Our pets are our best friends. They are always there for us when we need someone to listen to our problems and make us feel important without judging. Because the loyalty and love of a pet are irreplaceable and we want them around as much as possible, we must take care of their health just like we take care of ours. CBD is one of the substances which became a superstar in the industry of dietary supplements due to its incredible medical properties. For human’s health CBD seems to do wonders and it was proven through scientific trials that it could improve some of the most important functions of the body and also alleviate the symptoms of some painful disorders. These benefits are not exclusively for people. Dogs and cats can enjoy the same positive impact on their health if we make sure to include CBD in their daily routine as well, not just ours.
Contents of this article
How does CBD Work for Dogs and Cats?
Several decades ago scientists discovered that all humans have a particular system which interacts and process cannabinoids and it is called the endocannabinoid system or the EC System. Just because it was recently discovered, it doesn’t mean that this system is less important than the other we already know about. It seems like the human body can naturally produce some special molecules called endocannabinoids which play a major role in the proper functioning of the nervous and immune system. This type of cannabinoids is similar to cannabinoids also known as phytocannabinoids, which are found in the cannabis plant. Because they are so alike cannabinoids, can perfectly fit with the special receptors of the EC system found throughout the body and boost its activity in order to improve the general health and the balance. This system has a vast network of dedicated receptors in various parts of the body, like the brain, immune system, nervous system, connective tissues, glands and other organs. Even if these receptors play different roles, they all aim to support the body’s ability achieve homeostasis or balance. The receptors of EC system are placed on the surface of the cells, and they receive the messages from the outside and send it inside the cell to generate a response and start an action. The two most important receptors of the endocannabinoid system are CB 1 and CB 2. Since the EC system was discovered, scientists conducted many studies to find out what is the role of these receptors and the conclusions are kind of interesting. They are not the only ones, but they were the first discovered and best studied so far. CB 1receptors are most common in the brain, while the CB 2 receptor are placed in the nervous and immune system. Both receptors are found in different organs all over the body.
It was discovered that the EC system exists in all living creatures, especially vertebrate mammals, including dogs and cats. The humans and their best friends, dogs, have a similar biological structure, so pets also have an endocannabinoid system. As a result, CBD interacts with their bodies, in the same manner, it does with humans. This means that CBD can improve their health the same way it improves ours.
There were even clinical studies conducted on this subject, and it was concluded that CBD has a longer effect on the receptors of the EC system and as a result, the therapeutic benefits are lasting longer, and it doesn’t cause a negative impact on the health. Some of the essential functions of the pets’ body also seem to be controlled by the EC system. By adding CBD to their daily routine, you can improve the sleep quality, keep mental functions at optimum levels, balance mood swings, reduce depression, anxiety, and pain caused by neurological disorders or inflammation, regulate appetite and manage weight, thermoregulation, immunity and many other aspects of their health.
What are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs and Cats?
There is some great feedback from pet owners who gave them CBD and noticed an improvement in their animals behavior in situations of thunderstorm fears, social anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, or long time traveling. Veterinarians started to use CBD more often with animals affected by joint pains; especially dogs suffer from this condition as they get older. This substance was found very useful in cases of pets with torn ligaments, sprains and strains, bone breaks, and even during recovery after surgery because it reduces pain, swelling, and stiffness. Still, one of the most important reasons why CBD is gaining so much territory in the competition with classical medication is the low risk of side effects. CBD proved useful in replacing various synthetic drugs which cause both long and short term unpleasant reactions. For the moment this substance can’t completely replace the conventional treatments, but it can help reduce their dosage and, as a result, the risk of side effects gets lower also.
Early research shows that CBD can help pets 1 in many different ways. Just like in the case of humans, CBD can be used to improve the health condition for dogs or cats who suffer from arthritis, seizures, cancer, nausea, anxiety, stress, back pain, gastrointestinal issues, allergies, appetite loss, chronic pain, glaucoma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, joint and mobility problems, inflammation and many other. Before deciding to follow a treatment based on CBD oil, you must educate yourself regarding its benefits and how to give it correctly to your pet so it can get the best results possible. Remember that no two animals are alike and if CBD taken in a certain form and a certain dosage does wonder for some of them it doesn’t necessarily mean that all the will get the same results in every case. If sick, take your beloved friend to the veterinarian and follow its instructions to the letter. 2 3
Some of the most common diagnoses in dogs and cats which showed improvement after treatment with CBD are:
The progress of veterinarian medicine ensures our beloved friends lives longer, but still, with age, certain health issues start to show and some of them are chronic, like arthritis. This is a degenerative disorder which affects the joints and eventually destroys them and causes pain, stiffness, swelling and reduced mobility. This disorder is common in both dogs and cats and among the first clues of arthritis progression are limping, difficulties in getting up and jumping or licking their legs. Arthritis is a bit harder to observe in cats because whenever they experience pain, they simply tend to become less active which is often mistaken by owners with old age. For the moment, there is no cure for arthritis, but there are several treatments for alleviating the symptoms. Usually, the doctor prescribes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, but they might take a toll on the pet’s kidneys and liver. Among the side effects which come with these drugs are vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or ulcers. Another option for treatment is opioids which are effective in reducing the pain, but they also come with some unpleasant effects like weakness, drowsiness, constipation or loss of appetite.
You can help your pet by making some adjustments to your home, so it has plenty of soft places to lay down and a warm environment with access to stairs. Another option is adding CBD oil to its daily diet. Currently, this substance is used for both humans and animals who need alternative therapy for arthritis without the risk of side effects. Medical studies showed that CBD ingested orally could reduce the swelling and the pain sensitivity.45
Seizures represent traumatic experiences, in particular for pets and they have various causes, ingestion of poison, the effect of a head injury or it is simply a once-in-a-lifetime event. Young pets might also experience seizures as a result of an epilepsy attack. If this is the diagnosis of your pet, it is important to learn more about this disorder so you can take the right actions in order to be helpful and improve its quality of life. Epilepsy is a medical condition which causes multiple seizures over a short period of time, and usually, the diagnosis is established after the veterinarian rules out any tumor. This medical condition is more common in dogs than in cats. If you pay attention to your pet behavior, you can tell when it is about to have a seizure because it might tend to whine and hide before it happens. The clues that a seizure is ongoing are the fact that the pet starts to shake uncontrollably, paddle the arms and legs and drool abundantly. During such an episode it is common for the pet to lose control of the bladder or bowels. It is essential for you to resist the temptation to stick anything in your pet’s mouth when the seizure is going on because they might bite really hard without realizing what they are doing. All you can do if you are aware your pet suffers from this condition is keep it away from stairs, pool or any other place from where it can fall and heard itself.
Keeping a seizure log for each episode of your pet might be very useful for the veterinarian to set up an appropriate treatment and help you recognize the possible triggers. The record can include information like time and length of the attack, what the pet was doing, how the seizure manifested and the pet’s behavior after the attack is over. These data will help you notice if the severity and frequency of the seizures are improving. Don’t forget to note the medication your pet took and if there are any changes for good or worse. The treatment is essential because seizures could cause brain injury. Unfortunately, seizures are among the conditions which can’t be cured, at the moment, but its symptoms can be improved with prescription antiepileptic drugs. While these medications are effective, they also come with a relatively high risk of side effects like anxiety, lethargy, drowsiness, agitation, weight gain, central nervous system depression, or liver toxicity. Including CBD into the pet’s daily diet can help reduce the frequency and severity of the seizures and also minimize the dosage of the classic treatment. Studies have promising results in treating epilepsy as an enhancer for the anticonvulsant effect of certain drugs.
Anxiety affects pets just as much as it affects humans and the consequences can be very bad for everyone involved. There are two types of anxiety more frequently encountered: separation anxiety and noise anxiety.
The separation anxiety is more common to dogs than cats because they are pack animals and love being surrounded by other beings. Anxiety appears when they are left alone even for a short while. Although you know when you will be coming home, the dog doesn’t and it starts feeling anxious. Noise anxiety is often caused by loud, disturbing noises or the anticipation of them. For example, both cats and dogs are usually afraid of the fireworks, and after such an event the pets can remain traumatized and terrified. Over-attachment of the pet can cause anxiety to the owner, a history of abuse or necessary changes in routine and it can manifest through barking, panting, trembling, whining, digging, having accidents in the home, aggression, destructive behavior, depression, hyperactivity, or hiding. There were many cases reported in which the dog eventually ran away. It’s not easy to see your pet go through all these things and some of the measures one can take are medications, behavior therapy, and environmental modification.
With the help of behavior therapy, the anxiety could improve, but you need help from a specialist and the will for both the owner and the pet to learn new habits. On the other hand, if you give too much importance to the pet’s anxiety each time you leave the house the behavior will never change because the pet will feel rewarded every time you come back. Some adjustments to the environment might be useful such as reducing the time the pet spends alone by leaving toys within reach or making sure that the pet has enough comfortable and safe space, and never punish it by using a crate. Sometimes, in spite of all efforts the anxiety of the pets simply doesn’t go away, and at that point, medication is needed. Usually sedatives, anxiolytics or antidepressants are prescribed by veterinarians, but each one comes with a trick. With sedatives, the pet can’t express its anxiety anymore because the body is too relaxed to process the feelings. The mind is still agitated and once the effect of sedatives wears off the anxiety can become even stronger. The anti-anxiety pills were created to change the activity of the brain. The anxiety might be reduced, but as a consequence, the pet could manifest other problems like abnormal behavior, dull mentation, or hyperexcitability. Antidepressants also change the chemistry in the brain and body and need constant supervision because they can cause side effects like increased heart rate, sedation, nausea, anorexia, anxiety or lethargy. CBD oil is a natural and side effect free alternative to all these therapies as it also works on the mind and body to provide a state of well-being and relaxation.
One of the most common reasons why dogs and cats are being brought to the veterinarian is nausea. This health problem causes the pet to vomit, but other symptoms include loss of appetite, drooling, lethargy, shaking, anxiety attacks and licking their lips. Nausea can manifest suddenly and in short episodes. There are multiple causes of this medical condition, but among the most frequent is eating something that irritated the gastrointestinal system. Other common causes are motion sickness, a viral, bacterial, or parasitic infection, a reaction to a substantial change in diet or a side effect of some prescription drugs. In the case of chronic nausea, the trigger factors could be: allergies, liver disease, pancreatitis, cancer, kidney disease or Addison’s disease and eventually lead to larger health problems like dehydration and weight loss.
The classic therapeutic drugs, although effective in reducing nausea came with their own set of possible side effects like diarrhea, sedation, abdominal pain, hyperactivity, constipation, loss of appetite or low blood pressure. CBD is the best option when other drugs only make your friend feel worse instead of better because it was clinically proven that it could suppress nausea in order to stop the pet from vomiting and also it can improve the appetite.
CBD oil recently became the main point of interest for the medical community, so it still requires more testing to prove beyond any doubt its therapeutic properties. Even so, there are promising results regarding its wide range of health benefits, like anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cardioprotective, antibacterial, antifungal, skin regenerative, blood thinner and so on.
What are the Potential Risks of CBD Oil for Pets?
Life-threatening risks for dogs from CBD are very rare and considering that toxicity occurs more often when a pet has eaten a product that contains chocolate, raisins or coffee, this substance is an alternative worth taken into consideration. The risk for experiencing side effects from using CBD Oil is almost zero as CBD is a naturally occurring substance in hemp and the final product, regardless its brand, presentation form or concentration, contains very small to almost untraceable quantities of THC, the substance responsible for generating the high efficiency of the marijuana.
Still, some sensitive pets might experience mild unpleasant reactions to CBD. At first uses, they could feel a little sleepy and drowsy. On very rare occasions, the reported side effects on pets included excessive itchiness or mild vomiting. If your pet reacts with these symptoms, you should immediately stop giving it CBD. It goes without saying, and most manufacturers recommend, just like any medication, pet owners should consult their veterinarian before treating it with this substance. CBD reduces the liver’s ability to process drugs, so if the pet is currently following another medical treatment, it is important to check its reaction on interfering with CBD. Some pets might develop an allergic reaction or have a medical condition which could be aggravated by this substance.
How Should CBD Oil be Administrated to Pets?
Most veterinarians recommend CBD oil to be administrated orally to dogs and cats, even though there are some topical treatments as well. It can also be given as a support for traditional medication. Recent studies confirmed that CBD could bring “synergistic benefits” to classic medication. Regardless the situation, the correct dosage is essential to obtain a positive effect. Unfortunately, the researchers are still to determine which is the recommended dose of CBD for each type of animal and according to the medical condition intended to improve.
Just like humans, each dog or cat is also different. Specialists recommend to start the CBD treatment with the smallest dosage and work up from there until the desired result is reached. Veterinarians recommend starting with one drop of CBD oil for each 10 lbs of the pet’s weight once a day, for one week, then double the dose. If you prefer capsules instead of oil or tincture, it is better to start with a quarter of the daily recommended dose and increase it gradually each week. If there is no sign of side effects that dose could be increased at 4 or 5 days so you can notice the benefits sooner. If you notice the pet becomes hyperactive, disoriented, vomits or becomes lethargic stop giving it CBD until these symptoms go away, then you can start again with the lowest dose, but keep observing your pet. The purpose is to reach that daily dose where there are no unpleasant effects, only benefits. With long-term use, at some point, the dose must be increased again so that the benefits will remain strong.You can slip the pills or the drops of CBD into the pet’s morning meals. Even if they
You can slip the pills or the drops of CBD into the pet’s morning meals. Even if they smell it, they won’t notice it under all that delicious food. If you don’t want to feel like giving medicine to your friend, there is available the CBD treat option. You can give it as a reward to your pet, but also start with a quarter of the cookie and increase the dosage systematically without exceeding the maximum recommended by the manufacturer for your pet’s size. Also, because they taste so good, make sure you store them in a place that the dog or cat won’t reach. If your pet is very picky when it comes to its food another option to include CBD into its daily diet is the spray. With a quick move, you spray a couple of puffs into its mouth or add it to its food. It comes in flavors so it might be easier to convince your pet not to run away from you each time it sees you with a spray in your hand.
There are many CBD options available for pets and to choose the right one the owners must talk to the doctor and work together to reach that best dosage for each pet in particular.
Where to buy CBD for pets?
The best and safest way to ensure your pet the best CBD formula it needs is to purchase a product created specifically for pets. There are individual companies such as Canna4pets, CannaCompanion, Canna-Pet, Treat Well, or Auntie Dolores Treaties which brought to the market lines dedicated to our furry friends and they include different forms of CBD like, oils, tinctures, shampoos, spray, capsules or even delicious treats.
These products can be bought from the official web page of each manufacturer. This way you are sure you buy the genuine thing and not a cheap imitation which endangers your pet’s health. It is very simple for less than honest manufacturers to enter the market of dietary supplements and most of them are more interested in gaining a profit and less in bringing a high-quality product. Read the reviews of the product and go with the doctor’s recommendation.
Choosing a completely natural product is essential. This is more than a simple trend. It is about the health and safety of our beloved pets. It is necessary for the ingredients of the product to interact naturally with the body, so there will be no side effects or unpleasant reactions. By choosing a fully natural product, it means that it doesn’t contain residues from pesticide, herbicide or other chemicals which harm the health and the hemp used to extract the CBD was organic and GMO-free. “Go natural” for your pet means you treat it as an important member of your family, and you put its health above anything else.
Testimonials – What Pet Owners are Saying
“Bailey has been going to the park, he’s been running, he’s feeling great and being himself.”
Cannabidiol is quickly becoming one of the most important medical discoveries of the century, along with other cannabinoids. This substance is obtained from hemp and cannabis, and even if the use of the plant itself is illegal in most countries around the world, CBD is perfectly legal. The importance of this substance for the health was discovered only a few decades ago, and it is still subject to many medical trials for the scientists to understand completely how it acts on the body. It was recently discovered that all vertebrates are born with a particular system which can process cannabinoids. Also, the body can produce its cannabinoids which act in order to maintain the balance for various essential functions. The cannabinoids produced by living creatures and those produced by cannabis have a similar structure, and they can successfully replace each other.
Thousands of studies revealed the medical properties of CBD, so the market of dietary supplements is full of products based on this substance. So far CBD seems to bring the same health benefits in humans and pets as well. Due to its unique properties, CBD can improve the symptoms of some incurable disease like cancer, multiple sclerosis, seizures and another degenerative disease. More and more veterinarians prescribe CBD treatment for pets who suffer from anxiety, nausea, seizures or arthritis because, in extreme cases, it can only cause some mild unpleasant reactions. Even if CBD doesn’t cure the disease, it can enhance the potential of the classic medication which most of the times comes with a string of side effects attached, and at the same time, the dosage of the medication can be reduced along with the associated potential risks.
CBD for pets comes in various forms and concentrations, and it is important to buy a natural product which won’t harm your furry friend. Talk to the doctor and establish together which product is the best one for your pet and what should be the right dosage. By adding CBD to your pet’s diet, you support its general health and also improve some medical conditions without any risks for its safety.