CBD, which is short for cannabidiol, is all the craze these days. In October of 2019, CBD was one of the most-searched health-related topics on Google. Many users of CBD report feeling less anxiety, depression, and some users also believe there are health benefits to it. While there's ongoing research as to how valid those claims are, the interest in CBD sparked another idea - giving cannabidiol to pets. After all, it's a natural substance, and dog owners always love sharing their yummy treats with their four-legged friends!
It's now possible to buy CBD-infused dog treats and food, and, of course, you can give a dog CBD oil directly. Should you, though? Is there any evidence that it will help your dog, or will it harm your beloved pet?
There's Ongoing Research, But CBD Remains Banned For Consumption
There is a common misconception that because CBD is everywhere that the FDA approved it for human consumption. That's not the case. While people are permitted to sell CBD-based products in most states, it remains illegal to market for humans to eat. As you might guess, if it's not approved for humans to eat, it's also not accepted for dogs to eat.
People generally regard CBD as safe for human consumption, but that's not necessarily applicable for dogs.
There's Some Evidence That CBD May Not Be Great For Dogs
While there is active research into the effects of CBD on humans, there isn't the same level of research on the impact of CBD on our four-legged friends. Instead, we have anecdotal evidence both for and against CBD.
According to the American Kennel Club, the possible side effects of CBD in dogs include:
- Dry mouth: A dry mouth would mean that dogs would be more thirsty, but a lack of saliva can also result in teeth issues.
- Lowered blood pressure: Your pet may feel lightheaded when you give them CBD. Unfortunately, because your dog cannot speak, you'll have no idea how bad that feeling is.
- Drowsiness: CBD has anti-anxiety properties in humans, which people speculate happens in dogs as well. However, that can manifest itself as drowsiness which may have health implications for your dog if they get less exercise than usual.
It's also worth noting that since the FDA has not approved CBD for dogs, there is no known safe dosage. In humans, there's evidence suggesting that it would be tough to overdose on CBD, but we don't know that carries over for dogs.
We Don't Know What CBD Does
Ultimately, we don't know what CBD does for dogs because we don't have the scientific data, yet, to understand its full effects.
At a bare minimum, before giving your dog CBD, please discuss it with your vet. Your vet may be able to prescribe some FDA-approved medication that will address your concerns without resorting to CBD. Or, perhaps your vet agrees that it's worth trying CBD. At least with the backing of a vet, you will be able to ensure that whatever you are giving your pet is helping, not hurting.