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How to Get Your Dog to Take CBD

Jeff Yauck | December 22, 2021
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More and more pet parents are turning to CBD to help their furry friends overcome various ailments, from anxiety to pain. While most of the evidence thus far is anecdotal, there is a general consensus that giving CBD to dogs can be beneficial to their overall health and wellbeing.

Once you decide that CBD could be a valuable addition to your dog’s daily health regime, you need to consider how you’re going to administer the cannabinoid. CBD for pets comes in many forms, but getting them to take the CBD can be a little challenging. Most dogs won’t allow their human to simply open their mouths and deliver a few drops of CBD oil.

This article explores the relationship between dogs and CBD and looks at the best way to get your furry companion to take the cannabinoid.

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

First and foremost, pet owners want to know, “is CBD safe for dogs?” Although CBD is not FDA approved for humans or pets, the World Health Organization (WHO) deems the cannabinoid safe. According to a 2017 WHO report, CBD appears to be safe and well-tolerated by animals in its pure state. The general consensus is that using CBD for dogs’ pain and other ailments should not cause any serious side effects.

That said, it’s important to consider dosage. Since dogs and cats are a lot smaller than humans, it’s more likely that they will experience side effects, especially if they consume too much CBD. Hence, CBD products are formulated specifically for pets.

CBD products for dogs should contain the same quality of CBD as human products. The difference is the CBD concentration. Human CBD oil is typically too potent for pets since body size plays a role in how much CBD is necessary to have an effect.

Generally, low concentration CBD is considered safe for our furry friends. However, higher doses could cause adverse reactions, especially in smaller dogs or cats. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you don’t give your pet too much CBD.

What Are the CBD Benefits for Dogs?

Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system (ECS) that allows them to enjoy the benefits of CBD. The ECS plays a role in regulating important bodily functions, and by interacting with receptors, CBD can improve these functions, such as mood, appetite, and sleep.

Here are a few of the ways giving CBD to dogs may be beneficial.

Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Whether your dog suffers from anxiety due to loud noises, car rides, or going to the vet, CBD may help them feel more calm and relaxed. Much like humans, our pets can also experience different forms of anxiety, such as noise anxiety, separation anxiety, and travel anxiety. Often, this leads to troublesome behavior, like excessive barking, chewing, and aggression.

While research is ongoing, studies suggest that CBD may help relieve stress and anxiety by activating some of the same areas of the brain as serotonin. Serotonin is a chemical that helps us feel happy and relaxed.

Alleviate Pain and Inflammation

Some of the most encouraging research done on CBD relates to pain. Many dog owners report a significant improvement in their pets’ quality of life when administering CBD oil for pain. Additionally, a 2020 study published in the journal PAIN reported that CBD might help with canine osteoarthritis. Whether your dog has suffered an injury, chronic illness, or has age-related pain, CBD could minimize discomfort, allowing them to increase activity and sociability.

Seizure Control

Whether your dog has epilepsy or occasional idiopathic seizures, research shows that CBD may be beneficial in reducing seizure activity. One study reported that 2.5mg of CBD oil administered to dogs twice daily reduced seizure frequency by 33%.

Improve Mood and Sleep

By reducing anxiety and alleviating pain, CBD is likely to make your furry companion happier and help them eat and sleep better. Therefore, CBD may contribute to an improvement in your dog’s overall wellbeing.

How to Give CBD Oil to Dogs

When it comes to administering CBD to your dog, you’re going to want to find a method that works for you and your companion. There are a variety of pet CBD products on the market, each with a different use and a unique purpose to serve.

Here are the most popular ways to give your pet CBD.

  1. CBD Oil: Oral Application

Many pet parents love dog CBD oil because it’s easy to use. With an incorporated dropper for easy application, you can simply squirt a pre-measured dose of pet CBD tincture directly into your dog’s mouth. It’s a quick and straightforward method that works well if your dog is willing to play along.

Many brands sell flavored pet CBD oil, like bacon and salmon, to make the tincture more enjoyable for our four-legged friends.

One of the biggest upsides of CBD oil is that it gives you a lot of control over how much CBD you give your dog. You can adjust the dosage (up or down) as often as needed. Just be sure to buy the correct strength.

Typically, strengths for dogs range between 150mg to 1,000mg, with lower concentrations suitable for small dogs and higher concentrations for larger dogs. However, each situation is different. For instance, you may choose to give your medium-sized dog a strength intended for smaller dogs because you want to administer it multiple times throughout the day.

  1. CBD Oil: Mix with Pet Food

Since some dogs probably won’t take too kindly to being fed CBD oil from a dropper, you could try adding it to their food. Simply drop the pre-measured amount of oil into their dinner to create your own CBD dog food. Be sure to mix it all in and let it soak for a few minutes.

CBD oil can also be added to various other edibles and “treats.” Peanut butter works well because it also contains oil and blends well with tinctures.

  1. CBD Treats and Chews

This is perhaps the easiest way of giving dogs CBD since what pet doesn’t like a tasty treat. Also, each treat contains a precise amount of CBD – there is no need for you to measure it out, and you know exactly what dosage you’re administering. The downside is that the dosage cannot be easily adjusted.

The best CBD treats are wholesome and healthy yet incredibly tasty. Typically, they’re available in mouthwatering flavors, like peanut butter and chicken. Moreover, each treat is infused with anywhere from 2mg to 10mg per treat – and perhaps more potent options, too.

If you’re looking for a CBD gummy for dogs, some brands sell soft chews. These have a soft and chewy texture and are well suited for older or small dogs who struggle to chew regular treats. They also often come in a range of different flavors.

  1. Topical CBD Pet Products

Finally, CBD can also be applied directly to your pet’s skin. This includes dog shampoos, CBD sprays for dogs, and CBD balms. These products are designed to address certain issues, such as skin irritations or joint pain. For instance, a CBD shampoo may help with itchiness, while a CBD balm can be used to relieve local aches and pains.

Dosage Guidelines: How Much CBD to Give a Dog

As we’ve already alluded to, it’s essential to ensure you’re giving your dog the right amount of CBD. Many CBD brands have a dosage recommendation guide on their website for customers to use as a guideline.

When it comes to CBD dosing for dogs, it’s best to start with a small dose and increase it gradually as necessary. The most important things to consider are your dog’s size and weight. Naturally, larger dogs will require higher doses of CBD to feel the effects. Other factors to consider are the severity of the ailment you’re looking to treat, digestion, and what your dog has eaten during the day.

Generally, the recommended CBD dog dosage is 1-3mg of CBD per 10lbs of body weight. For instance, a 20lbs dog can start with 2 milligrams of CBD and increase up to 6mg as and when necessary.

However, every dog is unique. Therefore, it may take a little trial and error to find the perfect dosage for your furry companion.

Final Thoughts: How to Administer CBD Oil to Your Pet

Research related to dogs and CBD is still limited, but anecdotal reports are promising. Much like humans, our furry companions can benefit from the cannabinoid in numerous ways, such as reducing anxiety and stress and alleviating pain.

There are also several ways for humans to administer CBD to pets. CBD oils are a great option and come in a variety of delicious flavors to make them more appealing. Some pet owners may be lucky enough to have dogs that allow them to simply open up their mouths and squirt a few drops of CBD oil inside. Others, however, may need to disguise the CBD oil in a tasty edible. Alternatively, you may opt to try some tasty CBD treats or a topical product.

Whichever CBD delivery method you opt for, pay close attention to dosage. While generally, CBD is safe for dogs, side effects can occur if they consume too much. Also, be sure to chat with your vet about giving CBD to your pet to be on the safe side.

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