Managing the anxiety of moving to a new home, easing the aches and pains of aging or chronic illness, coping with thunderstorms and travel, syncing up for a chill day together — there are a lot of reasons why people choose CBD for their pups.
No matter why you’re considering CBD for your furry best friend, you know you want to choose the best product to give your dog a safe and happy experience.
Chances are, you’ve already tried navigating the overwhelming number of human CBD options on the market and have probably dealt with a bit of decision fatigue. There are nearly as many different kinds of CBD products available for dogs as there are for us. How in the world do you pick the best product for a friend who can’t tell you what they want?
We’ve put together a few tips to help you choose the right CBD for your dog for a worry-free experience.
Get the Facts
Before giving your dog CBD, there are some basics to get under your belt.
Does CBD work for dogs? CBD (or cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant. It doesn’t cause a “high,” but rather interacts with receptors in the endocannabinoid system for a number of therapeutic purposes.
All mammals have endocannabinoid systems that are closely integrated with their central and peripheral nervous systems. You and I have one, and so do our dogs. CBD interacts with your dog’s endocannabinoid system in much the same way it does with yours.
Will it get my dog high? No. The cannabis compound that causes a “high” is THC, not CBD. This is important to note, because THC can be toxic to dogs and cats, and you want to avoid products that contain it — this includes full spectrum CBD, which we’ll discuss below.
Why would I give CBD to my dog? Just as humans find that CBD helps them with anxiety and aches, vets and pet owners have found the same possibilities with animals. There’s a handful of scientific studies indicating CBD can help with a wide range of issues dogs may encounter.
Is CBD safe for my dog? Yes. The World Health Organization issued a 2017 report saying CBD is safe for animals. As long as you avoid products with THC and administer the right dosage, CBD is considered safe. Always consult with your veterinarian before beginning any supplement routine.
How do I know how much CBD to give my dog? This can get really confusing really quickly. Why? Because dosage amounts are dictated not only by the size of your dog, but also by the concentration of CBD in the product you’re using. You’ll see a wide range of serving amounts recommended online.
How do you decide? First, consult with your veterinarian. Second, follow the instructions on your product. And start small.
By far, the easiest way to ensure you’re giving your dog the right amount is to choose a product specifically formulated for your dog’s size.
Know Your Pup
The next consideration in choosing the right CBD for your dog is knowing and understanding your dog — their needs, their preferences, and their routine.
Is your pooch suffering from joint and muscle pain? Some breeds are prone to certain ailments like arthritis, back pain, and hip issues. Scientists continue to research the therapeutic uses of CBD for dogs.
Anxiety and stress can be problematic for your pup. From separation anxiety to environmental stress from storms and noise, there are a lot of potential sources of unwanted stress for your dog.
This is, of course, problematic for your dog, but it can also have repercussions on your own quality of life. Stressed dogs can damage furniture, doors, and carpets, suffer from incontinence and diarrhea, and act out in a number of troublesome ways.
Dog lovers often use CBD to mitigate challenging situations, including social events, travel and separation.
Many dogs suffer from dry, cracked skin on their paws and nose, due to everything from old age to surface contact (remember, they’re always walking barefoot!). Soothing CBD balms for pets can not only ease their discomfort, but also help moisturize that dryness and prevent further irritation and potential infection.
It’s important that you know your pup’s preferences when it comes to supplements. Will your dog respond to a tincture administered from a dropper? What if it’s bacon flavored? Or will your dog prefer a treat? Your pooch will almost certainly welcome the comfort of a soothing balm.
Knowing your dog also helps you decide when to give them CBD. Do they get antsy when guests come over? Does their joint discomfort seem worse in the morning or evening? It generally takes 30–45 minutes for CBD to kick in for your pet, depending on their size and metabolism.
The Right Stuff
The final, and perhaps most crucial, step is understanding what makes a good CBD product.
We mentioned earlier that THC has been found to be toxic for dogs and cats. Full spectrum CBD has a small trace amount of THC in it, and you should avoid giving it to your dog.
Broad spectrum CBD delivers the widest range of therapeutic benefits without THC, and is the ideal choice for your dog, whether you’re treating them for anxiety or joint pain.
Quality is key to the safety and efficacy of CBD. How do you know you’re purchasing the highest quality product?
Find organically cultivated CBD. Hemp is an incredibly absorbent plant, and it soaks up any pesticides or heavy metals in the soil where it’s grown. Organically grown hemp is the foundation for the best CBD for your doggo.
Lab reports from third-party groups are the best way to know exactly what’s in your product. Not only will a lab report give you peace of mind in knowing your product is toxin-free, it will also tell you exactly what the concentration of CBD in the product is, aiding you in administering the right dose.
Look for products geared toward your needs. Treats for dogs suffering from joint and muscle discomfort will include additional beneficial ingredients for joint health and antioxidant properties. Similarly, products for anxiety will include calming ingredients like GABA, valerian and L-theanine. Balms will also include shea butter, salmon oil, and other soothing ingredients.
Remove the guesswork. Our CBD tinctures are designed for dogs of specific size ranges, making dosage a no-brainer. In addition, we provide lab reports to support all of our products, and while our pet CBD is concentrated for animals, we use human-grade CBD free of additives and made from purified, organic hemp oil.
Although finding the right CBD for your dog may seem overwhelming at first, these tips will help you make the right choice. Always check with your veterinarian, and follow your pup’s cues to make sure you’re giving them the right product for their needs, and in the right amounts.
To give your dog the best CBD experience, check out our products for pets.