CBD Dog Treats – Are CBD Treats Safe For Dogs?

Medical review by K9 Healthcare Council of America (K9HCA). Intended for educational purposes only. Always seek medical advice from your veterinarian.

What Are Cannabidiol Treats For Dogs?

It’s everywhere! You can’t seem to get away from it–

From drug stores to coffee shops, from gas stations to your aunt’s home-baked-cookies, CBD (Cannabidiol) seems to be everywhere and in everything!

It’s nearly impossible to miss the onslaught of headlines touting the latest & greatest all-natural remedy to help your dog with anxiety, chronic pain and other health issues.

And the pet care industry is not exempt from the explicit inclusion of CBD into commercial treats for dogs.

Are CBD Dog Treats Healthy?

In an effort to improve their dog’s lives, an increasing number of pet parents are turning to CBD – or Cannabidiol as it’s more formally known – to supplement their dog’s diet and provide a measure of support for painful conditions like osteoarthritis and joint disorders.

Some dogs, however, turn their snouts up if you try to apply CBD oil under their tongue or mix it in with their food!

Dog treats and other edibles made with Cannabidiol can be a healthy alternative to CBD tincture oils – as long as you find high-quality products.

cbd dog treats
As interest continues, there is a likely to be an increase in research about the efficacy of Cannabidiol (CBD) for dogs.

In the case of Cannabidiol as an added nutritional ingredient in pet treats, CBD can be effective in the management of canine anxiety disorders (separation anxiety, noise anxiety surrounding things like fireworks or thunderstorms), neurological stress, digestive issues, chronic joint pain & inflammation, skin irritation, seizures and mobility issues.

CBD Treats For Dogs – The CBD Wellness Trend Is Here To Stay

Americans spend over $70 Billion per year on their pets, and just like the rest of the world, this trend is rapidly rising here in the United States. Our pets will reap the rewards of the emerging markets of CBD infused pet treats, tinctures, and topical treatments with the expected growth of this industry to exceed $25 Million by 2024.

Even though most if the evidence claiming CBD benefits for pets is still anecdotal, the Cannabidiol market segment for K9’s is gaining impressive momentum and is predicted to be a billion-dollar market within five years.

Similar to our human counterparts, Cannabidiol is being recognized as empirically beneficial for canine pain management, epilepsy & seizures, as well as anxiety in our furry home companions.

cbd oil dog treats
Many vets recommend CBD products for dogs, even as veterinary scientific research into this new remedy is in its infancy.

What Is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a type of cannabis oil derived from the Cannabis Sativa plant. Unlike its close cousin marijuana, which is commonly used recreationally, CBD is generally lacking in THC, the intoxicating chemical substance responsible for getting you ‘high’.

For further clarification, hemp and marijuana both come from the cannabis plant but contain different levels of THC. Marijuana can contain as much as 30% THC, while hemp has a max of only 0.3% THC.

But that doesn’t mean that all CBD products are THC free. Generally, it is a matter of how the cannabidiol is extracted and from what type of plant, hemp or marijuana.

Marijuana Plant:

Greater than 0.3 percent THC content
CBD extract is cannabis-derived
There’s psychoactive potential
Considered a schedule-1 drug in most states

Hemp Plant:

Less than 0.3% THC content
CBD extract is hemp-derived
There’s no psychoactive potential
Not on the scheduled narcotics list

So, while marijuana-derived CBD oil is still illegal in most states, the hemp-derived oil is legal in all 50 U.S. states.

CBD Dog Treats for Pain

While there are, at this point, few clinical research studies about the medical benefits of CBD oil for dogs, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence of the therapeutic effects of CBD for pets.

Ask any pet owner and they will be quick to admit that their pets are not just the guardian of the herd—but part of the family. Having watched their dog cascade through various life milestones and now having to witness the wear and tear on their bodies, pet owners are turning to CBD to ease the aging process of their beloved companions.

Even knowing they can’t make their dog live forever, these compassionate pet parents are using CBD to support aching aging hips and joints to give their pet a self-professed degree of comfort.

Research shows that CBD oil is a very effective natural immune system support. It’s also proven to be valuable for managing and preventing canine conditions such as:

CBD also fights off free radicals to help prevent the development of cancerous cells.

Knowing this, it’s easy to see why people are choosing to give CBD treats to their dogs as a way to treat age related K9 disorders but to also keep their dogs healthy during their growing years.

cannabidiol treats for dogs
Studies show CBD can reduce pain and increase mobility in dogs with Osteoarthritis.

CBD Dog Treats for Arthritis

In 2018, an original research article published in The Journal Frontiers in Veterinary Science reported the clinical efficacy of cannabidiol in osteoarthritic dogs.

This clinical study suggested that 2mg/kg of CBD, administered twice a day, relieved pain and promoted increased activity in dogs diagnosed with osteoarthritis. The therapeutic effects of cannabinoid treatment of other animal species, such as ferrets, cats, dogs, and monkeys have been reported in the scientific literature.

Are CBD Treats Safe for Dogs?

Empirical evidence abounds with stories of pet owners who have seen a real difference in their dog’s physical health using a hemp derived CBD supplement.

A dog previously lingering in pain, not eating or sleeping, is suddenly back to being physically active, engaging with other family members and just seems to be a happier more contented dog–CBD oil seems to give these dogs a new lease on life.

With so much upside, Cannabidiol has a ‘safety profile’ that’s hard to match. CBD oil for dogs is shown to be well-tolerated with zero or minimal side effects.

CBD side effects
When made into an appetizing dog treat, Cannabidiol has a ‘safety profile’ that’s hard to match.

Full spectrum hemp CBD is generally considered non-addictive with significant therapeutic attributes but there are drug interactions that pet parents need to be made aware of.

One of the only established harmful effects of CBD is the modulation of liver enzymes. High doses of CBD — a few hundred or thousand milligrams taken orally — can inhibit drug-metabolizing enzymes.

Drug-To-Drug Interactions

At sufficiently high dosages, CBD will deactivate P450 enzymes, thereby altering how compounds are broken down and metabolized by the liver.

Metabolizing medicines properly can involve multiple molecular pathways and alterations to that process can mean a drug is more (or less) effective than it’s prescribed amount indicates.

In fact, there is evidence that suggests that high-dose CBD may enhance the effects of pharmaceutical medications like analgesics or chemotherapy agents, indicating that consumers need to make adjustments to decrease the dose of traditional prescription medications if they also give their pet CBD oil.

By inhibiting cytochrome P450, CBD can either increase or decrease the effects of other drugs, so close monitoring of both prescribed medications & CBD is necessary to achieve the best possible outcome with the least negative drug interaction.

Additionally, the elevation of aminotransferases (ALT and AST) is sometimes observed in K9 patients taking CBD and Valproate, an anti-epileptic drug.

When these liver enzymes increase, it is usually indicative of ongoing stress on the organ and potential liver damage.

Although these changes appear to reverse with cessation of CBD treatment, it is important to be cognizant of the possible reaction. But these problems are seen only when very high doses of CBD (20-50 mg/kg) are given along with other drugs.

Will CBD Make My Dog ‘High’?

This is certainly a bonafide concern, but it’s also part of the stigma behind CBD use and sales. CBD is extracted from the flowers and buds of cannabis (marijuana or hemp plants). But contrary to THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive and will not get your dog high.

Cannabidiol is a chemical compound in the cannabis plant and is most often derived from hemp. CBD doesn’t produce the “high” associated with marijuana because it doesn’t contain the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

CBD is a naturally occurring substance that is not psychoactive—meaning it won’t impair or impact your mental state of being. Not to be confused with its cousin, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), this derivative is more widely legalized across the country.

is thc bad for dogs?
Dogs don’t experience the pleasurable psychoactive high from THC in marijuana that humans do.

You should definitely do your homework to understand the legal rules and regulations of your state, though many allow the use of CBD in various products.

Potential Side Effects of CBD In Dogs

While there’s no scientific data on the side effects of CBD usage for dogs, there are potential side effects based on how CBD affects humans. To minimize any potential side effects, make sure you are following the proper dosage:

  • Dry mouth: Research has shown that CBD can decrease the production of saliva. For dogs, this would manifest as an increased thirst.
  • Lowered blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been known to cause a temporary drop in blood pressure (BP). Even though the drop is small, it might create a brief feeling of light-headedness.
  • Drowsiness: Dog owners have used CBD to treat anxiety, but the calming effect of CBD can also cause slight drowsiness, especially when using higher doses.

The Challenge Of Baking Healthy CBD Dog Treats

cbd treats for dogs arthritis
In addition to CBD, look for wholesome ingredients to support your dog’s health.

CBD in treats can be chemically affected during the cooking process. Cannabidiol can start to “break down” at 200 degrees and is almost completely broken down by 350 degrees.

And cooking can degrade the bioavailability of CBD oil–meaning your dog won’t be absorbing it as well.

So unless the treats are baked low and slow there is a risk that the amount of CBD originally added will be less. And unless the company runs testing after baking, you won’t know how much the heat changed the levels of CBD in a dog treat intended to heal what ails your dog.

Which means you won’t be able to give your dog an accurate dose of CBD. And that’s fine if you are feeding them as a unique treat with added benefits. But it’s not fine if you are looking to help support your dog’s joint pain or cancer with treats alone!

Another thing you want to consider when looking at treats is what else is in that treat.

Adding CBD won’t matter if the product contains artificial flavors or preservatives that harm your dog’s health. The amounts of CBD won’t likely be high enough to combat the negative health impact of low-grade food additives.

Potency And CBD Dosage for Dogs

If you’re using CBD for therapeutic reasons, you’ll want to know the dose your dog needs. For anxiety or health prevention, you’ll find that the lower doses work well. But if your dog is dealing with pain or immune issues, you’ll need a higher daily amount.

How Many Dog Treats Per Day? 

The general rule of thumb is to give 1mg to 6mg of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight, depending on the dog. And you’ll need to know the CBD potency of the treats.

cbd dog treats
A general rule of thumb is to give 1 mg to 6 mg’s of CBD per 10 pounds of body weight.

It’s best to start with a smaller dose and work your way up. If you find a low dose isn’t the best fit for your dog, it’s best to check in with your holistic vet. Together you can determine the best dose, or if treats are the best way to dose his CBD.

I mentioned earlier that without testing after baking there’s no real way to know potency for certain. Most CBD dog treats on the market test as low as 3% to 6% CBD per the amount of hemp oil used. And some only use hemp CBD powder.

A credible CBD pet product will also have third-party test results. I would suggest a high-quality CBD hemp oil product with testing available for pain and illness.

I would suggest a high-quality CBD hemp oil product with testing available.

CBD Pet Treats – A Healthy Alternative For Primary Pet Care 

Pet parents are increasingly looking for natural and non-toxic remedies in place of chemical medications to support their dog’s health and well being. Meaning there is an ever-increasing expectation for healthy alternatives in the form of treats made with CBD that can help their dog with anxiety, arthritis and a muriad of other conditions that affect our canine friends as they grow older.

Alongside the trend towards more wholesome ingredients like Cannabidiol in dog treats, the pet care industry is rapidly evolving to keep up with people’s changing perceptions of their pets as family and their desire to care for their K9 companions with a range of hemp-based products for pets.

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