If you’re a pet parent, and specifically a dog owner, you may have heard of CBD oil. A quick browse on the internet will reveal dozens and dozens of articles promoting its effectiveness with treating specific health problems or behavioural issues. But how accurate are these claims? Will your dog benefit from introducing this CBD oil into their diet?
As more and more pet owners look to CBD to alleviate their pets’ ailments, we dive a little deeper into CBD oil, its healing properties, and what it could mean for a dogs’ health.
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What is CBD oil?
CBD (cannabidiol) is a naturally occurring substance that is often found in cannabis and hemp. While that may appear as a red flag, CBD doesn’t actually contain the psychotropic compound that is attributed with cannabis. Your pet won’t get ‘high’.
In 2018, a landmark report published in the Evening Standard revealed that the World Health Organisation (WHO) resolved that CBD had been “demonstrated as an effective treatment for epilepsy” in adults, children and even animals.
Additionally, the report showed “preliminary evidence” that CBD could be useful in treating a range of diseases, from Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, to cancer, psychosis, and other serious diseases.
Are CBD products for pets FDA approved?
With new evidence about the health-boosting potentials of CBD coming to light, people are now giving CBD products to their pets in the hopes it will alleviate pains, aches and health issues that traditional medication hasn’t helped.
That being said, more tests are needed to fully gauge the effectiveness of CBD when it comes to alleviating certain health conditions. According to the Evening Standard article we mentioned earlier, “Only one CBD product has been approved by the FDA to treat epilepsy in humans but so far, but there are no restrictions for its use on animals. The lack of regulation means that vets are often deterred from discussing CBD as medication with their clients for legal reasons.”
Despite this, many vets and animal lovers are being vocal about the benefits of CBD. Dr Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VETCBD, talks about the benefits of CBD:
“It’s helpful for pain, especially chronic pain like we see in arthritis… It has anti-anxiety properties which are beneficial for animals suffering from separation or noise anxiety. It’s also been successful for dogs with epilepsy in decreasing seizure frequency.”
Let’s look further into the possible benefits of CBD oil for pets.
The benefits of CBD oil for pets
This is possibly the key benefit that CBD can offer to little Fido. Use of CBD for relieving separation anxiety in dogs is one of the more recent techniques implemented by dog owners. While several factors can cause stress in dogs, separation from their owners is often the most common.
If your dog seems restless, whines, and loses their appetite, stress might be the cause. Whenever your dog exhibits these symptoms, CBD oil could be used to help calm them down and make them feel less anxious. However, it is vital to determine what causes your dog to become anxious and get to the root of the problem, rather than just mask it with CBD.
Reducing joint pain
Arthritis and joint pain are a common problem with animals. As our beloved canine friends grow older, their risk of developing joint pain problems increases.
According to Innovetpet, “CBD has been said to have anti-inflammation properties that can significantly reduce the swelling between the joints. This, in turn, can assist in returning physical mobility for pets as well as substantially reducing the pain caused by arthritis”.
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Treatment for nausea
Tim Shu, founder and CEO of VETCBD, also highlights CBD as a potential treatment for nausea in pets:
“There are well-known anti-nausea and appetite stimulating properties (in CBD) which benefit animals suffering from diseases which cause nausea or appetite loss such as kidney disease, chronic gastrointestinal conditions and cancer.”
Studies conducted back in 2011 also showed positive results in regards to treating pets with nausea with CBD. This is mainly due to the connection between CBD and the endocannabinoid system.
Reducing and preventing seizures
Seizures are one of the most frequently reported neurological conditions in dogs. While seizures are typically an inherited disorder, other causes include liver disease, kidney failure, brain tumors or brain trauma. Affected dogs can appear completely normal between seizures, which can be extremely worrying to pet parents.
However, it has been said that CBD can be used to help reduce, and possibly in time, eliminate seizures from dogs. A small recent study published this year revealed that 89 percent of dogs who received CBD in the clinical trial had a reduction in the frequency of seizures.
Reduces risk of cancer
Research on CBD is in its early stages, but some studies have also shown the potential of CBD to negate the growth of cancer cells in the body.
Unlike some traditional cancer treatment, CBD also has no life-threatening side effects, (when the proper dosage is administered). Tim Shu explains: “It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver, or GI tract. The dogs aren’t high or sedated.”
Another key benefit that CBD could potentially offer revolves around its therapeutic qualities. This is due to the connective aspect between all vertebrates – the endocannabinoid system. Through stimulating the endocannabinoid system, CBD promotes homeostasis, reduces pain sensation and decreases inflammation.
Since dogs also have an endocannabinoid system, the benefits of CBD-based oils and supplements used by humans should technically deliver the same results to our canine friends as well.
Alleviates the symptoms of lyme disease
Lyme disease in dogs can cause kidney failure and even death in the most severe cases. Like in humans, it is transmitted by a bacterium spread through the bite of an infected tick. Common symptoms include dog arthritis, which causes lameness, pain and sometimes swelling of the joints.
While CBD can’t cure Lyme disease, it can help to ease these symptoms while the antibiotics do their job. CBD is becoming well known for its ability to relieve inflammation, allowing your dog to feel better as they heal. However, it’s important that you make sure that you talk to your vet about giving your dog a CBD product, to make sure it won’t interfere with treatment.
Potential side effects of CBD oil use on pets
Usually, they’re minimal and rare, but they’re still important to know:
Lowered blood pressure
Lowered blood pressure typically occurs when a high dose of CBD is ingested. A small drop in blood pressure is usually no cause for alarm, but it will still result in a bit of dizziness for your pet.
So, how much CBD oil should you give your pet? The basic rule that applies to dogs and cats is: 1-5 mg CBD oil for every 10 pounds of body weight. If your pet is in pain, you can administer the CBD every 8 hours.
Again, this is generally caused by introducing a higher than recommended dosage. For some dogs, CBD’s mild soothing effects will be enough to make them hit the sack for an hour or so.
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Dry mouth and increased thirst
CBD can reduce the production of the saliva glands. This will result in the dry mouth as well as an increased thirst for our dogs. Have a bowl of water at the ready whenever you are giving your dog CBD oil supplements.
Overall, CBD oil is considered relatively safe to give to your pet. It has been shown to have some positive benefits. Especially for older pets or those in pain. Of course, it is best to consult with your veterinarian first. They should help you by recommending the correct on dosage for your dog as per their breed and size.