March 30, 2022 6 min read

Whether it's during the car ride, as you're walking into the office, or when your veterinarian tries to place your dog on the examination table, it's not uncommon for pups to exhibit some unusual anxious behaviors during a trip to the vet's office. Of course, visiting the vet regularly is essential to your pet's health, and it's better for everyone when it goes smoothly.

If your pup experiences anxiety when you take them to the vet, you may find yourself asking questions like “can I give my dog CBD before a vet visit?

Every pet's needs are unique, but in most cases, yes! You can give your pet a dose of CBD to help calm their nerves and make your trip to the vet's office go more smoothly. If you’re looking for a natural way to calm your dog’s anxiety, here’s what you should know about CBD for pets:

Table of Contents
Benefits of CBD for Dogs Before a Vet Visit
Is CBD Safe for Dogs?
How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog?
Does CBD Help Dogs Right Away?
Can You Give Your Dog Too Much CBD?
What’s the Best CBD for Dogs?
Resources

Key Takeaways

  • CBD may help calm your pet’s nerves or manage discomforts that can affect behavior before a trip to the vet’s office.
  • It’s a more natural solution to prescription anxiety medicines or sedatives.
  • CBD is not known to have any serious side effects for dogs when used appropriately.
  • Although CBD can be used as a one-off dose before a vet visit, it may be more effective when used every day.
A golden retriever calmly interacting with the vet after a CBD dose.

Benefits of CBD for Dogs Before a Vet Visit

If you're wondering "how can CBD help my dog before a vet visit?", you're not alone. CBD for dogs is still a relatively new concept for many. In fact, your veterinarian may not be able to recommend or prescribe CBD simply because it's not an FDA approved pet medication, rather it’s a natural supplement.

That's not to say that CBD doesn't have plenty of therapeutic benefits that may benefit your pup! In fact, there's been research to indicate that CBD may be useful for managing anxiety, pain, and other symptoms in animals that may cause disruptive, timid, or aggressive behaviors.

Let's take a look at how CBD may benefit your pet, especially before a visit to the vet's office:

CBD for Dog Anxiety

The number one reason you may consider giving your pet CBD before visiting the vet is to calm anxiety. A number of studies have linked CBD to anxiolytic effects. In fact, one study found that CBD helped to reduce aggressive behaviors induced by anxiety in shelter dogs. Even for humans, CBD is often said to have mild relaxing effects. For dogs, it’s often just enough to take the edge off of a stressful situation.

CBD for Pain

If your pet is experiencing pain or discomfort, it may worsen anxious behaviors when visiting the vet. Luckily, CBD may also help to reduce symptoms related to pain or inflammation, which could help your pet feel more at ease all around.

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.

Is CBD Safe For Dogs?

Much of the research regarding CBD involves animal subjects, and we’re happy to report that CBD is generally well tolerated by mice, dogs, and animals of all kinds. In most cases, the side effect profile of CBD for dogs is thought to be similar to the side effects of CBD for humans.

CBD side effects 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.

Generally, the side effects of CBD are temporary and non-threatening. You should just keep an eye on your pet, monitor their dosing routine, and discontinue use if you notice any odd behaviors that you believe could be linked to CBD. In many cases, you may just need to lower the dose, although poor quality formulas could also be the culprit behind adverse reactions.

A dropper filled with THC-free CBD oil for dogs

Look for a safe CBD product by finding a brand that uses U.S. grown hemp, solvent-free extraction techniques, and third-party lab testing to ensure the quality and potency of products. You also want to pay attention to the full ingredients list to ensure that there are no ingredients that your pet may be allergic to before choosing a CBD product.

How Much CBD Should I Give My Dog to Calm Them Down?

The amount of CBD you should give your dog depends on your dog's weight and other biological factors. For instance, your dog may need more or less CBD depending on their age, diet, or health condition. Still, it's usually best to start with a low CBD dose and increase the dosage slowly over time until your pet experiences complete relief.

In general, you may want to start with 1-2 mg of CBD per every 10 pounds of body weight. This means that a 20 pound dog may do well starting with 2-4 milligrams of CBD, and a 100 pound dog may start somewhere in the 10-20 milligram range.

Read “How Much CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?” to learn more.

Does CBD Help Dogs Right Away?

Many people who are interested in giving CBD to their pet want to know if CBD can help their pet right away. In other words, how long before a visit to the vet's office do you need to give CBD to your pet?

In general, different CBD dosing methods will metabolize at different rates, but CBD still takes some time to kick in. A CBD tincture or CBD pet treat can take around an hour to take effect after it is swallowed by your dog.

Your pet may experience some benefits of CBD after only one dose, which means you can give CBD to your pet about an hour before their vet visit, usually with positive results. However, CBD is more effective when taken daily. That's because it is an endocannabinoid system regulator, and regular doses allow the body an opportunity to adjust and create a systemic response.

Giving your pet CBD regularly as opposed to giving them a one-off dose before a trip to the vet also allows you to work out an effective dosing routine ahead of time. In other words, you may find that the CBD dose you give your dog before a vet visit is more effective if it's given as part of a daily CBD dosing routine.

Can You Give Too Much CBD to Your Dog?

Technically speaking, no, you cannot give your dog too much CBD. Because CBD does not interact with the brain stem or have a negative impact on respiration, you cannot consume enough CBD for it to be lethal.

Adverse reactions to CBD are rare and are generally mild. Still, more is not always better when it comes to CBD dosing. The endocannabinoid system is a regulatory system. Which means too much CBD can also dysregulate certain bodily processes. Taking too much CBD may cause it to be less effective, so it's best to determine smallest dose necessary for your dog to reap maximum benefits.

What’s the Best CBD for Dogs Before the Vet?

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. The other types of CBD formulas usually contain trace amounts of other minor cannabinoids, like CBG or CBN, as well as hemp-derived terpenes. These other compounds also offer their own therapeutic benefits that may be useful for managing your pup’s timid or aggressive behavior before visiting the vet.

Vida Optima Vida Paws CBD Pet Oil

We recommend a full or broad spectrum CBD product since it will offer the benefits of hemp's entourage effect, a phenomenon where different minor cannabinoids work together to boost each other's benefits.

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 the help promote calmness just before a visit to the vet.

Resources

  1. “Cannabis sativa L. may reduce aggressive behaviour towards humans in shelter dogs” https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-82439-2
  2. “A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study of daily cannabidiol for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis pain” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32345916/
  3. “Research shows pain relieving effects of CBD” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/04/210423130221.htm

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