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CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis and Other Mobility Issues

The fastest growing health trend for both humans and pets in 2021 is CBD oil. Perhaps you have seen it on the shelves of your local pet boutique or even at your vet’s office.

If you have a mobility impaired or senior dog struggling with conditions such as arthritis or hip dysplasia, you may be wondering if this is just another passing fad, or if there is any science to support its use. Of course, you want to do all you can for your pet. But you also don’t want to waste your money or risk your beloved pet’s health.

It turns out that CBD oil, also known as cannabidiol or hemp oil, has been extensively researched. This article will give you a basic primer on what CBD oil is, how it works, and what sorts of health benefits it may offer your dog with joint pain, arthritis, chronic inflammation, and other mobility issues.

Our hope is that if your dog has arthritis, hip dysplasia, or another condition that includes chronic pain and inflammation, that you will learn more about how CBD may be a good choice for your canine companion.

All CBD products are not the same. For example, full spectrum CBD oil may offer your dog more relief. If you decide to work with your vet to give it a try, we hope this article will also help you find the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis and mobility issues.

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is derived from a special strain of cannabis known as hemp. You may be thinking: “Wait. I thought marijuana was toxic to dogs.” You are right to have this concern. Strains of cannabis grown for recreational and medical use in humans usually contain high amounts of THC, a psychoactive compound that is toxic to dogs in large doses.

However, hemp is special. This strain of cannabis is regulated by law to contain less than 0.3% of THC, far too small an amount to harm your pet when hemp oil is properly dosed.

Hemp is high in another cannabinoid found in hemp: Cannabidiol. This compound is not psychoactive and it won’t get your dog high. But it does have several scientifically researched health benefits. This article will explore those most relevant for our senior and disabled canine companions, including those struggling with osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, and other conditions that can reduce mobility. Wondering if dog CBD is right for your pooch? Read on.

The Endocannabinoid System

The use of cannabis for its medicinal qualities goes back centuries. However, the scientific exploration of the healing qualities is much more recent. The last few decades in particular have been marked by a surge in laboratory studies on tissues, animals, and humans.

One of the biggest breakthroughs was the discovery of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS) in the early 1990’s. It turns out that this system acts with a series of receptors, transmitters, and specialized enzymes to regulate several bodily functions including: metabolism, immunity, digestion, skin health, allergic reaction, anxiety, and more.

Many people think that it sounds like a scam when they see that CBD oil may have so many health benefits, however, it is precisely because the Endocannabinoid System regulates so many other functions in the body that it can have a broad stabilizing effect on these same systems.

Your dog, like all mammals, has her own endocannabinoid system (ECS). In addition to producing her own endocannabinoids, her ECS responds to the introduction of cannabinoids such those found in hemp oil. These can be introduced via food, supplements, and applied topically.

Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs

High quality CBD oil may play an important role in a vet approved plan for your dog’s health. CBD may be especially useful in canines who suffer from mobility issues, persistent pain and inflammation, or chronic conditions that often come with age such as arthritis or hip dysplasia.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the science:

Pain Management

For many disabled and senior dogs, pain management is a key component of treatment to maintain quality of life. Pain can be caused from injury, surgery, and chronic and progressive disease such as IVDD, hip dysplasia, and arthritis. Reducing pain is important for your special needs dog’s quality of life.

Generally, pain management will include prescription medications such as opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Although these medications are very effective, they also come with serious side effects. Side effects include chemical dependence, long term liver damage, and the potential for a lethal overdose. On the other hand, the natural supplement cannabidiol has demonstrated in multiple studies to be effective in reducing pain with minimal side effects.

Decrease Inflammation

Inflammation is a significant source of pain for many of our handicapped and older dogs suffering from chronic conditions such as arthritis and hip dysplasia. Typically, these conditions are treated aggressively with NSAIDs.

Unfortunately, this class of drugs has come under recent controversy concerning the safety of their use, particularly for aging dogs and those experiencing organ dysfunction. This is particularly a concern for long term pain management. Long term NSAID use can have serious side effects on the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and kidneys. In fact, renal failure and death are possible risks of the long term use of this class of drugs. When choosing a treatment regimen for your pet, you and your veterinarian must always balance the risks and benefits of any medication to determine the best course of action for your pet.

Adding CBD to your pet’s treatment plan may be beneficial with minimal risk to your pet. Several studies have shown that cannabidiol has powerful anti-inflammatory effects, both when taken orally or when applied to the skin. One study showed CBD to be effective against inflammation caused by osteoarthritis, that it slowed the progression of this degenerative disease by preventing the nerve damage caused by inflammation! And, with fewer and less severe known side effects than many approved NSAID drugs commonly prescribed to senior pets.

Reduce the Use of Pain Medications with CBD Oil

CBD oil is thought to enhance the activity of opioids and NSAIDS, making it possible to reduce the dose of these drugs without compromising on pain control.

This is great news for dog owners looking to avoid complications from long term use of these drug classes. It certainly warrants a conversation with your veterinarian!

Improve Mobility

As our dogs age, they begin to show less interest in activities they once enjoyed. Daily walks, a swim in the pond – may become too much for a dog in pain to handle. It is heartbreaking to watch the process unfold and we all want to prolong our pet’s mobility as long as we can.

Because it can address both pain and inflammation, CBD oil may help to improve your aging dog’s mobility. One study on dogs showed that 2 mg of CBD administered twice daily improved mobility for dogs affected with osteoarthritis.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Arthritis

Arthritis is a common condition in dogs, especially seniors and large breeds. Symptoms of arthritis in dogs can include:

  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness
  • Decreased mobility
  • Difficulty jumping or using stairs
  • Lameness
  • Reluctance to engage in activities
  • Irritability or aggression

Arthritis pain can sadly have a significant impact on the quality of life of many senior dogs. CBD oil for arthritis is a relatively new treatment that has shown some benefit for dogs with arthritis pain.

Is there any veterinary research on CBD oil for dogs with arthritis? Great question!

Veterinary medicine tends to follow trends in human medicine, often lagging by years from testing to approval of veterinary drugs. The FDA has not approved a veterinary drug to treat arthritis based on CBD or hemp based compounds.

However, that is not to say that there is no research to support the use of CBD for arthritis. There are several promising studies that demonstrate that cannabidiol is effective at reducing inflammation in rat models of arthritis. One study showed that CBD was effective at reducing inflammation and slowed the progression of degeneration in rats.

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Medical Research

Medical researchers are investigating how some cannabinoid receptors, such as the GPR55 receptor, may be directly implicated in the progression of joint problems in arthritis. One study showed that CBD interacts with this receptor in a way that seems to slow down the progression.

Although there is less research to be found specifically on CBD and dogs with arthritis, one study conducted by Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2018 showed that 2 mg of CBD administered twice daily to dogs with arthritis resulted in decreased pain and increased activity levels. The dogs in the study also had no reported side effects from the treatment.

The Arthritis Foundation released a report giving some guidelines on the safe use of CBD for people suffering from arthritis. They note that: “Animal studies have suggested that CBD has pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties, but these effects have not been validated in quality studies in humans.

Although large clinical trials have not yet taken place, it is also fair to say that early research on the use of natural CBD for dogs with arthritis is promising. For dogs with arthritis, CBD may be another treatment option in addition to traditional arthritis medications and supplements.

CBD Oil for Dogs with Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is another common joint issue that begins during puppyhood. And, like arthritis, hip dysplasia is a condition that involves joint pain and inflammation.

Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition that occurs due to uneven growth of the hip joints. This results in arthritis of the hips, often at a young age. Just like dogs with arthritis, dogs with hip dysplasia experience joint pain, loss of mobility, and chronic inflammation. Other symptoms of hip dysplasia are also similar to those in dogs with arthritis, including:

  • Reluctance to rise from sitting or laying down
  • Difficulty with jumping or using stairs
  • Lameness in the hind legs
  • Decreased range of motion in the hips
  • Loss of muscle mass in the rear limbs

We know that CBD products can help with pain and inflammation. Many vets and pet owners are using CBD oil for dogs to help alleviate symptoms of hip dysplasia. This is giving our pets a better quality of life with less discomfort and more mobility.

Talk to Your Veterinarian About CBD Oil

Canine CBD oil is available ‘over the counter’, but always talk to your vet before adding a medication or supplement. This is especially important since CBD oil can interfere with the metabolism of other drugs your canine may need for proper treatment.

You may have been told, or heard not to eat grapefruit at the same time you take medications. The chemicals in grapefruit can temporarily inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes in the liver which are critical for metabolizing these medications. Cannabidiol can have a similar inhibiting mechanism so timing your dosing may be very important.

Some dogs experience mild side effects from the use of CBD oil products. These may include symptoms such as mild sedation, seeming drowsy or “out of it”, vomiting, or diarrhea when first starting the product. If these side effects occur, or if you have any other questions or concerns about CBD oil for dogs, stop giving the product and contact your veterinarian for further advice.

If you do decide to give your dog CBD oil for arthritis or mobility issues, make sure you show the product you’ve chosen to your veterinarian first. Your vet will want to make sure the product is third-party lab tested, contains an appropriate dose of CBD, and is THC-free. Some CBD pet products do not meet these safety and clinical efficacy standards. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations to help you choose the best CBD products, or check out our guidelines below.

Best CBD for Dogs with Arthritis

If you want the best CBD oil for dogs for arthritis, be sure that you know what to look for.

Unfortunately, thanks to all the recent science on this supplement, demand is high and supply is still trying to catch up. This makes the market ripe for fake and low-quality products, a situation the FDA has warned pet owners about.

To choose the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, be sure to buy a safe product from a trusted company that makes high-quality CBD oil for dogs specifically, such as LolaHemp. If you decide to do your own research on a brand to try, be sure it checks off all of these important quality considerations:

Quality Considerations when selecting a CBD Oil

Made just for dogs: Avoid CBD oil products made for people which can include flavorings and other ingredients that can be harmful to canines. Dog owners should also be aware that many CBD oils made for people can also contain high levels of THC, which can be fatal to pets. The best CBD oil will be one made specifically for dogs.

Organic sourcing: Refined hemp oil can contain harmful pesticides and herbicides routinely used in industrial hemp farming. Pet owners should look for full-spectrum CBD oil products made from organically sourced hemp, such as LolaHemp products.

Third-Party Lab Tested: You should verify the quality and concentration of any hemp oil before you buy. Look for a product that has recently been third-party lab tested to be sure you are getting a high-quality CBD product tested for purity and concentration. The label should specify the mg of CBD and the product should be THC-free.

Full Spectrum: Full-spectrum CBD oil is the best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis, and it is considered superior to CBD isolate. Full-spectrum CBD oil – sometimes referred to as broad-spectrum CBD oil – contains all of the vital compounds found in the whole hemp plant. Even in trace amounts, these compounds improve the overall healing qualities of hemp, known as the “Entourage Effect.”

MCT Coconut Oil: Widely believed to boost the ability to metabolize CBD oils, an MCT coconut oil carrier oil is a sign of high quality. Look for a broad-spectrum CBD or full-spectrum CBD oil with an MCT carrier made specifically for dogs to ensure you’re getting a quality product.

Commitment to Animal Welfare

Put your money where your heart is. Support companies that make animal welfare a priority through service and donations to rescue pets in need. The best CBD oil for dogs with arthritis also helps other pets, too!

Guest Author:
Dr. Elizabeth Racine, DVM

Elizabeth Racine, DVM is a small animal veterinarian with a passion for improving the lives of pets. She has worked in the veterinary field in various roles for more than a decade. Dr. Racine’s professional interests in behavior, nutrition, and palliative care. As a writer, her work has been featured by several world-renowned pet health and wellness brands. Dr. Racine shares her home with her dog Dasher – a beagle with his own storied career training new veterinary students – and her trouble-making orange cat named Julius.

Guest Author:
Joey DiFrancesco

Joey DiFrancesco is an animal lover, rescue advocate and entrepreneur. He is the founder of natural pet products brand Lolahemp, as well as online pet novelty shop, Lolawawa’s. Both brands are heavily active within the rescue community and contribute a portion of proceeds to animal rescue efforts.

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.”

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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!

CBD for Dogs: Everything You Need to Know

In certain states, medical marijuana is an option for people seeking relief from ailments like seizures, pain, anxiety, and cancer.

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Pet parents and veterinarians alike are naturally wondering whether cbd for dogs, in the form of products such as cbd oil for dogs or cbd dog treats, can provide the same benefits.

Here’s everything you need to know about CBD for dogs.

THC vs. CBD for Dogs

CBD is one of over 80 different chemical compounds called “cannabinoids” that have been derived from the cannabis (marijuana) plant. Unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), perhaps the most famous cannabinoid, CBD is not psychoactive.

Instead, CBD shares important metabolic pathways with a class of drugs called NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and Rimadyl. These pathways control many processes in the body, from inflammatory responses to blood clotting.

Do not give dogs straight marijuana or any product containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive component of marijuana. There is simply not enough research to justify the use.

CBD-based products, however, may help improve your dog’s quality of life when used in conjunction with other therapies.

Why Use CBD for Dogs?

CBD is often mentioned as a useful therapy for a variety of conditions, including pain management, arthritis, anxiety, seizures, and even cancer. Although the use of CBD in treating each of these conditions is under-researched, there are varying levels of scientific evidence for each scenario.

Arthritis

Because CBD shares metabolic pathways with anti-inflammatory drugs, it makes sense that it would help with certain inflammatory conditions (anything that ends with -itis is an inflammatory condition).

Osteoarthritis, often abbreviated as arthritis, is one of the most common inflammatory conditions in dogs.

One in four dogs will be diagnosed with arthritis in their lifetime, and by some estimates, as many as 60% of dogs exhibit some degree of the disease.

Research has shown that CBD can provide substantial pain relief in dogs with arthritis when given twice daily at appropriate doses.

In theory, the anti-inflammatory benefit seen in arthritic dogs could also be seen in dogs with other types of inflammatory pain, especially back pain from intervertebral disc disease (IVDD).

Preliminary studies in people have shown that combo products containing both CBD and THC are more beneficial for pain relief than when either drug is given alone. But no such research has been done on dogs, so THC should not be given to them.

Seizures

Seizures are probably the most-studied application of CBD in people, but limited research exists for pets. In dogs, seizures can be caused by a vast number of underlying conditions.

With regards to idiopathic epilepsy specifically, there is some research that suggests that CBD could be useful in reducing seizure frequency in these dogs. However, these benefits are only seen with dogs that are given traditional anti-seizure medications at the same time.

Cancer

Like seizures, the term “cancer” is an umbrella term that refers to an extremely diverse set of specific diseases, each with their own set of beneficial treatments.

In people, CBD has been studied for possible use in cancer patients, both to treat the tumor(s) directly, as well as to treat the secondary symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. Very limited research has been done on the use of CBD for dogs with cancer.

However, the anti-nausea effects of CBD seen in people who undergo chemotherapy have also been documented in rats and ferrets, suggesting that dogs receiving chemotherapy may benefit from CBD treatment.

Anxiety

Perhaps the biggest misconception is that CBD is useful in managing a dog’s anxiety. In theory, it is possible that CBD, by reducing pain and inflammation, could indirectly reduce anxiety caused by pain or inflammation.

But because CBD is not psychoactive, it is unlikely that CBD has the ability to directly treat canine anxiety in the way that Prozac and other medications do. The use of CBD for anxiety in dogs, as with most conditions, requires substantially more research.

Potential Risks of CBD for Dogs

Overall, CBD itself seems to be incredibly safe in dogs and cats. However, numerous scientific papers have found that when given at the recommended doses, CBD does cause an elevation in an important liver value on bloodwork called alkaline phosphatase (ALP).

We are not yet sure whether the elevation of this liver value has any medical significance. It could signify that CBD causes irritation or damage to the liver. Alternatively, it could be an artificial finding in which the drug interferes with the way the lab measures the liver value.

Anecdotal reports do exist of dogs becoming somewhat sleepy or sedate if they receive extremely large doses of CBD, but those effects appear to resolve on their own with time.

CBD doesn’t appear to have any drug interactions when it’s given to a dog that’s on an anti-inflammatory drug like Rimadyl.

Because there is a theoretical risk of drug interaction, as with any medication, you should consult your veterinarian first before treating your dog with CBD.

THC Dangers for Dogs

Unlike CBD, THC ingestion can cause serious problems for your pet.

“The most significant [issue] is THC toxicity, meaning, essentially, they are high,” says Dr. Gary Richter, owner and medical director of Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland, California. “Depending on how significantly a pet has been overdosed, the effects of that can be quite long-lasting, even days.”

During these episodes, a pet may not be able to stand or eat. If you suspect THC toxicity, take your pet to the veterinarian immediately. Secondary effects of THC, especially respiratory depression, should be monitored closely to avoid complications.

Overall, life-threatening risks for dogs from cannabis are “exceedingly rare,” Dr. Richter says. There is no documented lethal dose for THC in dogs. In fact, a dose of THC 1,000 times greater than the dose needed for a dog to feel “high” is still not lethal.

THC toxicity more often occurs when a pet has eaten a product that also contains chocolate, coffee, or raisins. “Even if the THC toxicity is not excessive, they can sometimes have problems due to these other ingredients,” says Dr. Richter.

How Much CBD Can You Give Dogs?

Though there are some topical treatments, CBD oil is typically administered orally to dogs, and giving the correct dosage is imperative. “As is the case with any medication, success has everything to do with dosing,” Dr. Richter says.

Studies on using CBD for dogs with arthritis or seizures generally use a dose between 2-8 mg/kg, with most papers erring on the lower side of that estimate (roughly 1-2 milligrams per pound of body weight), twice daily.

This dosage has been found to be both safe and somewhat effective for just the conditions studied (arthritis and seizures). Additional research is needed to evaluate the necessary dosages for CBD in treating other conditions.

One complication in attempting to properly dose dogs with CBD is that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that many CBD products actually contain little, if any, CBD.

The only FDA-approved cannabinoid product, Epidiolex, could theoretically be prescribed by a veterinarian for epilepsy in dogs, although this would likely be cost-prohibitive. Because it is FDA-approved, though, the CBD content of this product would be accurate, unlike most other CBD products on the market.

Can Veterinarians Prescribe CBD for Dogs?

U.S. veterinarians are forbidden from prescribing/dispensing CBD, and cannot encourage or instruct clients to purchase CBD products.

However, they are free to talk to you about the potential risks and benefits of a treatment plan you may have devised on your own. If you are considering giving CBD to your dog, speak to your vet, and you may want to also speak with a veterinarian who has experience with CBD.