CBD is becoming very popular lately, and for good reason. It can help with anxiety and sleep issues. It can also ease chronic and/ or joint pain. These effects have been found in both humans and dogs.
The world can be surprisingly stressful for our pets. They don’t understand the unpredictable loud noises from fireworks or emergency sirens, so it triggers their fight or flight system. Some dogs are just naturally more anxious than others (Chihuahuas, we see you!). During the pandemic, many dogs got used to having their owners and whole families home all day. Now that many of us are returning to work and school outside the home, that separation can cause stress for your pet. Even traveling for vacations can actually be quite stressful for dogs. Fortunately, we know about the calming effects of CBD on dogs, and we can help them manage that stress and anxiety with CBD treats.
What is CBD, anyway?
CBD stands for cannabidiol, which is a chemical compound that comes from the hemp plant.
What are the calming effects of CBD on dogs?
CBD helps calm dogs because it works with the endocannabinoid system (ECS). That’s the communication system in your pet’s brain and body. The ECS is the system that influences your dog’s mood and behavior. CBD works by improving sensitivity to the ‘feel good’ hormone, serotonin. When your dog is anxious or in fight or flight, there can be some electrical misfiring happening in the ECS. CBD slows down that misfire process, helping protect the nerve cells and keeping them from frying from overfiring. Basically, it helps calm your dog by returning their body to baseline, similar to a ‘reset’ button.
Is CBD safe for dogs?
A study published in 2018 entitled “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs” found CBD to be safe and effective for dogs. They found that CBD is safe for dogs in doses up to 2mg/kg, twice a day.
However, some potential side effects could include dry mouth or lowered blood pressure (temporary). Especially in higher doses, CBD can also sometimes cause drowsiness (which might be a good thing if you’re giving them to your dog to help cope with fireworks or thunderstorms!)
How do I choose which CBD treats to give my dog?
There are a LOT of fake and low-quality CBD products out there. Some studies report as many as one quarter to one third of CBD products (for humans) do not include the labeled amount of CBD.
This is definitely not a time to bargain hunt! Don’t shop for CBD treats for your pet based on price. You’ll likely end up with fake products, and ones that could potentially harm your pet. When it comes to CBD treats for your dog, you definitely want to buy from a company you trust. Quality is very important here.
One way you can tell if a product is fake or low quality is to check the lab analysis. If there is no analysis or third party testing, be wary. And watch out for labels that make claims that are too good to be true, or if the amount of CBD per serving isn’t listed.
You can also look for the seal from the National Animal Supplement Council (NASC), which certifies products based on their rigorous standards. If a company has the NASC seal, you know that they have passed a comprehensive facility audit within the last two years, and that they also pass random independent testing to make sure the labels on the outside match what’s on the inside.