Should you give your dog CBD treats? What you should know before dosing your canine – BurlingtonFreePress.com

Summer means fireworks season in Vermont — and fireworks season triggers nervous dogs.

Dog owners looking to help their canine friends deal with the loud noises have a plethora of cannabis-derived products to consider. 

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Linnae O’Neil began putting CBD in treats to soothe her anxious rescue dog, Tucker. CBD is an acronym for „cannabidiol,” a compound found in cannabis plants. The CBD products popping up all over Vermont are made from hemp containing less than 0.3 percent of psychoactive THC.

O’Neil started selling her concoctions last summer after people kept asking her to make them for their dogs. Her Lazy Bones treats are now sold in 18 stores across Vermont.

People buy them to calm anxious dogs, she said, as well as reducing inflammation and joint pain.

Does CBD actually work on dogs?

Maybe. People like O’Neil say their dogs have responded to it.  Very little research has been done into the effects of the cannabinoid on canines.

The American Kennel Club is funding a scientific study to examine whether CBD can treat epileptic dogs and Cornell University is looking at whether it eases pain in dogs with osteoarthritis.

Is CBD safe for dogs?

The lack of research means there are no guidelines about dosage. O’Neil said she keeps the dose of CBD in her treats on the lower side, while other pet products have high amounts of CBD.

„It’s all kind of seeing how your dog responds to it,” she said. „I’ve seen every dog respond differently.”

Veterinarians may only be able to provide limited guidance without risking losing their licenses. CBD is illegal under federal law. 

Researchers from Colorado State University and North Carolina State University surveyed 2,130 veterinarians about their comfort with cannabis conversations. A majority said they were comfortable discussing CBD with their colleagues, but less than half would be comfortable talking with their clients. 

And CBD does come up with clients — only 8 percent said they had never been asked about it.

Can I give CBD to my cat? My bird? My ferret? 

CBD is also making waves in the feline world. CatCon — the biggest cat-centric pop culture event in the world — held a seminar last year titled „Cannabis and Cats: What You Need to Know Meow.” 

It’s also spreading to the avian world, thanks to a Arizona company selling a CBD oil designed to calm anxious or traumatized birds and stop stress-related screaming. 

At press time, the Burlington Free Press could find no information about CBD and ferrets.

Contact Jess Aloe at 802-660-1874 or jaloe@freepressmedia.com. Follow her on Twitter @jess_aloe

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