Dog parents are always looking for safe and effective ways to make their pets' lives happier and healthier.
Turns out, research has shown that CBD derivatives like CBD oils can help with that.
Around 50% of pet owners use CBD for their cat or dog on a vet recommendation, either regularly or on a need basis, as surveyed by Leafreport.
Image Courtesy Leafreport
This report indicates that as with humans, CBD helps dogs with anxiety, stress, and pain relief, and more people are interested in CBD products for pets.
According to another report from Grand View Research, "the global CBD pet market size is expected to reach USD 4.79 billion by 2028, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 58.9% from 2021 to 2028."
If you have a dog and are interested in exploring how CBD can help your fur baby, what benefits and side effects you might expect, and how to select the best CBD oil for dogs and its optimum dosage, read on.
Table of Contents
What is CBD Oil
Before going into depth about the pros and cons of CBD for dogs, we first need to understand what CBD is! Let's simplify the terms CBD, hemp, cannabis, and cannabinoids.
Out of around eighty biologically active chemical compounds found in cannabis plants, Phytocannabinoid Cannabidiol (CBD) and Phytocannabinoid Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two most commonly known and researched compounds.
Both hemp and marijuana are all plants belonging to the same Cannabaceae family, but CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical found in abundance in hemp, whereas THC found in marijuana causes intoxication when consumed.
When you extract CBD from cannabis plant and mix it with a carrier oil like coconut or hemp seed oil, you get CBD oil.
How does CBD Oil Work In Dogs?
Edible CBD, including CBD oil, is the most popular CBD derivative in pets. When CBD oil is consumed, it interacts with the endocannabinoid system present in all mammalian bodies, including dogs.
The Endocannabinoid system (ECS) is similar to any other regulatory system in the body, like the central nervous system or the immune system. It plays a vital role in regulating critical physiological processes such as sleep, appetite, mood, and pain response.
The cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 make up the ECS. These receptors are spread throughout the body, located in vital systems like the immune and reproductive systems and organs like the brain, liver, and lungs.
When CBD enters the body, it interacts with the ECS resulting in the potential health benefits an animal (or a human) can experience.
Benefits Of CBD Oil For Dogs
Let's look at the expected health benefits of CBD oil for dogs.
CBD has natural anti-inflammatory properties that can be beneficial in treating multi-joint pain and osteoarthritis in dogs. The traditional prescribed drugs by vets for joint pain like NSAIDs or Gabapentin are known to deteriorate joints and soft tissues and even damage kidneys.
CBD oil for dogs works by binding to CB1 receptors in the brain, stimulating the immune system to reduce inflammation.
It also binds to CB2 receptors in the immune and nervous systems that help the body to produce more cannabinoids naturally, which reduces pain.
Seizures And Epilepsy
Studies suggest that 1 in 20 dogs may suffer from a seizure. Canine epilepsy is generally treated using antiepileptic drugs like phenobarbital or potassium bromide that have incredibly harmful effects on your dog's liver and other vital organs.
Research carried out at Colorado State University has shown promising results in using CBD oil to treat epilepsy. In the clinical trials, 89 percent of dogs reduced the frequency of seizures when given CBD oil for 12 weeks.
CBD oil is an answer for those looking for natural alternatives to prescribed anti-anxiety drugs having potentially harmful side effects.
Studies in animals model have shown that CBD can manage anxiety, stress, and fear by regulating serotonin, a hormone that regulates mood, sleep, digestion, and appetite.
Skin allergies are one of the most common reasons for vet visits. Studies show that CBD oil can benefit skin conditions characterized by inflammation. It can also help treat keratin disorders, such as eczema or atopic dermatitis.
CBD oil can facilitate quick healing of wounds and treat acne/seborrhea, skin infection, skin and hair pigmentation, and itching.
According to the American Veterinary and Medical Association, 50 percent of dogs will develop cancer over the age of 10.
CBD has significantly been researched for its cancer-fighting ability and potential to slow down the growth of tumors.
CBD is known to kill cancer cells by hindering their ability to produce energy and increasing the effectiveness of conventional cancer treatments.
CBD oil for dogs can significantly reduce pain and nausea associated with cancer treatments.
Side Effects of CBD Oil In Dogs
Although there are not many scientific data available on the side effects of usage of CBD oil on dogs, the probable side effects based on how CBD oil affects humans are:
- Dry Mouth
- Lowered Blood Pressure
- Slight Lethargy
The key to minimizing any potential side effects is to ensure the proper dosage of CBD.
How To Select The Right CBD Oil For Dogs
Not all CBD oils are manufactured the same, and a high-quality CBD oil for dogs has a better chance of working. Always look for a CBD product that is:
- Compliant with The National Animal Supplement Council
- Certified for little to no THC
- Certificate of Analysis
- Third-party lab-tested
At Imaginal, we have pet chews made from broad-spectrum, THC-free CBD oil that come in a tasty beef flavor, are organic, and free from soy nuts, dairy, and shellfish.
Optimal Dose Of CBD Oil for Dogs
A trusted pet health and wellness expert or a veterinarian can best help determine the optimal dose of CBD oil for dogs based on a few determining factors like:
- Particular Ailment
CBD is taking the holistic wellness world by storm, and fortunately, our dogs can take part in the exciting world of CBD.
CBD oil has generally proven to be a safe and natural remedy that could help your dogs with joint pain, allergies, anxiety, seizures, cancer, and more.
However, we would always advise you to consult your vet before buying any CBD product for your dog.
(This post is written by Zara A. Khan, a freelance writer specializing in the CBD niche)