The-Real-CBD-Blog-The-Ultimate-Guide-to-CBD-for-Dogs

Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Did U know that our furry best friends, possesses the same naturally occurring endocannabinoid system that humans do? 

This means that our beloved pets, can experience all the same incredible benefits from taking CBD – as we do.

It’s no real surprise to learn that CBD for dogs was one of the most popular market trends in 2020. The increased awareness of CBD’s benefits for dogs also means the range of CBD products available for them has skyrocketed.

As with any pet wellness trend, when it comes to CBD oil for dogs, there’s a lot of information floating around online. We know it can be hard piecing together snippets of info you find here and there. So, we have put on our science coat and gone for walkies around the internet to compile The Ultimate Guide to CBD for Dogs – just for you!



What is CBD and how does it work in Dogs?

CBD is the short name for Cannabidiol, a chemical compound that reacts positively with your (and your dog’s) endocannabinoid system. We won’t get into all the sciencey stuff in this guide, but if you are interested in exactly how it all works check out our dedicated article here!

CBD is derived from either hemp (the rope and fabric stuff also used to make dog toys) or cannabis (the recreational stuff for humans only).

Whereas CBD products used to be a mysterious online entity only, they’re now a regular high street product. It offers many incredible health benefits for pets (and people). CBD comes in anything from pills and oils to specialty chews and treats.


ECS system in dogs infographic
Info-Graphic of a dogs Endocannabinoide system


Is CBD for Dogs and Humans the Same?

When it comes to cannabis, our dogs have a slightly different endocannabinoid system than us humans. Canines have a higher concentration of CB1 receptors in the cerebellum than any other species. THC is a partial agonist of these receptors. This means that dogs have increased sensitivity to THC. 

So, any CBD products that are aimed at dogs will contain very low levels of THC or, in some instances, none at all. 

In the UK and Europe, this is never really an issue as it is only legal to sell CBD oils with a THC content of less than 0.2% anyway. However, as you move across to the USA where THC products are legal in some states. Hence you should be cautious about ensuring that any dog or pet-related CBD products contain these same low levels of THC.

Another difference to factor in when browsing for CBD products for your little pupper is that they are (usually) much smaller than us two-legged, furless creatures. This usually means that CBD strength and dosing is generally lower – so keep an eye out for this as well as following any recommended dosing guides! 


What is the Science Saying on CBD for Dogs?

Currently, formal studies on how CBD affects dogs are in their infancy, but those that have been piloted are showing very promising results. – some of which we will discuss further on! 

What scientists do know for sure is that cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors located in the central and peripheral nervous systems. This helps maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state. This enables the body to heal itself in a variety of ways.

However, only a quick browse of the world wide web will provide you with heaps of anecdotal evidence from gobsmacked dog owners. So many of them are amazed at the difference, they see in their pets after starting them on a course of CBD for a range of issues.  


What Are the Benefits of CBD Oil for Dogs?

The benefits for dogs are remarkably similar to the benefits for us human beings. The benefits might include:

  • Reducing anxiety levels,
  • Lowering blood pressure,
  • Reducing inflammation and joint pain,
  • Helping with sickness and nausea,
  • Encouraging homeostasis
  • Less epileptic episodes. 

With dogs, a lot more so than humans, the results of a healthier, more relaxed pup are more noticeable in their day-to-day behavior. It’s common now to see reports from owners who notice that their dogs are less aggressive, calmer, bark less frequently.

A lot of these behaviours can stem from a pooch who is anxious, or in pain but cannot find any other way of letting their human know! 

Luckily for us and them, the true potential of CBD as a healing agent is finally beginning to be realized and as its popularity grows! As does the reported range of life-changing effects it’s having on both us as people and our pets! Our hope is that as the self-reporting evidence stacks up. The scientific community takes interest and begins to study and validate the effects that we can see with our very eyes!


Does CBD help Dogs with Epilepsy?

Idiopathic epilepsy is unfortunately the most common neurological condition for dogs. It’s estimated to affect around 6% of all dogs worldwide and currently has no known cause. For both us as dog owners, and for our fur babies themselves, epilepsy can be extremely distressing.

As if this wasn’t bad enough, common therapeutic methods used to treat idiopathic epilepsy in dogs, has been shown to have no effect in 20-30% of dogs that suffer from it – awful we know!

HOWEVER – you can breathe a small sigh of relief, as there seems to be some hope on the horizon. A study in June 2019 concluded that CBD was shown to lessen the frequency of epileptic seizures in 9/10 dogs! Amazingly, CBD is known to have the exact same effect in humans too!


Does CBD Oil Calm Your Dog?

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Dogs can get anxious for several reasons. Some of these include separation anxiety, phobias related to storms, fireworks, car rides, cats and other animals, food anxiety etc.

Because science hasn’t yet gifted our doggo’s the ability to talk to us (hurry up already science), it’s often difficult to pinpoint the exact source of anxiety. So, if you can’t work out what the trigger is, how can you do anything to remove it?

Thankfully, CBD oil in its full spectrum form is known to have a calming effect on dogs. 

This is likely because once ingested CBD is known to bind to the receptors in the endocannabinoid system that causes a release of serotonin. And, as we all know, serotonin is your bodies feel good and mood stabilising chemical. 

So, if you’re having a hard time figuring out just what is causing your pooches anxiety, you can try giving them CBD oil to see if it helps them feel better and all-around more relaxed!


Can CBD Help with My Dog’s Joint & Mobility Problems?

CBD is well renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is responsible for several painful conditions in dogs, but most noticeable of all is joint and mobility problems.

Joint and mobility problems usually come on as our dogs start to go grey and think about retiring from their professional stick fetching or rabbit chasing careers. All those years of joyous fetch and walkies eventually take their toll and you might notice your pooch starting to look a bit creaky or struggling to get in and out of bed. 

Full-spectrum CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties may help provide relief from sore joints as well as allergic, autoimmune, and certain digestive issues. 

Recent clinical studies have shown great promise in using hemp extract (CBD oil) to help improve the mobility of your canine with arthritis. Although more research needs to be done, the anti-inflammatory and pain regulating properties of CBD extract seem to offer relief for many dogs.

However, they say prevention is better than cure! CBD helps the immune system to regulate cellular degeneration. What this means is, that if you introduce CBD into your dog’s life before arthritis, inflammation, and joint pain set in, you could help to prevent these things altogether!


Dog CBD Oil – For Relief from Nausea

Older dogs and those battling chronic illnesses sometimes suffer from nausea or poor appetite. Full-spectrum CBD oil has a calming effect on the GI tract, helping to relieve nausea and stimulate appetite.

Can CBD Oil for Dogs Be Used with Other Medication?

Perhaps the most important benefit of full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs is its potential to minimize or even eliminate the need for pharmaceutical drugs. 

Medications used to treat the conditions above can carry some very scary side effects. Veterinary anti-inflammatory drugs are especially taxing on the liver and kidneys. They also cause digestive issues and behavioural changes in some dogs.

Whilst CBD products can provide some of the same amazing positive benefits that pharmaceutical drugs can; it is always recommended that you speak to your vet before stopping any existing medication. Sometimes it’s possible that CBD can be used entirely as a pharmaceutical replacement. Other times, it can be used alongside them to maximise your best friend’s overall health and happiness.

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Possible Side Effects of CBD in Dogs

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage.

  • Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as increased thirst and drinking more often (not a bad thing).
  • Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness – but this is very rare.
  • Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety. The calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.
  • Hyperactivity: Some owners report their dogs becoming much more hyperactive after starting them on a course of CBD. This is more common in older dogs and seems to simply be the result of them feeling so much better in themselves. For example, relief from joint pain is shown by increased activity levels.

Risks of Using CBD Oil for Dogs

Although there is no known safety issues or risks associated with giving CBD to your dog, there is very little in the way of scientific research to validate this. Any medication or supplement carries the risk of a reaction to both people and animals, even if it is tiny. 

It is always advisable, when giving your dog something new, to start out with small amounts and then closely monitor the effects. If you’re still unsure you can always check with your veterinarian first as well. 


How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?

To answer this question, we will need to listen to veterinarian professionals and use our best judgment.

Safety and consistency are extremely important to us at The Real CBD, which is why all of our CBD oil tinctures come with pipettes.

Most dog owners looking to treat issues like anxiety, inflammation, arthritis or mild seizures should start off with a low dose to assess tolerance and gradually taper dosing up.

We recommend beginning with a low dosage (two times a day) for the first week and then gradually increase as needed for the desired effect. Remember that not all animals respond to CBD oil in the same way – some may require very small dosing while others may need a little more. The key is to stay consistent.

For those pups who have a more extreme case, you may wish to start off with the medium or high dose, but there is still no harm in tapering up until you find a ‘sweet spot’ that works for your pooch.

How much CBD should you give your Dog?

What Kind of CBD Product is Best for Dogs?

There is a wide range of CBD pet products on the market today. The most common is still CBD oil, but there are now chews, toys and treats. If you opt for CBD oil, this can just be pipetted straight into your dog’s food or treats. 

However, as we are all too keenly aware, some dogs are incredibly fussy eaters – which is incredible considering what we see them eat off the floor. But some are, and they will turn their nose up at your gourmet dinner if they so much as sense any tampering with it in terms of medicine, CBD oil or otherwise.

Don’t worry if they are because we have you covered! We have just introduced a new line of salmon tasting CBD pet treats (for both cats and dogs alike). These tasty little treats are a fantastic way of tricking your fussy eater into taking their CBD without any of the fuss!

If you are still unsure about anything in this guide or anything that wasn’t answered, please feel free to contact us at info@therealcbd.com with questions or for clarification.



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