CBD Oil for Dog Seizures

CBD Oil for Dog Seizures: Benefits, Dosage and Recommended Medication

CBD oil for dog seizures is a natural hemp extract containing CBD or cannabidiol and a carrier oil. CBD has potent anticonvulsive and antiepileptic properties and benefits dogs with seizures and epilepsy. CBD reduced seizures in 89% of dogs in a study published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2019. The dogs received a CBD oil dosage of 2 mg per kg twice daily. Cannabidiol is safe, rarely causes side effects, and does produce resistance with long-term use. CBD is fit to combine with mainstream anti-seizure medications (ASMs). 

The CBD oil dog seizure dose is based on the dog's body weight and seizure frequency or severity. The correct CBD oil dosage for seizures takes time to establish the appropriate CBD daily intake.  

Honest Paws is one of the top brands offering CBD for dogs with seizures. Honest Paw’s CBD Oil is recommended because the products are safe, effective, and easy to use. 

A groundbreaking 2019 CBD for dog seizures study presented CBD as a novel and efficient treatment option for canine epilepsy. Current research focuses on determining the mechanisms behind CBD’s positive effect on seizures. Vets are unable to recommend CBD by law; however, depending on the applicable state laws, some vets recommend CBD for dogs if used responsibly. 

How does CBD Oil work for Dog Seizures?

Dog CBD oil works for dog seizures through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), a regulatory system that supervises vital body functions. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a natural hemp extract that interacts with the dog’s ECS, yielding natural health benefits, including seizure control.  

Cannabidiol has strong neuroprotective effects and controls brain inflammation, while its activity on GPR55 and TRPV1 receptors reduces neuron excitability. The combined effect helps control dog seizures.  

Anxiety is believed to contribute to seizure episodes, and CBD has potent anxiolytic effects, minimizing seizure episodes.  

Can CBD Oil Help Reduce Seizures in Dogs?

Yes, CBD oil can help reduce seizures in dogs. Regular CBD use is associated with decreased seizure frequency, intensity, and duration. 

CBD reduces seizures in 89% of dogs, according to a study, “Randomized Blinded Controlled Clinical Trial to Assess the Effect of Oral Cannabidiol Administration in Addition to Conventional Antiepileptic Treatment on Seizure Frequency in Dogs with Intractable Idiopathic Epilepsy” published by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Associaton in 2019. 

CBD oil is promising for managing dogs with idiopathic epilepsy (IE). Approximately 30% of IE dogs are drug-resistant, meaning they do not respond to traditional anti-seizure medications. 

What Are the Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Dog Seizures?

The benefits of using CBD oil for dog seizures are listed below. 

  • Natural Support: CBD oil for dogs with seizures is sourced from the hemp version of the cannabis plant. CBD contains less than 0.3% of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol THC, the cannabinoid molecule in the marijuana version of the cannabis plant. THC produces a “high” feeling and is toxic to animals. High-quality pet CBD oil products are THC-free or have less than 0.3% THC, are all-natural, and are organic. 
  • Rare and Benign Side Effects: CBD's side effects are rare and benign. Stomach upset and lethargy occur but resolve as the dog adjusts to the supplement. 
  • Safe to Combine: CBD is safe to use in conjunction with mainstream antiepileptics and anti-seizure medications. 
  • Easy Use and Availability: Pet CBD has various forms, flavors, and strengths in pet stores and online shops. 

How Effective is CBD Oil Compared to Traditional Anti-Seizure Medications?

CBD oil is equally effective compared to traditional anti-seizure medications. The number one advantage of CBD is the low risk of side effects with long-term use. 

Mainstream anti-seizure medications (ASMs) are potassium bromine, phenobarbital, diazepam, levetiracetam, and zonisamide. These medications are borrowed from human medicine and are not universally fit for all dogs with seizures. Prolonged use of ASMs builds them up in the body, causing tolerance.

What Dosage of CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog for Seizures?

The dosage of CBD oil you should give is outlined in the 6 steps below.

  1. Measure the dog’s body weight. Put the dog on a scale to measure its body weight. CBD dosage calculations are performed based on weight.  
  2. Check the CBD concentration in the product. CBD products contain different amounts of cannabinoids. The concentration is expressed in milligrams in a milliliter for oils and milligrams per piece or scoop for treats and peanut butter. 
  3. Determine the daily dose of CBD. CBD is given in doses of 1 to 5 mg per 10 pounds, but it is best to start slow, with around 2.5 mg per 10 pounds. For example, a 20-pound dog needs 5 mg of CBD a day. 
  4. Calculate the CBD serving amount. Divide the dog’s daily CBD dose with the CBD product’s concentration. For example, if the product’s concentration is 10 mg per ml and the calculated daily dose for the 20-pound dog is 5 mg, give it 0.5 ml of CBD (because 5 mg divided by 10 mg/ml equals 0.5 ml). 
  5. Monitor the CBD’s effect. CBD dosing is not a science, and dogs react differently. Pay attention to the dog’s response to determine if the CBD oil seizure dose works. 
  6. Make CBD dosage adjustments. Increase the CBD oil dosage if the seizures do not improve, and reduce the dose if the dog is lethargic and drowsy. 

Are There Any Side Effects of CBD Oil in Dogs?

Yes, there are side effects of CBD oil in dogs. CBD is associated with rare and benign adverse effects when introduced suddenly or given in excess doses. 

CBD reduces saliva production, causing temporary dry mouth or xerostomia. CBD causes diarrhea and vomiting when the dog is not used to CBD. Diarrhea and vomiting are more commonly triggered by the carrier oil rather than the CBD. CBD makes dogs more sleepy than normal and reduces energy levels if given in high doses. A sudden and self-limited drop in blood pressure or hypotension is one of the side effects of CBD oil in dogs. Low-quality and impure CBD products make dogs drowsy, especially when given in larger amounts. CBD affects the production of cytochrome P450 liver enzymes and requires long-term monitoring. 

How Long Does It Take for CBD Oil to Work on Dog Seizures?

It takes two to four weeks for CBD oil to work on dog seizures. CBD oil has a cumulative effect. Some dogs show improvements within a few hours, while most dogs need two to four weeks to absorb and metabolize CBD completely and effectively. 

CBD is absorbed the fastest when given beneath the tongue, in around 30 to 45 minutes. The cannabinoids reach peak concentration two hours post-administration and are eliminated from the body in six to eight hours. 

What Research Supports the Use of CBD Oil for Dog Seizures?

Significant research supports the use of CBD oil for dog seizures. 

Seizure frequency improved considerably, and owners reported a positive impression” after CBD implementation, according to a study “Cannabidiol as a Potential Anti-Epileptic Dietary Supplement in Dogs with Suspected Epilepsy: Three Case Reports,” presented at the Pet Behavior Science Open Conference in 2018. 

CBD appears to be a useful molecule in managing both pain and epilepsy,” says a study, “The Effects of Cannabidiol on Canine Epilepsy and Arthritis – a Case Study,” published in Bulletin of University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine Cluj-Napoca Veterinary Medicine in 2022. 

Cannabidiol decreased total seizures and seizure days compared to placebo,” reports a paper “The Efficacy and Safety of Cannabidiol as Adjunct Treatment for Drug-Resistant Idiopathic Epilepsy in 51 Dogs: A Double-Blinded Crossover Study,” published by the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine in 2023. 

Colorado State University and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation (AKCCHF) are conducting pioneering studies to prove CBD's efficacy and safety for seizure control. 

How Safe is CBD Oil for Dogs with Seizures?

CBD oil for dogs with seizures is considered safe. CBD is safe when high-quality products are used appropriately and under veterinary supervision. Hemp-sourced CBD for dogs is a natural compound that is non-addictive and non-psychogenic. CBD is suitable for all dogs over four months old and is safe to use with traditional seizure treatments. 

CBD is well-tolerated, according to the article “Evidence for the Use of CBD to Treat Canine Idiopathic Epilepsy,” published by the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation in 2024. 

How to Administer CBD Oil to Dogs for Seizure Relief?

To administer CBD oil to dogs for seizure relief, follow the 4 steps below.

  1. Administer CBD oil under the tongue. Squirt the desired amount of CBD oil under the dog’s tongue (sublingually). Sublingual administration has fast results because the area is rich in blood vessels.   
  2. Mix CBD oil with dog food. Mix the CBD oil with the food to mask the oil’s natural scent and flavor if the dog refuses the oil. CBD mixed with dog food slows down absorption but is practical.  
  3. Try different CBD-infused treats. Give the dog CBD chews if it dislikes oils. CBD treats come in plenty of flavors and textures for palatability and various strengths for easy dosage calculations.  
  4. Prepare homemade dog CBD edibles. Combine the dog’s CBD daily intake with dog-friendly ingredients like peanut butter or oats to make treats. Cooking with CBD changes its efficacy, making precise dosing challenging. 

What Should I Look for When Buying CBD Oil for Dogs?

The things you should look for when buying CBD oil for dogs are listed below. 

  • Hemp as a Source: Ensure the CBD oil for dogs is sourced from hemp. Human CBD is made from marijuana and contains THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is toxic to pets. Hemp CBD for dogs contains a safe amount of less than 0.3% THC. 
  • Ingredient List: The number one ingredient in quality products is organic, US-grown hemp, followed by a quality carrier oil. CBD oil for dogs must not include artificial additives, more than 0.3% THC, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 
  • Extract Type: CBD comes in three extract types: full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate forms. Look for full-spectrum CBD oil for dogs with seizures because it combines the effects of cannabinoids with flavonoids and terpenes naturally found in hemp. 
  • Certificate of Analysis: Check the Certificate of Analysis (COA), which is a report from a third-party laboratory confirming the CBD product has been independently tested and is pure, safe, and accurate according to the label’s claims.
  • Reliable Pet CBD brand: Research different pet CBD brands before buying CBD oil for dogs. Brands selling the best CBD oil for dogs are transparent about ingredients and manufacturing practices and have many positive customer reviews. 

Can CBD Oil Interact with Other Medications My Dog Is Taking?

Yes, CBD oil can interact with other medications your dog is taking. CBDs are metabolized by a group of liver enzymes called cytochrome P450. 

Concurrent use of CBD and other medications metabolized by cytochrome P450 decreases or increases their effectiveness. 

CBD interacts with antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antifungals, and blood thinners. Simultaneous use of CBD and antiepileptics is safe. Always talk to a veterinarian to avoid drug interactions. 

Are There Specific Brands of CBD Oil Recommended for Dog Seizures?

Yes, there are specific brands of CBD oil recommended for dog seizures. Recommended pet CBD brands are Honest Paws, Holista Pet, and cbdMD. 

Honest Paws makes organic, full-spectrum, and third-party tested CBD products sourced from US-grown hemp. These products are ideal for dogs with seizures. The brand is transparent, reliable, and affordable. 

Holista Pet uses broad-spectrum hemp CBD extract and hemp seed oil as a carrier. The brand offers various flavors and strengths of CBD oils for seizing dogs of all sizes.  

cbdMD makes superior-quality human and pet CBD products. The CBD oil has a tasty peanut butter flavor and broad-spectrum hemp extract, which is safe and effective for dogs with seizures. 

What Do Veterinarians Say About Using CBD Oil for Dog Seizures?

Veterinarians say that using CBD oil for dog seizures appears safe and effective, but research is necessary. Current knowledge supports the use of CBD for seizure management. 

We don’t have the answers yet, but so far it’s promising, and we’re seeing encouraging results,” says Stephanie McGrath, DVM, in an article on  Canine Epilepsy and Seizures for the Colorado State University in 2021.  

Stephanie McGrath says that CBD is not FDA-approved for use in epileptic dogs, but neither is phenobarbital, the gold standard for traditional seizure control, in the podcast “Your Natural Dog” with Angela Ardolino in 2023. 

McGrath explains that CBD for dog seizures is not a cookbook recipe but an art form that requires dosage modifications and continuous monitoring for the best results.  

What are the Signs That CBD Oil is Working for My Dog’s Seizures?

The signs that CBD oil is working for your dog’s seizures are listed below. 

  • Fewer Seizure Episodes: Reduced seizure frequency is a telltale sign CBD is working and helping control seizures. 
  • Shorter Seizing Activity: Occasional episodes of lesser duration are another sign that CBD oil works for a dog's seizures. 
  • Reduced Seizure Intensity: Rare and short seizures of low intensity indicate a CBD oil is working for dog seizures. 

How Often Should I Give CBD Oil to My Dog for Seizures?

You should give CBD oil to your dog several times a day for seizures. Recent protocols suggest splitting the dog's daily CBD dose into several administrations. The goal of microdosing is to ensure continuous bloodstream concentration. 

Previous protocols recommended giving CBD twice a day. Giving CBD every 12 hours helps reduce seizure frequency, reports a study, “Safety and Efficacy of Cannabidiol-Cannabidiolic Acid-Rich Hemp Extract in the Treatment of Refractory Epileptic Seizures in Dogs,” published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2022. 

Can CBD Oil Prevent Future Seizures in Dogs?

Yes, CBD oil can prevent future seizures in dogs. Cannabinoids and mainstream medications are not 100% foolproof in preventing seizures, but they significantly reduce the risk. 

CBD reduces the incidence of epileptic seizures in dogs, according to a study, “Safety and Efficacy of Cannabidiol-Cannabidiolic Acid Rich Hemp Extract in the Treatment of Refractory Epileptic Seizures in Dogs,” published in Frontiers in Veterinary Science in 2022. 

Cannabinoids reduce neuron excitability in the brain and have neuroprotective effects, which help reduce future seizures in dogs. 

Is CBD Oil Legal for Use in Dogs?

Yes, CBD oil is legal for use in dogs in some countries. Hemp CBD is legal in the United States on a federal level. CBD’s legal status varies across states. 

CBD is legal for dogs in states where the federal and state laws align. California, Colorado, New York, Massachusetts, Nevada, Ohio, Hawaii, and Arkansas are states where hemp-sourced CBD is legal. 

How Do I Transition My Dog from Traditional Medications to CBD Oil?

To transition your dog from traditional medications to CBD oil, follow the 4 steps below. 

  1. Consult a veterinarian. Talk to the veterinarian if considering switching the dog from mainstream medications to natural or alternative solutions. 
  2. Start slow and low. Transition slowly and gradually to allow the dog’s body to adjust. A proper transition process lasts weeks to months. 
  3. Keep a daily log journal. Monitor the dog carefully and track its daily behavior and condition to determine if the transition is going well. 
  4. Double-check with the vet. Meet with the veterinarian and bring the daily log journal so that the vet is able to give future instructions based on real results. 

What Should I Do If My Dog Has a Seizure Despite Using CBD Oil?

If your dog has a seizure despite using CBD oil, follow the 4 steps below. 

  1. Ensure safety. Stay calm and make sure the dog is safe while seizing. Keep the dog away from the stairs and put a pillow under its head. Cool the dog down with wet towels, as prolonged seizing increases the dog’s body temperature, causing hyperthermia.  
  2. Measure the length of the episode. Note the seizure duration and film the seizure if possible. The episode length and the recording give the vet valuable information. 
  3. Call the veterinarian. Provide as much information as possible to ensure the vet is able to evaluate the situation and suggest future steps. 
  4. Consider treatment modifications. Treatment modification options include increasing the dog’s CBD dose without causing drowsiness or adding a regular anti-seizure medication to the management strategy. 

Do Vets Recommend CBD for Dogs?

No. Vets are not legally allowed to recommend CBD for dogs. CBD discussions are legally limited in many countries. Veterinarians are unable to recommend or prescribe CBD to their patients. 

Talking to the veterinarian about CBD is, however, possible as long as the questions are generic and the owner is not asking for direct recommendation. 

Depending on the living location and the state laws, some vets recommend CBD for dogs if used responsibly.