Here at PetLeaf, we love dogs. They bring a special kind of joy into your life. The bond between dog and owner is a unique and beautiful thing.
Along with that special and fulfilling relationship comes some tough decisions. Namely, what to do when your pet gets sick or injured.
Seeing a pet in pain is one of the most distressing things a pet owner can experience. When your fur baby is hurting, you hurt too. That’s why many owners will try just about anything that could help their dog.
While your first course of action when your pup isn’t doing well should always be to consult your vet, there’s also huge potential for CBD to help with some common health issues found in dogs.
What is CBD
CBD, short for Cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the cannabis (hemp) plant. CBD oil is sourced from the stems, stalks, leaves and flowers of the hemp plant. Not only is the endo-cannabinoid system present in our bodies, but it is also found in dogs and all other mammals.
CBD vs THC
CBD is often confused with THC which is a psychoactive cannabinoid found in high concentrations in the Marijuana plant, and very low concentrations in the Hemp plant. CBD, on the other hand, is found is high concentrations in Hemp and lower concentrations in marijuana – and it’s completely non-psychoactive so it won’t make you or dog feel stoned.
Purchasing a CBD oil that is hemp-derived, from a trusted source will ensure that it only contains a maximum concentration of 0.3% THC and is completely safe for your dog’s consumption.
How much CBD oil do I give my dog?
After speaking with a vet and deciding that CBD oil is right for your pet, you’re probably wondering how much CBD oil to give to your dog. The two factors that come into play when determining serving size are your dog’s weight, and the desired intensity based off your pet’s symptoms. A Shih Tzu for example will obviously need a much smaller serving of CBD oil than a Great Dane. A Golden Retriever with severe arthritis will likely need a larger serving size than a Golden Retriever with a mild form of hip dysplasia.
In general, it is highly recommended to start with administering a small amount of CBD and gradually increase it as needed. You should notice a change in your pet’s overall mood and demeaner if the CBD is working. If generally anxious, they’ll likely become calmer, but not lethargic. If they’re in pain, they’ll probably have an easier time moving around. This is a good sign that you gave them the right amount.
What kind of CBD do I give my dog?
Many dog owners opt for purchasing CBD dog treats, which are a great and delicious way of integrating CBD oil into your dog’s daily routine. However, treats tend to only contain a small amount of CBD per bite (around 5-10mg) and if your dog’s symptoms are a little more extreme, you’ll probably end up needing to increase the amount of CBD you give them. Giving your dog CBD oil allows you to increase the amount of CBD your dog takes without having to increase the number of treats (calories) he consumes. Most oils don’t sacrifice flavor for concentration. You can often find CBD oils that are chicken flavored, beef flavored, and even bacon or peanut butter flavored. CBD oils can be given straight by using the dropper, mixed into homemade treats, or simply added to their food.
One interesting thing about CBD and pets is that the placebo effect is non-existent. With humans, anecdotal reports about CBD say it can fix just about anything. But some of those reports may be colored by the placebo effect. When treating your dog with CBD, you’ll know if it made a difference, because you know your pet and the issues they face. If you apply a CBD topical on your dog’s leg, and she stops limping, you know right away that it worked. And it wasn’t because she read an article about CBD on the internet.
Let’s look at some common health issues found in some of the most popular breeds, and how they might be helped by CBD:
Dysplasia of the Hip
Hip dysplasia is one of the most common health issues found in larger dog breeds, like Bernese Mountain Dogs, Golden Retrievers, Great Danes and others.
Hip dysplasia is a deformation of the hip socket. It causes all kinds of other health problems in dogs, most notably arthritis. In fact, it’s the #1 cause of hip arthritis in the world, and it disproportionately affects larger dog breeds.
The most common non-surgical treatment for hip dysplasia in dogs is with NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Some NSAIDs you might recognize include aspirin and ibuprofen.
Since CBD may have anti-inflammatory properties, there is potential to help with the pain and inflammation resulting from hip dysplasia.
But more importantly, hip dysplasia often leads to arthritis, which is a common ailment that causes people to investigate CBD.
If your dog is suffering from hip dysplasia, always take them to your vet as a first line of defense. But if they need a little help with inflammation and pain, CBD may be a great solution for them.
Drawing a straight line from hip dysplasia, we end up at arthritis. One of the saddest things for a pet owner is seeing their dog in pain, like when they’re limping from arthritis.
Arthritis is, in essence, a type of disorder affecting joints, that results in pain and stiffness. There are lots of different forms, but what they have in common is joint pain and inflammation.
According to a study published by pain specialists at Dalhousie University, CBD was found to be effective in reducing pain and inflammation in mice. A person might infer that CBD is a solid candidate for addressing the symptoms of your dog’s arthritis.
Pruritus (itchiness and skin inflammation)
Pruritus is a fancy medical term for “itchiness.” It can be caused by lots of different things, but the result is mostly the same – dry, uncomfortable, itchy skin. Treating pruritis in dogs means two things: identifying and treating the root cause, soothing the symptoms.
The cause of pruritus can vary quite a bit, and your veterinarian is the only one qualified to diagnose it. It may be an allergen, it may be fleas, it may just be plain old dry skin. Your vet can recommend the best course of action.
But when it comes to treating the symptoms – inflammation, swelling, itchiness, signs of pain or discomfort – CBD is great option. As the Dalhousie U study showed, CBD can reduce pain and inflammation in animals, and a topical CBD solution might be beneficial in treating your dog’s pruritus.
At the end of the day, we’re all looking for a little relief for our furry friends. All pet owners know how hard it is to see your dog in pain, lucky for us, and especially for our dogs CBD is here to help.