The risk vs reward of CBD for dogs
Every pet parent should consider the safety profile of new supplements that they give to their animals. That is especially true when it comes to CBD since it’s such a new ingredient with very few real world studies.
And although CBD has a great safety profile and has become a popular treatment option for pets, there are products that can cause negative side-effects and allergic reactions.
These are the important things that you need to consider before administering CBD to your dog for the first time.
Can dogs overdose on CBD oil?
With the popular emergence of CBD oil on the consumer market, more and more people seem to think it’s a cure-all with no harmful side effects.
In reality, there are some side effects of CBD, especially if given too much at a time.
That said, the effects aren’t nearly as dangerous as with other supplements and drugs, which can give you some peace of mind.
Below are the most common side-effect that you can expect to see when you give your dog too much CBD oil:
- Upset stomach
- Excessive lethargy
- Dry mouth (thirst)
Although these symptoms can be uncomfortable to deal with at the time, they’re not long-lasting and all you need to do is stop the treatment and your dog will be back to normal in no-time.
Most pets that receive too much CBD simply need to sleep it off, allowing their bodies to process the excessive cannabinoids they’ve ingested.
According to a study from the WHO, researchers were unable to find any range of significant effects resulting in high doses of CBD being administered to pets.
What to expect if a dog overdoses on CBD
The majority of symptoms pet owners will notice if their dog overdoses on CBD are relatively benign.
The most obvious side effect is lethargy and sleepiness which your dog will need to sleep off and/or expel through their urin.
In other cases, the lethargy could result from low blood pressure, lightheadedness, and drowsiness.
To have a better understanding of whether your dog is experiencing a normal or adverse reaction to CBD, it’s important to know how the compound affects their bodies.
When CBD is ingested, it produces therapeutic effects thanks to the boosting of the endocannabinoid system (ECS).
Within this system, you’ll find enzymes, endocannabinoids, and cannabinoid receptors, each that controls different bodily functions.
For example, pain, body temperature, sleep, immune function, and memory are all affected by the ECS.
When your dog consumes CBD, it acts on the ECS enzymes and increases the production of endocannabinoids in their bloodstream.
With over 65 molecular avenues it affects, CBD is inherently versatile for an incredible number of therapeutic needs.
What makes CBD such a remarkable ingredient for dogs, especially those with anxiety issues, is how heavily it affects their nervous systems.
The complex nature of the ECS makes it quite simple for CBD products to calm your dog’s nervous system down to a lethargic state.
It’s important to note that the general side effects of a dog overdosing on CBD will vary considerably depending on their age, weight, and metabolism.
The most common signs of a CBD overdose include:
- Dry mouth
- Lowered blood pressure
- Liver enzyme changes
It can always be best to talk to your vet before administering CBD products to your dog.
With their professional guidance, you can find the perfect dosage for your pet and the dosing schedule to work with their unique physiology.
Also, with the help of your veterinarian, you can choose the best products to help avoid toxicity.
What is toxicity vs. overdosing in dogs?
When you start looking into the potential side effects of administering too much CBD, you might come across a term known as “toxicity.”
Now, toxicity is a much different animal than overdosing on CBD, and it often leads to significantly more serious issues.
The term overdose is used when too much of something is given to your dog, such as too much CBD.
On the other hand, toxicity can occur in animals even with the smallest dosage.
The difference lies in the quality of the formula, as toxicity occurs when administering low-quality, unsafe ingredients to your dogs.
It was once a major issue with the emergence of CBD on the market, as some pet parents took it upon themselves to experiment.
Assuming THC and cannabidiol were the same things (they’re not!), pet parents would try to give their pets the benefit of CBD by exposing them to THC.
Unfortunately, as the two compounds are considerably different, THC toxicity has become a prevalent issue in pet communities.
Many dogs experienced the same symptoms as if they ate toxic mushrooms or plants when exposed to marijuana products.
As with any supplement you intend to bring to your pet’s daily schedule, it’s important to ensure it’s a safe substance for them to consume.
CBD, a byproduct of a hemp plant, can be safe when processed specifically for pets or humans.
THC, another hemp product, is unsafe for dogs, regardless of the dosage, and can lead to considerable health issues such as increased blood pressure and urinary incontinence.
What Are the Symptoms of THC Toxicity in Dogs?
If you’re concerned that your dog has been exposed to levels of THC, the symptoms are relatively easy to spot.
It is highly recommended you seek assistance from a trained veterinary professional immediately.
The most common symptoms of THC toxicity in dogs include:
- Racing heartbeat
- Heightened anxiety
- Sensitivity to loud noises and lights
- High sensitivity to touch
- Extreme lethargy
- Dilated pupils
The treatment your vet will recommend depends on the amount of THC your pet has been exposed to.
With high levels of toxicity, pet hospital appointments are traditionally recommended, ensuring the dog receives additional care and ample fluids.
Is CBD capable of killing or harming dogs?
Even though overdosing on CBD is massively different than our general understanding of overdosing, it can be harmful in very specific instances.
CBD on its own is highly unlikely to cause any malignant issues with your dog’s health, as it will simply pass through their system in time.
However, as earlier mentioned, if your dog is exposed to CBD and THC simultaneously, this is where the issues can lie.
That said, it would take a couple of very irresponsible pet parents to have this happen, as your dog will need to consume at least 0.3% THC to experience a lethal toxic dose.
That is also why it’s incredibly important for pet parents to read the labels of the products they offer to their animals, as packaging regulations for CBD products vary significantly.
The last thing you’d want is to accidentally administer a THC product to your pet, leading to massive health ailments.
How do I find the right CBD dose for my dog?
Several factors come into play when determining the effectiveness of CBD for your pet and the right dosage.
First, you’ll need to consider what you’re treating your dog for, while also considering its weight, age, and metabolism.
It’s also essential to consider the individual formula, as some companies have CBD products in different potencies than others.
Here are a few key tips to help you get started with finding the right CBD dosage for your dog:
Tip 1: Read the instructions
The best option you have when working with high-quality CBD oil is to read the dosage instructions that come with the formula.
As mentioned, every product has its own ingredients and concentrations, which can affect CBD’s effectiveness.
Going over the recommended instructions can help you find the perfect amount of product based on your dog’s weight.
Of course, your doses may likely change over time depending on the effects your dog experiences.
For example, if there isn’t any improvement, you may want to transition from half to a full dose.
As long as you don’t make massive changes above 30 mg per serving at a time, your dog shouldn’t experience digestive upset.
Tip 2: Talk to your vet
It’s always recommended you talk to your vet before taking CBD dosing into your own hands, especially as a beginner.
Not all pets are created the same, and you’ll want to ensure you’re giving your dog ingredients that are healthy and safe for them to ingest.
Interestingly, some pets don’t work well with CBD and can experience some negative health effects from using CBD products.
When you work with your vet, you’ll guarantee that the products you’re using are safe and organic.
You’ll also receive professional insight into how much each product you should administer to your pets throughout the day.
With their help, there’s no second-guessing about how many treats or tinctures you should add to your pet’s food.
Tip 3: Adjust doses slowly
If you’re trying to adjust the effects of CBD on your pet’s endocannabinoid system, it’s best to make small changes over a long period.
Just like introducing new food into your dog’s diet, you’ll want to take it slow and observe any changes.
It’s highly recommended you increase or decrease doses by half a dose each time you want to adjust.
Wait anywhere from five to seven days to see if there are any noticeable differences in your pet’s health with the new dose.
This should give their bodies plenty of time to adjust to the higher or lower amounts of CBD without making massive overnight changes.
Is CBD safe for dogs at all doses?
When answering, “Can dogs overdose on CBD?” the answer is yes, but it’s not as serious as you might think.
The truth about cannabinoids is that when taken in excess, they can cause low blood pressure, dizziness, and fatigue in your animals.
To ensure you’re giving a healthy and safe dose to your pets, always discuss adding CBD products to your dog’s daily routine with your vet.