Research done on CBD and humans has shown that it may be effective in treating epilepsy, anxiety, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and chronic pain. But only a few reliable studies have been done on the effects of CBD in dogs.
One study from 2018Trusted Source sought to assess safety, anti-inflammatory properties, and anti-pain properties of a CBD oil in dogs with osteoarthritis. Researchers gave dogs doses of 2 or 8 milligrams (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight.
Eighty percent of the dogs showed improvement in their pain and mobility, as measured by two veterinary resources — the canine brief pain inventory and the Hudson activity scale. However, it’s important to note that this study was funded by a CBD producer, so the results may be biased.
A small study published in 2019Trusted Source found that epileptic dogs given CBD in addition to seizure medication had significantly fewer seizures than those that received seizure medication and a placebo.
However, similar numbers of dogs in both the CBD group and the placebo group responded to treatment and had decreases in seizure activity. The authors recommended further testing before reaching any definitive conclusions.
While these studies and others like them could give a window into CBD’s medicinal potential for dogs, more studies are needed to confirm this research.Ways to give CBD to dogs
CBD for pets comes in many forms, like treats, oils, and creams. But research on the efficacy of each method is sparse.
One Colorado State University study from 2018Trusted Source on dogs with epilepsy found that CBD oil, given orally, was more effective than a cream or gel capsule. However, more research is needed before any conclusions can be made.How much to give a dog
The previously referenced 2018 study on dogs with osteoarthritis showed that the most effective dose for increasing the dogs’ comfort and activity levels was 2 mg per kg of weight.
However, because this study may be biased, and because other data on CBD dosage for dogs is sparse, this shouldn’t be considered a dosing recommendation.
Every dog will respond differently, which is why it’s important to start with a small dose, monitor your pet’s results, and adjust from there. Most products will offer dosing suggestions, but keep in mind that these are developed by the manufacturer.
Since CBD isn’t regulated, there’s no way to tell how much is safe and effective to give a dog.How to choose a product
There’s a lot of variability in products on the market. That means that certain CBD products for humans and pets are more effective than others.
A good rule of thumb when selecting CBD products is to look on the product’s website for “certificates of analysis” and other evidence of third-party testing. These certificates tell you things like if products are pesticide and heavy metal-free and if the quality is as advertised.
You may also want to consider whether a product contains THC in addition to CBD. Currently, there’s even less research on the effects of THC in dogs than there is on the effects of CBD.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists THC as a toxic substance for dogs and cats. Although the lethal dose of THC is more than 3 grams per kgTrusted Source, negative effects may occur at lower levels.
Make sure you research each brand before purchasing, and consult a veterinarian about the side effects and toxicities that these products may cause in your pet before treating.How does CBD affect dogs?
If you give CBD to your dog, watch for signs of a positive or negative reaction.
For example, if you give CBD to your dog 20 minutes before a firework show and find them lying comfortably during the festivities when they’d otherwise be cowering under a bed, the CBD has probably been effective.
Or, if your dog’s arthritis has been causing mobility issues, and after about a week of CBD. they’re able to run and jump like they used to, chances are high it’s doing something.
As for negative effects, look for excessive panting, lethargy, vomiting, dribbling urine, and loss of balance. If your pet is exhibiting any of these symptoms, they may have consumed too much and may be experiencing toxic effects.