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If you're looking for alternatives to traditional medicine for your pets, you may be interested in CBD for dogs. Cannabidiol (CBD) use for dogs is a snowballing trend that has helped countless canines reduce anxiety, pain, and seizures.

A recent research article published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science found that 92 percent of veterinarians have been asked about CBD use for pets.

The growing demand has been met by numerous cannabis-infused products catered to small and large dogs. If you’re a dog owner, you have a wide range of pet-friendly products to choose from such as topicals, oils, and treats in flavors that your furry friend can appreciate.

Despite the passionate interest in CBD for canines, research is lacking on the effects of CBD for dogs and other pets. CBD research on humans is more extensive, but we still don’t know everything about how cannabinoids, terpenes, and other cannabis compounds affect different people.

We also don’t have proper dosing guidelines. Before starting a CBD regimen for your dog, it’s important to know as much as possible about the safety of CBD products.

What is CBD?

CBD is just one of over a hundred therapeutic cannabinoid compounds found in marijuana and hemp. CBD does not provide any noticeable psychotropic effects. Most dog-friendly CBD products are made from hemp-derived CBD instead of marijuana-derived CBD, which contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the intoxicating compound that gets users high. Legally, hemp-derived CBD must have no more than 0.3 percent THC, an amount that won’t cause any significant hallucinogenic effects.

The Endocannabinoid System

Cannabinoids such as CBD and THC interact with a network of cannabinoid receptors throughout the human body that are part of the endocannabinoid system. Animals such as mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish also have an endocannabinoid system that helps maintain homeostasis in the body and regulate a wide range of biological functions and processes such as:

  • Memory
  • Appetite
  • Reproduction and fertility
  • Mood
  • Sleep
  • Chronic pain
  • Metabolism
  • Motor control
  • Cardiovascular system function

Dogs can take CBD by mouth or through topicals. When consumed, CBD interacts with a dog’s cannabinoid receptors found in the central and peripheral nervous system. Researchers haven’t found out exactly how CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, but it doesn’t bind to receptors like THC does. The endocannabinoid system is composed of two types of receptors:

  • CB1 receptors are mainly found in the central nervous system (brain, hair follicles, salivary glands)
  • CB2 receptors are found in the peripheral nervous system (skin, organs, nervous and immune system)
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Research on CBD for Dogs

While research on CBD for dogs may be lacking, anecdotal evidence is overwhelming on the positive effects of CBD for canines. Dog owners have reported that CBD has helped alleviate pain, seizures, nausea, anxiety, and more conditions in their canine companions. CBD research, however, is scant. Only two small studies have tested the effects of CBD on dogs.

Stephanie McGrath, D.V.M., is a veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She conducted preliminary research about how CBD is metabolized by dogs and CBD’s safety. She then studied the effects of CBD on 16 dogs with epilepsy and found that 90 percent of them experienced relief. She’s now studying the effects of CBD on dogs with epilepsy and osteoarthritis.

Another study at Cornell University published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science details the effects of proper dosage of CBD for pets with arthritis. Researchers administered ElleVet Sciences’ proprietary hemp-derived CBD chews to dogs with pain and arthritis. Dogs received either 2 or 8 mg of CBD every 12 hours for 4 weeks. By the end of the study, more than 80 percent of dogs experienced decreased pain and improved mobility at 2 mg CBD doses.

Side Effects and Risks of CBD for Dogs

Because there is little data on the effects of CBD on dogs, there are almost no data on the possible side effects of CBD on canines. Current research indicates that some of the most common side effects to cannabis use are dry mouth, lowered blood pressure, and drowsiness. Dogs may experience these side effects at high doses, so it’s important to consult with a veterinarian before giving your dog CBD.

There’s always a risk of complications when taking CBD, especially because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved any CBD products for dogs or provided pet owners with dosing instructions. Medication interactions can also occur in some pets.

After checking with your veterinarian, start off by giving your dog a very small dose of CBD and build your way up from there to achieve your desired effects.

How to Choose the Right CBD Product for Your Dog

CBD products for pets are a dime a dozen, which makes it difficult for consumers to weed out the bad companies from the good ones. When searching for the right product for your dog, you should research online reviews and determine the quality of the product. Here are a few things you should look out for:

  • If possible, go with organically grown CBD products for dogs. If you’re using CBD for medical purposes, you want your pet to avoid ingesting pesticides, fungicides, and heavy metals. You can also ask for a certificate of analysis that looks at these contaminants.
    Prices vary. Higher-priced CBD products typically reflect higher quality products, but not always. Cheaper alternatives may be laced with harmful contaminants.
  • Ask for the certificate of analysis that shows the cannabinoid content. Sometimes, companies will test for a wide range of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. A certificate of analysis also ensures the product has lower than the legal limit of THC.
  • Avoid giving your dog human CBD products, which may contain grapeseed oil or xylitol. These ingredients can be toxic to your pet.
  • Look for products with a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).
  • Choose the product that’s best for your pet. CBD liquid is easier to administer in small increments drop by drop.

Best CBD Products For Dogs

1. PetHonesty Hemp Mobility

PetHonesty Hemp Mobility is a range of high-quality CBD-infused products designed to promote mobility, comfort, and overall well-being in dogs. With a focus on natural ingredients and holistic approaches to pet health, PetHonesty has emerged as a trusted brand in the pet industry.

PetHonesty Hemp Mobility Products for Dogs

PetHonesty offers a selection of CBD-infused products specifically formulated to support mobility and joint health in dogs. These products include:

a) Mobility Soft Chews: These soft chews are packed with natural ingredients such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and hemp oil rich in CBD. They are designed to help maintain joint flexibility, reduce discomfort, and support healthy mobility.

b) Mobility Snacks: These tasty snacks combine the benefits of CBD with natural ingredients like turmeric and flaxseed. They are formulated to support joint health, reduce inflammation, and promote overall mobility in dogs.

c) Mobility Hemp Oil: PetHonesty's Hemp Oil for dogs is made from organic hemp plants and contains full-spectrum CBD. It can be easily added to your dog's food and provides potential benefits for joint health, mobility, and overall wellness.

2. VetClassics Pain Plus

VetClassics Pain Plus CBD products for dogs are specifically formulated to provide relief from pain and promote overall well-being in canines. These products combine the benefits of CBD with other natural ingredients to support joint health, reduce inflammation, and alleviate discomfort in dogs. Here is an overview of VetClassics Pain Plus CBD products and their key features:

Pain Plus CBD Soft Chews:
VetClassics Pain Plus CBD Soft Chews are tasty treats that contain CBD along with other beneficial ingredients. These soft chews are designed to support joint health, reduce inflammation, and provide pain relief for dogs suffering from arthritis, mobility issues, or general discomfort. The CBD in these chews interacts with the endocannabinoid system in dogs, potentially promoting a sense of calmness and overall wellness.

Pain Plus CBD Oil:
VetClassics Pain Plus CBD Oil is a liquid supplement that can be easily administered to dogs. It is formulated with high-quality CBD extract and can be added to your dog's food or administered directly. This CBD oil may help reduce pain and inflammation, support joint health, and alleviate discomfort in dogs. The oil is typically available in different strengths to accommodate dogs of various sizes and needs.

Key Benefits of VetClassics Pain Plus CBD Products:

a) Pain Relief: CBD has been reported to have analgesic properties, potentially providing relief from pain and discomfort associated with various conditions such as arthritis, inflammation, and injuries.
b) Anti-Inflammatory Properties: CBD has shown potential as a natural anti-inflammatory compound, which can help reduce inflammation in dogs and support joint health.

c) Joint Health Support: The combination of CBD with other ingredients in VetClassics Pain Plus products aims to support and maintain healthy joint function, promoting better mobility and flexibility in dogs.

d) Calming Effects: CBD may have calming effects on dogs, helping to reduce anxiety, stress, and restlessness. This can be particularly beneficial for dogs experiencing pain or discomfort.

e) Natural Ingredients: VetClassics Pain Plus CBD products are typically made with high-quality, natural ingredients, ensuring the well-being of dogs and minimizing the risk of adverse effects.

3. NaturVet Senior Wellness

NaturVet is a well-known brand in the pet industry that offers a range of health and wellness products for dogs. Among their offerings, NaturVet Senior Wellness includes CBD-infused products specifically designed to support the overall well-being and quality of life in senior dogs. Here is an overview of NaturVet Senior Wellness and their CBD products for dogs:

Senior Wellness CBD Soft Chews:
NaturVet Senior Wellness CBD Soft Chews are delicious treats formulated with CBD and other beneficial ingredients. These soft chews are tailored to address the unique needs of senior dogs, providing support for joint health, mobility, cognitive function, and overall vitality. The CBD in these chews interacts with the endocannabinoid system in dogs, potentially promoting relaxation, reducing discomfort, and supporting their overall well-being.

Senior Wellness CBD Oil:
NaturVet Senior Wellness CBD Oil is a liquid supplement that can be easily administered to senior dogs. This CBD oil is carefully formulated to address the specific needs of aging dogs, such as joint stiffness, cognitive decline, and age-related discomfort. It is typically available in different strengths to suit dogs of various sizes and requirements. The CBD oil may provide potential benefits such as pain relief, improved mobility, and overall support for the senior dog's health.

Key Benefits of NaturVet Senior Wellness CBD Products:
a) Joint Support: CBD has shown potential as an anti-inflammatory compound, which may help reduce joint inflammation and alleviate discomfort commonly experienced by senior dogs with arthritis or age-related conditions.
b) Pain Relief: CBD may have analgesic properties that can help alleviate pain in senior dogs, providing them with increased comfort and improved quality of life.

c) Cognitive Function Support: Some senior dogs may experience cognitive decline, which can affect memory, learning, and overall mental function. CBD has shown potential in supporting cognitive function, potentially aiding senior dogs in maintaining mental sharpness.

d) Calming Effects: CBD may have calming effects on dogs, which can be beneficial for senior dogs experiencing anxiety, restlessness, or stress. It may help promote relaxation and a sense of well-being.

e) Natural Ingredients: NaturVet Senior Wellness CBD products are typically made with high-quality, natural ingredients, ensuring the safety and well-being of senior dogs.

4. Nature’s Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Food

Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Food is a high-quality dog food formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs.

This specific formula focuses on using natural ingredients, with chicken meal as the primary protein source. Here's an overview of Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast and its key features:

Ingredients and Nutrition:
Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Food is made with real chicken meal as the main ingredient. It contains a balanced blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to meet the nutritional needs of dogs. The formula is grain-free and does not contain any artificial additives, synthetic vitamins, or minerals. Instead, the nutrients are derived from whole foods, which are sourced from trusted suppliers.

High-Quality Protein Source:
Chicken meal is a concentrated form of chicken protein that provides essential amino acids for muscle development and maintenance. It is a highly digestible protein source that supports overall health and vitality in dogs.

Whole Food Nutrition:
Nature's Logic prioritizes the use of whole foods in their formulas. This means that the nutrients in the food are derived from natural sources rather than synthetic additives. The inclusion of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrient-rich ingredients helps provide a wide range of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support overall well-being.

Grain-Free Formula:
The absence of grains in Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast Dry Food makes it suitable for dogs with grain sensitivities or allergies. It utilizes alternative sources of carbohydrates, such as potatoes and peas, to provide energy while reducing the likelihood of digestive issues.

Nutritional Benefits:
Nature's Logic Canine Chicken Meal Feast aims to support various aspects of a dog's health, including:
a) Muscle Development: The high-quality protein content supports the growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass.
b) Digestive Health: The inclusion of natural fibers and probiotics helps promote healthy digestion and nutrient absorption.
c) Skin and Coat Health: The formula contains essential fatty acids that contribute to healthy skin and a shiny coat.
d) Immune System Support: The antioxidants and vitamins derived from whole foods aid in supporting a strong immune system.
e) Joint Health: Natural sources of glucosamine and chondroitin help maintain healthy joints and promote mobility.
Transparency and Quality Control:

Nature's Logic emphasizes transparency in sourcing and manufacturing. They prioritize using ingredients from trusted suppliers and have strict quality control measures in place to ensure the safety and quality of their products.

5. Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe Grain-Free

Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe Grain-Free is a high-quality dog food specifically formulated to provide complete and balanced nutrition for dogs. This particular recipe features limited ingredient options, focusing on salmon as the main protein source. Here's an overview of the benefits and key ingredients of Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe Grain-Free for dogs:

Limited Ingredient Recipe:
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe is designed for dogs with food sensitivities or allergies. It features a limited number of carefully selected ingredients to minimize the risk of triggering adverse reactions. This can be beneficial for dogs with sensitivities to common proteins or grains.

High-Quality Protein Source:
The primary ingredient in this recipe is real salmon. Salmon is a nutrient-dense protein source that provides essential amino acids for muscle development and maintenance. It is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which promote healthy skin and a shiny coat.

Grain-Free Formula:
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe is grain-free, which means it does not contain common grains like wheat, corn, or soy. This can be advantageous for dogs with grain sensitivities or those on a grain-free diet. Instead, alternative carbohydrate sources like chickpeas and lentils are included to provide energy and dietary fiber.

Balanced Nutrition:
The formula aims to provide a complete and balanced diet for dogs. It includes a precise blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates, along with essential vitamins and minerals. This helps support overall health, energy levels, and the immune system of dogs.

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Digestive Health:
Nulo Freestyle Limited+ Salmon Recipe contains a combination of prebiotics and probiotics. These ingredients promote a healthy digestive system, aid in nutrient absorption, and support a balanced gut microbiome in dogs.

Natural and Wholesome Ingredients:
Nulo prioritizes the use of high-quality, natural ingredients in their recipes. They avoid artificial additives, flavors, and colors. The ingredients are carefully sourced to ensure their quality and nutritional value.

Other Beneficial Ingredients:
The recipe may include additional beneficial ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. These contribute to various aspects of a dog's well-being, including immune system support, joint health, and overall vitality.

How to Give Your Dog CBD

CBD for dogs

Dogs can take CBD orally or topically. A 1988 study on the effects of CBD pills on dogs found that the pills were not properly absorbed on a fasted stomach. Researchers believe that oil is the best way to achieve maximum absorption, especially if you can administer the oil sublingually.

CBD oils are blended with a lipid carrier such as coconut, MCT, hemp seed, sunflower, or other type of oil. You can add CBD oil to food or treats to make the experience pleasant for your dog. Oil brands may contain dosing guidelines on the packaging, but your pet’s ideal dose depends on trial-and-error, so you’ll want to start with the smallest dose possible.

As CBD use among humans continues to gain interest, so will CBD use for animals. Pets are a part of the family and they deserve the best care possible. While veterinarians may be hesitant to recommend CBD for canines, your pet may benefit from hemp-derived CBD products for a range of medical conditions. Further research will likely prove and uncover numerous medical applications of CBD for pets of all sizes.

Learn more about CBD for canines at Cannabis Training University, the top cannabis training school.

Fred Hernandez - Cannabis industry expert writer
Fred Hernandez

Fred Hernandez is a highly accomplished and versatile writer, boasting an extensive background in the cannabis industry. With an in-depth understanding of various sectors including cultivators, processors, retailers, and brands, Fred's expertise spans across the entire cannabis landscape. As a prominent contributor to CTU, he consistently delivers insightful articles exploring the latest developments, news, and regulations shaping the cannabis industry. Whether it's delving into the intricacies of cannabis products, cannabis strain reviews, or providing comprehensive analyses of cannabis laws, or sharing expert insights on cannabis cultivation techniques, Fred's wealth of knowledge positions him as an invaluable writer and educator for all cannabis-related subjects.

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