CBD Oils for Pets: Is it Safe?

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Recently, cannabidiol (CBD), has found a niche in the market. People are getting more experimental and using it in the pet industry. Is CBD effective in curing certain illnesses among dogs? Is it merely a toxic drug that dog owners should avoid?

The American Kennel Club announced that there is no definitive scientific data showing the positive effects of CBD on dogs. There are, however, anecdotal evidence of dog owners claiming that the drug had successfully treated their pet’s neuropathic pain and had successfully controlled the occurrence. Then again, these remain anecdotes and are not supported by laboratory tests or FDA approval.

The AKC’s Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Jerry Klein, explained that these success stories may be caused by the interaction of cannabinoids with the endocannabinoid receptors of the pet’s body keeping it in a normal, healthy state. Dr. Klein highlighted CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact and possible anti-cancer benefits. Then again, pet owners should take these reports with a grain of salt.

Meanwhile, the side effects of CBD in dogs are important to know. These potential side effects include dry mouth, lowered blood pressure and drowsiness among pets.

Meanwhile, there has been a 700 percent increase in marijuana ingestion among dogs. In an essay, toxicologist John Buchweitz of Michigan State University explained that dogs may have accidentally ingested edible marijuana in their natural environment.

Now that marijuana has gained acceptance in 33 states, it is being included in products for both pets and humans including hemp, CBD oils, shampoo, and even pet treats.

Cannabis sativa is known for its recreational use with its high level of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. These products, according to Buchweitz, are toxic to dogs for its THC content. Dogs who experienced marijuana toxicosis may display symptoms like inactivity; incoordination; dilated pupils; increased sensitivity to motion, sound or touch; hypersalivation; and urinary incontinence.

Veterinary exams reveal that THC can cause depression of the central nervous system and abnormal slow heart rate in aminals. Other signs of marijuana poisoning may include restlessness, aggression, slow breathing and rapid, involuntary eye movements. In its most extreme cases, dogs may suffer from seizure or comatose.

“There are zero animal drugs approved. So vets technically cant prescribe or even discuss it because it’s not FDA approved,” Dr. Ed Faulkner at Weddington Animal Hospital said in another report.

Faulkner further emphasized that dog owners should be cautious when buying CBD oils for pets as they may contain potentially harmful ingredients.

Meanwhile, Gwynne Coleman has lauded CBD oil for its calming effect on her family’s dogs. “Just a calming influence – that’s mostly it,” she said.

Some owners and vets also subject their pets to CBD treatments.  On this matter, the AKC suggested a couple of guidelines for the treatment to work and for the pets to be protected.

Dog owners should go for organic products free of pesticides, fungicides or solvents that may harm a pet’s health. High-priced oils may also suggest a high quality and thus one should not go for cheaper options. The product should also come from a certified manufacturer to make sure that there is zero or rare content of THC. Go for products administered as a tincture. In this way, the pet owner can control the amount ingested by dogs.