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CBD for Great Danes: Potential CBD Uses & Risks

Cannabidiol, or CBD, has been around for a long time, but it wasn’t until recent years that its medical uses started to get more public attention. While CBD has been a part of natural medicine for a long time, it’s now being more generally accepted for use with our pets as well.

So, should you consider using CBD for Great Danes?

CBD oil is safe for Great Danes and can be used for common ailments such as: 

  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Epileptic Seizures
  • Heart Disease
  • Developmental Growth Disorders
  • Separation Anxiety

In addition to these conditions, there are quite a few other uses for CBD. Do you have a Great Dane that’s dealing with health or behavior issues? Are you curious about what exactly CBD oil can do for your Great Dane?

If either one of those questions has crossed your mind, keep reading. I’ve got those answers for you!

What Can CBD Do for Your Great Dane?

While there’s not been a ton of research done to support the idea that CBD oil can fix all of these things, there’s enough out there to show that many dogs have seen improvements when suffering from different issues that are common amongst Great Danes.

One of note is the study performed at Cornell University which found significant decreases in pain through the application of CBD.

In addition to formal dog studies, there is also a large (and growing) body of anecdotal evidence forming to support the positive effects of CBD for treating certain conditions.

In particular, studies such as those performed at the University of Colorado are seeing increasing evidence to support its use.

Because Great Danes are such big dogs, they grow rapidly in a short amount of time. This is very stressful on a dog’s body, which can lead to the development of certain diseases.

Below are a few health issues that are common amongst Great Danes, and how CBD oil has improved the conditions.

  1. Osteochondtritis Dissecans (OCD)
  2. Hip Dysplasia
  3. Epileptic Seizures
  4. Heart Disease
  5. Developmental Growth Disorders
  6. Separation Anxiety

Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list, I’ll just be covering some of the common ones.

1. Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)

This is something that affects young Great Danes when they’re just puppies. Typically between six and nine months old, Great Danes can experience inflammation within some of their joints.

The disease causes damage to joints and then separates from the bones. As you can imagine, it’s very painful for pups.

How CBD Can Help

While CBD oil will not cure this in your Great Dane, it can be a great alternative to the usual pain management method, which is usually heavier drugs such as opioids.

Dog owners that have tried CBD for this have noticed seemingly less pain in their pups. 

2. Hip Dysplasia

Hip Dysplasia is common for large breed dogs, and dogs that have been overbred or inbred. Sadly, because Great Danes are both large breeds and often not bred properly, they’re at a higher risk for this ailment. 

When hip joints grow too fast, they can become deformed and not fit correctly into the sockets. This usually causes permanent damage and arthritis. 

How CBD Can Help

Again, CBD isn’t a cure for hip dysplasia. In severe cases, hip dysplasia has no cure. But, CBD oil can help with alleviating the pain.

The anti-inflammatory qualities in CBD oil can be very effective in helping your Great Dane have less pain if he or she has hip dysplasia.

3. Epileptic Seizures

Great Danes are also known to inherit seizure disorders, such as epilepsy, as a result of their breeding and size. When Great Danes have a seizure, as you can imagine, it’s quite scary and sad for everyone involved.

They often behave out of the ordinary before and after a seizure, too, with heightened anxiety and aggression. 

How CBD Can Help

Epileptic seizures in Great Danes have been managed in the past with medications. However, CBD oil is another treatment option that many Great Dane owners have been trying, as of late.

There is still a lot of research that needs to be done, but there are several studies that have reported fewer seizures with the use of CBD oil, as well as less aggression and anxiety before and after. 

4. Heart Disease

Again, the size of Great Danes is hard for their bodies to manage. This is especially true for their hearts.

There are many different conditions that fit into the heart disease category, but all are a result of the quick growth and large size of the breed.

How CBD Oil Can Help

Heart disease can have many different signs and symptoms. The most common forms of heart disease that affect Great Danes are mitral valve defects and tricuspid valve dysplasia.

CBD oil has been shown to help many of these, including:

  • Adding nutrients
  • Improving sleep
  • Encouraging appetite
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Curbing anxiety
  • Managing pain

5. Developmental Growth Disorders

Once again, the size of Great Danes does affect their health, because they grow so fast in such a short time.

While some growth disorders share similar symptoms with other diseases that we’ve discussed, they can also develop all on their own.

These can cause quite a bit of pain for Great Danes, especially as they continue to grow and support their weight.

How CBD Can Help

CBD oil itself cannot prevent growth disorders, but it can aid in easing the symptoms of them. Providing extra nutrition to support a Great Dane’s growth is one of the main ways it can help.

Also, if the CBD oil is helping to alleviate some of the pain that a Great Dane might be facing, it can lessen the need for other medications, which is one less thing their body will have to process.

6. Separation Anxiety

Some dogs just don’t like to be left alone. Great Danes are very loyal and loving pets, so they are very fearful and anxious without their owners.

Of course, it’s sad to see these gentle giants in such a nervous state, but anxiety can also cause unnecessary stress on their bodies. 

How CBD Can Help

CBD oil has shown less visible anxiety in Great Danes, as well as providing an overall calmness, too.

An added benefit is, of course, the fact that less stress from anxiety leads to less stress on the body of a Great Dane since they’re under enough of that from their size.

In some cases, dogs with severe anxiety are prescribed other medications, so CBD oil can sometimes be a substitute for these. 

How Does CBD Work to Help Great Danes?

As we mentioned, it’s still really early in the CBD game, so there’s not a ton of formal research out there regarding pets and CBD.

However, the research that has been done shows many positive effects of using CBD products for your pup. 

How CBD Works

The actual facts surrounding how CBD works are full of big words and scientific information, so we’ll keep it short for time-saving purposes.

Clearly, you want to get back to your Great Dane and make them feel better asap! 

Some cannabinoids, the fancy words for cannabis compounds, are naturally produced by the body. There are receptors in the nervous system that react with the natural cannabinoids, affecting:

  • Coordination and movement
  • Pain
  • Mood
  • Thinking
  • Appetite
  • Inflammation
  • Pain

When CBD oil is applied or consumed, it’s absorbed into the body, interacting with these receptors. When they reach the receptors that are part of the nervous system, they cause a reaction in the brain and help keep everything in check. 

Basically, CBD helps to maintain the proper balance within the body, enabling it to stay healthy and function how it was meant to

Adding more CBD to the existing cannabinoids can help provide necessary stability when one seems to be lacking. It’s all about the ratio of cannabinoids that are just right for each individual, dog, or human. 

Where Does CBD Oil Come From?

The cannabinoids that are so beneficial are found in both marijuana plants and hemp plants.

While the oil from marijuana plants contains high levels of THC that produce a high, hemp contains less than 0.03% THC. CBD oil from hemp plants is what’s sold over the counter. 

Ways to Give CBD to Your Great Dane

There are a few different options in the CBD department. While lotions and other topical means of CBD oil application work well for humans, the ideal way to give your dog CBD oil is orally

That way, you can be sure of how much they’re actually ingesting. With topical creams and oils, fur can be a literal roadblock, so it’s tougher to figure out how much is getting to your dog’s nervous system. 

There’s a recommended dosage for the size of your dog, but it’s extra important to follow this exactly.

As we mentioned, there’s not been enough research done to determine much more than the dosage amount, so going above could cause overdosing. 

There are many CBD oils available on the market. If you choose to give your Great Dane the purest form of the oil, it’s recommended that you add it to a treat or mix it in with food.

These are a few of the top-rated CBD oils for dogs:

But, if you’d rather just opt for a ready-made treat with CBD oil in it, these are also available. Here are a few highly-rated CBD treats to look at.

How to Choose the Right CBD for Your Dog

Just like medicine and food, it’s important to consider anything that you’re giving to your dog.

Some dogs react differently to various medications or even natural supplements, so checking with your vet before trying CBD oil for your dog is always a must.

Then, make sure to follow these rules for choosing the right CBD oil for your Great Dane:

Make Sure the CBD Oil is from Full or Broad Spectrum Hemp

While still getting the benefits that cannabis provides, remember to purchase full or broad-spectrum hemp products. These will deliver the CBD oil to your Great Dane without the THC.

THC is highly potent to dogs and should not be administered or shared with your Great Dane.

Check the Dosage!

Yes, we’ve mentioned it is plentiful, but because CBD for dogs is such a new area, getting the correct dosage is ever so important. Never give any more than the label says is recommended for your dog’s weight.

Luckily, Great Danes are such large dogs that it’s often more likely that overdosing is more difficult.

However, you still need to take care that your dog is receiving a dosage adequate for their weight, without overdoing it.

Check for Certification

A certificate of analysis, or COA, will be provided with the CBD oil product. This will tell you how much THC is in the oil and how much CBD there is.

The COA should be from a third-party lab that did testing on the product. If you’re thinking about purchasing a CBD oil that doesn’t have a COA, don’t. 

CO2 Extraction

This is the most expensive way to make CBD and the best way. Nothing else will be nearly as safe or effective.

The CO2 extraction method doesn’t use dangerous solvents, which are harmful.

Where is the Hemp Grown?

This will let you know whether or not the hemp is organic and safe.

Check the COA to see where the hemp was grown that was used in the production of the CBD product. If you can’t locate it or it’s hard to see, consider opting for another brand. 

Bargain CBD Costs Less for a Reason!

When it comes to the price point, don’t immediately go for the cheapest option.

This often means that the products don’t have enough THC or are not grown from organic hemp.

Risks of CBD for Your Great Dane

CBD oil can make such a difference for your Great Dane while really improving their quality of life.

But, of course, there are risks. These are worth noting, just to keep in mind.

Additives and Preservatives in CBD

When you check the COA and label, there will be a list of additives or chemicals. It’s best to bypass any oils that have any of these. Even in organic hemp, there are occasionally additives, so just because the label says “organic” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t scan the label still.

Some companies will use essential oils in their CBD oils, which can also be very dangerous to dogs.

Tea tree is one of the known essential oils that can have a negative effect on dogs and often causes serious skin irritations or worse. Be cautious and try to avoid these.  

Interactions with Other Medications

If your Great Dane is already taking medication, CBD oil can cause an adverse reaction. It can also cause the medication to become ineffective.

Side effects of medications interacting can worsen the conditions of an existing issue or even bring out a whole new challenge. 

This is not just true for medications, but supplements as well. Even natural and herbal supplements.

Always double-check to see if there are any known interactions between the CBD oil and whatever medications and supplements your dog is currently using and can impact how your Great Dane’s body metabolizes the medications and supplements.

These are a few known medications for conditions that commonly affect Great Danes, and might possibly interact with CBD oil:

  • Anti-anxiety medications
  • Herbal supplements
  • Steroids
  • Live or kidney medicine
  • Heart condition medications
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs

Potential Side Effects

Just like any other medication or treatment, there are a few side effects that come with the use of CBD oil.

Making sure that you’re dosing your Great Dane correctly can minimize side effects, but it’s possible some of these might still happen:

Drowsiness and Lethargy

CBD oil has a known calming effect, so it’s possible that it may make your Great Dane seem tired or lethargic, especially the first couple of times it’s used.

However, this can also be a sign of too much of an overdose or an intolerance to CBD oil, so keep an eye out for an over-lethargic pup.

1. Excessive Dry Mouth

In humans, CBD can cause dry mouth. This has also been reported by some Great Dane owners that have used CBD oil, and dogs will drink more water than usual. 

2. Low Blood Pressure

Again, the calming effect of CBD oil can cause extreme relaxation. Oftentimes, this will cause a drop in blood pressure.

However, if a Great Dane has been given too much CBD, the lowered blood pressure can come on too quickly and become dangerous.

This will be evident if your dog appears to be lethargic or struggling to walk.

3. Dizziness

If your dog is having a hard time walking straight or focusing, soon after being given CBD oil, it might be that they’re dizzy. This can come as a result of the actual CBD oil, or the quick drop in blood pressure.

Either way, it’s important to be mindful of this possible side effect in case it does happen so that your dog doesn’t hurt itself. 

4. Skin Irritations

If your dog has sensitive skin, then it might be more likely to break out after using CBD oil. It’s possible that this is an allergic reaction from using CBD oil, especially if you went the topical application route.

Skin irritations such as rashes and itching right after using CBD oil are common, but can also be a result of an ingredient in the CBD product. However, it could also just be that your dog has sensitive skin. 

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