CBD can be found everywhere nowadays, including in the pet aisle. That’s right - our furbabies can also safely bask in the benefits of CBD just like humans! Before buying a CBD product, it’s important to check with your veterinarian and do thorough research. Not all CBD products are made the same, and our pups deserve the best quality. In this article, we will cover the benefits of CBD, how to safely give it to your dog, and share about products we love and use with our own pets. Before we get into that, let’s briefly go over what CBD even is.
What is CBD?
CBD is a cannabinoid from the hemp plant that is extracted and formulated into tinctures, topicals, and edible food/treats. It isn’t to be confused with its intoxicating cousin, THC; in fact, the hemp plant has minute levels to 0 THC. Using CBD products is a way for any mammal to experience the benefits of cannabis without inebriation. This is because all mammals have an endocannabinoid system in which the CBD interacts to help the body regulate itself. The benefits of CBD are on a wide scale, ranging from therapeutic aid to medical treatment.
The Benefits of CBD for Dogs
While there is no conclusive research on using CBD to specifically treat dogs, studies ARE showing how CBD interacts and regulates the endocannabinoid system (the part of the mammalian nervous system that keeps the body in homeostasis - the body’s ability to regulate itself). It also can help regulate the immune function of the body. There is also anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can help dogs with pain, inflammation, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety, anti-nausea, and help in controlling seizures.
I got the OK From my Vet! … Now What?
It’s essential to remember that not all CBD products are made the same and not all brands are here with you in mind over profits. There are a few specific details to look out for when shopping for a quality pet CBD product:
- Ensure the product is made specifically for pets and contains 0 THC. Even if the bottle says it does not contain THC, always check the brand’s website for lab reports or contact them to request to view their current third-party lab results to confirm there is no THC in the product. It’s also important to be mindful of the amount of CBD stated on the bottle aligns with the amount shown in the lab results.
- Always go with a certified organic product. Being certified means that not only are all the ingredients in the product are organic, but the soil, water, and other elements used to grow and process the ingredients are also organic and clean.
- Knowing where the CBD was sourced from is important information to learn because many CBD companies will get their concentrates from overseas. It’s best to buy from a brand that sources its CBD from the USA.
- Many CBD brands will mention their extraction methods (how the CBD and other cannabinoids are concentrated from the rest of the plant) on their website. It’s important to be aware of this because some extraction methods are less safe and sanitary than others. The best methods to look for are C02 extraction, pharmaceutical-grade ethanol extraction, and cryoextraction.
- Avoid brands that make “miracle” medical claims such as “treat”, “cure”, or “prevent” illnesses. Most CBD brands are not owned by medical or veterinary professionals and it is actually illegal to market your product in this way. If you are interested in a brand that does make medical claims, research to confirm they have a medical license to provide such information.
How much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
As always, consult with your dog’s veterinarian before adding CBD to their routine. While being guided by a medical healthcare professional, many dog owners report starting with 1 dose, twice a day, and adjust the dosage accordingly.
How Do I Safely Give CBD to My Dog?
If you are using a tincture, there are a few ways to safely give it to your dog:
- Mix their proper dose in their food, peanut butter, or even on a Sooper Treat.
- Have them lick it off your hand.
- Put the dose on their paw and have them lick it off.
It’s best not to force their mouths open to administer the dose since this can be an uncomfortable experience for the dog. If they refuse to take CBD in tincture form, there are CBD-infused dog treats and biscuits available on the market that may resonate better with your dog’s preferences.
What Else Should I Know About Giving My Dog CBD?
Despite that CBD is not any kind of magical “cure” for dogs or humans for that matter, it is used to support the body's healing processes. CBD products are most effective when combined with balanced nutrition and a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy diet with quality, nutritious food, hydration, and exercise based on your dog’s specific needs will synergize with the benefits of the CBD.
If you notice a sudden change in your pet’s behavior or other abnormal symptoms, it’s always wise to first reach your veterinarian and rule out any underlying issues.
Overall, staying consistent with our dogs, as we would in any relationship, is most beneficial for their health. Even if your dog is healthy with no known health conditions, they can still receive benefits by using CBD as it encourages homeostasis (the body’s ability to regulate itself) and supports a healthy immune system.
CBD Product Recommendation
We understand that shopping for CBD can be very overwhelming, especially because it is for your furbaby! If you are looking for a place to start, the brand we recommend using is Alpen Organics. Alpen Organics is an authentic brand that only uses organic ingredients in their products and have both broad-spectrum and isolate tinctures available, as well as CBD isolate dog biscuits! All of their products are always up-to-date with their lab reports and contain 0 THC. They source their hemp from a farm in Colorado, USA, and use C02 extraction methods to manufacture their products. Lastly, they are dog owners themselves and use their products with their pets. We have our full trust in this brand and our dogs thrive on their products.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This article and information are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.