While the FDA has not yet officially approved any CBD-based products for pets, there are several that are already available on the market. Understanding what is out there, what the research indicates, and what ailments could be relieved by CBD is information that any good pet parent should have.
Is CBD Healthy for Dogs and Other Pets?
CBD has been shown to quell anxiety, relieve seizures, and ease inflammation-derived pain in humans, both in preliminary studies and anecdotal evidence. So, could it help pets, too? The short answer is yes.
CBD research, while limited, has shown that pets have similar endocannabinoid receptors, suggesting that the same conditions could be eased with the support of CBD products. In many cases, current evidence involves word-of-mouth sharing between pet parents who have found success with CBD. Scientific research, however, is still in the emerging phase and has yet to provide conclusive findings.
Potential Uses of CBD For Dogs
Research is promising regarding CBD for cats and dogs. As a result, many pet parents inquire about using CBD to treat a variety of dog wellness issues.
Here are a few of the top uses for CBD in dogs.
CBD for a Dog’s Mobility
An aging dog may experience mobility issues during daily walks as well as more strenuous exercise. For example, an aging dog may not be able to tackle a staircase like its younger self. Many dog owners consider CBD when their dog begins to experience age-related mobility issues. CBD can help your pet maintain joint health, support vital connective tissue regeneration, and alleviate stiff, painful joints.
CBD for a Dog’s Pain Relief
Dogs are known for hiding pain and discomfort. By the time you notice your friend has been experiencing pain, things may have progressed. Fortunately, whether your dog is aging, healing from a physical injury, or has had a recent operation, CBD offers a solution.
Like humans, as animals age, they begin to experience inflammation throughout the body. CBD may help to provide relief by lowering inflammation and reducing pain. Through ongoing studies of CBD’s interaction with the animal ECS, researchers believe animals who see a reduction in inflammation after CBD treatment may also experience relief from osteoarthritis aches and pains.
CBD for a Dog’s Anxiety
Dogs can be affected by stress, much like people. Dogs can get stressed over the absence of a family member or loud noises. Other times, your dog may be prone to hyperactivity. In both situations, dog hyperactivity can lead to household accidents and destruction. CBD can address these issues by exerting calm on overactive neurons in the brain, which promotes relaxation and supports a more balanced emotional state. In this way, CBD can allow animals to cope better in the moment and avoid nervousness.
When pets experience chronic anxiety, it could lead to behaviors that can cause concern for any owner, such as irritability, uncontrollable urination, nausea, and more. Because CBD is thought to promote healthy serotonin levels, it may provide the same positive mood benefits as serotonin itself. Certainly, many pet owners report that their pets experienced a reduction in anxious behaviors with CBD treatment.
CBD for a Dog’s Seizure
When used in combination with anti-seizure medication, CBD may be effective in helping reduce the symptoms of epilepsy in pets. Research is still being conducted, but it is believed that CBD can help in reducing the firing of the nerves in the brain as well as addressing electrolytes that cause seizures.
CBD’s anti-seizure properties have been proven in humans with at least one prescription medication, Epidiolex, containing CBD. This FDA-approved drug has not been approved for animals yet. Still, with the similarities in the ECS of humans and animals, further studies could lead to promising medical advances.
CBD for a Dog’s Cancer
Like many other diseases and disorders that could impact a dog, the term cancer encompasses a wide range of cancer-related diseases, all of which require independent evaluation and unique treatments. However, in human cancer patients, CBD can ease the side effects of the disease directly as well as for treatments like chemotherapy. For example, CBD can help to address poor appetite, nausea, agitation, and sleeplessness.
While research on dogs is ongoing, animals like rats and ferrets who are treated with chemotherapy have shown positive results when CBD has been incorporated into their treatment. This suggests other mammals, including dogs, may find the same relief.
Potential Risks for Dogs Using CBD
While users report positive results with CBD-based products for dogs, there is some risk, as with any treatment. However, such risks are usually minor and not yet research-backed. For example, when CBD is provided to dogs at the recommended dose, some researchers have found an increase in alkaline phosphatase, an important enzyme found primarily in the liver. There is still debate on whether this indicates damage to the dog’s liver, and some vets argue that the use of CBD itself interferes with the reliability of the test.
Dogs who are treated with CBD may show increased signs of lethargy or tiredness. These symptoms, however, are generally clear on their own. Often, a simple reduction in dose may be enough to attenuate lethargy.
Shopping for CBD for Your Dog
When seeking CBD for your dog, it’s important to find a high-quality CBD product. CBD products are not created equally, so you’ll need to pursue CBD oil and dog treats with some important things in mind.
Steer Clear of CBD Products Intended for Humans
While many products that are designed for human consumption contain the same CBD found in pet products, it is not a good idea to assume that they are interchangeable. Many products that are designed for humans may contain additional ingredients that are not good for dogs, such as chocolate or coffee. While the CBD itself may not be toxic, these other ingredients may be.
Choose a Product That Appeals to Your Pet
Pet-specific CBD products are often flavored with the intent to appeal to pets. Pets often don’t appreciate the cannabis taste that is sometimes associated with CBD. In these instances, peanut butter, bacon, and more can help to make the product more appealing.Check out the MediPets CBD Dog Treats, not only are they highly rated, they come up a number of mouth watering flavors, such as:
If the product does not contain all organic ingredients, then your dog may be taking in pesticides, fungicides, and solvents related to the production process. Look for a product certified organic to ensure you’re getting a clean, additive-free supplement for your dog.
Your dog is priceless, but your pockets aren’t bottomless. However, higher quality CBD products are usually aligned with a higher price. Consider starting with a low dose of high quality, high potency product and adjusting until you notice positive effects on your dog.
See the Certificate
The manufacturer should proudly show their certification related to the process necessary to create the product and the amount of CBD in the product. As mentioned above, you’ll also want to check that there are little to no traces of THC in the product.
Consider Getting Oil vs. Treats
Depending on the desired result, you may want to opt for CBD oil rather than buying edible CBD dog treats. It may be easier to measure the intended dose when using a dropper. For dogs hesitant to accept medications or dogs who don’t like the taste of CBD, a dropper can be a quick way to administer a dose without needing to rely on the dog to consume a treat.
MediPets also carries CBD isolate oil for dogs and offers a unique formula for large, medium and small dogs.
FAQs About CBD and Pets
Of course, pet parents want to make the best decisions for their beloved pets—and that naturally involves many questions. Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about CBD use for pets.
CBD: Potentially Good for Your Furry Friend
As continuous research changes the market, the availability of CBD products for your dogs and cats will certainly continue to rise. This is good news for those who want to help relieve their pet’s anxiety, stress, pain, or other medical conditions. Creating a comfortable and enjoyable way of life for your pet is just as important to them as it is to you.
Jenny Weatherall is the co-owner and CEO of Eminent SEO, a design and marketing agency founded in 2009. She has worked in the industry since 2005, when she fell in love with digital marketing… and her now husband and partner, Chris. Together they have 6 children and 3 granddaughters.
Jenny has a passion for learning and sharing what she learns. She has researched, written and published hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics, including: SEO, design, marketing, ethics, business management, sustainability, inclusion, behavioral health, wellness and work-life balance.