Dogs are known for having sensitive stomachs, especially when it comes to switching their dog food to another brand. I mostly feed my dogs a raw diet, but I do include premium, hydrated dog food as well. If I decide to try something new, I have to wean them off one while getting them used to another.
If you abruptly switch on them, they’re likely to get sick. With that being said, it’s not surprising that diarrhea in dogs sometimes happens when taking CBD oil (or any kind of dog CBD), especially for the first time. Scientific studies have shown that diarrhea is one of the potential side effects of CBD. However, mostly as a first dose.
What causes the diarrhea, whether it’s a physical reaction to trying something new or a side effect, is the question of the day. Dog CBD is incredibly popular, so there is a lot of new information rolling in almost on a daily basis.
Since most people would prefer not to have their dog go through a bout of diarrhea (I certainly can’t blame you for that), let’s unpack this subject and see where it goes.
Can CBD Cause Diarrhea in Dogs?
CBD can cause diarrhea in dogs. Thanks to the above-linked study, we know that it’s less of a side effect and more of a “getting used to it” situation. Since every dog is different, yours might have an intolerance to CBD that causes diarrhea. However, for the most part, dogs are perfectly fine on a regular dose of CBD oil or other types of dog CBD.
So, although dog CBD oil and other CBD products can cause diarrhea, it’s not a common thing. In my personal experience, I stopped giving my dogs CBD chews. Athena, my female Doberman, went through a small spell of diarrhea, and I later realized that it wasn’t the CBD necessarily.
I learned that the chews absorbed a lot more water, forcing the excess water into the digestive tract. This excess water was giving my Dobie some decidedly loose stools. There are several clinical trials out there that prove dogs sometimes get diarrhea as well. These include CBD clinical trials, comparison trials, and trials measuring increasing doses.
I have to say that my own personal observation with my dog was just one of many reasons why a dog may react to CBD in such a way.
Of course, there is CBD oil for dogs, other drugs that may interact with it, CBD dog treats, CBD chews, and existing diseases that all may have something to do with it. The point is, in large part, it comes down to the dog and his or her personal tolerance.
Tips for Avoiding Diarrhea in Dogs
First and foremost, don’t be alarmed if your dog develops diarrhea on the first go-round. Unless it becomes chronic diarrhea, their blood pressure drops, there’s blood in stool, or the dog is having other issues, you should just let it run its course while avoiding giving them any more doses.
Here are a few tips for avoiding adverse reactions when giving your dog CBD for the first time:
- Start off with a quarter of a regular dose
- Remember that regular dosing should be 2 mg per 10 lbs of body weight
- Avoid too much CBD
- Avoid combining CBD products
- Don’t give your dog CBD if it has inflammatory bowel disease unless directed by a veterinarian
- Introduce it with food
- Never give your dog CBD oil on an empty stomach
- Ensure your dog has a balanced diet
- Keep an eye on your pet’s stool for the first few weeks
It’s important to stick with the dose, start off small, and work your way up over a couple of weeks rather than a few days. Dogs have cannabinoid receptors that are five times more sensitive than ours, so too much will likely cause negative symptoms.
Chronic diarrhea, low blood pressure, dry mouth, excess panting, excess saliva production, and other weird bowel movements are likely to result from too much CBD.
Cannabis and Gut Health
Dogs have cannabinoid receptors in their gut, which means that CBD has a direct impact on them, even as it passes through the bowels. If your dog has inflamed bowels, cannabis helps to reduce inflammation. However, as with all things involving your pet’s body, you should consult a veterinarian before you administer CBD oil for that purpose.
From personal experience, I know that stress and anxiety have detrimental effects on the body. You’ve probably noticed during times of high stress that it affects your bowels, probably more than anywhere else, at least in the short term. The same is true for pets.
In fact, CBD oil for dogs often has the opposite effect, relieving your dog of diarrhea simply because a regular dose of CBD oil for dogs relieves their anxiety. According to Cornell University studies, dogs showed an 83% reduction in anxiety, which positively impacts their gut health.
Always look for CBD products that are organic, lab-tested, and certified by the USDA or an equal regulatory body. These premium CBD products include ingredients that supplement the CBD in helping to improve your dog’s gut health.
For instance, I give my dogs, especially my anxious one (Athena), Honest Paws CBD Oil for dogs, specifically the Calm version. All Honest Paws CBD oil products on the market are guaranteed free of GMOs, are USDA organic certified, are gluten-free, are free of colors, soy-free, and sugar-free.
As a full spectrum CBD oil, free of additives, fillers, and other harmful ingredients, it calms Athena’s anxiety without the garbage ingredients that might inflame her gut even more. Plus, the included MCT oil helps her absorb it better. Their ingredients include less than 0.3% THC, which is ideal for dogs.
They also include organic barley and organic oats, which definitely help with your dog’s digestion. Pet parents should always strive for premium, all-organic CBD oil or other cannabis compounds in products. Don’t play around with cheap, unproven variations.
When to Feel Worried or Alarmed
Your dog’s stomach and digestive system are a huge part of their immune capabilities. If they develop diarrhea for a day or two, that’s not so big of a deal, so long as you give them plenty of water to make up for what’s lost.
Long-term diarrhea, however, is something else entirely. If your dog is looking down and out, lethargic, with dry mouth or excessive saliva production, start eyeballing your pup’s stool.
Pet owners should be worried or alarmed anytime there is blood in your dog’s stool. If your dog’s diarrhea lasts for more than a couple of days, it’s time to see a veterinarian. Pet owners should also be careful of dehydration, even if the diarrhea is still in a short-term stage.
Monitor your dog’s diet and be sure they don’t consume anything they aren’t used to over the next few days. Also, stop with the CBD oil until it’s determined whether it’s the causing factor or not.
Take a good look at your dog’s gums. Poor dental health might make it a little harder, but you should be able to tell if the gums are paler than usual. Bright, pink gums are a sign of good hydration.
You can also do the skin-pull test. Gently lift their skin from the back of their necks. When you let go, it should go right back quickly. CBD oil drawn from hemp plants is not the same as from the cannabis plant, so there should be no conflict with THC content.
Pet owners should call their veterinarian if fatigue, dry mouth, low blood pressure, a clear sign of nausea, shaking, or long bouts of diarrhea occur.
Symptoms of Chronic Diarrhea
For one thing, you won’t be able to miss an accident on the living room floor. In fact, despite the circumstances, it’s an opportunity to make sure it’s just your pet’s stool (albeit very wet) and there’s no blood in it. The other symptoms of long-term diarrhea are exactly the same as they are in humans, with a few exceptions.
I mentioned above how to do the skin test and inspect your pup’s gums. Skin that’s slow to fall back into place and pale gums are definite signs. A dog’s dry mouth is another. When you’re inspecting the gums, you can’t miss dry mouth.
With severe dehydration follows lethargy, so you’ll notice a change in your dog’s routine. You should seek advice from your vet any time you notice the above symptoms. Too much CBD may encourage these same symptoms to present themselves, so you should always be careful when giving your dog CBD. The effects of CBD oil should not be intense at the right dosage.
Even though there is no THC or less than 0.3%, that doesn’t mean you can’t give your pet too much. Which brings me to the next topic.
Other Side Effects of CBD
CBD is considered safe for dogs to consume as long as it’s not human CBD and it doesn’t contain any more than 0.3% THC. The reason behind that is dogs are far more sensitive to the effects of CBD oil than we are, even if it’s made specifically for dogs.
Follow the dosage instructions carefully, and always play it safe by starting your pup out on a lower-than-normal dose for his or her body weight.
The potential side effects of CBD are numerous, so you should watch your dog carefully when you introduce them to a CBD product for the first time.
- Overly sleepy
- Overproduces saliva
- Dry mouth
- Intense itching
- Increase appetite
Many dogs are just fine with CBD, with improvements in health across the board. My Dobermans love it, or at least, they love what it does for them. In most cases, you shouldn’t worry about CBD being a problem unless your dog gets into high doses of the product.
It’s crucial for pet owners to exercise caution when administering CBD to their dogs, as various safety studies have demonstrated that CBD can lead to dose-dependent increases in liver enzymes as well.
CBD for dogs is made for dogs, after all; just be on the lookout in the first few days and make sure you get the dosage right.
Is CBD Safe to Use If My Dog Is Suffering From Diarrhea?
In general, CBD is safe to use if your dog is suffering from diarrhea, as long as it wasn’t the CBD oil or product that caused it in the first place. However, you should always give your vet a call beforehand. Their expert knowledge is very important when your pup is sick.
How Does CBD Oil Affect the Health of my Dog?
There are many studies showing that CBD positively affects the health of your dog. These studies include positive reactions in dogs with seizures, high stress and anxiety, hyperactivity, joint pain, and cancer. CBD for dogs is often very beneficial and worth a try if your dog is suffering or dealing with behavioral issues.
How Long Does CBD Oil Diarrhea Last?
If CBD is causing the diarrhea then CBD oil diarrhea will last until your dog adjusts or until you stop feeding your dog CBD oil. That’s why it’s important to talk to your vet because they will be able to iron out whether it will be a long-term situation or something your dog will get used to.
Look on the bright side: CBD offers a lot of health benefits and will improve the well-being of most dogs. It has certainly improved the health of my dogs, along with other natural supplements I maintain in their diet. Just be sure to administer it the right way, in the right amount, according to your dog’s size and tolerance.
If your dog does go through a bout of diarrhea, there’s no need to worry unless it goes on for more than two days or your pup is not taking in enough water. Never hesitate to call your vet. The worst question is the one you never ask.