Is CBD Safe For My Dog?

Here's what you should know 🐶🌿

Dog with CBD

Cannabidiol (aka CBD) is becoming super popular for both people and pets.

You may have noticed a ton of dog CBD products popping up, and you’re probably wondering if they’re actually safe for your pup.

The Dodo spoke with Dr. Megan Dundas, a veterinarian and practice owner of Lincolndale Veterinary Center in New York, for the truth about the safety of CBD for dogs.

Is CBD good for dogs?

The short answer: It depends.

“CBD is safe to use in dogs, assuming you are purchasing a product from a reputable source,” Dr. Dundas told The Dodo. “Be cautious about which product you purchase.”

You should always make sure anything you’re giving your dog is from a reputable source, but this is especially important with CBD.

That’s because testing is still very limited for dog CBD products.

“Herbal products and dietary supplements don't have any premarket testing required by law,” Dr. Dundas explained. “Quality, safety and efficacy of the product cannot be assured.”

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that CBD is bad for your dog, it just means that testing isn’t extensive enough to guarantee one way or another which products could help or hurt your pup.

“People are also usually somewhat familiar with medicinal uses of CBD in humans, which may make them more comfortable with use of these products in their pets,” Dr. Dundas said. “As interest grows, more studies are published that support the efficacy of CBD, and reputable products are entering the market, I expect CBD will be integrated into treatment plans more often.”

Potential benefits of CBD for dogs

“CBD is popular in the pet world, I assume, because people are often looking for a treatment that will actually work [and] that carries little risk for side effects,” Dr. Dundas said.

The hope is that, similarly to how it helps humans, dog CBD would help with things like:

  • Seizures
  • Inflammatory diseases (like osteoarthritis and skin allergies)
  • Pain
  • Anxiety
  • Decreased or lack of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Tumors

All these things sound super promising, but keep in mind that the research is still ongoing.


Potential risks of CBD for dogs

If you’re worried that CBD will get your dog high, that’s one concern you can cross off the list.

“CBD is extracted from cannabis, and it does not have the psychotropic or hallucinogenic properties known to be present in THC [aka the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis],” Dr. Dundas explained. “It will not alter the mental state of pets or humans.”

However, some CBD dog products might actually contain a percentage of THC, which is the risk you take when giving your pet a product with little to no regulations in place.

So if your dog consumes a large amount of those products, there is a chance he could experience some THC toxicity.

Signs of THC toxicity in dogs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Inappetance
  • Diarrhea

Your dog might also experience ataxia (aka impaired coordination).

“[Ataxia] is more commonly seen in dogs and is a temporary effect,” Dr. Dundas said. “It does not cause permanent harm to the dog.”

When it comes to CBD toxicity in dogs, according to Dr. Dundas, any serious adverse effects are dependent on how much CBD your pup ingests.

“Side effects, including possible death, are seen ... when very concentrated doses are given,” Dr. Dundas explained.

And it’s important to remember that the biggest risk in giving your dog CBD is that you could be giving him something that hasn’t been extensively tested (yet).

Things to give your dog that aren’t CBD

Since choosing a reputable product is so important when it comes to giving your dog CBD, it makes sense if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the idea.

So, until you’ve done your research and figured out which CBD products to get your pup, there are always non-CBD options to try.

If your dog struggles with an inflammatory condition or joint pain, try giving him a hip and joint supplement.

If your pup is the anxious type, a calming aid could do wonders.

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