A quick guide to animal CBD dosing, and how much CBD you should give your dog.
With the increased availability of CBD dog treats, a common question is emerging. How much CBD should I give my dog? What makes the answer complicated is the fact that veterinary science is still very much in the dark regarding CBD and companion animals. There have been only a few preliminary studies as of yet, but there are a few things we know so far about CBD treatment for dogs.
How Can CBD Help Dogs?
The science is still young on this topic, but pet owners and veterinarians are saying that CBD can be useful in treating canine anxiety, nausea, inflammation, and seizures. In addition, a study in Frontiers in Veterinary Science (2018),1)Boesch, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 2 July 2018, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full.observed positive effects from administering CBD oil to dogs suffering from osteoarthritis.
Another recent study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (2019),2)“Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy”. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Vol 254 , No 11, avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.254.11.1301.found that CBD could be used to treat dogs with epilepsy by reducing the number of seizures. However, even with emerging research, this study in Toxicology Communications (2018),3)Greb, Alexandra, and Birgit Puschner. “Cannabinoid Treats as Adjunctive Therapy for Pets: Gaps in Our Knowledge.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24734306.2018.1434470?af=Rstated that there are still some significant gaps in our overall knowledge of how CBD affects pets.
But, through these studies, we have gained a greater understanding of whether or not CBD is harmful for dogs.
It is now widely known that THC is toxic for dogs, and can lead to some troubling symptoms that could be deadly. In contrast, it seems CBD — made from the hemp plant — is relatively safe for dogs. However, human CBD may not always be, depending on its additives.
Dosing CBD for Your Dog
In the above study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science, researchers administered two milligrams of CBD per kilogram to the dogs in their care. They were able to observe noticeable results.
Next, a study published in Animals (2019),4)Deabold, Kelly A, et al. “Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats”. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI, MDPI, 19 Oct. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826847/. set out to discover if the above dosage is the correct one when treating dogs with CBD. This was an uncontrolled, preliminary study, but it does help us glean some information about dosing. The researchers gave eight healthy Beagle dogs two milligrams per kilogram of CBD/CBDA for for eighty-four days. They observed the dogs’ behavior and took careful note of their complete blood count (CBC) and serum biochemistry values.
The researchers discovered no adverse effects from the dosage, and their CBC and serum biochemistry values remained within normal range. There was a small percentage of instances where dogs experienced loose stool or vomiting. Otherwise, there were no abnormalities.
Researchers concluded that this dosage is safe for dogs, but acknowledged that further research needs to be done — particularly in dogs with comorbid issues, who may be taking other medications.
So, if you’re administering CBD to your dog, with a CBD oil or soft chew made for dogs, a dosage of two milligrams per kilogram is probably safe. However, it is always a good idea to start low and slow. A smart plan would be to start your dog on a one milligram per kilogram dose, and then build from there. But it’s of the utmost importance that the CBD you’re giving your dog is pet-safe and does not contain THC.
Can You Give Human CBD to Your Dog?
In a word, no, you should not give human CBD to your dog. Additionally, at this time, it isn’t a good idea to make your own CBD oil for your dog, either. The reason underlying both of these concerns is the fact that human CBD can potentially contain more than the bare minimum of 0.3 percent THC. Human CBD oil can also contain other ingredients that are toxic for your pet, like grapeseed oil or xylitol.
And due to widespread regulation issues, there is a pervasive problem regarding mislabeling of cannabinoids on CBD products.
Testing CBD oil on your own for its cannabinoid values is no easy task, either. That’s why it’s important to look for information about third party testing when buying CBD products. So, when administering CBD to your pet, don’t make your own, and don’t use human CBD. It’s safest to go with a veterinarian specific, trusted brand. Look for one which conducts third party testing. Also important is one with a seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC).
What to Keep in Mind When Giving Your Dog CBD
When deciding to treat your dog with CBD, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. First, does your dog have other health issues? Further, is your pup is already taking other medications? If so, you’ll want to do some extra due diligence to make sure a CBD treatment is safe. CBD can increase the effectiveness of other medications, for better or worse. Therefore, it’s a good idea to talk to your veterinarian about giving your dog CBD and how much, regardless of whether or not your pet is taking other pharmaceuticals.
And due to the possibility of some side effects, keep an eye on your dog when giving them CBD. Watch for any digestive issues, like vomiting or diarrhea, and be sure to let your veterinarian know if either occur. Your vet can help you adjust the dosage or advise you on the best course for treatment.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Boesch, et al. “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs.” Frontiers, Frontiers, 2 July 2018, www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fvets.2018.00165/full.|
|2.||↑||“Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy”. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Vol 254 , No 11, avmajournals.avma.org/doi/10.2460/javma.254.11.1301.|
|3.||↑||Greb, Alexandra, and Birgit Puschner. “Cannabinoid Treats as Adjunctive Therapy for Pets: Gaps in Our Knowledge.” Taylor & Francis, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24734306.2018.1434470?af=R|
|4.||↑||Deabold, Kelly A, et al. “Single-Dose Pharmacokinetics and Preliminary Safety Assessment with Use of CBD-Rich Hemp Nutraceutical in Healthy Dogs and Cats”. Animals: An Open Access Journal from MDPI, MDPI, 19 Oct. 2019, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6826847/.|