CBD Oil for Dogs: What You Need to Know

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As one would expect, the recent turn towards CBD oil isn’t just for humans. Some claim that cannabidiol can also help our four-legged friends improve their overall quality of life. And if you were to search the internet for CBD oil, you would undoubtedly find a number of products developed just for dogs.

Is CBD oil good for our canine companions? Or should you avoid giving it to them out of risk of unwanted harm? Here’s everything you need to know about CBD oil for dogs.

Scientific discoveries of CBD oil for dogs

Many scientific peer-reviewed studies have focused on how CBD oil for dogs works – in part because the learnings apply for humans, too. In many of the published results, researchers suggest CBD oil for dogs – like those formulated by NuLeaf Naturals – may contain some potential benefits for their health.

In May 2019, Colorado State University ran a clinical trial of CBD oil for dogs to determine if it could potentially reduce seizure rates. In theory, because Epidiolex (cannabidiol) was approved to treat seizures in humans, it could potentially also apply to dogs as well. Veterinarians called their results “encouraging,” after 89 percent of dogs administered CBD oil had a noted reduction in seizure frequency.

Research on CBD oil for dogs is not just limited to seizures. A group of researchers from Ithaca University in New York and Colorado State University published a peer-reviewed study in 2018 based on CBD use for osteoarthritis in dogs. In a randomized, owner-blind study, dogs were either given a placebo or a treatment of CBD oil twice a day over four weeks. As a result, those who took the CBD oil reported dogs appeared to have less pain and were more active. The researchers concluded that CBD oil for dogs, when taken at 2 mg per kilogram twice daily, could “increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis.”

Finally, research has also shown that CBD oil for dogs is relatively safe. A 2018 study published in the journal Creature Companion looked at how safe CBD oil is for canines. Excluding all the potential benefits, the study concluded that the serving size of 2 mg CBD per kilogram of dog weight was safe. In the dogs who did use the CBD oil, the researchers found no adverse health complications in dogs.

How the pet community feels about CBD oil for dogs

While the veterinary and pet community is coming around to CBD oil for dogs, nobody has come out and made a statement either for or against its use. But with more and more research suggesting the potential benefits, there’s more optimism for its use as a booster for our companions. With more studies coming out in the future, the buzz around CBD oil for pets is sure to continue the thoughtful discussion.

One of the most influential voices in the dog world recently came out with a positive statement for the use of CBD oil for dogs. In an article posted online, the American Kennel Club noted that CBD oil can help dogs “maintain balance in the body and keep it in a normal healthy state.” While the club’s chief medical officer did not endorse or condemn the use of CBD oil for dogs, they did note that any CBD intended for canine use should be organic, come with a certificate of analysis and should always be purchased as a liquid.

One of the national voices in veterinary medicine is also cautiously approaching the topic of CBD oil for dogs. The American Veterinary Medical Association published a white paper in 2019 noting that CBD oil is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any veterinary conditions. Furthermore, any company making those claims could be violating federal law, as both the AVMA and FDA have warned consumers to avoid companies making outlandish claims or direct statements on how CBD oil can treat certain conditions.

With that, the AVMA is also watching trials of CBD oil for dogs very closely. Because there is so much client interest, two states are considering passing legislation that allows for veterinarians to discuss CBD oil usage with their patients. Although the AVMA has not taken a formal stance on the benefits or downsides of CBD oil, their close interest suggests the potential exists.

Other groups have shown their outright support for CBD oil use with dogs. In 2018, the California Veterinary Medical Association backed the state’s Assembly Bill 2215, which would allow veterinarians to openly discuss the use of CBD oil for dogs with owners. “This critical legislation will allow veterinarians to counsel their clients on cannabis use for the health and welfare of their patients,” the CVMA wrote on their website. The bill was ultimately signed into law later that year by then-Governor Jerry Brown.

Should you use CBD oil for dogs?

While the potential shows a lot of upside for using CBD oil in dogs, there’s also a lot to be taken into consideration. The research suggests there are a lot of benefits, but the FDA has not endorsed the usage of it as a drug or nutritional supplement. Veterinarians have weighed in and it’s important to check with your dog’s own to see what their thoughts are. They can also give you guidance on using CBD oil for your own dog, knowing its history and demeanor is key to ensuring it’s safe for use.

Before you start using CBD oil for dogs, be sure to do your homework and discuss its potential with your veterinarian. And be sure to follow the AKC guidelines on seeking the right CBD oil: organic tinctures with published certificates of analysis showing their composition.

Your four-legged friends are your family. You want to make sure that the food, drinks, supplements, and more you give them are safe. By doing your due diligence to check with your veterinarian on the best course of action when it comes to CBD oil for your best friend.