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Is CBD Safe for Dogs?


Many people treat their pets as direct extensions of the family. In some households, a dog is cherished in the same ways that a newborn baby or a young toddler is protected by the heads of the household. It’s that dedication to keep innocent members of the family safe that encourages pet owners to consider all options that will maintain the health and wellbeing of their pets.

As scientists uncover more medicinal purposes for cannabis-derived products, including cannabinoid (CBD) oil, clinical trials are verifying the effectiveness of CBD as a treatment for underlying medical conditions in humans. This includes treating symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even the odd case of schizophrenia.

Recently, dog owners have put questions towards doctors that specialize in CBD studies in regards to its effectiveness as a treatment for their furry little friends. Specifically, people wonder, is CBD safe for dogs and can it be used as a treatment to help mitigate the effects of illnesses.

What Does CBD Therapy Treat?

Before you run out and purchase CBD products for your dog, you should understand the general capabilities of CBD oil. In essence, CBD is a natural remedy that provides physical and mental relief for people coping with intense physical or neurological pain.

Every person possesses an inherent endocannabinoid system that allows endocannabinoids to flow through the body. Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters that help keep the body’s internal functions running smoothly and succinctly. They attach themselves to endocannabinoid receptors in order to remove or lessen the effects of pain in the body.

CBD has the ability to function as a de facto substitute for endocannabinoids when the body is facing a significant deficiency in the endocannabinoid system. Low numbers of endocannabinoids within the body limits its ability to heal injuries or suppress the effects of past trauma on the mind. CBD can bridge the gap, so to speak, effectively stepping in for a lack of endocannabinoids to help the body function or the mind remain in a positive light.

How Much CBD Oil Can I Give My Dog?

Given that CBD has helped treat underlying conditions in people, the natural questions that arise are to probe the possibility for treating those same conditions within animals. Specifically, if CBD is safe for humans, is CBD safe for dogs as well, if so, how much CBD oil can you give to your dog?

An interesting perspective on this very question was presented in an article on the Huffington Post. The writers questioned Dr. Mark Verdino, Senior Vice President and Chief of Veterinary Staff at North Shore Animal League America on the outskirts of New York City.

Dr. Verdino described how he gave CBD oil to his own elderly dog in order to treat the animal’s anxiety, a symptom he believes is a result of age-induced blindness. Since beginning the CBD therapy, the dog has been less anxious in the evening hours and is able to slide into a peaceful sleep for the night.

The amount of CBD oil to give to your dog will depend on the type of illness, the dog’s physical condition, and any other variables that are unique to your homelife. Dr. Verdino recommends consulting with your veterinarian on the existing illness, discussing the possibility of CBD as treatment, and gathering a recommendation on how much CBD oil to give to your dog.

How Often Can I Give My Dog CBD Oil?

This will also depend, in large part on the age of the dog and the severity of the illness. But there are some general guidelines you can follow to decide on an ideal dosage.

When people first begin treating their own conditions with CBD, the recommended dosage is calculated in milligrams. Doctors prescribe various amounts of milligrams per day depending on the patient and the severity of the condition. Typically, CBD users can ingest as little as 10mg per day or as much as 1500mg per day. This is a wide range that covers potential CBD treatments for distinct conditions like anxiety, diabetes, or irritable bowel syndrome.

When deciding on the optimal amount of treatment for your own dog, it’s best to tread lightly at first. Start with a relatively small dosage to test the effects of the remedy on your dog. If you notice an improvement in their condition with no clear side effects, you can modify the dosage as needed. However, do play it smart and consult with your veterinarian before modifying the treatment in any way.

Can a Dog Overdose on CBD Oil?

This is a valid question that can haunt any loving parent worried about the health of their children, human or animal. In any event that your dog shows signs of sickness after ingesting CBD oil, always go immediately to your veterinarian to make sure that the illness is not severe or life-threatening.

That being said, it’s very unlikely that your dog can overdose on CBD oil in a characteristic overdose way. In the event that your dog has a bad response to the oil, or happens to ingest too much CBD in a short time, these are some of the symptoms you can expect:

  • Lethargy
  • Ataxia
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vomiting
  • Hyperesthesia
  • Recumbent

The best method of treatment is to give your dog fresh water and provide comfort and loving support as the oil works its way through the system. You can rest assured that the potential for any serious or life-threatening symptoms is negligible, at best. However, should your dog show any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian for advice on how to help guide your furry little friend through the bad episode.

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