Just like with any pet wellness trend, there’s a lot of information available online regarding CBD oil for pets. You want to do what is best for your dog, but this leads to an important question. What do you need to know about CBD oil for pets? We tried CBD oil for our pets, and we’ll go over everything below.
What is CBD Oil for Pets?
Since Colorado legalized marijuana use in 2012, pet owners have started looking at alternative ways to make their dogs healthier. This includes using CBD oil. CBD is an abbreviation for cannabidiol. Cannabidiol is a compound you find in hemp and cannabis.
However, it’s essential that you understand CBD oil doesn’t contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. This is the compound that gives marijuana the psychoactive properties that make it so popular. Additionally, most CBD oil products you get for your pet comes from hemp instead of marijuana.
This practice quickly took off, and pet parents started looking for different ways to give their pets safe doses of CBD oil. Today, you can find them in the same forms as humans use, including capsules, chewable treats, balms, topical creams, and oils that you can add to your pet’s food or place under their tongues. This makes it easy to find a way to give your pet the oil that they’ll tolerate.
Popular Ways to Give Your Pets Hemp Oil for Relief
We touched on the different ways to get CBD oil for your pet, but we’ll go more in-depth below. This way, you’ll know what’s available and what your options are. Popular CBD items include:
- CBD Balms and Lotions- Balms or lotions with CBD oil are very popular with shorter haired pets. To apply them, you rub the balm or lotion into your pet’s fur to their skin. It’s particularly useful around your pet’s joints or feet.
- CBD Capsules – The CBD capsules contain a dose of CBD oil or powdered extract. The dosage goes by weight, and you can slip them into your dog’s food or pill pockets to get them to take them.
- CBD Food Additives – Food additives like honey or runny peanut butter can contain CBD oil, and you can feed them to your dog by themselves or mixed into their food. It is harder to get an accurate dosage with this option.
- CBD Oils – CBD oils are less concentrated tinctures. You can add them to your dog’s food, or you can place drops under your dog’s tongue. The oil will absorb into your dog’s bloodstream quickly.
- CBD Tinctures – Tinctures are concentrated oils that use vinegar or alcohol to pull out and enhance the CBD’s properties. Since they’re very strong, you typically give your pet very small amounts in their food.
- CBD Treats – Soft chews or treats make giving your dog CBD oil relatively easy. Many treats come in different flavors like peanut butter, beef, or chicken. You typically dose your dog by weight, and this will dictate how many treats they get.
CBD Oil for Pets – What Is It and What Does It Do?
CBD oil works on pets like it works on people, and there have been several studies supporting how useful it can be in recent years. We’ve picked out the biggest benefits your dog can experience and backed them up with studies below.
1. Powerful Pain Killing Properties
CBD is a powerful natural agent that can help you manage your pet’s pain. Whether they’re simply getting older and experiencing joint pain or they had an injury, CBD oil can help. Studies show that CBD oil can temporarily block the body from absorbing a chemical called anandamide. This chemical helps dampen pain signals. The temporary boost in anandamide in your pet’s body can reduce their pain sensations to make them more comfortable.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Properties
CBD oil has very powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s widely believed to be one of the main reasons people use it. When you give your pet CBD oil, it interacts with immune cell receptors. It can activate these receptors, and this can prompt a range of immune responses in your pet.
Studies show that CBD oil works to reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, MS, and irritable bowel syndrome. When the inflammation levels start to go down, your pet can feel less pain and stiffness overall. In turn, they’ll be able to move around easier.
3. Anticonvulsant Properties
Although it’s not clear how CBD helps with seizures, evidence points out that it is useful for helping reduce seizure activity in humans and dogs. Several studies show that it’s helpful for controlling epilepsy. Other research shows that CBD oil is effective for helping reduce spasticity caused by MS.
Another study that took place in 2019 found that epileptic dogs that got CBD oil in addition to their usual seizure medications had fewer episodes than dogs who got their usual medication and a placebo. However, they requested further testing to make a conclusive judgment on the effectiveness of the CBD oil.
Some pets are more anxious than other pets. Loud noises, changes in the environment, and separation anxiety can wreak havoc on your pet. There are medications to calm your pet down, but many of them have side effects. CBD oil has anti-anxiety properties that can soothe your pet by reacting with their endocannabinoid system.
With traditional anxiety medications, they target your 5-HT1A receptor, and this receptor is involved in serotonin absorption. When the CBD oil targets these receptors, there is a temporary boost of serotonin in your pet’s system. This can temporarily reduce anxious feelings.
5. Could Slow Tumor Growth
Tumors and cancer can be malicious entities in your pets that are often fatal. In most cases, there is no cure. However, slowing tumor growth is key to extending your pet’s life and keeping them comfortable. New research shows that CBD can have anti-cancer properties.
A second study from the University of Naples Federico II, Italy, found that CBD can help protect rats from colon cancer. It stops the spread, growth, and development of malignant tumors. CBD can also enhance the effects of chemotherapy, and this is one of the most popular cures for cancer in humans and pets.
6. Antiemetic Properties
Some pets experience nausea and vomiting. While this isn’t life-threatening, it can lead to dehydration if you don’t treat it. There are dozens of antiemetic medications available for both humans and dogs, but they come with side effects that can be very unpleasant.
Studies show that CBD oil can suppress your pet’s vomiting reflex and reduce the feelings of nausea. This can help your pet eat and drink, and this is enough to stave off dehydration and weight loss.
CBD Oil Side Effects and Precautions
There’s no hard scientific evidence to support the side effects of CBD for pets, there is the potential of side effects based on how CBD oil affects humans. To minimize the possibility of side effects occurring in your dog, make sure you double-check the dosage and follow the recommendations. The side effects include:
- Drowsiness – We mentioned that treating anxiety with CBD oil is popular for pet owners. Part of the reasoning for this is because CBD has calming properties, and this can cause slight drowsiness.
- Dry Mouth – CBD can decrease your pet’s saliva production, and this can lead to dry mouth. Your pet may drink more to try and offset the lack of saliva.
- Lower Blood Pressure – Higher doses of CBD can temporarily drop your pet’s blood pressure levels. Even if the drop is only minimal, it could cause your pet to feel dizzy or lightheaded.
CBD Research and Facts
- CBD is legal, despite the confusing government regulations surrounding marijuana.
- The FDA recently approved the medication Epidiolex to help control seizure activity, and it has CBD.
- Colorado State University conducted a study that showed oral CBD oil was more effective than a gel capsule or cream for treating epileptic dogs.
- The most effective dosage for CBD oil is two milligrams per kilogram of body weight.
Do we think CBD oil is a viable option to try on your pets? We think so, but we recommend you consult your veterinarian first. They can help you with dosing, know whether or not it’ll interact with your pet’s medications, and help you monitor your pet.