CBD OIL For Dogs
You’re probably here because you’ve heard that cannabidiol, or, CBD oil might be a viable option for your canine family member. If so, you’ve come to the right place.
It’s true: CBD products and CBD oil for dogs are becoming more mainstream than ever before… that’s because it works. CBD helps treat many ailments that dogs face much in the same way it helps treat human ailments. CBD brings hope for pet owners looking for a better alternative to prescription medications.
This article will help you to learn more about CBD in general, answer important questions, cover some of the pet ailments it may be able to help you treat, and more.
Want to help your furry friends achieve balance? You’re in the right place. Let’s go deeper.
CBD Oil for Dogs: A Great Alternative
Your dog is a major part of your family. When something isn’t right, an illness creeps up, or an injury takes place, you worry. Chances are you get them into the vet as soon as possible, and are willing to do whatever it takes to get them on the path to healing. That’s what we do for those we care about!
Unfortunately, many treatments for dogs are part of a complicated, expensive guessing game that doesn’t always end the way we hope it will. Whether your dog requires a costly treatment regimen, extensive testing, or something else, you might not be thrilled with the potential side effects or game plan proposed by your veterinarian. CBD oil for dogs, however, might present the alternative you’ve been hoping for.
Will CBD get my Dog High?
There’s a lot of confusion on the differences between CBD and THC, which might have you wondering whether giving your pup CBD is the same as allowing them to get “high.”
Before jumping into the science, the easy answer to this is: no… it’s not the same. In fact, CBD cannot get your dog high.
CBD, or cannabidiol, is a cannabinoid (a compound derived from the marijuana or hemp plant), however, on its own, it is non-intoxicating. The effects we think of when we think of traditional marijuana use stem from a different cannabinoid, THC. Think of CBD as the part of the plant that provides health benefits without the high.
To be sure we’re clear: CBD cannot (and will not) in any case – when derived from the cannabis plant independently of THC – get your dog high.
Got it? Great!
How does CBD Benefit dogs: The Endocannabinoid System
To understand the benefits of giving your dog CBD, it’s important to understand how it works in the first place.
Like humans, many mammals have an endocannabinoid system. While the system isn’t as critical as others – like the digestive system or nervous system – it is no less important. In fact, it interacts closely with many of them!
The endocannabinoid system is comprised of multiple receptors that, when functioning properly, promote a sense of balance and well-being throughout the body. CBD acts upon these receptors to provide a number of benefits for dogs, including those listed below.
Ironically, or perhaps not so ironically, most of the benefits CBD provides for pets mirror those it provides for humans.
Replacing Modern Medications with CBD
By understanding the role the endocannabinoid system plays for pets, it becomes clear that CBD oil may provide an alternative treatment for traditional medications, saving costs and reducing side effects for your pup!
The average pet owner pays $300-400 per year on medical expenses before major conditions come into play. This is no small amount.
Some of the following conditions are the most common among dogs. Great news: they can often be treated with CBD oil!
Natural Pain Relief for dogs – CBD is a known pain reliever. In fact, this was one of its primary uses in ancient history. As an anti-inflammatory compound, it is able to relieve pain – ranging from joint pain from aging to pain associated with specific conditions like hip dysplasia and tumors – without the side effects of traditional medications frequently prescribed to pets. Yep… CBD is a natural pain reliever for dogs.
Anti-Tumor/cancer properties – No one wants to hear the “C” word, especially when their pet has been experiencing new negative side effects. Unfortunately, treatment is often temporary, extending lifetimes by a small amount of time, but rarely curing it completely or eradicating cancer cells. This doesn’t mean your pet can’t live comfortably during whichever course of treatment you select. Not only can CBD help with cancer and the side effects of its treatments – nausea, pain, etc. – it could, when taken internally, help shrink tumors, the same as it has in humans.
Epilepsy/Seizure relief – Up to 5 percent of dogs (higher in some breeds) suffer from epilepsy. This condition – at a basic level – causes them to suffer from seizures, sometimes multiple times a day. Severe cases can result in long-term brain and temperament changes. Regardless of the severity, they are painful for both pets and owners. Recently, CBD has been proven to provide notable relief to pets, similar in the way it provides epilepsy relief to humans. By calming neurotransmitters that tend to over-fire in epileptic pets, CBD can reduce the number and severity of seizures, without the side effects or expense of traditional epilepsy drugs. (1)
Stress and anxiety relief – 83 percent of vets have prescribed Prozac for pets. Let that sink in for a moment… according to statistics like this, our pets are just as likely to suffer from anxiety, separation anxiety and excess stress as we are. They are also just as likely to be prescribed human medications – with the same negative side effects – as we are. These medications often require lifelong maintenance at a premium ($$$) expense. Because it can interact with serotonin receptors in the brains of animals much the same as it does in humans, pets with known anxiety disorders can find anxiety relief from CBD. This relief comes without the negative side effects, the excess monitoring, or regular maintenance required with traditional drugs – at a fraction of the cost.
Overall Health and Balance – If you’ve ever felt like something is just “off,” yet there’s no diagnosis, your pet might just be experiencing a hormonal or other imbalance that there may not be a traditional treatment for. Symptoms might vary greatly between general uneasy-ness, avoiding bowel movements, disinterest in traditional activities and/or human interaction, and more. If the vet can’t place his or her finger on the actual problem, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. Because CBD triggers the endocannabinoid system to promote overall health and balance, it might be the supplement necessary to bring back the pet you’ve been missing, bringing you both extra comfort throughout the process.
Where’s the Research?
Studies on CBD for pets are… well, lacking, to say the least. While institutions like Cornell have recently started performing additional research studies, most have been limited to CBD for osteoarthritis and epilepsy in pets – not quite as extensive as human studies. (2)
That doesn’t mean that CBD shouldn’t be used for pets. In fact, each of these studies has shown positive outcomes with little to no side effects.
Coupling this information, with the fact that many bodily systems are similar between various mammals (yes, even dogs and humans), scientists have concluded that CBD offers many of the same benefits to pets as to humans, without the side effects of traditional medications. The biggest risk seems to stem from buying from a less-than-reputable supplier, which could include more than the recommended .3% THC, leading to a temporary high.
As with any medical decision, extensive research as a pet owner is critically important when selecting a supplier!
Which Pets Can Use CBD?
Right now, research on CBD for pets is limited to cats and dogs. While all mammals have endocannabinoid systems, similar to humans, there is not enough research to recommend the compound for other animals at this time.
How Can Dogs Use CBD?
Topical Lotions and Creams
It’s recommended that dog owners start with the smallest possible dose, watching for signs of improvement before moving to a higher dose.
As with any substance, careful observation and starting slowly is absolutely essential. Just like in humans, the side effects for each form are few and far between, making it an ideal solution to many regular pet ailments.
Why Hasn’t My Vet Recommended CBD?
Just like human medicine providers and doctors, veterinarians are subject to strict regulations and board standards that limit what they are able to discuss and how.
The American Veterinary Medical Association cannot allow veterinarians to make recommendations until extensive research has been completed. This is lacking in the world of CBD for pets. While the association has started providing new educational tools and courses for professionals, many vets have yet to feel comfortable with the topic. (4)
For this reason, your vet may not be ready to make recommendations, but, this doesn’t mean it’s any less important to educate yourself on the topic.
Where Can I Buy CBD for Dogs?
Finding a trusted source of CBD for your dog is important, just like anything you’d put in your own body. While your vet may be hesitant to make suggestions (though he or she may surprise you!) based on the information mentioned above, that doesn’t mean you don’t have options.
Check with other dog owners and therapists in your area, to see if there are any known local suppliers. Being able to ask questions might help you get started. If not, search online. Many products are currently labeled as safe or not safe for pet consumption (or even as pet CBD): sticking to one that acknowledges its safety for your favorite furry family member might be the best place to start.
Because THC can be dangerous for dogs (leading to resistance among veterinary medicine professionals in recommending it, along with guidelines from official organizations), finding a product that is trustworthy, derived from hemp-only and containing only CBD is absolutely essential. Non-GMO, quality CBD matters for human and pet consumption.
As with any substance, check sourcing information, references and more. Ask if it is lab-tested, about the cultivation and manufacturing process and trust your instincts. If something feels “off” or unreliable, it might be best to search elsewhere.
The best part? You can use CBD products and CBD hemp oil in “less traditional” manners to incorporate it into your pet’s life. Consider adding it to multiple pet products like pet shampoos if your pet has sensitive skin, to any topical creams you may use to help with muscle soreness, or even to homemade CBD dog treats. Forget the days of forcing your pet to swallow a capsule or other uncomfortable medicinal delivery method!
If you’re frustrated by the lack of options to treat your pet and want a more natural solution, full-spectrum CBD may be an excellent new direction to explore. The benefits of CBD are truly astounding, it could improve your dog’s quality of life in major ways; maybe today is a great day to make a change!
As a nature/natural-living enthusiast and professional writer/researcher, Laura enjoys learning about and sharing the benefits of healthy-alternatives to traditional medicines and options that more mainstream outlets often fail to highlight.