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CBD For Dogs: Does It Actually Work?

cbd for dogs

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So you want to try CBD for a dog with arthritis? How about dosing your hyperactive fluff-ball to bring him back down to earth before you head off to work?


There are so many great benefits to trying CBD for dogs. Although it might still be a little taboo, the world of CBD and other cannabis products is opening up and making waves by the minute. And that includes veterinary support!


All it takes to discover this world of natural options for your beloved fur-babies are: Understanding how CBD works, and how to use it effectively.

What Is CBD?

So, that begs the question, “What is CBD exactly?” Firstly, wipe away any thoughts of cannabis smoke, and tie-dye t-shirts. CBD is much more scientific than you may think. It is not the same as THC – the high-inducing chemical of cannabis.

cbd for dogs

Although CBD and THC do come from the same plant, aka. Cannabis, CBD has no psychoactive properties and will not turn your doggie into a tree-hugging pup with red lazy eyes. In fact, CBD can help your dog function at a more optimal level than he ever has – without the potential side effects some traditional veterinary medications come strapped with.


CBD actually stands for cannabidiol (I know, tongue twister alert!) and is simply a compound found in both cannabis and hemp. Cannabidiol works with the endocannabinoid system of a human or animal. It locks into the various systems of the body like a master key and helps to maintain homeostasis.


Some CBD extractions do contain trace amounts of THC, but most dog-safe CBD products are 100% hemp-derived formulas.

Does CBD Actually Work For Dogs?

The amazing part about using CBD for dogs is that dogs have a much more vast endocannabinoid system than humans. This makes CBD far more effective in smaller doses, increasing its medicinal value when used on dogs.


But, is CBD for dogs backed by science, and does it actually work?


Well, this is a difficult question. Hemp and cannabis products are only now coming into the limelight and receiving the necessary funding for authentic studies. For example, hemp-derived CBD was only approved by the FDA in 2018.


This did come with statements about CBD’s potential effectiveness against seizures and further potential benefits. So, although there isn’t much solid proof for the anecdotal benefits of CBD –  it won’t be much longer before more mainstream studies are released!


Benefits of Using CBD For Your Dog

Amongst the countless reports documented by people around the world, the most common benefits of CBD for dogs include:


  • Anxiety relief
  • Lowered risk of seizures
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Nausea control
  • Cancer treatment
  • Skin condition control
  • Improved sleep


Not all of these claims solely rely on anecdotal reports either. Some, including using CBD for a dog with arthritis, cancer, or anxiety, have multiple studies to back them up!

CBD can also be good for your dog if they have separation anxiety, but you will need to train them as well. If you want to know more about dog separation anxiety, check out our article.

CBD For Dog With Arthritis

Dogs with arthritis usually carry a lot of inflammation within their bodies. This causes pain and discomfort, especially at night, resulting in a snowball effect of ill health for your dog.


CBD for a dog with arthritis can relieve not only inflammation but can help with pain and improve sleep too! On top of that, there are no long-term side effects to worry about, only the all-natural plant-based benefits of CBD.


Some studies conducted by the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine reported many of the canine participants waltzing around the place, climbing stairs, and even breaking into a trot on walks despite their prior disabilities.

cbd for dog with arthritis

CBD For Dog With Cancer

Just like using CBD for a dog with arthritis, the same goes for using CBD for a dog with cancer: Countless anecdotal reports filed and some thankfully backed by recent studies!


As one of the biggest health concerns humans face today, cancer treatment is very well researched. That includes any potential natural treatments too.


With CBD at the forefront of alternative cancer treatments for humans, it is no surprise that studies span across various animal species too: such as dogs! CBD for a dog with cancer can be very beneficial, especially when it comes to pain relief.


According to more studies by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: CBD noticeably assisted in reduced cancer cell development in dogs undergoing chemo-therapy treatments. However, without the addition of CBD, the chemo-therapy was noticeably less effective.

CBD For Anxiety Disorders In Dogs

If coming home to a torn-up sofa, or never being able to take a tinkle without company rings any bells, then CBD might be your new go-to!


Being different species, a dog’s moods, anxiety levels, and other non-physical reactions are not as easily documented by humans. So, this is one of those times where the CBD can speak for itself. You, as your dog’s best bud, will be able to judge its benefits for yourself. No more coming home to anxiously chewed up slippers! Hooray!


cbd for dogs
Credit: King Kanine

Choosing The Right CBD For Dogs

To get the full benefits of CBD, choosing the right CBD for a dog with cancer or any other ailment is of utmost importance. Not all CBD products are created equally.


Some things to look out for in a safe and reliable CBD product include:


  • Appropriate ratio of CBD to base oil
  • Natural base oil and ingredients
  • Made in an FDA regulated facility
  • High peer review ratings
  • Intended for use in dogs


Once you have found a quality CBD oil for dogs, choose the right CBD concentration to be able to dose your dog appropriately. You’ll see a wagging tail in no time!

Safety and Dosage of CBD

Every medication, both natural and pharmaceutical, comes with a risk-benefit analysis. Natural alternatives like CBD generally come with far fewer risks. However, they do sometimes require a bit of trial and error before finding that sweet spot of relief in your dog’s symptoms.


CBD is best started off small before dosing with more. This is because it can build up in your dog’s system throughout the day and have an accumulative effect.


How long does CBD stay in a dog’s system you ask? Well, this depends on the size and weight of your dog. They may feel the effects of CBD anywhere from 4-12 hours! So, while you don’t need to worry too much about dangerous side effects, an accumulation of CBD in the system may cause some discomfort if his threshold is reached.


In case you think you’ve given too much CBD go-go juice to your furry little friend, you can watch out for the following signs:


  • Low blood pressure
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting


If your dog does show any of these symptoms after a day of dosing with CBD, give him a chance to recover before trying again. And, if symptoms are severe, take your pooch to the vet as soon as possible. There may be something else going on unrelated to the CBD.

cbd for dog with cancer

Keep Calm, and Try CBD!

Remember, CBD is safe and can be very beneficial for your dog when used responsibly. The chances of having severe reactions like those listed are very slim. Especially with the normal doses associated with CBD products intended for dogs.


Give your doggo the benefit of the doubt and let him feel the newfound comfort and balance of an invigorated endocannabinoid system. Every dog deserves to feel his best! Why not give natural CBD oil a try?

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