A question we get asked a lot is “Is CBD safe for puppies?”
The short answer is, YES! Like their older counterparts (and all mammals), puppies do possess an endocannabinoid system resulting in their bodies interacting with CBD, too.
If you’re looking at CBD for your puppy, to determine if CBD is best or what type of CBD tincture is best (if necessary), you must first determine the reason. There are some behaviors that are completely normal for puppies. If you’ve never had a puppy before, a lot of their behaviors are likely new to you and it’s completely understandable for you to worry about your fur baby.
Has your puppy been overly aggressive? Anxious? Or, is she just being the average playful puppy? CBD can help puppies just as it does adult dogs, but since you’re looking into CBD for a puppy we need to dive a bit deeper.
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CBD For Puppies
CBD offers a safe, healthy alternative to pharmaceutical medications. The worst-case scenario often involves slight drowsiness or diarrhea. It’s to-be-expected, but we discuss diarrhea a bit further in the video below. As opposed to damaging side effects, studies have shown potentially positive results for babies in regard to cannabis consumption.
According to research, the endocannabinoid 2-AG is found in abundance in breast milk. Current research shows that 2-AG is partially responsible for helping babies survive by stimulating the suckling response; a response associated with CB1 receptors in the endocannabinoid system. Specifically, the Journal of Neuroendocrinology stated “during three distinct developmental stages (i.e. embryonic implantation, prenatal brain development and postnatal suckling), the endocannabinoid system appears to play an essential role for development and survival.” The same study went on to state “the endocannabinoid system plays several key roles in pre-and postnatal development. Future studies should further clarify the mechanisms involved and provide a better understanding of the adverse effects of prenatal exposure, in order to design strategies for the treatment of conditions such as infertility, mental retardation and failure-to-thrive.”
Introducing CBD at a young age may also decrease the risk of developing endocannabinoid deficiencies later in life.
Prevention based on integration of CBD into your dog’s diet is likely to fill in any gaps within the endocannabinoid system resulting in a lower risk for disease. Providing nursing mother dogs may also be beneficial in preventing endocannabinoid deficiency in her offspring.
Just like CBD has been used for human babies, it can be used for dog babies. CBD is recommended for:
- Lack of appetite
- Cognitive problems
- Gastrointestinal issues
Most of the above don’t occur in puppies. Most puppies have behavioral problems of some sort. That’s to be expected. They’re babies. They’re learning. They’re exploring the new world around them.
That doesn’t mean it’s automatically not encouraged. There are some puppies who can experience cognitive problems, anxiety, lack of appetite, and the other above items. It’s just more rare than common.
Common Situations CBD Can Help With
According to our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Zac Pilossoph, “behavior anxiety would be something I could see CBD helping with, especially if the case is a hyper puppy at night. He continued to state “the endocannabinoid system is the regulator (homeostatic regulator), AKA balancer, for when things go wrong. Most of the time, in puppies, the issues are behavioral.”
Basically, according to Dr. Zac, “CBD is beneficial in a behavior anxiety situation, especially for hyper puppies at night. The endocannabinoid system is a regulator; it puts everything in balance where it should be.”
It’s important to add here, just because you have a hyper puppy, that doesn’t mean there is something wrong. Puppies are young and tend to experience the world in a playful way. Appearing to be ‘hyper’ can be good. The willingness to explore and become a well-rounded adult dog is actually encouraged. It’s part of a process we, as Canine Behaviorists, call socialization.
The lack of socialization can lead to aggressive behavior, severe anxiety, excessive chewing, excessive vocalizations, and other serious behavioral conditions. In my experience, there are many cases where a dog must have behavior modification conducted due to not having sufficient exposure to ‘life’ as a puppy.
Socialization Study Results
A study published in Vet Med determined the role socialization plays in puppy development as it pertains to adulthood. Researchers found puppy socialization is critical for the proper development of well-rounded adult dogs.
Socialization can begin as early as a few days old and should last well into their adulthood. Proper socialization is achieved through:
- New experiences
- New places
- New sights
- New smells
- Different people
- Other dogs
- Other pets
Dogs who are not properly socialized have been found to exhibit behavioral problems like aggression and fear-based behavior. Dogs who are socialized properly are more likely to become lifelong companions and engage in social behaviors with us (humans).
Of course, the activities must be age-appropriate. For example, you can’t bring a 3-day-old puppy, or even a 5-week-old puppy, to the dog park. It’s just not feasible and it can damage the relationship she has with her (or his) mother and littermates.
Additional research is being conducted regarding this topic, but there’s plenty of research available to determine puppies need adventure in their lives, even if the adventure is as simple as playing a game.
Discussing Your Puppy with a Veterinarian
Discussing your puppy’s unique situation with a holistic or alternative veterinarian prior to making the decision to administer CBD can be helpful. CBD is generally safe without adverse effects, but behavior or problems you see your puppy experiencing may not be an actual problem but rather normal for their age/breed.
You can book a consultation with Dr. Zac Pilossoph and Angela Ardolino to discuss administering CBD, proper dosages, and more through a consultation. The consultation won’t take up much of your time and you may be able to determine why your puppy is acting or feeling the way she is. To book a consultation, please click here.
About Amber Drake
Amber Drake is a highly accomplished, world-renowned, and published book author, freelance writer and editor, inspirational speaker, an inspiring teacher, a well-reputed canine behaviorist, a canine cancer researcher, CEO of Canine Companions, and of course, animal lover. Starting with an Associate of Science degree in Biology in 2007 from Jamestown Community College, she has since expanded her knowledge horizon by acquiring a Bachelor of Science in Biology degree with courses from both SUNY Fredonia and Cornell University, followed by a Master of Arts Degree in Education (2011) from Ashford University, a Post-Master’s Educational Certification, and a Doctorate from the North Central University, Prescott Valley Arizona. Drake is a woman of extreme passion with great love for her work as a canine behaviourist, writer, and college professor.
About Angela Ardolino
Angela Ardolino is a holistic pet expert who has been caring for animals for over 20 years and operates a rescue farm, Fire Flake Farm, in Florida. She is also the owner of Beautify the Beast, a natural pet salon and shop. After getting her certificate in Medical Cannabis Biology and Therapeutic use from the University of Vermont School of Medicine, she founded CBD Dog Health to provide high quality, all-natural medical cannabis products designed specifically for pets. Angela has seven dogs, Odie a 12-year-old mini-schnauzer, Nina an 8-year-old Doberman. Jolene a 7-year-old mutt, Maza a 7-year-old mutt, Rhemi an 8-year-old poodle, Potato a 15-year-old shih-tzu, and Miss Daisie a 15-year-old black lab, plus 4-10 more at any time that she is fostering or boarding. She uses Full Spectrum Hemp Extract on all her pets at her rescue farm every day and has since 2016. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, the Veterinary Cannabis Association, and has trained hundreds of medical doctors and veterinarians about the therapeutic uses of medical cannabis on animals. Visit www.angelaardolino.com for more information.