Giving CBD to your shih tzu for the first time can be confusing and intimidating. Over the last 5 years, CBD has exploded unto the scene, with my low quality brands popping up to make a quick buck. How can you determine whether a CBD product is safe and effective for your shih tzu? We’ve created this guide with 5 vital tips for buying CBD for your shih tzu. Tip #5, in particular, might really surprise you!
1. Does the CBD Oil You’re Giving Your Shih Tzu Have a Current COA (certificate of analysis)
Ensuring that the CBD product you use for your shih tzu is pure is absolutely essential due to how CBD is manufactured. CBD is derived from hemp, which tends to absorb toxins from the earth. We have personally tested brands of CBD oil that have contained lead at 10x higher than safe levels.
While most CBD companies will have their product tested once, look for a brand that displays a current and updated COA on their website’s product page. It’s also absolutely vital that a CBD brand tests each and every batch of their CBD oil, as large variances can occur in the quality and purity.
The following is an example of a COA for the Cannanine CBD brand.
2. Has the Pet CBD Brand Been In Business for At Least 3 Years?
CBD for dogs has become a very profitable business, and many fly by night companies have popped up over the past few years. For this reason, we’d recommend looking for a company with a track record of at least 3 years in business. If a company can survive 3 years in business, their products are likely good enough quality to meet the standards of customers and regulators.
Learn more about the CBD endorsed by iHeartDogs, which was founded in 2018.
3. Am I Giving My Shih Tzu The Right Dosage of CBD?
Many first time shih tzu owners make a mistake on dosing CBD. Fortunately, research shows there does not seem to be much of a risk of overdosing on CBD with dogs. However, it is advisable to start with a low dose and slowly increase, monitoring how your shih tzu responds. In some cases, shih tzu owners don’t realize that they can slowly increase the dosing if they fail to see results.
Typical dosing is recommended in the range of 0.2 mg to 0.5 mg per pound of bodyweight. Again, it doesn’t hurt to start low and slow. Oftentimes, if a dog does react negatively to CBD, it is often from the oil contained in the product. Usually the reaction will just be mild vomiting or diarrhea.
4. Understand The Difference Between the 4 Kinds of Products: Broad Spectrum, Full Spectrum, CBD Isolate, and Hemp Seed Oil
CBD for dogs comes with a confusing array of terms. Let’s break down the 4 kinds of products:
- Hemp seed oil – Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant, not the actual plant itself. Sometimes referred to as just “hemp oil”, this ingredient offers many benefits from the Omega-3s contained in it, but it does not contain CBD. Beware of products labeled only as ‘hemp oil’.
- CBD isolate – An isolate product starts with a full spectrum CBD, and chemically removes the other cannabinoids from the oil. While you still get some of the benefit of the CBD, you lose the benefit of a wider spectrum of the hemp plant. For this reason, we’d recommend avoiding CBD isolates for dogs.
- Full spectrum – A full spectrum product contains all of the cannabinoids of the plant, including a small amount of THC. THC can be toxic to dogs, even in small doses. For that reason we prefer the next option, especially for smaller pups.
- Broad spectrum – A broad spectrum CBD product contains all of the cannabinoids with the exception of THC, which is removed. The end result is a product that contains nearly the full spectrum, minus the riskier THC. For most dogs, we believe broad spectrum is the best option.
5. Beware of Purchasing Hemp Products on Amazon or Chewy, As They DO NOT Contain CBD
We have nothing against Amazon or Chewy, but at the time of this writing their policies do not allow for the sale of CBD on their marketplaces. Many unscrupulous brands list their “hemp oil” products on these stores in an effort to trick customers into believing they contain CBD, while it only contains hemp seed oil. While hemp seed oil offers many benefits, it does not offer the calming and pain relief properties of true CBD. For this reason, we’d recommend avoiding Amazon or Chewy when purchasing CBD, and instead purchase directly from the manufacturer’s website.
What Brand of CBD Has the iHeartDogs Seal of Approval?
iHeartDogs helped formulate the Cannanine brand of CBD for dogs. In addition to being organically farmed, every batch of Cannanine CBD is triple tested to ensure purity, safety, and efficacy.
Frequently Asked Questions About CBD Oil, Chews & Treats for Shih Tzus
CBD vs. Fluoxetine/Prozac for Shih Tzus: Which is More Effective?
Prozac/Fluoxetine an SSRI antidepressant used to treat a variety of behavioral disorders in shih tzus. Many veterinarians prescribe Prozac for separation anxiety. In recent years, many pet owners have begun turning to CBD for more natural anxiety relief for their dogs.
Only you and your veterinarian can make the best choice for your shih tzu’s situation. In my personal experience with my dog’s separation anxiety, while my pup got temporary relief from Prozac, it also significantly changed her personality and energy. Eventually with a process of training and using CBD that I detail here, we were able to finally beat separation anxiety for good.
CBD vs. NSAID Pain Medications like Rimadyl, carprofen, Novox, deracoxib, Deramaxx, firocoxib, Previcox, meloxicam, or Metacam: Which Is More Effective for Shih Tzus?
NSAID medications can be powerful tools in fighting pain. They do, however, often come with long term side effects that can affect digestion, the kidneys, or the liver. Only you and your veterinarian can make the best choice for your shih tzu, but many owners have found that CBD offers more natural relief without any known side effects. Many shih tzu owners give CBD in addition to prescription medications, but be sure to discuss your plan with your veterinarian.
Can CBD Help My Shih Tzu’s Joint Pain, Hips, Back, Arthritis or Mobility?
The last few years has produced exciting research on the effectiveness of CBD on an older dog’s mobility. Several clinical trials using CBD on dogs have shown improvement in mobility scores for dogs given CBD oil. Remember, arthritis is a degenerative condition that will continue to worsen, however it appears CBD can help slow the progression of pain. According to a poll administered to 400 dog owners, 59% reported that CBD was ‘very effective’ and 19% reported CBD was ‘somewhat effective’ in alleviating their dog’s joint pain.
Can CBD Help My Shih Tzu’s Anxiety?
As detailed here, clinical trials using CBD for humans (who also have an endocannabinoid system like dogs) have shown its ability to calm anxiety. According to a poll administered by iHeartDogs to 400 dog owners using CBD, 41% of owners reported that CBD was ‘very effective’, while 25% reported it was ‘somewhat effective’ in helping their dog’s anxiety.
Can CBD Help My Shih Tzu’s Allergies & Itchiness?
A 2020 study concluded that dogs using CBD were more likely to see a significant decrease in atopic dermatitis symptoms. In fact, the dogs in the study had a 51% decrease in CADESI-4 scores, meaning fewer allergy/itchiness symptoms were present after the study.
An iHeartDogs poll showed that 68% of respondents said that CBD was ‘very effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ in alleviating their dog’s allergy symptoms.
Can CBD Help My Shih Tzu’s Seizures?
One of the earliest uses for CBD in both humans and dogs was for minimizing epileptic seizures when medication failed to work. One study published in 2018 showed that an astonishing 89% of the dogs studied showed a drop in regular seizures after given CBD. The study was a double blind, placebo controlled test.
The same iHeartDogs poll showed that 70% of respondents claimed that CBD was ‘very effective’ or ‘somewhat effective’ at reducing the number of seizures experienced by their dog.
Which CBD is Best for My Shih Tzu: Oil Tinctures, Soft Chews, or Treats?
Whether you give your shih tzu a CBD oil tincture, a CBD soft/gummy chew, or a treat is a personal choice.
There are some benefits to CBD being absorbed in the mouth sublingually, and your best bet for this rapid absorption is by using a CBD oil tincture. However, if your shih tzu won’t take oil directly to their mouth or in their food, a CBD soft chew or treat is an equally viable option.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional.
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