Dog sitting in lap with CBD treats

Wellness Trend: The benefits of CBD for dogs

CBD has been a major buzzword for the last few years. With more and more countries legalizing cannabis, CBD is now available in many areas. CBD (aka cannabidiol) has a stellar reputation. This is thanks to its gentle relaxation effects, without the “high” feeling. It is a safe and effective way to treat pain and anxiety in humans, and available in dispensaries. There are many CBD products. For example, CBD may be an ingredient in oils, baked goods, candies, creams, bath bombs, and teas. It’s not only for humans, but there are also dog treats and tinctures for pets on the market! There are many benefits of CBD for dogs.

What are the benefits of CBD for my dog?

If your dog has a health condition, is a bit of a “nervous nellie”, or has a low appetite introducing CBD may be beneficial. Please note, I’m not a veterinarian or biologist of any kind. It’s super important to chat with your vet before giving any herb to your pets. CBD is generally regarded as safe and gentle. When my friend’s senior pug was suffering from cancer, she found a low dose of CBD improved his mood and appetite.

CBD has been studied in humans, but we cannot assume the exact same benefits exist for dogs. We’re different animals after all. CBD and animals is a hot topic of scientific research. There have been studies specific to CBD and pets including dogs, cats, and even horses. This research is done by giving the animals controlled doses of CBD for specific time periods. Scientists then monitor health, behavior, and mood. Some of these studies have given CBD oil to dogs with cancer, seizures, and cardiovascular health issues. Experiments are reviewed and replicated many times before the results can be considered proof. The benefits of CBD oil for dogs are positive, but further research for specific conditions is necessary. 

If you want to learn more, a quick search on Pubmed will show you many abstracts from research on this topic. Pubmed is a great source for any medical research you might be curious about, so get your nerd glasses on.

Will my dog get high?

The biggest concerns many people have is, “will my dog get high?” and “what are CBD effects on dogs?”. While weed is very toxic to dogs, CBD is different. No evidence of negative side effects is present in studies on the benefits of CBD for dogs.

For the most part, commercially available CBD comes from hemp. Hemp plants do not contain psychoactive substances that affect humans or pets. This is why you will find hemp in the grocery store. You can buy hemp seeds, and protein powders containing hemp that will never ever make anyone “high”. Marijuana producers breed plants to have higher concentrations of THC. Over time, the genetics of these plants has increased their THC content. In contrast, hemp contains very little if any THC and the plants are not bred to increase it.

Is CBD good for dogs? 

CBD has gentle calming effects. This extract is like any other you may use for relaxation. For example, lavender, lemon balm, and chamomile are all known to help relax the body and mind. In gardens and kitchens around the world, you will find these herbs.

Is CBD safe for dogs? 

CBD oil for dogs and treats containing CBD are considered safe. You should always give it at a very low dose. The dose will vary based on your dog’s body size. The smaller the dog, the lower the dose! Once again, it is important to speak with your vet to ensure you know the correct amount to give your dog. Always follow the instructions on any product containing CBD, whether it is a tincture or a treat.

If it is in your budget and available in your area, buy organic CBD products. Organic items in general must follow extra regulations in most countries. These rules affect the production processes, so they may be more expensive. If you’re like me, buying organic may give you peace of mind when it comes to product quality.

Like with all cannabis-related products, you can also ask if a lab analysis of the product is available. This may exist in the packaging already. If you are purchasing from a dispensary, they will likely be able to give you a lab analysis upon request. With this information, you can rest assured knowing you are getting exactly what you paid for. This can be a source of confidence that the dosage you are giving your dog is safe and exactly as described.

Is CBD for dogs legal?

Today, the legality of CBD varies depending on your location. Please note, this article is from July 2020, and legality may change over time in various regions. Canada and Mexico allow the production, sale, and possession of CBD. The UK and Australia also permit CBD. Most of the USA has legalized CBD, but possession remains illegal in a handful of states. Be sure to check your state laws here before purchasing online or in person.

In most of the European Union CBD is legal, but there are some countries and regions where laws vary. If you are traveling or visiting Europe, check out country-specific laws in this article. In Slovakia and Ukraine, all cannabis and related products are illegal. In some countries, it is only allowed with a medical prescription. Many countries also restrict the amount of CBD in products or possession.

I could go on and on listing status for all the countries, but the takeaway here is it’s not legal everywhere. I can hear your confusion! “Wait what? It’s hemp, right? Like those seeds in the grocery store?” Yes, but CBD extraction from plants is regulated worldwide. Always make sure to buy from a licensed producer, and follow all local laws and regulations. If you are uncertain, don’t take the risk and research the laws in your country.

Where to buy CBD oil for dogs?

If you have established that CBD is legal in your area, and ensured it is appropriate for the health of your dog by chatting with your veterinarian… woohoo! You are ready to buy. A good start may be asking your vet and other dog owners if there are any shops or brands they are aware of. It’s always best to get a personal recommendation for a new product.

You can also check your local pet shop. There is one within walking distance from me that sells doggy treats infused with CBD. I can also buy CBD tinctures made for dogs at an organic dispensary in my neighborhood. Depending on your location, you may have a few options and you can support local businesses. Finally, many online dispensaries and retailers now carry CBD products. When shopping online, always be sure to read the reviews. 

Summary

Hemp is an interesting herb with many healing properties. CBD is generally positive for dogs whether they are healthy or with health issues. The benefits of CBD for dogs include relaxation, increased appetite, and pain relief. There may be other medical benefits for dogs with specific health concerns. If CBD is something you want to try for your dog, be sure to consult your vet first. Always follow the recommended dosage, local laws, and buy from a reputable source.

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