Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

Posted on October 22 2021

For most of us, our dogs are family, and like family, safety comes first. From dog toys to dog treats to dog beds, we all want what’s best for our animals, especially when it comes to their long-term health. This general desire to improve our pet’s quality of life is exactly why veterinarians keep getting asked, “Is CBD safe for dogs?”

The short answer is yes, CBD is safe for dogs. The longer answer is a bit more complex: CBD is safe for dogs as long as you’re giving them high-quality CBD in the correct amount. Whether you’re considering using CBD oil or calming CBD treats on your pets, smart dog owners need to be informed and consider the following issues when deciding if CBD is right for their pet.

Is CBD Safe for dogs?

Much of the concern and confusion around CBD stems from its association with cannabis, which usually contains tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC). As the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, THC is not safe for dogs—in fact, it can even be considered toxic.  

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) differentiates between cannabis (containing THC) and hemp, which contains larger amounts of CBD and less than 0.3% THC. Remember also that the current FDA guidelines focus on humans (and not dogs). Though more clinical research is necessary, approved CBD products (derived from hemp plants) are safe for dogs, and can even prove beneficial to your animal’s well-being. Whether giving your dog CBD treats or CBD oil (prepared especially for dogs), it’s important that you know exactly what your dog is taking. Quality control and proper serving sizes are imperative in using CBD safely.

Potential Risks

CBD rarely exhibits detrimental side effects, though some dogs might show subtle reactions, such as temporary lethargy, dry mouth, or softer stools. However, most studies show that only a very small percentage of dogs exhibit any negative reaction to CBD. Obviously, when considering adding any kind of CBD to your pet’s regime, it’s important to talk to your vet. Your vet knows your dog and can bring up any special considerations for you to review.

Remember that every dog is unique and that different dog breeds have different needs. What might seem risky for one dog may be helpful for another. In the same vein, what works to alleviate one medical condition may not work for another. Talking candidly with your vet about any expectations, reservations, and desired outcomes can help you have a more exact understanding about how best to use CBD to help your pet.  

Remember that CBD is not a one-size-fits-all cure, rather, it’s a natural hemp-based product that can benefit select dogs with select medical conditions—if and when used accurately and in the correct amounts.

Benefits of CBD

The sheer number of dog owners helping their pets with CBD is a testament to the many potential benefits of this particular hemp-derived product. Obviously, much more research is necessary, but already, dog owners are reaching for approved CBD to address a range of medical conditions. Some use CBD oil to relieve discomfort, or to calm a dog’s nervousness and lessen the animal’s reaction to stresses brought on by external factors like fireworks or uncertain environments. Others use CBD for more critical situations, like health issues or sore joints.

Epilepsy in Dogs

Canine idiopathic epilepsy affects over 5 percent of the dog population. As a neurological condition with debilitating symptoms, the effects of epilepsy can be traumatic for dogs and troubling for dog owners. Just like CBD oil is used to manage epilepsy in humans, more pet owners are using CBD to help manage the negative symptoms of epilepsy. 

The latest scientific studies show that orally-administered CBD oil for dogs can help reduce the frequency of seizures by engaging the endocannabinoid system and calming the brain. For many dog owners, CBD represents a real hope for improving the quality of life for their dogs. 

Deciding What’s Best For Your Dog

It’s natural to want the very best for our pets, which is why it’s right to ask if CBD is safe for dogs. Educating yourself on the potential risks and possible benefits of CBD can help you make a more informed decision and an individual plan to help your pet. Remember that the safest CBD is high-quality, well-labeled, and proportioned in the right amount for dogs. Given that different CBD products affect dogs differently, it’s important to talk to your vet about how best to incorporate CBD in their health regime. Above all, it’s important to learn what works best for your dog’s needs and observe them closely to ensure maximum benefit.