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Long-Term CBD Use Is Safe For Dogs, Study Says

As more and more pet owners turn to CBD to treat their dogs’ physical and mental ailments, a new study has found that it’s a safe and well-tolerated approach for healthy pups.

Just like humans, our furry friends can experience anxiety — and a new study says treating your dog with CBD for a long-term period is safe as long as it’s dosed correctly.

The study, published in Frontiers in Veterinary Medicine, analyzed how 32 healthy beagles responded to a daily dose of cannabidiol products for 90 consecutive days, finding that the dogs tolerated the substances well.

Pet owners have been increasingly turning to cannabinoids for their animals over the years. A survey published in 2016 found that 60% of pet owners were giving CBD to their dogs to treat conditions like osteoarthritis (OA), seizures, cancer, or anxiety.

The researchers randomly split 16 male and 16 female healthy beagles into four treatment groups and gave them either a placebo or one of the following: broad spectrum cannabidiol (CBD), broad spectrum cannabidiol with cannabigerol (CBD + CBG), or broad spectrum cannabidiol with cannabidiolic acid (CBD + CBDA). The dogs were given 5 mg total cannabinoids per kg of body weight per day.

Researchers observed the animals daily and conducted detailed clinical examinations weekly. After 90 days of receiving the doses, the dogs were monitored for an additional two weeks. Their body weights, food consumption, and clinical pathology were also evaluated.

Beyond their experiment, the researchers also analyzed annual post-market surveillance data for hemp-derived supplement products sold for use in dogs from 2010 to 2023. They found that per 1 million administrations sold, the rate of adverse events is 2.10, and 0.01 for serious adverse events.

“Based on the results of this study, other published studies, and data from extensive post-market surveillance, hemp-derived cannabinoids are well tolerated in healthy dogs at a dose of 5 mg/kg body weight/day,” the authors wrote.

In a statement, the president of the National Animal Supplement Council, Bill Bookout, said the data demonstrates that different cannabidiols are safe for long-term use in healthy dogs when given at the right dose. He added that the inclusion of the post-market surveillance data from a 10-year period makes the study all the more reliable.

“With safety studies, no matter how well controlled or meticulously defined, it is impossible to account for everything that can occur when a product is commercialized,” Bookout said. “No other study that we are aware of is as comprehensive and includes both data sets.”

While this study suggests that CBD use in healthy dogs is safe, a 2023 annual review of studies on the subject concluded that more research is needed to determine whether CBD is an effective way to treat anxiety and aggression in dogs.

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