While we have been talking about the boom in CBD products for human consumption, the use of this herb for animals is starting to blossom, with sales shooting through the roof at an unprecedented level. In the following article, I will cover what it does in the body, how it benefits, which animals it works on and which product you should be looking to purchase.
How Does CBD Affect Dogs, Or Other Animals?
The research is minimal at best, therefore everything you read you have to take with a pinch of salt, as it hasn’t been clinically tested to prove the values they wish to portray. But does this mean it doesn’t work? Far from it. There are numerous cases shown where animals have significantly improved from a number of issues. The fact animals and humans have all significantly recovered from various issues on the back of the usage of this herb is enough for us to make a few judgement calls.
The CBD co-operates with the endocannabinoid receptors, both in dogs and humans, while this can help to maintain a natural balance in the body as well as keeping you in a normal healthy state.
Which Animals Can Benefit From CBD?
As mentioned earlier, the interaction with the cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid receptors is where the CBD takes effect and offers all of the numerous benefits. So in this regard, it could be presumed any animal that has an endocannabinoid receptor should see some form of benefit. Based on this logic, virtually all verterbrates and seemingly all mammals should benefit, such as the below:
What Are The Benefits Of Giving CBD To Animals?
From minor issues to significant life saving stories, we are constantly hearing great benefits to dogs when supplementing their diet with CBD. There are a number of issues which cannabinoids are being utilised to solve in humans, which I’ve highlighted below, which many believe work with dogs as well:
- Osteoarthritis – The clinical trial on the study of the efficacy of the cannabis sativa plant in treating canine osteoarthritis has now finished and they will be analysing the results and reporting hopefully very soon.
- Epilepsy – Hugely beneficial in humans, this is currently being tested in dogs to provide evidence of its success.
- Skin conditions
- Bacterial infections
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Parasitic Infections
Are There Particular Pet CBD Products?
You can opt for either the usual human based CBD products or actually purchase a pet specific one. Treatibles is a very popular brand, growing their product in South Carolina and offering it in a tasty treat which the dog is always going to be keen to eat. They provide chews, capsules, oil dropper bottles as well as a few other products, while they make them with multiple animals in mind, from cats and dogs to horses.
Do not try and smoke marijuana around the dog, thinking this would help, as it is actually toxic for them (plus many other animals), therefore the results can be the reverse of what is hoped for. You should be aiming for CBD that originates in agricultural or medicinal hemp.
I’ve also been looking into Honest Paws, which has coconut flavoured biscuits, containing CBD oil, coconut, malted barley, peanut butter, eggs and barley flour, while they also produce an oil version aimed at pets.
Are There Any Side Effects For Dogs Taking CBD Oil?
Once again, this area hasn’t been studied in detail, therefore there are a lack of case studies and reports to base this on. However, there are a few common side effects that mirror usage in humans, and these are perceived to potentially do the same in dogs, highlighted below:
- Lowered Blood Pressure: This isn’t very common, but can occur when a higher dosage is given. Also, this effect is only temporary, while it is a very minor drop, with the only real effect from this predominantly being light headedness.
- Dry Mouth: This is a common symptom when taking cannabinoids, while this may be witnessed by seeing the dog drinking a little more.
- Drowsiness:While one of the benefits to taking CBD is a lowering of anxiety, a common result can be a slight sense of drowsiness. This isn’t so much that it should significantly change their attitude, but you may notice a slight difference, depending on the dosage you are providing.
So Is CBD Safe For Dogs?
I’ve highlighted some of the very minor side effects that could occur, however the main factor in place is the quantity of THC, the psychoactive ingredient which gets you high. No vet would (or should) ever recommend giving you a quantity of THC that could get the dog high for a whole host of reasons.
Also, be careful to use the recommended dosage and start with a smaller amount at the start to judge results.
I would like to openly state that it is safe, however that would be a clear statement that no harm can ever be done and I wouldn’t want to put myself in that position. So let me say that there are a huge amount of people using this on their pets and no real case studies or stories coming out of any negative results, which is a positive sign, however we cannot openly state anything until more research has been taken (something which is happening now, but the test results can take years to prove anything).
If you have accidentally given your dog a higher amount of THC, then the FDA recommends seeking a vet as soon as possible. The FDA also highlighted a number of signs and symptoms to look out for, which are vomiting, convulsions, depression, lethargy, heavy drooling, agitation and tremors.
What Dosage Of CBD Oil Should I Give My Dog?
Much like many of the questions before, this is a very difficult one to answer. CBD is a biphasic compound, meaning it has different effects on the body at different blood concentration levels and will make a different result based on whether it is a high or low dosage. You need to remember that a higher dosage doesn’t necessarily mean more effective.
The amount you give will also depend on the size of your dog, it’s not a one-size-fits-all. If you purchase a pet specific product then it should offer guidance on the product, removing much confusion, as they can all slightly vary. Regardless of which product you choose, start with a lower dosage at the start and progress over time until you start to see the desired effect.
Just as a quick word going forward, I offer all of this information based on research papers and scientific studies I have read and analysed, however at no point do I want to claim to be a scientist. Please understand I want to help as many people as possible to learn more about the herb, but I don’t want to claim in anyway to be an expert.