What Every Dog Owner Should Know About CBD
CBD is a trending topic and pets (especially dogs) aren’t getting left out of the conversation. In this 5-minute read, we will cover how CBD can benefit man’s best friend and help you make an informed decision for your dog.
What is CBD?
CBD is short for cannabidiol, which is an element from hemp plants. It is important to note that psychoactive effects are caused by a different chemical, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). As such, it is safe to say CBD has no psychoactive effect on humans or animals.
CBD oil is the most common way to purchase CBD for pet wellness. It combines CBD with a carrier oil (such as MCT oil) to make it easier to consume and measure. CBD’s benefits come from its activation of the body’s natural endocannabinoid system (ECS). All animals rely on the endocannabinoid system for regulating bodily functions, so even dogs will also benefit from taking CBD. The ECS helps control pain, inflammation, anxiety, sleep, mood, and more.
How dogs respond to CBD
A January 2019 study that asked over 2,000 veterinarians found that more than 50% of veterinarians support the use of CBD products for animals. CBD interacts with receptors of a dog’s endocannabinoid system to signal the body should increase or decrease responses to stimuli. This can result in the following benefits for dogs:
- Relieves pain and increases activity
- Relieves stress
- Helps allergic skin reactions
- Improves appetite
- Relieves muscle spasms and seizures
- Helps with restlessness and excessive barking
As you can see, dog CBD oil offers a natural way of regulating and maintaining the optimal balance for your dog.
Popular uses of CBD for Dogs
Dogs love to run around and as they age joint pain can make that nearly impossible. Studies have shown that 20% of dogs will suffer joint pain⁴ as a result of age, development, or injury. The effects of CBD oil for dogs has made it an exciting alternative option. CBD targets inflammation in the joint, minimizing swelling and reducing pain.
When your furry friends go on car rides, trips to the vet, get their nails clipped, or you leave for work they can experience stress and anxiety. Some dogs will express this as excessive barking, restlessness, insomnia, and/or pacing. In these cases, CBD helps to calm your dog and relieve stress.
Veterinarians report that about 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. Most conventional seizure medications are ineffective and offer very little relief. CBD, on the other hand, CBD has been demonstrated to have anti-seizure properties. In fact, a CBD drug (Epidiolex) has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medication for two types of difficult to treat epilepsy in humans. By using pet CBD oil, dogs can possibly experience similar relief from seizures.
Side Effects & Is CBD safe?
CBD is completely safe for human and dog use. It is a natural plant extract that offers your puppy a lot of benefits and potential relief. CBD will not get your little fluffy friend ‘high’, it is non-intoxicating. The World Health Organization considers CBD to be a safe, non-toxic, and non-addictive substance with potential therapeutic value.
Side effects are rare and typically mild. Potential side effects of CBD include drowsiness, dry mouth, changes in mood, changes in appetite, diarrhea, and tremors. Owners should monitor their dog’s reaction to CBD just to be sure he/she is properly benefiting from CBD.
How Dogs Take CBD
It is recommended to introduce your dog to CBD with a small serving of 1-3mg/day. As you gauge how your dog responds you can increase the serving until your pet is showing the benefits of CBD. To give them CBD you can place the drops of CBD into their mouth, or for a special treat, give your good boy/girl some CBD infused pet treats. Most dog owners are adding CBD to their pet’s diet twice a day, so the benefits last all day.
Since CBD oil works well for dogs with anxiety, stress, pain, and inflammation it helps to give your dog CBD before any activity with those triggers, such as:
- A trip to the vet
- Pet grooming (nails, washing, and baths)
- A guest visiting your home
- Leaving your dog alone all day
- Expected loud noises (thunderstorms or vacuuming)
- Visiting a new place
- Road trips or long car rides
CBD oil can also be given to other pets, as all animals have an endocannabinoid system and respond to the effects of CBD.