What Does CBD Do for Dogs?

Posted on October 22 2021

It wasn’t so long ago that very few dog owners had ever heard of CBD, let alone considered giving any kind of hemp-based supplements to their dogs. Nowadays, the outrageous number of CBD products on the market can seem a little overwhelming at times. From dog shampoo to essential oils to calming treats, it seems everything in the pet store now comes with CBD. 

Just how did this CBD craze begin, and what does CBD actually do for dogs? We’re glad you asked! When it comes to our dogs’ health, it’s important not to simply chase a trend. This article reviews some of the basic facts about CBD and things to look out for. Our goal is to better inform and empower dog owners and enable them to make informed decisions about whether or not CBD is right for their pets.

What Does CBD do for Dogs?

Cannabidiol (CBD for short) is just one of over one hundred different cannabinoids that exist in the cannabis plant (or hemp plant). Cannabinoids are naturally-occurring chemical compounds in hemp that can affect dogs, humans, and other animals. CBD is just one of those cannabinoids that is used by many for its real benefits and has been found especially relevant to improving the well-being of dogs.

When considering natural supplements like CBD, it’s important to differentiate between what is hearsay and what are verified claims. For example, science already shows us that CBD markedly improves the quality of life for dogs with chronic health issues. Other research shows that in dogs, CBD helps reduce bad reactions to stressful stimuli. Given the abundant interest in CBD’s great potential, more research is necessary, but for now, these are just a few ways that dogs can benefit from CBD:

  • CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory which helps dogs that might have sore joints from activity.
  • CBD can help dogs better manage stressful situations, such as fireworks and other loud noises.
  • CBD shows a calming effect on dogs, allowing them better rest and a more tranquil demeanor overall, regardless of external stressors.
  • CBD can ease discomfort, nausea, and other issues associated with more chronic health conditions.
  • CBD can moisturize and help support better skin health in dogs.
  • CBD can improve a dog’s overall well-being.
  • CBD can support a better quality of life for aging dogs and dogs with mobility issues.

What are the Effects of CBD?

As a natural compound, CBD works directly with the endocannabinoid system—in dogs just like humans. This sophisticated body-mind network regulates all kinds of neurological processes, which is why CBD can affect so many different aspects of a dog’s well-being. Whether using CBD for its calming effects or for its anti-inflammatory qualities, the right product in the right amount can prove highly beneficial to dogs.

For those who are wondering, CBD causes very few side effects in most dogs. Usually, these are limited to drowsiness or lethargy, dry mouth, itchy skin, and nausea or diarrhea—in some very rare cases, a slightly lower blood pressure. The best way to avoid any negative side effects from CBD is to consult your vet, and only use the recommended amount for the size and weight of your dog.

Will CBD Make My Dog “High”?

No. Even though CBD is derived from the cannabis plant, CBD is not a psychoactive substance and therefore, it cannot make your dog “high”. CBD is not to be confused with Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is a psychoactive compound that is also found in cannabis. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifies that legal hemp products (like hemp oils) must be derived from hemp plants, which must contain less than 0.3% THC.

Finding High-Quality CBD for Dogs

For the sake of safety, it’s important that dog owners only use high-quality CBD for their pets. With the recent rush of pet CBD products to the market, it’s important to read the label and know exactly what you giving your dogs.

One recent veterinary study showed that among a random sample of commercially-available CBD products for dogs, several did not contain the amount of CBD the label claimed, while over 10 percent of the products contained dangerous heavy metals—including lead. Given the widely-varying quality of CBD on the market, it’s important to only buy CBD from reputable companies that use third-party testing.

The best quality CBD products for dogs should always include a Certificate of Analysis, which specifies that the batch has been tested independently and shown to contain exactly what the label states. For example, full spectrum hemp oil may contain a certain amount of CBD, but according to FDA guidelines, must contain less than 0.3% of THC. Only with a Certificate of Analysis can dog owners can be confident that their CBD products fall within FDA guidelines and do not contain any potentially-dangerous ingredients.  

Whether giving your dog treats or using CBD oil for dogs, it’s important that you only use products that contain pure, high-quality CBD. We give our dogs CBD to improve their wellness, while giving them low-quality, untested products could be detrimental to our pets.

CBD: Knowledge is Power

As pet owners, educating ourselves about the many beneficial effects of CBD can help us make better decisions about how we care for our dogs. Knowing the difference between fact and myth can help whenever someone asks, “What does CBD do for dogs?” 

We are only now just beginning to understand the many benefits of CBD, yet already, so many dog owners are using CBD to improve their dogs’ lives. Whether calming a jittery rescue terrier or helping an aging Golden Retriever enjoy a long walk, CBD can bring positive changes and improve the quality of life for the dogs we love like family.