CBD has exploded in popularity due to its reputation as a safe and legal medicinal supplement. While its benefits were first experienced by and studied in humans, popularity is gaining among pet owners who want to share those benefits with their dogs.
So, what exactly is CBD? The active ingredient in CBD is cannabidiol, which is a compound found in cannabis. Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid, which is one of the hundreds of compounds found within the cannabis species.
CBD–sometimes referred to as hemp oil–is the key ingredient for many of the health benefits associated with medicinal cannabis.
Here are ten things to know before you start a CBD regimen for your dog.
1. CBD oil is not psychoactive (it won’t get your dog “stoned”)
People unfamiliar with CBD sometimes have the misconception that using it will get you–or your pet, in this case–”high” or “stoned.” According to Preventive Vet, CBD doesn’t contain Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the active ingredient in cannabis that produces powerful feelings of euphoria.
Instead, CBD relies on Cannabidiol, which lets users experiences medicinal benefits without the high of THC.
2. CBD Is Legal
Unlike cannabis, CBD is legal almost everywhere because it doesn’t contain THC or get users high. CBD is derived from hemp, not cannabis, meaning the resulting CBD oil is THC-free and safe for both dogs and humans. Even in states where medical cannabis is illegal, non-THC Cannabidiol is usually available for safe, legal purchase.
3. Reduces anxiety
One popular use for CBD is to reduce anxiety in dogs, according to a recent article by VanityFair. Like humans, dogs are known to suffer from anxiety and depression for a number of reasons. Many dogs suffer from separation anxiety, which makes even basic tasks like going to work or running errands challenging.
Anxiety can lead to destructive behaviors like excessive barking, chewing furniture, urinating, and more. CBD contains compounds that produce a calming effect in both canines and humans, and can be used to effectively treat symptoms of anxiety.
4. Helps prevent arthritis and minimize joint inflammation
As dogs age, their joints can become worn out and painful. Arthritis is the medical term used when joints become inflamed, causing aches, pains, and difficulty moving around.
According to veterinarian Dr. Megan Buchanan, CBD has anti-inflammatory effects that can help ease swelling in your dog’s joints. Plus, it also acts a pain reliever to take the edge of your dog’s discomfort.
5. Increases appetite
It’s not uncommon for dogs to go through periods where they have no interest in eating. Our furry friends can’t tell us exactly why they’ve lost their appetites, but many times it’s due to symptoms that humans also experience like nausea or stomach pain.
If your dog is feeling under the weather with digestive discomfort, it probably won’t regain its appetite until the symptoms clear up. CBD is known to help increase appetite in dogs who are having trouble getting meals down.
6. Reduces risk of cancer
Cancer is a debilitating disease that affects dogs just as readily as humans. CDB has been linked to both fighting cancer and alleviating the symptoms of those suffering with cancer. Some new reports indicate that CBD is able to slow tumor growth and boost the immune system.
Plus, CBD can alleviate symptoms commonly associated with cancer, including nausea, pain, depression, and loss of appetite.
7. Lowers risk of seizures
Some dogs are prone to suffering from seizures. Epilepsy and brain tumors are both factors that increase a dog’s odds of experiencing seizures.
Certain dog breeds like Beagles and Golden Retrievers are also more prone to seizures and epilepsy, according to PetMD. CBD is linked to decreasing bin addition to reducing the duration and severity of seizures.
8. Helps Treat Symptoms of Many Diseases
CBD’s healing properties cover a huge range of different diseases and ailments. While it can’t necessarily “cure” most diseases, it can often reduce the severity of symptoms and boost the immune system to help your dog fight the disease.
Nausea, chronic pain, loss of appetite, and behavioral disturbances are all ailments that CBD can help alleviate.
A regular regimen of CBD can help your dog to feel calm and pain-free during difficult times. According to CertaPet, diseases that CBD can help with include: autoimmune disease, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease.
9. Side effects to be aware of
There isn’t any conclusive scientific research on the side effects of CBD on dogs, but pet owners should be aware of certain side effects that have been documented in humans.
Here are a few side effects to keep an eye out for, according to WikiLeaf.
Dry mouth: CBD can decrease your dog’s saliva, leading to thirstiness and cottonmouth. Make sure your dog has a steady supply of fresh water in case CBD makes them feel extra thirsty.
Sleepiness & drowsiness: The calming effects that make CBD so effective at treating anxiety can sometimes lead to feelings of sleepiness and drowsiness.
Lower blood pressure: High doses of CBD have been linked to a temporary decrease in blood pressure. The drop is small enough not to be considered dangerous, but it’s still good to be aware that this is a possibility.
10. CBD Comes In Lots of Options
Traditionally, CBD is available as an oil that you can drip directly into the mouth via a dropper. While this is still one of the most popular methods for administering CBD, a ton of other options have recently emerged in the pet world.
Capsules, topicals, and treats are all popular options. Dog treats are often made with formulas to target a specific need or ailment, like anxiety or pain relief, and even come in dog-friendly flavors like peanut butter.
CBD is a safe, legal health supplement to share with your furry friend. A big part of CBD’s new-found popularity is its versatility; it can be used to treat everything from chronic pain to anxiety and lack of appetite. Plus, it’s one of the few health supplements that both dog and owner can safely use together.
Now that we’ve explored ten things you should know before giving your dog CBD, it’s time to get started! Before you give your dog CBD, Forbes recommends that you talk to your vet to learn about the best dosage for your dog.
Once you get your vet’s approval, you can experiment with different methods of application until you find the one your dog likes best. Some pups may prefer tasty CBD dog treats while others may like to keep it simple with a few drops on their kibble in the morning.
Whichever method you choose, your dog is sure to experience the calming, healing effects of CBD in no time!