Are You Giving CBD To Your Boston? Dr. Verdino Discusses CBD

CBD Oil And Boston’s: Exclusive Interview With Dr. Verdino

Are you thinking about giving CBD to your Boston Terrier for the first time? Or have you been giving CBD to your Boston already?

Dr. Verdino (source)

No matter the case, this article, and podcast will help give you some clarity on:

  • How often to give your Boston CBD
  • When would it be appropriate
  • How to get started using CBD

Dr. Mark Verdino is a veterinarian with the North Shore Animal League America. His veterinarian practice is the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.

Dr. Verdino has taken time out of his day to discuss CBD supplements as they relate to smaller dog breeds like the Boston Terrier.

Let’s get started…

Boston Terriers And CBD Supplements


Full interview with Dr. Verdino


What is CBD?

Dr. Verdino

CBD is the acronym for cannabidiol oil, which is a derivative of the hemp plant. The common misnomer about CBD is that its pot (marijuana). 

And it’s really not. They’re both just derived from similar species of plants. 

The psychoactive component of marijuana is THC.

It gives people the euphoria or high. 

CBD products, for the most part, contain very little THC at all. CBD is what they call a hemp-derived product, and commercial hemp in the US, that’s legal, is defined as having less than 0.3% THC content.

All of the veterinary products out there, for the most part, the ones that I’m aware of, the legal ones are considered CBD or hemp. 

A lot of them will say, hemp chews or CBD chews.

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Could CBD make a Boston Terrier or smaller dog breed high?

Dr. Verdino

The answer is, no. There is like zero chance that CBD will get them high. 

Now, there have been some sedentary effects. So, it has been described to cause a little bit of sedation in certain animals. 

A lot of times, that’s good, that’s sort of what people are looking for. 

They’re primarily used, and I guess most of the research in veterinary medicine has been related to osteoarthritis, pain management. 

That is where we have the most information. 

A lot of people will use CBD for the management of chronic pain, arthritis pain, mobility issues. And one of the things that it helps, in certain circumstances, it helps their pet sleep. 

If your pet is uncomfortable or agitated, it does help them sleep. 

There are articles out there, most of which aren’t scientific in nature, that also describe anti-anxiety effects.

Do you think CBD is safe to give Boston Terriers on a daily basis?

Dr. Verdino

Do I think they’re safe to give on a daily basis? Yes. I think that the safety profile of a lot of CBD, for the most part, has been determined, and it’s been deemed to be safe. 

Really the only known or documented side effect is there can be some elevations of a particular liver enzyme called alkaline phosphatase on lab work. 

What they don’t know is, is this just interference with the lab work, or is there something causing that enzyme to go up? 

But all the other liver parameters have not changed, so we don’t think that it’s liver toxic. 

So, safety-wise, do I think it’s safe to give every single day? Yes. And it’s probably, in my opinion, safer than some of the drugs to give every single day.


Would you recommend a different type of CBD over another, liquid versus chewable?

Dr. Verdino

For the most part, I don’t think the version or the formulation that you use makes a difference.

Obviously, you’re not going to have Bella (Donnie’s Boston Terrier) vaping or doing something like that, that people do. 

Whether you’re using an elixir, which is like the drops, or whether you’re using a chew, the ingredient is the same. 

There is some debate about the bioavailability of different formulations. So, obviously, you have to do your research and look at the company and see what they say about bioavailability. 

What that means is, usually, if you give the elixir, the elixir is a more concentrated form. It gets absorbed pretty readily. 

However, if you feed it with a high-fat meal, it may bind to the meal. 

Depending on what you’re feeding along with the elixir, it might make a difference, and certain chews are usually formulated to be more bioavailable.

Meaning they’re put in stuff that helps act as a better vehicle for getting the active ingredients into the bloodstream, allowing them to absorb better.

What are the main reasons you see people giving their dog CBD?

Dr. Verdino

The two reasons they want to give CBD are for pain management. Again, for arthritis pain, in particular, the old dog who’s not getting up as readily, that type of stuff. 

And then the second reason, and probably even more of an interest for people, is anxiety.

As far as common side effects with CBD in the smaller dog breeds, what do you see?

Dr. Verdino

The only thing that we’ve seen is some sedation, and we have not seen any a contraindication to its use with other medications. 

Which a lot of times is a question, “So, if my dog’s hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, or diabetic, and I’m giving other things, is there a contraindication to using CBD?” 

And we have not found that there is. 

The biggest side effect that people would describe, especially if you’re giving a higher dose to a smaller dog, would typically be sedation. 

You might notice that they’re just sleeping a lot or when they get up, and they’re walking around, they seem a little bit hazy or wobbly, and that usually just indicates that the dose is too high.

Is there a source to go to, to try to help get basically helpful information on which brand or type of CBD to purchase for their dog?

Dr. Verdino

There is not really any one place to get that information. There are the Pet MD’s of the world that will give some general information on CBD, but just like me, they’re probably not going to be a proponent of any particular brand.

 I know that ElleVet is a larger reputable organization. 

They’re the ones that did the big osteoarthritis study with Cornell University.

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What is something you would say to someone considering giving CBD to their Boston Terrier for the first time?

Dr. Verdino

I always recommend talking to your pets’ veterinarian first. Questions that need to be asked are, What are you trying to get out of it? And do we think that it’s appropriate? 

For example, my dog’s acting funny, we think he’s in pain. Let me try CBD. 

Well, there might be a major medical concern causing that discomfort, and CBD is not going to help.

Should I give my Boston Terrier CBD to help with anxiety?

Dr. Verdino

I tend to not, again, recommend if your dog has anxiety issues because anxiety issues can be very complex. 

Just throwing CBD at it because any kind of anxiety can manifest as aggression if not managed properly. 

And what you don’t want is my dog kind of runs and hides when there’s a thunderstorm, and I put CBD on, and now it bites my kids when there’s a thunderstorm. 

So, you want to be careful about that. 

Again, I would always say talk to your veterinarian first. Then go and make a decision in coordination with your vet.

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Any other final thoughts that you’d like to share?

Dr. Verdino

The only thing is that CBD is kind of a new product line if you want to call it that. There’s a decent amount of research that has been done in people, significantly fewer in animals, but it is happening.

What we tell you today about CBD and its side effect profile, and risks, and rewards may change as more research comes out.

Again, right now, I think it’s relatively safe to try in most circumstances, and I do think it works in certain things. 

I used it on my own pets. I have Pugs, which are relatively the same size as Boston Terriers.

Contact Dr. Verdino or North Shore Animal League

Dr. Mark Verdino is with the North Shore Animal League, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.

Dr. Verdino’s Biography

North Shore Animal League website

Final thoughts…

CBD Supplements are considered safe to give to your Boston Terrier.

However, before you give your dog any kind of supplement, you need to consult your veterinarian. They will be able to help you make the best health decision.

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Donnie Gardner

Donnie Gardner is the owner of the Boston Terrier Society. He has been raising Bella the Boston since 2010. He resides in Kansas with his wife, daughter, and Bella. His favorite activities are hanging out with family, traveling, running (but has bad knees), and reading non-fiction books.

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