As CBD is gaining popularity as a way to help treat a host of conditions, an interesting thought has been gaining steam for a while now; if CBD can help people with all of these ailments, does it have the same potential to help our furry companions as well?
Let’s clear the air starting from the get go- even though there is scientific research backing statements that CBD can be beneficial for certain conditions such as anxiety, pain relief and inflammation in humans, the lack of published double-blind study for animals makes it hard to pull out concrete facts that aren’t purely anecdotally based. That’s not to say that the benefits shown are bogus and invalid, it just goes to show you how new of a market this all is and how much more research is needed in the field.
That said, you don’t have to look to far in order to come up with stories of dogs in extreme pain who purportedly found relief through CBD. In this article we will be going over how CBD can have a ton of potential benefits for both man and man’s best friend alike!
What is CBD
While we covered this in earlier articles, let’s give a bit of a refresher. CBD (or Cannabidiol) is a natural compound found in the marijuana or hemp plant. CBD sourced from industrial hemp plants with 0.3% THC or less is legal to buy and sell nationwide. While THC is the compound most people are familiar with that gets you “high”, CBD is non-psychoactive- meaning it doesn’t produce any euphoric effects in humans or dogs.
Does CBD Work For Dogs?
The way CBD and other cannabinoid compounds work is that they interact with our endocannabinoid system, which is responsible in helping balance and maintain normal body function and health through a system of neurotransmitters and receptor sites throughout the body.
The intriguing part is that all mammals- dogs and humans alike- have endocannabinoid systems and cannabinoid receptor sites. This means that it is very likely that dogs are capable of benefiting from the same compounds that activate and attach to the endocannabinoid system, leading to improved health for our canine companions as well!
What Benefits Can Your Dog Expect?
Just like in humans, CBD can help with an array of chronic or acute conditions and ailments, including:
- Pain and Inflammation
- Sleep Disorders
- Hunger, Appetite and Nausea
According to Dr. Gary Richter, a California-based holistic veterinarian and author of “The Ultimate Pet Health Guide,” the most common way pet owners are using CBD for dogs is to help with pain, stress, and anxiety- which would make sense since that is why many people choose to try CBD in the first place.
Older dogs prone to joint pain and arthritis may find a lot of relief after introducing CBD as a supplement to their health, while dogs suffering from separation anxiety or noise phobias may feel more relaxed and even friendlier after introducing CBD into their system.
If your dog’s taking conventional drugs for any of the conditions listed above, CBD may make it possible to lower doses of the drugs and still achieve therapeutic effects. Since most conventional medicines do have side effects, getting relief while decreasing the occurrences of unwanted side effects is something to consider when seeing if CBD is right for your pet.
Can CBD Be Harmful to My Dog?
Since CBD is non-intoxicating, there is no chance of your dog becoming disoriented or buzzed from consuming it. There have been a few cases where CBD has made dogs a bit sleepy, and every now and then incidents show up where there’s a dog that has experienced gastro-intestinal issues, but that is pretty uncommon. Just like in humans, any medication or supplement has a chance to cause an upset stomach, so keep an eye on your companion for a few days after introducing them to CBD to see how they respond.
How to Give Your Dog CBD
There are many ways one could administer CBD to their dogs ranging from CBD-infused dog treats to CBD oils and tinctures. Just like you have to find your own preferred method of intake, it might take a little time to see how to best give it to your dog for the best results.
CBD infused treats are a fun and easy way to get CBD into their system. Just as any edible eaten by a person, it will take longer to absorb than oil, but will provide relief for a longer duration of time than oils or tinctures. Usually less potent due do bioavailability and loss of CBD through the digestive system.
CBD oils and tinctures can be dropped directly into your dog’s food or ingested by your dog orally.
CBD Dosing for Dogs
Based off of the recommendations made by canine herbalist Rita Hogan, it is usually best to start with a low dose and work your way up to the recommended level so that your dog gets the right dose for their individual needs.
Rita recommends starting with 1 drop of CBD oil per 10 lbs of your dog’s body weight per day. Give this dose for about a week, then move up to 1 drop per 10 lbs of body weight twice per day.
If giving your dog a capsule, start with a quarter of the recommended dose and gradually increase the amount taken until you see results. Remember- it may take a few days for CBD to kick in and have visible effects, so stay consistent when starting out and have a plan for how much you will give your dog during their first few weeks.
As long as there are no side effects, you can increase the dose every 4 to 5 days until you start to notice the therapeutic effects.
Look out for your pet’s wellbeing by including some CBD into their daily and weekly routines! Be sure to keep those treats in a safe place out of reach for them and check out our dog and pet friendly products here!