What to Know Before Treating Your Dog to CBD Treats

Apr 5, 2024

Cannabidiol (CBD) has made its way into dog products and is exploding in popularity in the US. But is it everything its advocates claim it to be, or are they just all bark?

In 2018, Congress removed hemp from the list of controlled substances, and this led to the creation of a new industry that many pundits say has plenty of room for growth this decade. 

And it’s not just the human demand that hemp producers are trying to meet; man's best friend has also become a market for hemp-based products, with CBD tinctures and treats now marketed as alternative forms of treatment for conditions like chronic pain and hip dysplasia.

But is there some credence to the hype, or are CBD manufacturers banking on a multi-million-dollar placebo effect?

The promise of CBD

CBD is just one of the many compounds found in hemp. Unlike the high-inducing THC, it is valued because CBD is responsible for the many health benefits attributed to the hemp plant. The conditions that CBD is believed to be an effective treatment for continue to grow and now include depression, cancer, chronic pain, and neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

But despite all these claims, nothing is definite. The FDA, for instance, announced in 2023 that it denied petitions to market CBD products as supplements and called for the creation of new frameworks that can be used to warn consumers about health claims. 

Such a precaution, however, is not enough to dampen interest in CBD. Market research firms are forecasting a double-digit growth rate for the industry on the back of unabating interest in its health benefits.

CBD treats for pet treatment?

The lifting of restrictions on anything CBD also laid the foundation for the pet CBD industry that is now valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars. But does it work? Do dogs respond better to CBD?

In a 2023 study published in the Annual Review of Animal Biosciences, researchers from Colorado State University found that CBD improves "clinical signs associated with osteoarthritis, pruritus, and epilepsy." Another study published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in the same year found that while "some evidence exists" proving the benefits of CBD, questions persist on the long-term effects of giving pets CBD, thus warranting further studies—a common theme among the abstracts of these documents. 

Before you buy

While signs—though inchoate—seem to be pointing to the effectiveness of CBD in addressing pet ailments (and for many, this is enough), it’s still not a good idea to start adding the stuff to your companion’s diet.

Cornell's Richard P. Riney Canine Health Center cautions pet owners about the risks of purchasing CBD products just to try them out on a pet. Instead, it implores owners to do some due diligence by consulting a vet before hitting the pet store to make a purchase.

“To ensure that you’re giving your pet the best possible care, it’s important to choose veterinarian-recommended CBD products from reputable brands,” said one CBD resource in a recent in-depth piece on the topic of product selection. “Additionally, it’s always advisable to start with low dosages and monitor your pet’s response to the product.”

This content is provided in partnership with DoggyHipCare.com and is intended for informational purposes only. The views, opinions, and advice expressed in this article are solely those of DoggyHipCare.com and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of any other individual, organization, or entity.

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