Can Dogs Overdose on CBD? Understanding the Risks + Vets' Insights

by Kat Austin October 06, 2023 7 min read

Can Dogs Overdose on CBD? Understanding the Risks + Vets' Insights - Vida Optima™

If you're a loving pet parent considering CBD for your furry friend, one burning question likely occupies your thoughts - can a dog overdose on CBD oil? 

Let's delve into this query and explore the crucial information about CBD for dogs. Plus, we’ll let you know what vets think about the safety of CBD for dogs. Let’s go:

Table of Contents
Why CBD for Dogs?
Is CBD Safe for Dog?
Can Your Dog Overdose on CBD?
Signs You Might Have Given Your Dog Too Much CBD
The Risk of Other Ingredients
How to Choose a Safe CBD Product
Conclusion

Key Takeaways

  • CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabis compound, offers potential benefits for dogs without causing a fatal overdose.
  • Differentiating between overdose and toxicity is crucial, highlighting the importance of responsible dosing and product selection.
  • Monitoring your dog for signs of CBD toxicity, understanding proper dosages, and seeking veterinary advice when needed are essential practices for responsible pet CBD usage.

Why CBD for Dogs?

A close up image of a black and white dog

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a compound found in the cannabis plant. Unlike THC, another prominent cannabis compound, CBD is not psychoactive and offers potential benefits for both humans and canines.

Why? Because mammals all have an endocannabinoid system, or a regulatory system that consist of endocannabinoids and endocannabinoid receptors. 

CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system in your dog's body, which plays a role in maintaining homeostasis as well as regulating pain, inflammation, mood, appetite, and more. 

In other words, CBD may help to manage a variety of ailments that commonly affect dogs, especially the following: 

Pain

Various research efforts have found that CBD may play a role in lowering inflammation and reducing pain signaling in the body. One study found that regular daily doses of CBD helped to control pain caused by osteoarthritis in dogs. In general, research has found that CBD could be useful for many different types of pain, likely because the Endocannabinoid System plays an important role in creating sensations of pain.

Anxiety

The endocannabinoid System may also play a role in the regulation of anxiety behaviors, and some sources even label CBD as an “anxiolytic” substance, meaning it treats anxiety. Of course, more research is needed to fully understand how CBD could work for anxiety, but one study found that CBD helped to reduce aggressive behaviors induced by anxiety in shelter dogs.

Seizures

One of the most well-researched areas of CBD’s benefits is its ability to help reduce or eliminate seizures caused by various seizure disorders. In fact, the only CBD-based medication (Epidiolex) that currently has FDA approval is designed to treat a severe form of childhood epilepsy. 

If your pet suffers from seizures, you may want to talk to your veterinarian about using CBD to manage canine seizures

Is CBD Safe for Dogs?

From what research tells us, the side effects experienced by animals after taking CBD are similar to those experienced by humans. Side effects from CBD are rare and usually mild. 

The most common side effects related to CBD use include changes to appetite, fatigue, and diarrhea. In many cases, adverse effects are linked to taking doses that are too high.

In most cases, though, your pet will not experience any side effects from regular CBD doses. Of course, that leaves an important question–what about larger doses? 

Can your dog overdose of CBD?

To ease your worries, the answer is no, your dog cannot overdose on CBD. CBD does not have overdose potential when taking in its pure form. 

However, you should be wary of other ingredients that could cause an issue for dogs (more on that below).

As long as you choose a pet-safe CBD product, you shouldn’t worry about overdosing. Still, giving your dog too much CBD (or them tearing into an entire bag of CBD treats) may still result in unwanted side effects. CBD side effects are more likely when taking too much CBD. CBD toxicity is possible, even if overdose is not. 

Overdose vs. Toxicity

It's important to differentiate between an overdose and toxicity. An overdose is a one-off event. In other words, overdoses occur when taking too much of a relatively safe substance in one dose. The effects can be severe. Luckily, this isn't something you need to worry about with CBD. 

Toxicity, on the other hand, occurs over time (days or weeks) when continuously taking too much. Some studies have found that taking high doses of CBD repeatedly can cause an increase in liver enzymes resulting in liver toxicity, a potentially dangerous condition for dogs. 

For this reason, it’s important to recognize the signs that you may be giving your dog too much CBD so that you can adjust the dose according before any damage occurs. 

Signs You Might Have Given Your Dog Too Much CBD

Dogs cannot fatally overdose on CBD, but they can experience side effects from taking too much. This is considered CBD toxicity. 

Effects of toxicity may show up as lethargy, stomach upset, or appetite changes. Other possible symptoms of CBD overdose in dogs include low blood pressure, dizziness, drowsiness, and possible passing out. Being aware of these signs and monitoring your pet's reactions is vital to their well-being.

If you notice any of these effects after starting your dog on CBD, discontinue use and talk to your doctor.  

The Risk of Other Ingredients in CBD Products

Although your dog cannot fatally overdose on CBD alone, other ingredients commonly used in CBD products may pose a greater threat. For instance, some CBD products may contain sweeteners or other additives that are dangerous for canines. 

A dog that consumes chocolate-infused CBD products or CBD gummies may face complications caused by the chocolate, added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or a number of other ingredients. 

Furthermore, some CBD products also contain THC or other herbal ingredients that may be toxic for dogs. THC can cause intense psychoactive effects in dogs and while it may not be fatally harmful, can definitely be an uncomfortable experience. For that reason, it’s crucial to understand how to choose a high-quality, dog-safe CBD product. 

Emergency Situation:  What to Do in Case of THC Consumption

In cases of THC ingestion, which is harmful to dogs, prompt action is crucial. Contact the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline and seek immediate veterinary care if your dog consumes THC, emphasizing the dangers of exposing pets to substances like marijuana.

How to Choose a Safe CBD Product for Your Dog

There are many different types of CBD products that are made for pets, but we’ll let you in on a little secret–any high quality, natural CBD products made without additives or flavoring can be given to your dog.

In general, CBD is CBD, so long as it is made using safe, effective manufacturing methods and is accurately labeled so that you can precisely measure your pet’s dosage. There are, however, a few different types of CBD formulations to choose from, like full-spectrum and broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate.

CBD isolate is a type of formula that contains only CBD, where all other hemp compounds are removed. This type of formula has limited benefits. Full spectrum CBDproducts contain trace amounts of THC that may not be appropriate for dogs. 

Broad Spectrum CBD products contain trace amounts of other minor cannabinoids, like CBG or CBN, as well as hemp-derived terpenes. This type of formula offers the advanced benefits of hemp's entourage effect, a phenomenon where different minor cannabinoids work together to boost each other's benefits. It does not contain any THC, so there’s no need to worry about THC induced side effects. 

Although you can essentially use any high quality CBD products that's made with dog safe ingredients, there may be some benefits to buying a product specifically formulated for pets. For instance, these pet products usually offer smaller doses that are more appropriate for dogs, which may make it easier to measure the right dosage every time.

Our Vida Paws CBD Pet Tincture is a natural, broad-spectrum CBD formula with no additives or flavorings. You can grab it in two varieties that offer either a 5 mg or 10 mg dose of THC-free CBD oil per mL. This clean, effective formula is exactly what most pet owners are looking for to help promote calmness just before a visit to the vet.

Conclusion

While precise CBD overdose thresholds for dogs are not yet established, responsible use based on accurate dosing and product knowledge is paramount. CBD offers potential benefits for dogs, but pet parents must exercise caution and stay informed to ensure their furry companions' well-being.

Choosing a high quality supplement and working closely with your vet to establish a good dosing routine is the best way to keep your pet safe. 

Vida Paws CBD Tincture

Looking for Premium Pet Tinctures?

If you and your veterinarian decide that CBD is a good option, look for a high-quality, lab-tested CBD product that’s made using safe manufacturing processes and premium hemp material. You’ll also want to avoid various ingredients that pop up in some CBD formulations, like artificial sweeteners and essential oils.

To skip the footwork and buy premium, pet-safe CBD today, check out our Vida Paws CBD Pet Tincture.

CBD Dog Overdose FAQ

Will a CBD overdose kill my dog?

No! CBD overdose is not fatal, thought the effects of CBD toxicity can be uncomfortable. It’s important to work closely with your vet to understand your pet’s CBD dosage needs and monitor the effects. 

Can I give my dog human CBD oil?

It is not recommended to give your dog human CBD oil as the dose may be too high and could be toxic to them. CBD products specifically formulated for pets are recommended. However, a high quality CBD oil formulated for humans without any additives may be given in the correct dosages. 

How often should I give CBD to my dog?

The dosing needs varies for every dog. Some dogs benefit greatly from one dose a day, while others need their daily dosage broke into 2 or 3 daily doses. You and your vet can make these decisions based on your feeding schedule, your dog’s weight, and their unique health needs. 

How do I know if my dog is allergic to CBD?

The most common symptoms of an allergy to CBD in dogs include itching, skin irritation, and digestive upset. If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction to CBD, it's important to stop use and consult with a veterinarian.

What should I do if my dog exhibits adverse reactions after taking CBD?

 If your dog experiences side effects such as sedation, diarrhea, or vomiting, after taking CBD, stop giving CBD immediately and consult your veterinarian.

Are there any interactions between CBD and my dog’s other medications?

Yes, CBD can interact with some medications. This is one reason why it is important to include your veterinarian in the decision to start your dog on CBD.


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