With the legalization of hemp and CBD, a lot of CBD-related information and CBD products are readily available.
You would have definitely heard of its popularity and its efficacy if you’re suffering from chronic pain or anxiety-related issues.
Interestingly, this trend has not even left your pets untouched. Many pet owners and animal lovers are increasingly talking about the potency of CBD and the effect that CBD products have on our pets.
Although not enough research literature is available on how effective CBD really is on dogs, but that did not stop people from trying it out on their pets to treat various physical and mental issues when everything else seemed to fail.
Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs
Like humans, dogs seem to react quite the same way to CBD. This non-psychoactive, chemical component of Cannabis Sativa plants has, as per anecdotal data, proved to be quite beneficial in treating some difficult to treat health issues among dogs, like:
Admittedly, there are very few studies on CBD’s effects on dogs. Most of them were on rats and humans.
Nonetheless, there is proof that canine guts have the right kind of ingredients to trigger a response in their endocannabinoid system via the cannabinoid receptors. This proves CBD does have a substantial effect on dogs.
How to Choose CBD Oil or Dog Treats
Quite a few CBD brands are now selling products specially made for pets, like dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, etc. Some brands have grown entirely by selling CBD products for pets.
As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure your pet gets the very best. You should never compromise on quality simply because another brand is offering an attractive value pack or low-cost product.
Remember, not all CBD brands or products are the same. While some focus on the purity of the product, others make the strength a big issue without actually giving you what they advertise. Some CBD brands may even woo you with special discounts, pushing low-grade products that can endanger the health of your pet with harmful chemicals.
To make sure your pet gets the most out of CBD’s therapeutic effects, keep these points in mind:
- Choose organic products: These are the best! Organically grown components will help enhance and rejuvenate your pet’s health. Even if you don’t find organically made CBD treats, at least make sure they are natural and don’t contain pesticides or solvents.
- Don’t go for cheap: Cheaper options may not offer the pure goodness of CBD. Quality CBD products are expensive. Period! Just like CBD products for humans, high-quality CBD treats and tinctures for dogs are expensive. Don’t compromise on the quality to get it cheap.
- Look up the lab reports: Another important thing to look for while choosing your first CBD pet product is whether the brand publically posts its third-party lab test reports. If their Certificates of Analysis aren’t available or the brand is reluctant to share them with you, JUST DON’T TRUST THEM!
- Condition of health & Strength of product: These are the two final points you must consider before narrowing down on the right CBD product for your beloved pet dog. Like we discussed a little while ago, the condition of your dog’s health and its severity are important considerations. Secondly, you have to calculate the dosage as per the dog’s body weight. According to this calculation, select the strength (or concentration of CBD by weight in mg) that matches the requirement. For instance, if your dog needs 15mg/day (as per his weight), get a pack of treat, with let’s say 1mg dosage/treat. You can evenly distribute the complete dosage into 3 sections, i.e. 3 separate timings. Each dosage will comprise 5 treats (5mg). The same concept applies for tinctures, although it may be a bit difficult to make a hyperactive or an overly anxious pet sit patiently as you drop the exact amount of dosage into his mouth with a dropper.
Best CBD Dog Treats in the market
There are quite a few good CBD brands that sell quality pet products (CBD treats and CBD tinctures). Here are a couple of brands that are known for their quality…
Free of THC, corn, soy, wheat or dairy, FabCBD’s Dog Treats come in three different flavors for three different conditions, with each treat containing 3mg of CBD. The three variants are Calm & Cool (Peanut Butter and Apple flavor), Skin & Coat (Salmon flavored) and Active Immune (Chicken flavored), all of which are priced at $34/pack.
Each of these variants contains a different set of natural ingredients, optimized for treating/managing the condition it is designed for, apart from organically grown hemp extract oil and other cannabinoids and terpenes.
FabCBD’s proprietary CBD Dog Treat formulations contain a unique set of ingredients.
- The Calm & Cool variant contains oats, peanut butter, apples, tapioca syrup, coconut oil, passionflower, and chamomile.
- The Skin & Coat variant contains oats, salmon, flaxseed, tapioca syrup, coconut oil, and salmon oil.
- The Active Immune variant contains oats, chicken, flaxseed, tapioca syrup, bone broth, coconut oil, turmeric, and milk thistle extract.
An established brand, FabCBD has dedicated over 12 months to develop the best wheat- and corn-free treats that will suit your fur baby’s palette and digestive system alike. The lab reports of all their products are posted directly on their brand website.
The recommended dosages are:
- 1.5mg CBD, i.e. ½ treat for dogs weighing below 10 pounds
- 3mg CBD, i.e. 1 full treat for dogs weighing 10-25 pounds
- 4.5mg CBD, i.e. 1.5 treats for dogs weighing 25-50 pounds
- 6mg CBD, i.e. 2 treats for dogs weighing over 50 pounds
However, you must always consult with a vet before using CBD for your canine companions.
Holistapet’s CBD treats for dogs are organic, vegan-friendly, and gluten- free and dairy-free.
They also come in three variants:
- Dog Treats for Stress & Anxiety Relief (green apple & peanut butter flavored; also contains L-theanine and chamomile),
- Dog Treats for Joint & Mobility Care (pumpkin spice & cinnamon flavored; also contains turmeric root and Boswellia),
- Dog Treats for Heart & Immune Care (blueberry & sweet potato flavored; contains blueberries and flaxseed).
The other ingredients of their dog treats include sweet potatoes, rolled oats, brown rice flour, molasses, cinnamon, and coconut oil.
While their lab reports are posted on their website too, the CBD dosage calculation is only available for tinctures.
CBD Treats vs. CBD Oil for Dogs
Dogs can be given CBD in 4 different ways – oral microencapsulated oil beads, oral CBD-infused oil, CBD-infused transdermal cream, or treats.
CBD-infused oil or tinctures are the most effective and fastest-acting option. They are also easy to dose, down to each drop of the substance – which in effect is down to the exact mg as per the strength of the product you’re buying.
However, treats are more popular for several reasons:
- Doses are more or less exact in each treat (in mg of CBD), and hence, easy to keep tabs on the dosage while treating your canine buddy for some condition.
- Dogs are naturally drawn to treats. You fur kids won’t make a fuss like they might if they had to keep their mouth open as you measure the dosage drop by drop. In fact, they would love you for it!
- Treats come in some excellent dog-friendly flavors and are crunchy – everything that your doggo would love!
- Unlike CBD oil tinctures, treats are more like superfoods, complete with other natural extracts that supplement your dog’s daily dietary needs.
- Give your dog a CBD treat, and you’ll notice a calmer, happier and more content pet for the next 4 – 8 hours – a little longer than tinctures used orally, but a little less than edibles.
Talking about the flipside…
- Its effects take a little longer to act than tinctures administered directly into the mouth (tongue or gums). While tinctures take around 20 – 60 minutes, treats take 40 – 50 minutes (of course depending on the strength and efficiency of the product). Unlike CBD tincture-infused food, this is a faster-acting method.
- Another disadvantage about treats is that ingested CBD may interact with your dog’s existing medicines. Tinctures or topicals are better options for dogs on other medications, especially those that need the CYP450 liver enzymes. However, drug interaction may not pose too much of a problem if the CBD dosage (per body weight in kg) required isn’t very high.
Depending on the need or condition of your dog, you can decide which method is more convenient. A hyperactive and anxious canine may not be keen on eating anything if he knows you’re going to leave him alone for a while. But, for some dogs, a treat may be exactly what he needs to divert his attention from the thought of you leaving.
Again, if the pain is too much, a tincture may be a better option.
However, if you add CBD treats to his daily dietary regimen, the pain will remain manageable throughout the day, i.e. giving him a few treats (as per dosage) every few hours (as per the requirement of your dog for his specific kind of pain or inflammation).
Needless to say, this comparison is only applicable if you’re administering the CBD tinctures on his tongue or gums, as opposed to adding it to his food. CBD-infused food items (unlike treats) will take much longer to metabolize and get absorbed into the bloodstream.
CBD Dosage for Dogs
CBD dosage for dogs is quite like that of humans, but only much less.
It is not easy to know the exact dosage for sure. As the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved CBD, there is no specific dosing chart like other drugs. It is all about the same old trial and error game, even for your pets.
But remember, any food supplement or drug carries the risk of an adverse or allergic reaction. One will never know until it has been used on anyone – human or animal.
Nonetheless, it is always best to:
- Consult your pet’s veterinarian
- Start low, go slow
Side Effects of CBD on Dogs
Dogs don’t generally experience any life-threatening risks from the use of CBD oil or CBD products.
However, there is the possibility of an overdose in case the product contains any THC. If taken in very high doses, the THC level in your dog’s system would rise, making him high.
However, pure CBD (CBD isolates) don’t have any such drawback. So it’s best to stick to isolates. Our furry babies can’t express as well as we can and won’t be able to handle the psychoactive effects of THC, like being “high”, hallucinations, or other mind-altering effects associated with marijuana use.
Generally speaking, the usual side effects of CBD use (as observed by dog owners) are as follows:
- Dryness of mouth & throat: Your doggo would feel extremely thirsty and would seem like he can’t have enough of water. A whole bowl of water will be over at one go – quite the telltale sign you can say!
- Lowering in blood pressure: Is your canine friend walking funny? Is he having trouble seeing things in front of him and keeps banging into them? His blood pressure may have dropped, making it difficult for him to navigate. You may want to reduce the dose to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
Drowsiness/Sleepiness: If you notice your adult dog is sleeping like a pup again, it may be caused by a high dose of CBD (that is if you are giving him CBD). A high enough dose can make a normally active or even a hyperactive dog doze off at unusual times, especially within less than an hour of administering him with CBD.