All mammals have a biological, cell-signalling endocannabinoid system, and if you have been using CBD oil and find it beneficial, you probably know that your fluffy friend can enjoy the same results.
Whether you decide to buy CBD oil for your dog to support an overall sense of calm, help manage the signs of everyday stress or discomfort or simply complement his or her everyday wellness, it might be challenging to choose the right CBD product as they all come in various forms and require different methods of consumption. Here is everything you need to know about finding a suitable and safe CBD product and optimal dosage for your dog.
Oil tinctures, capsules and infused treats are considered the most common ways to intake CBD for your dog. Let’s delve into specifics of each particular product’s form and how you should give it to your four-legged friend.
Oil tinctures are usually manufactured in glass bottles with a dropper to measure the exact dosage. There are numerous ways to give your dog an oil tincture.
- You can squirt the oil directly into the mouth of your dog. Try to place the dropper under the tongue so that it can be absorbed through the capillaries and hit your pet’s bloodstream faster. If your dog doesn’t let you do this, squirt the oil on the back of the tongue. Also, make sure to give some food for your pet to ensure he or she has swallowed the oil drops;
- Squirt the drops on a treat. However, try to choose treats that are soft to allow the active components to be absorbed through the food. For instance, a scoop of canned salmon, dog muffins, boiled chicken, mashed sardine or plain yoghurt;
- Add the oil to the main meal. This method works if you have a routine and feed your dog twice a day to ensure that all the food on the plate is eaten along with the CBD tinctures.
Capsules usually contain different types of CBD extracts blended together with natural and beneficial ingredients to prove added benefits. The main advantage manufacturing companies advocate for is the convenience of usage as the capsules come with a pre-calculated dosage, and you don’t need to measure it each time.
Also, you can often come across the statement that CBD capsules are great for older dogs who suffer from pain, inflammation and arthritis. However, there are no arguments on how exactly capsules are better in these cases than oil tinctures. There’s a slight suspicion that this statement is just a sales pitch.
Infused treats are not an only canine alternative to CBD gummies, as many of you may think. The product comes in various forms and flavours — for example, roasted peanut butter bites, bacon biscuits and chews.
CBD oil in a tincture is referred to as the most effective form of all the CBD product range for dogs. Here are some reasons that prove it:
- CBD infused capsules usually have an outer layer of vegetarian ingredients, which prevent the gel from reacting on the inside as quickly as oil drops squirted under the tongue;
- The CBD concentration in the tincture is typically higher than in capsules or treats. What’s more, a tincture also gives the benefits of natural oil to the overall CBD effect;
- CBD-infused treats are processed with heat, and the potency of cannabinoids becomes weaker. So, you never know how effective the treats are.
On the whole, the right dosage is an acute issue when it comes to CBD intake, both for humans and animals. There are no generally accepted guidelines or a one-size-fits-all dosage. That’s why each manufacturing company will differ significantly in the amount of CBD in a treat or capsule.
Yes, the optimal dose for a dog is calculated in a capsule and treats. But the calculation is based on a nonexistent average dog. Therefore, you should remember that each time you give your dog a CBD capsule or treat, you rely on the manufacturer’s calculations.
To give CBD to your pet or not to give is the question to ask your veterinarian, not Dr Google. CBD, as well as all the other supplements you give to your furry friend, should be disclosed to a licensed professional to allow for correct health monitoring. Here are some tips.
The concentration of active components is different in human and pet versions of CBD oils and edibles. Remember, the industry is still relatively unregulated, and there can be odd ingredients written on the package. What’s more, CBD oil for humans may contain THC traces, and the dosage should be administered even more strictly. Since dogs have a more complex endocannabinoid system than humans, with more receptors, they may feel the effects of the THC compound much stronger.
Another good point here: many CBD products for humans are made in gummy form. To give the gummies some taste, companies add artificial sweeteners. Usually, it’s Xylitol which is toxic to animals.
An organic product is the sign of high quality and absence of pesticides, fungicides or solvents.
The Certificate of Analysis (COA) gives you information about laboratory testing results of the product. It must show zero THC and high value of CBD.
The quality of CBD oil for dogs largely depends on the method in which the product is emulsified. There are three emulsion types:
- Standard. Large particles and poor absorption. Hence the lowest price;
- Liposomal. Better absorption because of smaller particles;
- Nano-sized. Microparticles and excellent absorption.
We recommend choosing CBD products with the sign “No detectable THC”. Also, be cautious with the name “Hemp oil”. This is the way for manufacturers to skirt regulations, and you will never define exactly how much CBD is in the product.
Keep in mind that hemp oil and hemp seed oil are different products. The latter does not contain enough CBD to bring any therapeutic effect.
Before giving a CBD product to your dog, you have to keep in mind several metrics:
- Your dog’s weight;
- The number of milligrams in the dosage;
- The concentration of cannabidiol in the product.
Measure the dog’s weight in kilograms. If you know it in pounds, simply divide the number by 2.2, and you get the weight in kilos.
Multiply the weight of your dog in kg by the amount of your product’s dosage. For example, if the dose is 0.2 and the dog weight is 20, you get 20 X 0.2, which is 4.
Find out the concentration. Take the pack and read how many milligrams of CBD is in each millilitre.
Divide the dosage of the product by the number of total concentrations. This is an accurate one-time intake for your dog.
Generally speaking, with CBD oil tincture, you’ll stick to doses of 2-4 drops administered 2-4 times a day. With other CBD treats, the dosage is very individual. There are three golden rules to follow with any CBD product or a supplement:
- Start with a low dose;
- Monitor your pet’s reactions;
- Increase doses slowly if needed.
Dr Cornelia Wagner, owner of Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic in Portland, OR, acknowledges that there are no clear medical guidelines on how to use CBD for dogs. That’s why any pet’s treatment should begin with the lowest dose possible. She also suggests the recommended upper dose limit – 1 mg/kg per day orally.
If you witness negative side effects, such as excessive sedation, vomiting, disorientation or excitement, stop CBD intake immediately and consult a veterinarian. If you don’t see any side effects, your pet has developed tolerance. It means you can gradually increase the dosage within five days. Increases should be no larger than 0.05 ml/mg per week.