Dogs truly are mans best friend, and it’s this special relationship that drives us to take care of our canines through their most trying times. In the US, we spend a lot of money on pet care; according to Forbes, “it costs $1,641 per year to take care of a dog.” A large portion of that expense is health care, and an exciting new trend in canine health is CBD.
Anecdotal evidence is very promising in terms of CBD and your dog’s improved well-being. CBD has been shown to be an effective treatment for anxiety, arthritis and other inflammation, pain, gastrointestinal issues, epilepsy, heart health, and even cancer cells. Research is revving up quickly in an attempt to substantiate testimonials and seek out full FDA approval of CBD.
Can I Treat My Dog With CBD?
While many would consider the relationship they have with their canine priceless, Forbes magazine recently published an article “This Is How Much Americans Spend on Their Dogs“, that outlined the real numbers:
If you thought the love of your pet was priceless, the American Pet Products Association is here to prove you wrong.
The APPA found that in 2016 U.S. pet owners are expected to spend $62.75 billion on their furry (or scaly) friends. That estimate is up about 4% from the $60.28 billion spent last year. In fact, total U.S. pet industry expenditures have gone up every single year that the association has collected this data, which it began doing in 1994. That first year, the industry was worth $17 billion.
Of the $60.28 billion spent on pets in 2015, $23.05 billion was spent on food alone. Veterinary care was the next most expensive aspect of pet ownership, coming in at $15.42 billion.
CBD is derived from either hemp (the rope and fabric stuff) or cannabis (usually the recreational stuff). It can be easy to get, is purported to offer many health benefits for pets (and people), and comes in anything from pills and oils to specialty treats. Often, you will find CBD in the form of an oil that can be given orally, although there are other products like biscuits and capsules easily found online. Most importantly, it won’t get your dog high, which is good news for dogs because of their extreme sensitivity to THC.
The Anecdotal Evidence
Anecdotal evidence is very promising in terms of CBD oil and your dog’s improved well-being. And so, research is revving up in an attempt to substantiate testimonials and seek out full FDA approval of CBD. In the meanwhile, reputable companies are able provide some options for pets. (NOTE: It’s important that dog-owners perform due diligence to educate themselves about CBD and its potential health benefits. If you plan to purchase CBD products, do your homework first.)
So far, cannabidiol supplementation to alleviate—or, at least, mitigate—a host of ails your dog may suffer is yielding good results. Some of the most commonly treated conditions are:
- Arthritis and other inflammation
- Gastrointestinal Issues
- Heart Health
CBD Therapy for Canines
How can CBD treat so many different conditions? The key to CBD is in the dosage given to your pet.
“CBD has so many different targets in the brain and body that the dosing of it becomes very important,” says Joshua Kaplan, a neuroscientist at the University of Washington who researches medical cannabis in people. “For instance, if you’re using CBD to treat anxiety or depression, people find that low to moderate doses are effective at treating those symptoms. But to treat things like epilepsy, for instance, you need much higher doses. And at the dose that’s required to treat epilepsy, you often lose its effects at treating anxiety or depression.”
However, this means proper dosing will require patience.
The chances are your dog will love their new CBD treats, but tread lightly. Dogs can have a reaction to any food you give them, so make sure you begin by allowing them the smallest possible amount, and work your way up to the recommended serving. If you’re trying to treat an illness or manage pain, be patient when looking for the benefits to appear. It will take time for the medicinal qualities to take effect, so go slowly and remain hopeful.
How can we tell if CBD is actually helping?
Anecdotally, CBD appears to be effective at helping dogs with these conditions, although, given the nature of the patient, a lot of its effects are open to debate.
The only indications that the drug may be working in an animal are behavioral changes—if the dog stops limping or whimpering in pain, or stops freaking out from anxiety when left alone. CBD acts on more than 65 different types of chemical receptors throughout the brain and body, such as serotonin receptors, which are implicated in depression and anxiety.
Concerned pet owners can take heart, CBD is non-toxic and non-psychoactive.
Despite the dosing conundrum, there are no known risks if either you or your dog take a bit too much CBD. This is in contrast to THC, which can be toxic for dogs at high levels. CBD is non-toxic and non-psychoactive, meaning it’s not going to get your dog high and is unlikely to cause any negative feelings of anxiety or paranoia like THC can.
Stephanie McGrath, a veterinary neurologist at Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, is one of the only researchers currently studying the effects of CBD on dogs. She says based on her research that she feels reassured that CBD is relatively safe and well-tolerated in dogs, although she cautions people to make sure it’s very low in THC if they’re going to administer it.
When in doubt, always consult with your veterinarian.
Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, you should talk to your veterinarian before buying CBD treats in bulk. Currently, it’s illegal for vets to prescribe cannabis to dogs because it’s not an FDA-approved substance. Furthermore, the research is all anecdotal and many experts feel like we just don’t know enough about the side effects or long-term effects yet. That’s not to say veterinarians won’t be on-board with your plan to buy hemp-based foods and oils for your pup. Many seasoned professionals have shared anecdotal evidence that CBD treats and products can ease illness and even increase comfort for dogs experiencing chronic pain or anxiety. Check in with your vet and go from there.
While we can’t guarantee CBD will work for your particular canine or dog, we can guarantee that TheraJoy Organic CBD Salve is an effective way to deliver CBD directly to the afflicted areas. We offer purity you can trust, guaranteed, and we are always made with 99% pure CBD derived from medical grade, non-GMO hemp, sourced directly from Switzerland. We combine extra high doses of CBD with 100% coconut oil to create a product that is organic, vegan, gluten-free and kosher.
Remember, always consult your vet before you begin giving your pet a supplement or make any changes to your pets existing medication and supplement routine. This blog post is not intended to be veterinary advice, but it is information you can use as a conversation-starter with your vet at your next appointment.