CBD for Dogs: A Guide for Dog Parents
If you’re looking to use CBD as a way to help your best friend, then you’ll LOVE this guide.
As the use of cannabis to treat a number of medical conditions became increasingly popular among us humans, holistic veterinarians began wondering if this wonderfully healing herb could also help our pets.
As it turns out, dogs seem to respond very well to one specific chemical in cannabis — cannabidiol. CBD for dogs has recently become a new trend, and it seems our furry friends love it.
However, when it comes to using Cannabis sativa products for dogs, pet parents have to be extra careful.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most well known cannabis compound, is toxic and dangerous to dogs. Dogs are very sensitive to it and you need to avoid exposing your dog to THC at all costs.
On the other hand, CBD seems to bring forth a feeling of calmness and balance in all mammals, including dogs. It’s not psychoactive like THC, and it works in our pets bodies through a positive interaction with an endocannabinoid system that very much resembles our own.
What is CBD and what does it do for dogs?
CBD is a cannabinoid, a chemical compound found inside the cannabis plant. It’s non-psychoactive in nature and has a number of healing effects, and it is mostly derived from industrial hemp, which means it’s legal in many places all over the world.
Our dogs (like all other mammals) have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), a network of cellular receptors and activators that plays an important role in regulating body functions such as mood, sleep, pain, memory, appetite, inflammation, nausea, and stress levels. This system operates through compounds produced by the body called endocannabinoids.
Unfortunately, our furry friends sometimes don’t produce enough of these chemicals on their own, which throws their ECS system out of balance.
Supplementing with cannabinoids such as CBD balances the endocannabinoid system and helps put an end to many painful conditions which are associated with endocannabinoids misfiring.
CBD acts mainly by interacting with several receptors: TRPV1, 5-HT1A and GPR55.
Shortly after consumption, CBD activates TRPV-1 receptors and helps regulate body temperature, and reduces chronic or acute pain and inflammation.
When 5-HT1A receptors are stimulated, there is a significant increase in dopamine secretion, which produces antidepressant and anxiolytic effects.
CBD also blocks GPR55 signaling, which has shown a great potential to decrease reproduction of cancer cells.
What are the health benefits of CBD for dogs?
CBD has been shown to have positive effects on your dog’s overall health in addition to being effective in treating specific medical conditions. CBD can be used alone or combined with other medications.
CBD helps with allergies and skin issues in dogs - Itching, scratching, licking, chewing…Skin issues can be very irritating to both our dogs and ourselves.
Just like humans, dogs can be irritated by substances like pollen, food, insect venom (or flea saliva), dust, or even some types of pet shampoo.
Itching usually affects a dog’s belly, armpits, ears, paws, and cheeks. It can go on for months and even years in some extreme cases.
CBD is a possible solution – it has anti-inflammatory properties and relieves the inflammation that causes itching, hives, and blisters.
Skin issues can be treated by adding CBD to the daily diet of your pet and you can try putting some CBD oil on your dog’s skin.
CBD is known to reduce anxiety levels in people, so it’s not a surprise it’s working for dogs too.
Some dogs have very high levels of anxiety which can make your daily walk in the park a walk of hell. Dogs suffering from anxiety tend to show symptoms and reactions such as urination, excessive barking, and even destructive behavior.
Companion dogs often develop separation anxiety and find being separated from their owner difficult. Some dogs feel anxious when left alone in the house, and can show excessive distress behavior.
By consulting your vet first, and by adding CBD to your dog’s life, you can help your fluffy friend feel much more relaxed. Yes, you can enjoy a walk in the park without having to avoid other dogs.
CBD reduces learned fears and phobias in dogs
Fear of fireworks and thunderstorms are very common in dogs. Unfortunately, on a summer long weekend or during a major storm, there is little you can do to calm a nervous dog.
A fear of loud noises can cause great distress for your pet. CBD may help calm your dog and stop the problem from getting worse.
CBD reduces aggressive behavior in dogs
Aggressive behavior in dogs is a much more complex issue. There are a number of factors that can cause canine aggression, such as medical problems, behavior issues, and trauma. It is usually triggered by a specific situation.
Aggression is often managed by taking behavioral classes with your dog, and using CBD can also help your pet feel more calm and relaxed. It reduces the likelihood of your dog being triggered by specific situations and generally diminishes aggressive behavior.
CBD boosts appetite and relieves digestive problems in dogs
Some dogs are just easy to feed and will eat almost everything, but problems can arise with dogs that are picky eaters. There can be a number of reasons why your dog might be picky. If your dog usually has a good appetite and you notice some changes, it could be one of many digestive problems. Also, too many treats can spoil your dog, which could lead to it wanting to eat only that, not proper food.
It’s important to keep in mind and just accept that some dogs (sometimes depending on a breed or age) don’t have that much of an appetite.
But, if you think there is something wrong with your dog or if it’s constantly picky about food, consult your vet who can recommend the best CBD food supplement
In fact, CBD treats can reduce nausea and boost appetite, as well as calm an upset stomach.
CBD helps with arthritis, joint and mobility issues in dogs
Arthritis is an umbrella term for abnormal changes and degenerative conditions caused by inflammation in joints, and it is one of the most common orthopedic issues in dogs. Arthritis is very common in large breeds, but it also affects smaller dogs.
The main cause of arthritis is tissue damage caused by joint physical trauma, stress, infection, even an immune system disorder. The most common joint disorder is hip dysplasia.
With arthritis, cartilage can’t be regenerated as fast as it’s wearing off. Because of that, the bony layer becomes more exposed to inflammation. This leads to thickening of the protective layer around the joint making it less elastic and mobile.
The blood vessels surrounding the inflamed joints become swollen and inflamed and calcium deposits accumulate, all of which makes the condition very painful, making it uncomfortable for our pets to walk or move.
Because CBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-killing effects, it has caught the attention of vets treating orthopedic illnesses.
Studies and pet owner experiences indicate there are no serious side effects, so getting to a right dose for your dog will be a safe journey. By taking CBD orally, your dog will be relieved from the two most annoying symptoms related to inflammation: swelling and pain.
CBD helps our dogs with cancer
Cancer is one of the most common causes of death in dogs over the age of 10. The statistics say that the half of dogs over the age of 10 will suffer from some form of cancer. Fortunately, half of those cancers can be treated and cured successfully if noticed on time.
If you ever find a lump or swelling anywhere on your dog’s body, or a wound that won’t heal, contact your vet immediately. Decreased mobility, lethargy, inability to urinate or any changes in appetite can also indicate cancer.
Cancer and the accompanying therapy can make the life of our dogs very painful and uncomfortable. Dogs with cancers and tumors undergoing therapy can suffer from pain, appetite loss, seizures, and convulsions.
The most common conventional therapies for cancer in dogs are chemotherapy, surgery or (more recently) antibody therapy. Sometimes therapies are used in combination.
Like in humans, these therapies are very intense and hard on the body. That’s why more and more vets are recommending CBD to ease your dog’s way to recovery.
Cannabidiol has what it takes to relieve fatigue, improve appetite, reduce inflammation as well as relieve pain.
CBD helps heal glaucoma in dogs
Glaucoma is a very common eye condition in some dog breeds. It’s manifested as high ocular pressure which causes inadequate draining of fluids in the eye. If the condition is chronic, it can lead to partial sight loss, even to complete blindness.
About 40 percent of dogs diagnosed with glaucoma lose their sight completely, despite the early diagnosis or treatment. High ocular pressure can also be reduced to normal with CBD treatment.
CBD relieves seizures and epilepsy in dogs
Epilepsy is a medical condition that causes repeated seizures. This can be a very frustrating experience for both you and your dog.
One minute your dog is just fine, the next he’s on the floor, drooling, uncontrollably shaking and twitching. This usually means one thing— epileptic seizure, which can last from one to several minutes.
During a seizure there is an abnormal electrical activity burst in the dog’s brain. That makes it behave in an unconventional way, without any control of its body. Seizures affect between 1 and 5 percent of dogs.
Veterinarians usually prescribe phenobarbital to stop seizures in dogs, however, this drug can have numerous side effects in both dogs and humans. So, more and more vets are willing to give pet owners another option — CBD.