8 Potential Side Effects of CBD in Dogs
Cannabidiol (a.k.a. “CBD oil”) is one of the hottest supplements on the market today, as it’s used for everything, from pain management to seizure reduction. It’s even starting to be used on dogs, and many owners swear by it for reducing inflammation, nausea, and anxiety.
While CBD oil is found in marijuana, it’s most often taken from the hemp plant, which means that it doesn’t contain the psychoactive compounds found in regular cannabis. Your dog shouldn’t get high from CBD oil, but they should start feeling incredible after taking it — at least, that’s the idea.
Even though CBD oil doesn’t come from marijuana, there are still side effects that you should be aware of before you start giving it to your dog. This list will walk you through common ones.
A Quick Disclaimer Before We Begin
CBD oil is a fairly new product, and as such, there have been few studies performed on it — and virtually none that focus on dogs. As a result, most of the side effects below have been noticed in humans rather than dogs.
Also, while there haven’t been any reports that we can find of serious issues arising from the use of CBD oil on dogs, there have yet to be any credible long-term studies done on its safety for pets.
The 8 Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs
1. Drowsiness from CBD
Drowsiness can actually be a welcome side effect, especially if you’re using the CBD oil to treat anxiety. However, some dogs can become extremely lethargic, to the point that it can become an issue worth discussing with your vet.
If your dog is sleeping more than 10 hours a day or if you haven’t seen them act as active and vibrant as they used to, it may be time to eliminate the use of CBD oil (or at least lower the dose).
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2. Dizziness from CBD
Some pups may occasionally make themselves dizzy (especially if their tails feel like taunting them), but in general, dizziness is a bad sign in dogs. If you see your dog struggling to maintain their balance or falling occasionally, then you should stop giving them CBD oil until your vet can take a look at them.
Dizziness may be a sign that your CBD oil has THC in it, and THC is very bad for dogs. You may need to find a new brand of CBD oil if your dog has trouble maintaining its balance and coordination.
3. Dry Mouth from CBD
You may think that your slobbery pooch could never have a dry mouth, but this is actually one of the most common CBD oil side effects. It’s not a good one either, as your dog’s saliva is extremely important to their dental health.
If you notice that your dog isn’t slobbery anymore, you should discontinue using CBD oil, at least until you find one that doesn’t cause this side effect. You should also encourage your dog to drink more water, but that’s only a band-aid rather than a cure.
4. Vomiting from CBD
As you might expect, vomiting is never a good thing, and it may be a sign that your dog is struggling to tolerate CBD oil. However, it may also just be a sign that your dog doesn’t care for the taste, especially if the vomiting is triggered by eating grass after a dose.
You may want to try switching brands before cutting the CBD oil entirely, but if the vomiting continues, it’s a sure sign that your dog can’t handle this particular supplement.
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5. Diarrhea from CBD
Much like vomiting, diarrhea is usually a bad sign. The two symptoms often go hand-in-hand, which are bad news for your dog and worse news for your carpet. However, diarrhea can be caused by a bunch of different factors, so you can’t necessarily pin it on the CBD oil without doing some process of elimination first.
If your dog’s diarrhea doesn’t clear up after a few days and you can’t locate another possible culprit, discontinue the CBD oil, and consult your vet.
6. Worsening of Tremors from CBD
This side effect has only been noticed in humans so far (specifically, sufferers of Parkinson’s Disease), but there’s a risk that your dog could be affected. Dogs can suffer from neurological diseases too, and uncontrollable tremors are one of the symptoms.
If you’re giving your dog CBD oil to counteract these symptoms, make sure that it’s not actually making things worse. Also, start slowly, using less than the recommended dosage, and gradually increase it. This allows you plenty of time to monitor your dog for additional tremors.
7. Itching from CBD
Some dogs experience skin irritation as a result of taking CBD oil, so watch and make sure your dog isn’t scratching or biting themselves more than usual. In some cases, they can rub the skin raw, so it’s important to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets out of control.
Itching isn’t a serious side effect, but it can certainly make your pooch less comfortable, so you still want to avoid it if at all possible.
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8. Interactions With Other Drugs
If your dog takes other medications, talk to your vet before you start giving your pup CBD oil. The oil can make prescription drugs much more potent, which can then cause liver damage or increase the risk of an overdose, even if you’re using a dosage that your dog has been able to tolerate in the past.
This is one of the most serious CBD oil side effects, so don’t take any chances with it. Your doctor should be able to tell you if using the oil is safe for your dog or if you need to change the dosages of your mutt’s other medications.
CBD Side Effects in Dogs
CBD oil has shown some promise in treating a variety of conditions in dogs, and it’s understandable that you’d want to see if it will help your pup. However, it’s not something to be taken lightly, so be careful when using it, as you don’t want your dog experiencing any of the side effects on this list.
As long as you follow the directions and use a reputable product, your dog should likely be fine. Just to be on the safe side, though, always talk to your vet before changing your dog’s diet or supplement routine.
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Featured Image Credit: iAmMrBenjamin, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway, and Baby, a Burmese cat. Originally from Canada, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. Nicole has a strong love for all animals and has experience caring for all types of dogs, from Yorkies to Great Danes. Nicole even worked as a dog sitter during her travels through South America and cared for stray pups — something she holds close to her heart.
With a degree in Education and a love for writing, Nicole aims to share her and others’ expert knowledge with pet lovers worldwide with Hepper.
10 Potential Side Effects of CBD Oil for Dogs: Read This First!
In case you’ve been living under a rock, CBD has become one of the biggest wellness crazes in recent memory. Cannabis compounds were illegal until only recently, and CBD was the first to receive the praise and attention that helped to catapult it to its current popularity. It was only a matter of time until this wellness craze spread to our pets, and that time has come.
Today, you can find all manner of CBD products created specifically for pets, including treats, tinctures, and even toys. CBD is touted as a safe and natural compound for any adult to take, but is it the same for our dogs? Let’s take a closer look at CBD for dogs and the potential side effects that it may cause before you go and start offering CBD treats to your favorite canine compadre.
What is CBD Oil?
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol; a compound that’s found in cannabis and hemp. Cannabis is quite famous for its psychoactive effects, but cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound. This means that CBD doesn’t produce any high like other cannabis products that contain tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC.
Within cannabis, THC is the main component that produces the psychoactive sensations, but CBD provides many of the other positive effects that the cannabis plant is known to provide, such as a host of medical benefits.
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Is CBD Oil Safe for Dogs?
CBD has been proven to provide positive benefits for people. For instance, it’s used to treat epilepsy, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the World Health Organization, “CBD is generally well tolerated with a good safety profile.” But this is in regards to humans, which leaves us to wonder how safe CBD is for our dogs.
Currently, testing is ongoing. Groups like the AKC Canine Health Foundation are sponsoring studies about CBD’s effect on dogs, though there’s no definitive answer yet as to its efficacy or safety. However, according to PubMed, CBD has not been shown to be detrimental in healthy dogs.
10 Potential Side Effects of CBD for Dogs
Despite CBD’s purported benefits for people and relative safety, there are some side effects that your dog might suffer as a result of this compound; particularly if given too much.
1. Dry Mouth
Many people are aware that cannabis can cause cottonmouth in people, but CBD can also have a similar effect on your dog. While it might be gross that your dog drools everywhere, that slobber is actually important for their health. If CBD causes your dog’s mouth to become dry, it can result in poor dental health, bad breath, and even cause pain when swallowing.
Another common side effect of cannabis use in people is drowsiness or laziness. Though CBD doesn’t contain any THC, your dog could still show signs of lethargy when dosed with CBD. Generally, this is due to a dose that’s too large, so if your dog gets drowsy after a dose of CBD, you might want to reduce the dosage size.
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CBD can also cause dizziness in your dog. You’ll have to look for signs that indicate your dog is dizzy, such as trouble standing up or repeated falling over. This can easily occur if the CBD you’re using isn’t pure and contains trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive substance in cannabis that causes the “high” that users experience. While this might be pleasurable for some people, it might not be such a thrill for your pup.
4. Increased Tremors
One of the main reasons people administer CBD to themselves or their pets is to treat epileptic seizures. As such, you might think that it’s a good compound to help with Parkinson’s disease. Unfortunately, CBD has the potential to increase the tremors associated with Parkinson’s, in both humans and canines.
You might notice that your dog tends to scratch, bite, and itch a lot after being dosed with CBD. If so, then you’ll either want to reduce the dosage or cease it altogether. While this isn’t a particularly common side effect, it’s certainly possible, and it’s something you should be on the lookout for.
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6. Low Blood Pressure
CBD has been shown to cause temporary drops in blood pressure when administered in high doses. This can cause light-headedness, which your dog won’t appreciate. Since this is usually dose-dependent, reducing the amount you’re giving to your dog should help to eliminate this side effect.
7. Upset Stomach
Anything your dog isn’t used to consuming can cause an upset stomach. Even switching dog foods will wreak havoc on many dogs’ stomachs. CBD is no different, and especially in high doses, it can cause quite a lot of discomfort for your canine.
When stomach discomfort is taken to the extreme, it can often induce vomiting. This could be as a result of the compound itself, or it might just be from the taste. CBD is a rather bitter substance and your dog may not like the taste of it. But if the CBD upsets your dog’s stomach enough, they’ll likely throw it back up.
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It can be hard to pinpoint CBD as the culprit when your dog has diarrhea since so many things can cause diarrhea in dogs. But if you’ve removed all other variables and narrowed your dog’s diarrhea down to the CBD you’ve given them, then you’ll either need to reduce the dosage or refrain from giving your dog CBD.
10. Inhibited Production of Liver Enzymes
CBD can affect the way your body metabolizes other drugs because it inhibits the production of liver enzymes. As a result, other drugs can become several times more potent, which can lead to accidental overdose; a deadly occurrence that you’ll need to take care to avoid. If your dog is currently taking other medications, be sure to get veterinary approval before adding CBD to its regimen.
Though CBD is considered safe for humans and even for dogs in most cases, it can have side effects for both of us. While we can decide if the possibility of side effects is worth the potential benefits we could see from taking CBD, your dog can’t make that decision. You have to decide what’s best for your dog. So, keep in mind all of the potential side effects your dog might suffer before you decide to dose them with CBD. And it’s always a good idea to get your vet’s professional opinion first.
- You may also want to read: Relievet CBD Dog Treats Review 2022: Our Expert’s Opinion
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Lead Pet Expert & Pet-ditor in Chief
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.