If you've followed the CBD trend at all, you've heard how much it can help people, but can you give dogs CBD oil? Will it have the same effect? Will it be safe for them?
The answer to all the above questions is yes. CBD oil is a great way to help your loved one feel more calm and relaxed, especially during stressful experiences like on a flight, at the veterinarian, or at home alone for extended periods of time. As CBD becomes more popular, nearly three-quarters of veterinarians have reported being asked about it as a supplement for pets.
So what can CBD do for dogs? It starts with the endocannabinoid system (ECS)—one of Mother Nature's oldest and most developed evolutionary mechanisms that exist in all mammals. Since dogs are mammals, they can feel the effects and benefits of hemp products just like humans can. At least, we think so.
Giving dogs CBD causes stimulation to their ECS, giving them benefits like temporary relief from anxiety and inflammation. Since there still isn't much research about how CBD affects the body, most of the evidence is anecdotal. Until the science is more available, you should try to keep your dog's CBD doses spaced out a few days at a time.
Note: As of January 2021, it is still an offence to use CBD products on pets, including dogs, in the UK if you don't have a valid prescription from a vet. Owners however can buy CBD for their own use.
How Safe Is CBD for Dogs?
Any good pet owner would want to know how to keep their dog happy without making them sick, and while CBD is non-toxic, it's important not to overdo it. Until you feel more comfortable administering CBD oil to your dog, stick with a ratio of about 2-3 mg per kilogram of weight. If your dog weighs only 5 kg, 10 mg or so is a good place to start. Increasing that dose isn't likely to cause harm, but do so carefully.
You also shouldn't give your dog CBD more than a few days a week at the most. Daily doses can cause your dog to develop a tolerance—just like humans can develop—and desensitise them to the drug.
It's up to you to make sure your dog can handle CBD safely. There's little risk of a problem, of course, but make sure you monitor how they behave. At the start, use a dropper to give exact doses.
When Should Dogs Get CBD Oil?
Wouldn't it be great if dogs could speak once in a while? Maybe they'd finally explain what they're always whining about. Until then, it's hard to know if your dog is uncomfortable or just looking for a nice pat on the head.
In order to stay conservative on your dog's CBD regimen, limit doses to when they are:
- Nervous about a flight
- Apprehensive of visitors
- Left at home alone for unusually long periods
- Dealing with joint pain
- Scared about things like fireworks
When in doubt, go to a vet. As beneficial as CBD oil may be, it's no replacement for medical attention when it's needed. If your dog seems like they are in severe pain, or if you notice a bald spot where they keep licking, giving them some CBD will not be an adequate treatment. See a vet.
CBD oil should be used to help your pet feel more calm and relaxed. While it can help to reduce inflammation, it will not solve the problem that caused it. As an enhancement to the ECS, this drug can only help the dog produce more of its own hormones to feel more comfortable.
What Should You Expect?
Because the ECS runs through the entire body, the benefits of CBD oil can be far-reaching. Most dog owners (including the writer of this blog) see noticeable positive benefits in their pets once they give them a dose of the supplement.
Owners of elderly dogs may use CBD as a way to reduce joint inflammation as arthritis sets in during those golden years, and they report improvements in how their pets walk and jump.
Some dogs that have a tendency to bark and howl may be more subdued and relaxed around strangers. Situations that upset them are no longer as big a problem. Because of CBD's antioxidant properties, some dogs may even feel rejuvenated.
Can You Give Dogs Any Cannabis Products?
No. While CBD is considered non-toxic, other compounds in the cannabis plant can have more noxious effects on your dog. THC, for example, is not considered safe for pets. If you find a full-spectrum hemp oil, it's possible that it will contain too much THC to offer any benefit to your dog, possibly leading to urinary incontinence, lethargy, and even vomiting.
Make sure you stick to CBD products for your dog. However you may feel about THC for your own use, your dog may feel differently. Like we said earlier, it'd be nice if they could talk, but they can't. Until that changes, don't give them THC.
Which CBD Products Work Best for Dogs?
Because of the huge influx of CBD products on the wellness market, there are countless vendors selling all kinds of CBD products. Each one varies in quality, and some of them may not even contain real CBD. Some hemp growers use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers (which may cause brain damage), which can lead to weak products that don't work as intended.
For your dog, don't settle for anything less than the best. Make sure whatever you buy is 100% organic, with locally sourced hemp that wasn't grown for the lowest possible price. In other words, don't buy the cheapest product you can find on Amazon.
CBD isn't a heavily regulated substance, making it difficult to know whether or not your purchase is worth the money. However, organic growing practices are regulated, so buying organic is a good place to start.
Why Lab Reports Are Important
There's no way to tell how effective a CBD product will be just by looking at it. You won't know what's in it, how it was grown, or even if it contains what you think it does. The best way around this problem is to read the product's lab reports.
Can't find the lab reports where you're shopping? Shop somewhere else. Lab reports are a great way to learn everything you need to know about whether or not your CBD oil contains pesticides, fertilizers, mycotoxins, and substantial cannabinoid content.
Not all vendors provide lab reports, and that's because they cost more. If a vendor has them available to read, it's probably because they stand behind their products. Read the lab reports.
Where to Buy CBD
Now that you know more about CBD's effects on dogs, the next question is where to find it. While there are vendors all over the place willing to sell you products labelled as CBD, the right vendor will have a large inventory and lots of positive customer reviews.
Knowing how they treat their current customers tells you a lot about what you can expect. Good reviews not only mean good service but effective products as well.
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