CBD pet treats have been on the market for quite some time, but there’s still a lot to learn. Can CBD help dogs? So far, most of the information about how well CBD works for pets is anecdotal rather than empirical. Researchers at Colorado State University are trying to change that.
Epidiolex is a pharmaceutical CBD that has been approved by the FDA as a treatment option for two types of epilepsy in humans:Lennox-Gastaut syndrome or Dravet syndrome. Neurologist Dr. Stephanie McGrath decided to answer the question: can CBD help dogs with epilepsy?
Her study is being funded by The American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation and will include sixty epileptic dogs. The dogs are administered CBD and their owners keep a daily log of seizures. Participating dogs are those who have not benefited from traditional seizure medications like phenobarbital and potassium bromide.
HOW MUCH CBD TO GIVE A DOG?
In addition to finding out if it works, Dr. McGrath wants to figure out just how much CBD a dog with epilepsy needs to control or reduce seizures.
CBD dog treats list the amount of CBD per treat, commonly 2mg of CBD per treat. Human patients may take as much as 200mg of CBD daily – or even more – to stop seizures. But is the same amount of CBD, pound per pound, required for canines? Dr. McGrath’s study may have the answers.
Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine was also conducting promising research on the use of CBD. They focused on treating pain caused by osteoarthritis and crepitus (grating sounds in joints caused by arthritis). This research has since been shut down, in part due to a report published the AVMA or American Veterinary Medical Association on cannabis. ElleVet Sciences in Maine sponsored the study. Before the AVMA shut it down, however, the double-blinded study showed significant improvement when administered CBD rich oil as compared to a placebo.
AVMA spokesperson Sharon Granskog has since said that the group was unaware that their report prevented Cornell’s research from going forward, and they even hope that cannabis can be reclassified on a federal level to allow more research before the AVMA can take a formal stand on it.
CAN CBD HELP DOGS WITH ANXIETY?
Although Dr. McGrath’s study does not go beyond seizures, pet owners are turning to CBD for other things. For example, pet anxiety.
The most common stress triggers for dogs are:
- Lightning, Thunder & Storms
Traveling by car, train or airplane can be really stressful for a dog. Some pet owners are turning to CBD pet treats for relief.
WHAT ELSE CAN CBD DO FOR PETS?
While research in the following areas are still in their nascent stages, anecdotal evidence seems to show some benefit in gastrointestinal issues, nausea, arthritis, and even relief from some symptoms of cancer. Theoretically, scientists studying this hypothesise that CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system, which is a series of receptors that runs throughout the body – in humans and dogs! How exactly can CBD help dogs? Well, CBD could help to achieve a balance in the endocannabinoid system, which modulates things like pain, anxiety and nausea, the last of which causes dogs to lose their appetite.
HOW CAN I ADMINISTER CBD TO MY DOG?
CBD for dogs is available in several forms, ranging from topical treatments to tinctures, treats and capsules. You can give CBD oil in tinctures to your dog by dropping it in their mouth or even in their food bowl. The exact dosage is based on your dog’s size, weight and age, so we can’t stress this enough – make sure you check all labels to see just how much CBD is in each serving. Also, it’s good to start with a lower dose and ease your dog into a higher dose as needed.
WHAT TO WATCH OUT FOR
A lot of products on the market contain CBD from industrial hemp which is legal but as yet unregulated. Several companies (including those that sell CBD products for pets) were sent warning letters from the FDA for not following certain standards – and some were found to contain little to no CBD at all! If you plan to traverse the tricky territory of CBD for dogs, make sure to check out our list of safe brands for your furry friend.
So, can CBD help dogs? More and more people are turning to CBD for pet relief. However, there are no formal conclusions from the FDA regarding the use of CBD for pet anxiety. The good news is that there is little to no evidence that CBD (in the prescribed dosages) could be bad for your pet, but we would advise always consulting your vet before you give your dog any supplements. Still, if you struggle to calm your dog before a big storm or during a fireworks display, then you might want to give CBD for pets a try.