So What’s All the Hype about CBD for Dogs?
Does your dog suffer from chronic pain due to arthritis or an old injury? Does your pet shake in terror over thunder or unexpected noises? Is your fur-baby struggling with side effects from cancer treatment or other serious medical conditions? If so and you have run out of the usual options to lessen his suffering, it may be time for you to look at CBD (cannabidiol) for dogs.
A conversation about CBD oils creates controversy and emotion in many circles. Some people believe that using the oils to help with any kind of pain is the same as smoking a joint and getting high. Make that conversation about dogs eating CBD-laced treats or cookies, and people visualize Rover stumbling around, glassy-eyed and stoned. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Creative Treatment May Work When Conventional Meds Fail
I first heard about CBD oils several years ago when my large Weimaraner suffered with arthritis pain due to his advanced age and great size. But no one where I lived knew anything about it at that time, especially for pets. Fast-forward to 2019, and the subject of CBD for dogs is all over the news, the Internet and social media.
In my work last year with one of our Seniors for Pets clients, I brought up the idea of trying the CBD-laced treats on her elderly dog. The lady was horrified because she, like so many others, didn’t understand that CBD products for pets do not make them high. The CBD used isn’t the same kind as the one humans smoke.
These CBD treats, oils, biscuits, etc, are sold in many retail stores and online, but veterinarians generally don’t prescribe them. That’s because the FDA has not approved CBD as a medical treatment. It is considered a plant.
An old friend owned an aging toy poodle with a history of seizures. Poor little Buddy spent a few years on various prescribed medications to control them but gradually, the meds stopped working. Jane was beside herself and feared losing her little Buddy. Someone convinced her to try the CBD oils and treats on her dog and after a very few weeks, the seizures slowed down and were not as intense. Today, it is rare for the little dog to have a seizure, so the CBD products certainly improved little Buddy’s life.
Anthony Bennie, co-founder (along with his wife, Amanda) of Clear Conscience Pet Dog Treats, used CBD oils on his senior dog when Ozzie developed mobility issues. A couple of the brands he tried didn’t help Ozzie with the pains of his advanced age. But another CBD product produced discernable, positive results and improved the latter part of Ozzie’s life.
In the hunt for more information on the subject of CBD oils, I found the following points of information that every pet parent should know before they try CBD for dogs.
1. Research Shows that CBD Works for Dogs
“Research has shown that CBD’s can act as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, antiemetic, antioxidant, and antipsychotic agent in dogs, as well as humans.” The site says they spent 12 years in research, experimenting and implementing their product line. The HolistaPet dog treats come in varieties to address such problems as heart and immune care, stress and anxiety, and joint and mobility. They include antioxidants and extra ingredients to boost the immune system, strengthen the body and address inflammation.
CBD in oil form may be added to a dog’s water or directly into the dog’s mouth. The CBD dog treats are infused with CBD during the manufacturing process. and my guess is that most dogs would prefer to receive a treat anytime over other methods. The capsules available may deliver a more accurate dose of CBD to pets.
2. How Safe Are CBD Products for Your Pet
In a post found here, the emphasis is on the safety aspect of CBD for dogs, so your pup won’t end up getting stoned after eating them. This assumes that the CBD-laced treats are hemp based and do not contain THC.
As stated on that site, if we were buying for ourselves, we would want the best products available. Our dogs deserve the same. Speak to your veterinarian before purchasing CBD’s for your dog and then buy the best quality you can find.
Just as with any food, a dog could have a bad reaction. Give as low a dose as possible and build up slowly to the recommended serving. Expect results to take time if you are trying to treat an illness or pain, and call your vet if you have any concerns.
3. CBD’s Won’t Create a Stoned Puppy
No, Fido won’t stumble around, smiling at the world and looking for ice cream and Twinkies with a smile on his face after a dose of CBD oils or treats. Hemp and marijuana are both classified as cannabis, but they are really quite different. CBD from hemp contains high levels of cannabinoids and only small traces of THC – less than .03% – the component in marijuana that gets you high.
4. Just How Legal Are CBD Products?
Because hemp-based CBD’s contain little to no THC, they are legal in all 50 states.
One word of caution to this is to check with law enforcement where you live to verify this legality. Ask the law if CBD is also legal for humans. One reader in Texas told me that her physician warned her never to use the CBD products for herself because even a trace of THC showing up in a blood test could prevent her from ever receiving certain prescription medications again. He told her to wear gloves when handling such pills or oils or treats for dogs. It’s always best to know before you try it.
5. CBD Oils May Seriously Improve Your Dog’s Life
Dogs suffering from numerous conditions can benefit from CBD products. This site offers several suggestions, such as for arthritis pain. The CBD oils contain anti-inflammatory properties that could reduce the swelling in joints that cause pain in older dogs. As mentioned earlier, Anthony Bennie found relief for his senior dog, Ozzie with CBD oils.
Many of us deal with anxious dogs. They may be nervous because of separation anxiety or afraid of loud noises or something else. CBDs contain compounds that work through the system to reduce anxiety in dogs.
Have you ever wondered how to help your pet suffering with cancer? CBD is also believed to improve side effects in dogs with cancer – fighting the cell growth of tumors.
6. Dosing Can Be Tricky & Calls for Patience
I found a list of instructions for administering CBD oil to pets here. They begin by stating that finding the ideal dose for your dog requires experimentation. Expect to take some time to find that ideal dose and exercise patience. Your dog depends on you to get it right.
Administering the oil can be done in several ways. Try mixing it with a flavored oil, such as coconut oil. Honey provides good taste to get that oil down. Capsules also work if you can get your pet to take them. Look for treats laced with CBD oils for dogs.
In the beginning, start with the lowest dose available and gradually increase the oil to the recommended dose. And most important of all, follow your veterinary professional’s advice!
7. Separate the Best Products from the Also-Rans
Several years ago through his writing about pet food, Anthony Bennie emphasized the importance of “clean label” pet products and food – way before other companies picked up on the clean label term to use in their own marketing. Mr. Bennie said that his beliefs about transparency in pet food labeling transfer to selecting CBD oils and products.
Before you shop, be certain that CBD’s could be useful in treating your pet. Talk to your veterinarian. If he or she is totally against the idea, ask why. Perhaps that person is against the use of CBD products in general. But if he or she has valid reasons why you should not use them on your own dog, listen to the advice. Know exactly what you are trying to accomplish by treating your dog with the CBD, and be certain you stay within the suggested parameters for administering it.
Remember that there is no oversight for this product. It has not been approved by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and while it is considered safe, any animal (or human) could sustain a bad reaction to something they ingest. This lack of regulation makes dosing difficult.
8. Compare Ingredients & Know How Your Money is Spent
When you shop for CBD oils, dog treats or other products, read the labels. Know what is in the product besides the CBD. Especially with dog treats, you want to know what they included with the CBD. Choose a full-spectrum CBD because this type contains everything in the hemp plant and may do a better job of addressing your dog’s health issues.
Elaine Mellon, a rep for Hempworx, told me that “people ask more questions about CBD for pets than for people.” She agrees that if you are going to spend the money for CBD products, know where it’s sourced and read the label. Know what you are paying for! Her company manufactures CBD products for both dogs and humans.
Do Your Homework, Consider Your Dog’s Needs, & Shop Wisely
Consider the purity of the product. How long has the company been selling their products for pets? CBD’s have been around for a number of years and the companies that began early now have a track record of what works and what doesn’t. Ask questions. If the person selling the product doesn’t have answers or can’t get the answers, keep shopping.
Don’t expect miracles. Do your research. Buy the best product available. Quality is more important than a bargain when it comes to CBDs for your beloved pet. As Anthony Bennie said, ” With certain health conditions, CBD needs to be explored as a means to help dogs.” It shows a lot of promise, but it’s not a magic bullet.