When your dog has health issues, all you want to do is make them feel better. You likely do your research to find the best solutions, and while there are many tried and true medical options, you may also find that natural solutions are quickly becoming popular.
Our 14 year old Edgar has been battling a blood cancer for a year and a half that has greatly affected his health. We feel like our days are numbered with him, which is heartbreaking.
We give him a Chinese herb for his internal bleeds as a recommendation from his vet, but we have also started thinking about giving him CBD to help with his pain.
The use of CBD in dogs is very new. There really is not a lot of information about its effectiveness, but it is gaining in popularity among dog owners. If you do not know if it is the right choice for your pup, then the best thing to do is to learn more about CBD and how it could potentially be the best choice for your furry family member.
What Is CBD?
CBD is cannabidiol, which comes from marijuana and hemp. If it comes from marijuana, then it may contain high levels of THC, which causes psychoactive effects. The American Kennel Club explains that for use in dogs, it needs to come from hemp, which does not have a high concentration of THC.
The THC concentration is also important when it comes to the law. Due to the legal regulations of cannabis products, you could get into trouble giving your pup the wrong CBD product. At the federal level, marijuana is illegal, but hemp is legal as long as it has under 0.3% THC. Some states have legalized cannabis in all forms while others limit legalization to medical marijuana and hemp.
In addition, research shows THC is not good for canines. So, when considering CBD products, you need to focus on those with very low THC levels for both your dog’s health and for legal reasons.
Is It Backed by Research?
The main issue with using CBD as a treatment for dogs is that there is not a lot of research on its effectiveness and safety. It is in the early stages of research where most studies have occurred in humans only.
Studies that have included dogs do show some promising results. There are signs that CBD may help with the treatment of osteoarthritis pain and inflammation and epilepsy. It may also be a natural way to treat cancer, irritable bowel disease, and anxiety.
Still, experts warn that just because CBD is legal to sell, it does not mean that every product is safe. There are no FDA regulations for this type of product for use in dogs, which means each individual company must take the proper steps to ensure its product will not harm users.
What Do Veterinarians Say About It?
Your veterinarian may not discuss CBD with you when you ask due to legal issues. Since there are so many restrictions concerning cannabis, some states make it illegal for vets to even talk about CBD with clients. In some areas, it could put a veterinarian’s license at risk. So, your vet may not recommend or approve of your using CBD for your pup, but that may only be due to legal restrictions. Other states do allow discussions, but your vet still cannot prescribe or sell CBD products.
You can try to ask your vet, but do not expect a clear answer or discussion. Using CBD is a decision you will likely have to make on your own, which means educating yourself is extremely important.
How Can People Use It for Dogs?
You can give CBD to your dog in a variety of ways. Internal options include treats, such as CBD dog treats from Joy Organics, or through oils. It is also available in topical cream form. As with anything CBD related, there is not a lot of research on which option is more effective, but internal seems to be the most promising.
When it comes to dosage, again, there is no solid answer. The best way to use CBD is to start slow. Give your pup the smallest amount possible, and then watch it for effects. You can then increase as needed.
Signs that the product is working include:
- Less anxiety or pain
- Better mobility
- Fewer symptoms of the condition
You also want to watch for negative signs that show your pup isn’t handling the product well, which include:
- Excessive panting
- Loss of balance
- Lack of bladder control
These may be signs that your dog is not tolerating the CBD, or it may signal that you gave too high of a dosage.
What Is the Best CBD for Dogs?
Ideally, you want to give your dog only organic CBD products or products that do not contain chemicals, such as pesticides. You also should look for products with clear labeling so you know how much CBD they contain.
Only give your pet products made specifically for dogs. Human CBD products often contain ingredients that are harmful to canines. In addition, the concentrations of CBD may not be the same.
Finally, you need to make sure that you go for high quality over anything else. Higher quality products will usually cost more, but it is worth it. These products will have better labeling, manufacturing, and ingredients.
Is CBD Right for Your Pup?
Because CBD is new to the market and there is not a lot of research on it, making the choice to give it to your pup is completely up to you. You have to do what you feel is best. Keep in mind that there has been a lot of promising results from owners who are giving their dogs CBD. Research, while limited, is also showing benefits. So, if you want to try something different to treat your dog’s health condition, then CBD may be the right choice.
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