Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
The World Health Organization report on cannabidiol states that "CBD is generally well-tolerated, with a good safety profile." A veterinary study confirms the same and says that “CBD-rich, hemp-based nutraceuticals appear to be relatively safe in healthy dogs.”
However, as with any other supplement, high amounts, especially in overly sensitive dogs, can cause certain side effects. The good news is that these side effects of CBD oil in dogs are rare, usually self-limiting, and can be eliminated through a simple dose modification.
Here is a short list of the possible side effects:
- Dry Mouth – a decrease in the production of saliva is a typical response to CBD. Your dog will be thirstier than usual so make sure you provide fresh, clean water daily.
- Low Blood Pressure – a high dose of CBD may cause a sudden blood pressure drop, leaving your pup slightly nauseous, lightheaded, and lethargic. Your dog will likely sleep off these effects in a few hours.
- Diarrhea – dogs have sensitive digestive systems, and the carrier oil (for example, coconut oil) in your CBD tincture can cause an adverse reaction in your pup. A way to curve this reaction is by starting with a small dose and working your way up to a normal CBD dose.
For pet owners, the main concern about using CBD oil for dogs is the risk of overdosing. Luckily, CBD has extensive safety margins. In layman’s terms – it is impossible for a dog to overdose on CBD oil. Worst-case scenario, your dog will take a long nap and sleep off the CBD’s effects.
- Organic hemp. The best pet CBD product is made from organically grown hemp. Commercially grown plants are heavily treated with pesticides and can draw toxins from the soil. Organic farming practices eliminate these issues. Ideally, even the carrier (usually coconut oil) should be organic.
- No GMO, allergen, and filler ingredients. GMO ingredients, dairy, corn, soy, and gluten, are potentially troublesome. Therefore, a high-quality pet CBD oil must be free from these ingredients.
- Certificate of Analysis. A Certificate of Analysis (COA) is a document provided by a third-party lab that confirms the accuracy of the product's label and its chemical makeup. The COA will prove the amount of cannabinoids in the oil and the exclusion (or low percentage) of THC and confirm the oil is free from pesticides, heavy metals, microbes, and other contaminants.
- Reputable brand. Choose a CBD oil from a trustworthy brand that has a right-standing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, a good rating on Better Business Bureau, and excellent customer reviews. Also, pay attention to the brand's policy - for example, a brand confident in its products will offer a 30-day money-back guarantee.
- CBD Oil for Dogs Frequently Asked Questions
- Do vets recommend CBD oil for dogs?
- According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, “under current federal and state law, veterinarians may not administer, dispense, prescribe or recommend cannabis, or its products for animals.” However, that does not mean you are not allowed to bring up CBD oil with your vet. Your veterinarian may not be able to proscribe it themselves, but they will be able to point you in the right direction and let you know if CBD oil will interfere with any medications your dog is on.
- What does CBD oil do for dogs?
- One of the best things about CBD oil is that it cannot overdose dogs. If you gave your dog too much CBD, it will probably show side effects (dry mouth, diarrhea, lowered blood pressure), or take a long nap and sleep off the effects.
- Can I give my dog CBD oil to calm him down?
- Yes, CBD oil promotes calmness and relaxation. Ideally, for best results, you should give the CBD before your dog starts feeling agitated. If the stress triggers are not identified, we recommend regular CBD oil use.
- What percentage of CBD oil is best for dogs?
- Same as with CBD strength, the best percentage of CBD oil for your dog depends on its body weight, CBD dosage requirements, and medical issues entailing the use of CBD.
- Is CBD oil bad for dogs?
- No, CBD oil is not bad for dogs. However, you need to consult with your veterinarian before starting your dog on CBD oil because CBD can interact with certain prescription medications.
- How long does it take for CBD oil to start working in dogs?
- The effects of CBD oil kick in fastest when applied under the tongue – between 15 and 40 minutes. Adding CBD oil during mealtime or using CBD edibles is equally efficient, but it may take up to an hour before the CBD oil starts working.
- Should I give my dog CBD oil every day?
- Yes, continuous use is associated with better effects. Find your dog's ideal CBD dose and then use it daily for maximum physical health and emotional wellbeing.
- How does CBD oil make a dog feel?
- CBD oil will make a dog feel calmer and more relaxed. When using the right CBD dose, your dog will be able to carry all normal activities while enjoying the health benefits of CBD.
- Can a dog overdose on CBD oil?
However, CBD oil can cause an increase in liver enzymes and slight complete blood count changes. This means it can be risky to use CBD oil in dogs with liver issues and dogs regularly receiving certain prescription medications. Bottom line, it is important to consult with your veterinarian before supplementing your dog with CBD oil.
What to Look for in CBD Oil for Dogs
We encourage pet owners to do their research, ask questions and make sure they buy high-quality CBD oil that has been tested and certified.
Sadly, some companies cut corners to get their product out as quickly as possible. This puts owners in danger of buying substandard CBD products that will be useless (or worse –harmful) to their pets.
Here are some of the key considerations to help you navigate through the CBD industry's poor regulations and dubious label claims:
- Full-spectrum CBD oil. Basically, there are three forms – full-spectrum CBD oil, broad-spectrum CBD oil, and CBD isolate. Full-spectrum hemp is more potent because it contains various cannabinoids and additional compounds (flavonoids, terpenes, omega fatty acids) that act synergistically.
- Hemp-derived CBD oil. CBD oil formulated for pets must be extracted from the hemp plant. This is because the other member of the cannabis family, the marijuana, contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is extremely toxic to pets. Hemp CBD oil contains less than 0.3% THC and is therefore labeled THC-free.
- Hemp oil vs. hemp seed oil. Both options are extracted from the hemp plant but from different parts and have different chemical profiles. Hemp oil is extracted from the whole hemp plant (leaves, flowers, and stalks) and the hemp seed oil from the seeds. Hemp seed oil does not contain cannabinoids.
- CO2 extraction. There are different extraction methods but using supercritical carbon dioxide ensures a pure CBD oil product. The CO2 extraction eliminates the questionable chemicals while retaining all health-boosting cannabinoids.
CBD oil boosts the endocannabinoid system, thus indirectly managing the functions regulated by the ECS. That includes appetite, metabolism, sleep, pain, inflammation, immunity, memory, mood, etc.
What strength of CBD oil is best for dogs?
CBD oil products are usually available in various strengths or potencies. Which potency is best depends on the dog's size, the specific condition for using the CBD, and the method of administration. Honest Paws offers a variety of potency levels including 125mg, 250mg, 500mg, and extra strength 1000mg.
What is the best CBD Oil for Dogs?
The best CBD oil for dogs is of human-grade quality and is easy to use. They should also feature a dog-friendly flavor like chicken, beef, peanut butter. Our Honest Paw CBD products are human grade, organic, 100% natural, and completely vegan. Additionally, they’re non-GMO, soy free, dairy free, corn free, and gluten free as well!
What strength CBD oil should I use for my dog?
For easy dosing and administration, it is best to use a CBD oil strength that best suits your dog's size. For example, here is a breakdown of the amount of CBD in each of our oils here at Honest Paws:
- Our CBD Oil for small dogs (under 25lbs) contains 125mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1mL) will contain 4mg of CBD.
- Our CBD oil for medium dogs (25-50lbs) contains 250mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1mL) will contain 8mg of CBD.
- Our CBD oil for large dogs (over 50lbs) contains 500mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1mL) will contain 16mg of CBD.
- Our CBD oil for extra strength needs contains 1000mg of CBD. Each full dropper from this bottle (1mL) will contain 33mg of CBD.
What is the safest CBD oil for dogs?
The safest CBD oil for dogs is formulated exclusively for pets (THC-free) but with human-grade ingredients and manufacturing practices. The CBD oil should be made by a reputable brand that can offer a Certificate of Analysis for the product.
What happens if I give my dog too much CBD oil?
No, dogs cannot overdose on CBD oil. If you accidentally gave your dog too much CBD oil, they will sleep off the effects and wake up good as new.
Can humans take CBD oil for dogs?
Yes, premium-quality pet CBD oils are perfectly safe for humans. However, pets must never take human CBD oils because they often contain THC and xylitol. Both ingredients have the toxic potential for pets.