CBD products can have a beneficial effect on the health of your whole family, including your pets. Many pet owners have started using CBD as a helpful extra in their pet’s health and wellness routine, finding it beneficial in a range of problems, from anxiety to joint pain. This article will help you understand how and why CBD can help our furry friends.
How Does CBD Help Pets?
Just like humans, other mammals have an Endocannabinoid System (ECS), the system that helps keep various biological systems in balance, including mood, appetite, sleep, memory, metabolism and more. CBD interacts with the endocannabinoid system to keep these systems functioning properly, and animals can benefit from it as much as humans. Many studies have been done on humans, with research showing that CBD is beneficial in easing symptoms of arthritis, depression, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and other illnesses.
There haven’t been many studies done on animals, but those that have taken place confirm that CBD is beneficial for them. One 2018 study examined the anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties of CBD oil in dogs with osteoarthritis, finding that 80% of dogs showed improvement in their pain and mobility. A different study published in 2019 found that epileptic dogs given CBD as well as their usual seizure medicine had significantly fewer seizures than those given their usual seizure medicine and a placebo.
What Conditions Should I Use CBD Oil To Treat?
There are various conditions that CBD oil for pets could help with. These include:
Just like humans, animals suffer joint pain, usually due to injury or old age. You may notice that your pet has slowed down, developed a limp or lost their appetite. CBD helps to relieve the symptoms of pain by reducing swelling and inflammation in the affected areas. Some animals develop arthritis as they get older, which can be soothed by CBD, giving them a new lease of life.
Pets may suffer from anxiety for a variety of reasons, but the causes will be either situational or behavioral. Situational anxiety is caused by external triggers, such as strangers, other animals, car alarms and fireworks. Behavioral anxiety is caused by experiences, such as neglect or abuse, illness or separation. CBD can calm feelings of anxiety in animals, just as it can in humans.
Around 5% of dogs are estimated to suffer from seizures. The usual medication for dog seizures is phenobarbital and potassium bromide. Whilst these medications are helpful for controlling seizures, they can be very harmful to the liver. CBD has been found to be very helpful during human studies: in one survey of children with treatment-resistant epilepsy, 84% of those who took CBD reported a reduction in the number of seizures they experienced.
Pets can suffer from the same gastrointestinal issues as humans and other mammals, including conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBS) and Crohn’s disease. Studies have shown that CBD can reduce intestinal inflammation in mice and IBS in rats, so it makes sense that it can help dogs with the same problems.
CBD has been found to improve the quality of life of cancer sufferers. One study found that CBD caused programmed cell death that inhibited the growth of breast cancer, and another showed that CBD can stop the development and growth of malignant tumours leading to colon cancer in rats. CBD can also help ease the pain associated with cancer, and the treatment of cancer.
How to Administer CBD to Your Pet
There are various ways to administer CBD to your pet, such as CBD-infused treats, but CBD oil formulated for pets may be more effective as it contains more cannabidiol and can be directly absorbed into the body through the tissues of the mouth. The oil can be administered directly into the pet’s mouth from a dropper or placed on the paw for them to lick off. You can also squirt it onto a treat, which should be soft to be able to absorb the oil.
You may also wish to try capsules, which are convenient to use as the dosage is already measured. However, it can be difficult to get animals to swallow capsules and therefore an oil that can be applied directly to food may be easier.
How Much Oil Should I Give to my Pet?
There are no clear medical guidelines on how to use CBD for pets, so all treatments should start with as low a dose as possible, and the smaller the animal, the smaller the dose should be. A general rule of thumb is to give 1mg to 6mg of CBD per ten pounds of body weight. However, dosage is very individual, so it’s best to start with a very low dose, carefully monitor your pets response, and increase the dose slowly if needed.
Research has found that CBD is safe, even when taken in high doses and over long periods of time, but you should keep a close eye on your pet to make sure they aren’t suffering from any side effects such as sedation, disorientation, hyperactivity, vomiting or balance problems. CBD doesn’t have psychoactive properties, so there is no risk of your pet becoming high: they will experience relaxation without intoxication. If your pet is on medication you should check with your vet first before using CBD.
Currently, the research on CBD and the effect it has on animals is limited. However the clinical trials that have taken place and anecdotal evidence from owners suggests that it can help maintain a healthy nervous system in pets and has huge potential as a supplement to treatment. By choosing a high quality CBD oil for pets and administering it in the correct dose, you could help your pet with a wide variety of medical issues. More and more owners are using CBD knowing that it could improve quality of life with no serious side effects, helping to keep their pets healthy and happy.