.

As always, with any new treatment, check with your vet before giving your pet CBD, as he or she may be aware of documented drug interactions.