CBD for Dobermans: 5 Vital Things To Know Before Giving Your Doberman CBD Oil or CBD Treats
Giving CBD to your doberman for the first time can be confusing and intimidating. Over the last 5 years, CBD has exploded unto the scene, with my low quality brands popping up to make a quick buck. How can you determine whether a CBD product is safe and effective for your doberman? We’ve created this guide with 5 vital tips for buying CBD for your doberman. Tip #5, in particular, might really surprise you!
1. Does the CBD Oil You’re Giving Your Doberman Have a Current COA (certificate of analysis)
Ensuring that the CBD product you use for your doberman is pure is absolutely essential due to how CBD is manufactured. CBD is derived from hemp, which tends to absorb toxins from the earth. We have personally tested brands of CBD oil that have contained lead at 10x higher than safe levels.
While most CBD companies will have their product tested once, look for a brand that displays a current and updated COA on their website’s product page. It’s also absolutely vital that a CBD brand tests each and every batch of their CBD oil, as large variances can occur in the quality and purity.
The following is an example of a COA for the Cannanine CBD brand.
2. Has the Pet CBD Brand Been In Business for At Least 3 Years?
CBD for dogs has become a very profitable business, and many fly by night companies have popped up over the past few years. For this reason, we’d recommend looking for a company with a track record of at least 3 years in business. If a company can survive 3 years in business, their products are likely good enough quality to meet the standards of customers and regulators.
Learn more about the CBD endorsed by iHeartDogs, which was founded in 2018.
3. Am I Giving My Doberman The Right Dosage of CBD?
Many first time doberman owners make a mistake on dosing CBD. Fortunately, research shows there does not seem to be much of a risk of overdosing on CBD with dogs. However, it is advisable to start with a low dose and slowly increase, monitoring how your doberman responds. In some cases, doberman owners don’t realize that they can slowly increase the dosing if they fail to see results.
Typical dosing is recommended in the range of 0.2 mg to 0.5 mg per pound of bodyweight. Again, it doesn’t hurt to start low and slow. Oftentimes, if a dog does react negatively to CBD, it is often from the oil contained in the product. Usually the reaction will just be mild vomiting or diarrhea.
4. Understand The Difference Between the 4 Kinds of Products: Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum, CBD Isolate, and Hemp Seed Oil
CBD for dogs comes with a confusing array of terms. Let’s break down the 4 kinds of products:
- Hemp seed oil– Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, not the actual plant itself. Sometimes referred to as just “hemp oil”, this ingredient offers many benefits from the Omega-3s contained in it, but it does not contain CBD . Beware of products labeled only as ‘hemp oil’.
- CBD isolate – An isolate product starts with a full spectrum CBD, and chemically removes the other cannabinoids from the oil. While you still get some of the benefit of the CBD, you lose the benefit of a wider spectrum of the hemp plant. For this reason, we’d recommend avoiding CBD isolates for dogs.
- Full spectrum – A full spectrum product contains all of the cannabinoids of the plant, including a small amount of THC. THC can be toxic to dogs, even in small doses. For that reason we prefer the next option, especially for smaller pups.
- Broad spectrum – A broad spectrum CBD product contains all of the cannabinoids with the exception of THC, which is removed. The end result is a product that contains nearly the full spectrum, minus the riskier THC. For most dogs, we believe broad spectrum is the best option.
5. Beware of Purchasing Hemp Products on Amazon or Chewy, As They DO NOT Contain CBD
We have nothing against Amazon or Chewy, but at the time of this writing their policies do not allow for the sale of CBD on their marketplaces. Many unscrupulous brands list their “hemp oil” products on these stores in an effort to trick customers into believing they contain CBD, while it only contains hemp seed oil. While hemp seed oil offers many benefits, it does not offer the calming and pain relief properties of true CBD. For this reason, we’d recommend avoiding Amazon or Chewy when purchasing CBD, and instead purchase directly from the manufacturer’s website.
What Brand of CBD Has the iHeartDogs Seal of Approval?
iHeartDogs helped formulate the Cannanine brand of CBD for dogs. In addition to being organically farmed, every batch of Cannanine CBD is triple tested to ensure purity, safety, and efficacy.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Oil, Chews & Treats for Dobermans
CBD vs. Fluoxetine/Prozac for Dobermans: Which is More Effective?
Prozac/Fluoxetine an SSRI antidepressant used to treat a variety of behavioral disorders in dobermans. Many veterinarians prescribe Prozac for separation anxiety. In recent years, many pet owners have begun turning to CBD for more natural anxiety relief for their dogs.
Only you and your veterinarian can make the best choice for your doberman’s situation. In my personal experience with my dog’s separation anxiety, while my pup got temporary relief from Prozac, it also significantly changed her personality and energy. Eventually with a process of training and using CBD that I detail here, we were able to finally beat separation anxiety for good.
CBD vs. NSAID Pain Medications like Rimadyl, carprofen, Novox, deracoxib, Deramaxx, firocoxib, Previcox, meloxicam, or Metacam: Which Is More Effective for Dobermans?
NSAID medications can be powerful tools in fighting pain. They do, however, often come with long term side effects that can affect digestion, the kidneys, or the liver. Only you and your veterinarian can make the best choice for your doberman, but many owners have found that CBD offers more natural relief without any known side effects. Many doberman owners give CBD in addition to prescription medications, but be sure to discuss your plan with your veterinarian.
Can CBD Help My Doberman’s Joint Pain, Hips, Back, Arthritis or Mobility?
The last few years has produced exciting research on the effectiveness of CBD on an older dog’s mobility. Several clinical trials using CBD on dogs have shown improvement in mobility scores for dogs given CBD oil. Remember, arthritis is a degenerative condition that will continue to worsen, however it appears CBD can help slow the progression of pain. According to a poll administered to 400 dog owners, 59% reported that CBD was ‘very effective’ and 19% reported CBD was ‘somewhat effective’ in alleviating their dog’s joint pain.
Can CBD Help My Doberman’s Anxiety?
As detailed here, clinical trials using CBD for humans (who also have an endocannabinoid system like dogs) have shown its ability to calm anxiety. According to a poll administered by iHeartDogs to 400 dog owners using CBD, 41% of owners reported that CBD was ‘very effective’, while 25% reported it was ‘somewhat effective’ in helping their dog’s anxiety.
Can CBD Help My Doberman’s Allergies & Itchiness?
A 2020 study concluded that dogs using CBD were more likely to see a significant decrease in atopic dermatitis symptoms. In fact, the dogs in the study had a 51% decrease in CADESI-4 scores, meaning fewer allergy/itchiness symptoms were present after the study.
An iHeartDogs poll showed that 68% of respondents said that CBD was ‘very effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ in alleviating their dog’s allergy symptoms.
Can CBD Help My Doberman’s Seizures?
One of the earliest uses for CBD in both humans and dogs was for minimizing epileptic seizures when medication failed to work. One study published in 2018 showed that an astonishing 89% of the dogs studied showed a drop in regular seizures after given CBD. The study was a double blind, placebo controlled test.
The same iHeartDogs poll showed that 70% of respondents claimed that CBD was ‘very effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ at reducing the number of seizures experienced by their dog.
Which CBD is Best for My Doberman: Oil Tinctures, Soft Chews, or Treats?
Whether you give your doberman a CBD oil tincture, a CBD soft/gummy chew, or a treat is a personal choice.
There are some benefits to CBD being absorbed in the mouth sublingually, and your best bet for this rapid absorption is by using a CBD oil tincture. However, if your doberman won’t take oil directly to their mouth or in their food, a CBD soft chew or treat is an equally viable option.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.
Does CBD Work for Dogs?
Topper, a 7-year-old Ibizan Hound, could hardly walk after being diagnosed with severe arthritic changes due to Valley fever. “The pain became so debilitating he had to be carried outside to eat, drink, or use the bathroom,” recalls owner Christy Moore. “He was on pain medication but it wasn’t working. A friend recommended pet CBD. Within three days he could walk on all four legs and I was crying tears of joy. It was the miracle we needed.”
Lady Amelthia, a Greyhound, was so petrified of thunderstorms she would destroy a crate to escape. “Holding her only made her claw to get away. A ThunderShirt reduced her from 100 to 90 on the anxiety scale,” recalls owner Jenn Boswell, director of the Alabama Greyhound Adoption Center. “Veterinary-prescribed trazodone took it down to a 50. Tried three drops of CBD oil and it went down to a 5.”
Success stories abound of dogs overcoming anxiety, slowing seizures, and even beating cancer due to cannabidiol (CBD), one of more than 100 cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. But how can one substance help so many unrelated problems? Or can it?
Cannabinoids are substances including CBD and THC that mimic the endocannabinoid chemicals naturally produced in all vertebrates. Receptors for endocannabinoids are found throughout the body. The body’s endocannabinoids act as master regulators that signal other systems when to speed up or slow down, working to stabilize the body and return it to homeostasis. Cannabinoids from the cannabis plant affect these same receptors, each in slightly different ways. For example, THC causes a high, while CBD does not.
Is It Harmful?
Unlike THC, which can cause toxicity and even death in dogs when given at prescribed human dosages, the worst CBD has been documented to do is cause diarrhea and changes in some liver enzyme values after several weeks. The main concern with CBD is that it inhibits a chemical in the body called cytochrome P450 that is responsible for metabolizing most drugs. If a drug’s efficacy depends on its metabolized product, CBD could render it less effective. If a drug’s safety depends on it being cleared from the body within a certain time frame, CBD could cause it to build up to toxic levels. Never give your dog CBD without your veterinarian’s knowledge if your dog is taking other drugs.
Does It Work?
Research with dogs is still scarce, but there’s a huge body of research (about 23,000 published papers!) looking at CBD’s effect on laboratory animals and humans, with encouraging results for pain, especially arthritic pain, itchiness, anxiety, and cancer, all of which have at least one canine study as well. The results in dogs? It depends.
Arthritis: Several studies have looked at CBD’s effectiveness against arthritic pain, all with positive results. A Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine study found dogs given CBD at a rate of 4.4 mg per pound twice daily for a month showed significant improvement in pain relief and quality of life. Lead investigator Joe Wakshlag, DVM, Ph.D., DACVN, said that some dogs were initially so decrepit that their owners considered euthanasia, but that after just days on CBD they were trotting around and even climbing stairs. A Baylor University study found similar improvement, adding that CBD worked better when delivered in a liposomal formulation.
Itchiness: Two recent double-blind, placebo-controlled dog studies report CBD significantly reduces itchiness. An Australian study conducted by the company CannPal found their CBD product reduced itchiness, inflammation, and skin lesions by 51 percent after eight weeks of treatment. An American study conducted by the company ElleVet found their product, which combines CBD with another cannabinoid, CBDA, significantly reduced owners’ reports of itchiness.
Cancer: Cannabinoids are reported to induce cancer-cell death and prevent metastasis. In a Cornell University study of CBD, dogs, and cancer, researchers found CBD along with a standard chemotherapy drug reduced cancer-cell proliferation in vitro more than the chemotherapy drug alone. Anecdotal reports from veterinarians have claimed CBD shrunk cancer cells or put dogs into remission.
Behavior: Anxiety, and especially noise reactivity, is a major reason dog owners seek help using CBD. But despite anecdotal reports of its effectiveness, no controlled study so far has shown it to be particularly effective. A study from the University of Western Australia may show promise for aggressive behavior. Shelter dogs with aggressive tendencies exhibited less aggression toward humans when tested after 15 days of CBD administration. In a study from the University of Kentucky, physiological measurements of anxiety in response to noise were not significantly different for CBD versus placebo, and were worse compared to trazodone (a drug commonly prescribed for anxiety). Note, however, that in this study the CBD was administered four to six hours before testing, which may have been too long a waiting period.
Seizures: Lots of anecdotal reports hail CBD’s success combatting seizures in dogs, but the single controlled study delivered moderate results. In this Colorado State University study, dogs given CBD for 12 weeks had 33 percent fewer seizures than those given a placebo, but it didn’t work for every dog. These researchers are now working on a larger trial using higher CBD doses. Note that THC has been reported to cause seizures, so it should never be included in any CBD product for seizure control. In addition, CBD’s effect on cytochrome P450 could interfere with prescribed anti-seizure drugs, so never use it without your veterinarian’s consent.
Other: There’s also evidence from laboratory animals that CBD is effective in promoting bone healing, fighting infection, treating inflammatory bowel disease, slowing degenerative myelopathy, quelling nausea, and relieving pain, but these have yet to be specifically examined in dogs.
How to Choose CBD For Dogs?
With hundreds of CBD products on the market, and little regulation of them, it’s not easy to know which is best. Look for a product with the National Animal Supplement Counsel (NASC) Seal of Quality Assurance, and one that has a third-party certificate of analysis that includes potency, lists all ingredients, and discloses the possible presence of heavy metals, mycotoxins, or pesticides. Avoid edible products formulated for human consumption, which often contain ingredients such as xylitol that are toxic to pets.
Choose broad-spectrum products, which include other cannabinoids and substances known as terpenes that are also in the cannabis plant. CBD seems to work best when it’s in conjunction with these rather than isolated. But avoid full-spectrum products that include THC.
Aim for about 0.1 to 0.2 mg per kilogram of your dog’s weight, given twice daily by mouth. Work up gradually, but beware that more is not always better with CBD, as sometimes the response is biphasic, meaning that it doesn’t work if you give too little or too much.
Is It Legal?
Many veterinarians are reluctant to suggest CBD, whether because they believe CBD is not yet sufficiently proven helpful or because they fear professional or legal repercussions. CBD products are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration for dogs, but neither are common supplements such as glucosamine or fish oil; nor the majority of human-approved prescription drugs routinely prescribed in veterinary practice.
While it is legal to sell hemp-derived products containing less than 0.3 percent THC, until recently the American Veterinary Medical Association did not approve of veterinarians suggesting any cannabis products, including CBD, for patients. Even now, the law is unclear enough that many veterinarians fear repercussions if something went wrong due to their suggestion of CBD.
While some veterinarians are hesitant to suggest CBD, almost all are eager to discuss it once you bring it up. Of course, some veterinarians are more versed in its pros and cons than others. The main concern is its possible interaction with prescribed drugs.
Overall, the evidence is compelling that CBD can help at least some conditions. The endocannabinoid system is the largest system in the body, and the least explored. Every year brings new discoveries—and new claims. It’s the beginning of a brave new world of health, but as with any new path, expect some wrong turns, dead ends, and false hopes. CBD is not a miracle drug, but it may be the miracle your dog needs.
This article originally appeared in the award-winning AKC Family Dog magazine. Subscribe today!