You might have found this article because you’ve read that CBD can help with epilepsy in humans, and now you’re wondering if it can help dogs.
Lots of pet parents (including many of our customers) report that CBD has been helpful for their dogs’ seizures. But what does the research say?
In this article, we’ll examine what science says about CBD and canine seizures so you can determine whether or not CBD is the right fit for your dog’s situation.
- Based on the currently available research, it seems that CBD can likely provide benefits to dogs with epilepsy and/or seizures. CBD is currently FDA-approved as the drug Epidiolex for some forms of epileptic seizures in humans.
- Scientific research and first-hand experience show that CBD is safe for dogs with seizures, and generally causes very mild side effects, if any.
- More research is needed on CBD for canine epilepsy and seizures before we know if it’s a viable long-term treatment.
What is CBD & Why Are CBD Products for Pets So Popular?
Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in the hemp plant. Hemp is a specific type of cannabis that contains less than 0.3% THC by dry weight.
While CBD is mainly used to address various conditions in people, it’s also become popular for its wide range of therapeutic benefits for dogs.
Pet parents have found CBD useful in dogs with separation anxiety, travel anxiety, aggression, inflammation, arthritis, skin conditions, and more.
But recently, CBD has been researched for use with epileptic dogs and those otherwise struggling with seizures.
Seizures in Dogs: Causes & Symptoms
Before diving into the evidence around CBD for canine seizures, let’s take a quick aside and review the causes and symptoms of seizures in dogs so you know what to look for.
VCA Animal Hospitals lists these situations as the main causes of seizures in dogs:
- Genetic (idiopathic) epilepsy
- Liver disease
- Kidney failure
- Brain trauma
- Toxin buildup
- Brain tumors
According to MedVet, a leading pet emergency care provider, symptoms of seizures in dogs include:
- Unnecessary chomping or biting motions
- Having trouble walking or balancing
- Collapsing or stiffening
- Foaming at the mouth or drooling excessively
- Looking dazed, then dropping to the floor
- Losing consciousness
- Losing control of bodily functions and urinating or defecating
- Repeating odd behaviors
- Jerking or twitching
- Laying on their side and kicking their legs (as if they were swimming)
Can CBD Help Dogs With Seizures? (What Science Says)
So, can CBD help? Let’s examine the research.
A 2019 study that tested CBD on rat and mouse models of epileptic seizure (i.e. simulations of seizures and CBD response based on medical data) concluded that CBD is an effective antiseizure agent.
However, this research was done on rodents, and it didn’t involve an actual clinical trial. Rather, it used modeling. What about studies on CBD for seizures in dogs?
A study done in July 2022 tested CBD for seizures in 14 dogs with genetic epilepsy. Six of the 14 dogs showed a 50% reduction in seizure frequency when compared to the group that received no treatment.
The study concluded by saying that “a CBD/CBDA-rich hemp extract can have benefits in reducing the incidence of epileptic seizures.”
Based on the currently available research, it’s safe to say that CBD can likely provide benefits to your dog if they’re dealing with seizures.
However, there hasn’t been enough research done for scientists to provide specific recommendations on how to use CBD for seizures in dogs.
Your pet deserves the best. Discover our collection of lab-tested CBD oil, treats, and bones for pets.
Is CBD a Safe Option for Dogs With Seizures?
Even if CBD is effective at addressing seizures in dogs, is it safe?
In the 2022 study referenced above, the researchers saw some adverse side effects in the dogs, but they stated that there was no difference in effects between the dogs who took CBD and those who did not.
Generally, scientific research and first-hand experience show that CBD is safe for dogs, and generally causes very few and mild side effects, if any.
How to Give Your Dog CBD for Seizures
Administer CBD to your dog orally throughout the day, rather than in one large dose.
A good daily starting dose is 5mg of CBD for every 10 pounds your dog weighs.
So if your dog is 20 pounds, they will need 10mg of CBD each day — split it into two to three microdoses. (For more info on dosing, check out our dosage guide and chart for dogs).
Remember, CBD is a preventative measure (though it is not a treatment), not a way to stop seizures if they’re already happening.
Because of this, never try to give your dog CBD if they’re already having a seizure. Instead, follow the STAR method:
S — Secure the area
T — Time and track episodes
A — Avoid their mouth
R — Reach out to your veterinarian
Conclusion: Should You Give Your Dog CBD for Seizures?
At Natural Ways CBD, we have your and your dog’s best interests at heart. However, it’s important to remember that we’re not scientists or veterinarians. Neither are most of the people or entities writing articles on this topic or sharing their experiences online.
So while science suggests CBD may be beneficial for your dog if they’re struggling with seizures, first consult your veterinarian to see what they think — they may be able to provide insight into the issue that we and others reasonably can’t.
Overall, CBD has great potential to help dogs with seizures and epilepsy. But more clinical research is needed before we know for sure if it’s a foolproof treatment or just a side remedy.
CBD & Seizures in Dogs: Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions we commonly hear from customers about CBD for dogs with seizures.
Do veterinarians recommend CBD for seizures in dogs?
Some veterinarians say CBD is beneficial for seizures in dogs, while others don’t. In certain states, vets aren’t permitted to discuss CBD with pet parents.
Will CBD cause psychoactive effects in my dog?
No, CBD does not cause psychoactive effects in pets OR people.
Can dogs overdose on CBD?
Theoretically, if you were to give your dog thousands of milligrams of CBD, they could get very sick or even die.
However, at the doses you’ll need to give your dog for seizures and/or epilepsy, this isn’t a risk.