healthy dog

Can CBD Help Dogs with Arrhythmia and Heart Conditions

CBD products have been rapidly growing in popularity among pet owners as a natural, safe and well-tolerated means of dealing with a wide range of health issues but can it help alleviate your dog’s heart condition?

Many pet owners aren’t aware that just like humans, dogs can also suffer from heart issues including arrhythmia and heart disease. Fortunately, the more you understand about the condition and what you can do to help relieve the symptoms is a crucial step in keeping your canine happy, healthy and by your side.

Although diet and lifestyle changes can help deal with some of the symptoms of these conditions; CBD has started to show promise as another tool for improving heart health in dogs and keeping man’s best friend healthy.

What is Heart Arrhythmia?

Arrhythmia is a condition in which the heart beats with an irregular rhythm. Essentially, an arrhythmia is an indication that the heart is not beating as it should. In the case of your pet, his or her heart may skip a beat, pump too fast, or pump too slowly.

The sinus node or sinoatrial node in the body initiates electric pulses in the heart; triggering contraction and relaxation. When your pet inhales, they receive feedback from the cardiac and respiratory centers. This decreases the suppression of vagus nerves (the nerve that sends signals to the body’s organs) and generates cardiac acceleration. However, during exhalation, the opposite process occurs. Sinus arrhythmia is a condition that pertains to reflexes. It involves stretching pressure-volume sensory receptors in your dog’s heart, stretch receptors in the lung, blood vessels, and other chemical factors of the blood. While this condition does not impact blood flow it can induce a pause in the heart’s beating action. This can lead to a loss of consciousness if the rhythm is not immediately restored.

dog with a heart on his nose depicting health

Your Dog’s Heart Rate

A regular or resting heart rate refers to the speed that a healthy heart beats while your dog is in a relaxed state. While it’s normal for a dog’s heart rate to speed up when they are outside and excited, it should calm down once they relax. It’s when the heart starts to speed up or slow down for no reason that it could become an issue.

Generally, a normal heart rate for a dog can vary depending on their age and breed. For example, a normal heart rate for a puppy can be as high as 220 beats per minute, but for older dogs, it could be somewhere between 70 to 160 beats per minute. Similarly, a normal heart rate for a larger breed might range anywhere between 60 to 140 beats per minute but a smaller breed might be higher.

Spotting The Symptoms Of Arrhythmia In Dogs

Arrhythmia is a common condition in dogs of all ages, from pups to older k9s and it can range from mild to severe. While heart arrhythmia isn’t always dangerous, in most cases it can be quite serious. That’s why it’s of the utmost importance to be able to spot the symptoms of the condition and get your dog the help they need as soon as possible.

The most common symptom of Arrhythmia among dogs is an irregular heartbeat. Generally, arrhythmia can manifest as the heart beating too slow (also referred to as bradycardia) or too fast (or tachycardia). Some of the other more common external symptoms that might be an indication of arrhythmia include loss of consciousness, slow or fast breathing, and a lack of energy.

If you witness any of these symptoms in your dog it’s a good idea to visit your vet or a veterinary cardiologist for a check up. They have a series of tests they can perform to diagnose arrhythmia as well as what might be causing it.

Common Causes For Canine Arrhythmia

Your dog may suffer from arrhythmia for many reasons. Sometimes, the condition is less severe and can be managed through proper diet, monitoring, and maintenance but in other cases, it might be an indication of a more serious condition. Arrhythmia can be related to an issue with the heart such as in cases of heart disease or could be caused by something else entirely. For example, an electrolyte imbalance, nervous system issues, or reaction to a medication can all contribute to your dog’s irregular heartbeat.

Any breed can suffer from arrhythmia, however, brachycephalic dogs have a higher tendency to develop this condition. These breeds include Lhasa Apsos, Bulldogs, Boxers, Pugs, Shih Tzus, Shar-Peis, and Pekingese. Here are a few of the common causes of arrhythmia in dogs:

  • Respiratory disease
  • Injuries
  • Gastrointestinal disease
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Congenital heart abnormalities
  • Exposure to toxins
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Infections
  • Heart disease
  • Cerebral disorders
  • Environmental stress
  • Diseases causing problems with vagus nerves
doctor examining a dogs heart

Common Heart Diseases Among Dogs

Arrhythmia is not the only condition that can affect a dog’s heart. Below are a few examples of heart diseases that commonly affect canines. All of these diseases are serious and can have dangerous consequences.

  • Valvular heart disease (VHD) a condition that affects the way the heart regulates blood flow.
  • Heartworm which is transmitted through mosquitoes and can clog the heart, affect blood flow, as well as the way the organs function.
  • Myocardial disease which can cause the wall of the heart to thicken.
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) which can affect heart valves, blood flow efficiency and can result in heart failure.
  • Pericardial disease which can cause fluid buildup around the heart and restrict heart rate.
  • Congenital heart defects which are inherited from birth.

Research On CBD For Arrhythmia and Heart Disease

CBD affects humans and dogs in a similar way. On a basic level, it interacts with the body’s endocannabinoid system, which plays an important role in managing bodily functions including keeping the heart healthy. Through this interaction, researchers believe CBD has the potential to protect the heart from a number of different conditions.

Let’s take a look at what the research says about CBD and its potential effects on the cardiovascular system.

  • According to a 2010 study that looked at the effects of CBD on cardiac arrhythmia; CBD has the potential to act as a cardioprotective by its ability to reduce ‘ventricular arrhythmias and attenuating infarct size’. This in turn can help lower the risk of heart failure.
  • According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, long term stress can lead to a number of physical issues in the body that are common risk factors for developing arrhythmia and other heart diseases. Fortunately, CBD has been known to combat anxiety and relieve stress.
  • Myocarditis which is another potential cause of arrhythmia involves an inflammation of the heart muscle. But because CBD contains anti-inflammatory properties it may help relieve symptoms and associated pain.
  • Another study noted there is growing evidence that suggests the cardiovascular system can be a therapeutic target for CBD and it can present a number of benefits. The study goes on to mention that evidence supports a therapeutic role for CBD to help with cardiovascular disorders such as diabetes, myocardial infarction, stress, stroke, and encephalitis.

These studies clearly demonstrate the important role the endocannabinoid system can play in the way the heart functions and in turn, the range of benefits CBD oil can have on the cardiovascular system as well as heart health for both people and pets alike.

Other Ways CBD Might Help K9 Heart Disease

The same anti-inflammatory properties associated with CBD that work to protect the heart can also present a number of other benefits for pets. Apart from potentially helping with arrhythmias, research indicates CBD might help dogs with heart disease by reducing:

  • Pain and inflammation
  • Cell death
  • Blood flow disruptions on the left ventricle
  • Oxidative and inflammation stresses
  • Fibrosis where the connective tissue of the heart thickens and hardens.
  • Anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Brain damage

Another benefit of CBD is its potential to relieve some of the side effects of medications your vet might recommend so they can continue taking them as scheduled.

healthy dog sitting up

Additional Arrhythmia Treatment Methods

In addition to CBD, there are also other treatment methods veterinarians might use to treat or manage arrhythmia in your dog. While the actual treatment plan they recommend might vary depending on the condition a few examples of these methods include:
  • Treating the underlying issue causing the arrhythmia
  • Certain medications designed to regulate heartbeat
  • In some cases, pacemakers have also been known to help regulate heartbeat

How to Buy CBD For Your Dog

Due to the increased interest in CBD products for pets, there are many brands to choose from but not all brands or products are the same. That’s why it’s crucial to your dog’s health for you to be aware of what to look for and find a brand you trust.

Although it’s true that CBD is safe for pets; finding a quality, trustworthy product can make the difference between reaping the benefits, avoiding health issues and keeping your dog happy. Remember to look for a certificate of analysis (COA), laboratory test results and read the product labels.

At Easy Day, you can read the lab test results on our website and scan a qr code for every one of our CBD products. So you can rest easy knowing you can trust the purity and dosage in everything we offer.

For more information on what to look for, how to give your dog CBD and important information every dog owner should know, we highly recommend checking out our ‘Pet Owner’s Guide to Using CBD for Dogs’.

Keeping Man’s Best Friend Safe and Happy

It’s important to note that CBD is not a cure for severe heart conditions but research continues to show that it can work to protect the cardiovascular system and relieve symptoms for pets as well as humans.

That said, if your dog has a heart condition or you suspect there might be an issue, make sure to consult with a veterinarian for advice on how to proceed. You can also discuss including CBD into your treatment plan and find out about proper dosages. It’s also a good idea to keep a close eye on your pet’s progress so you can report back.

At Easy Day, we understand how overwhelming it can be to hear your dog might have a heart condition and how important it is to keep them happy, healthy and by your side. If you are ready to get started trying out CBD for your dog we have a wide variety of premium CBD products for pets for both large and small breeds to browse through.

Because your dog deserves the very best.

Back to blog