By Joseph C.
CBD for dogs? All over the place, all anyone talks about is CBD for dogs. In fact this is one of the fastest growing segments of the CBD market.
Dog lovers across the nation are swearing by CBD oil, CBD sprays, and CBD-infused treats as a way to not only improve the quality of life for their pets, but to save a ton of money on visits to the veterinarian. As all dog owners know, a healthy pet is a less expensive pet — and, of course, a happier pet!
What are the benefits of CBD for dogs?
Human bodies and dog bodies have a lot in common, as do most mammals. One thing we all have in common is an endocannabinoid system. Now, don’t glaze over, we’re not going to be too technical, but the story goes roughly like this…
How CBD for dogs works to promote good health:
- All mammals have an endocannabinoid system. This system helps to keep our bodies and immune systems in balance.
- Some conditions might be the result of a deficiency of endocannabinoids. And some conditions might benefit from additional types of cannabinoids.
- Phytocannabinoids — those found in hemp — can mimic the effects of endocannabinoids, those produced by our bodies and help to keep our health in balance.
- They can also benefit us in other ways such as via its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (more on that below).
That’s the gist of it. But what are some of the specific dog health conditions which might benefit from the use of CBD oil?
Research has shown that CBD might be an effective treatment for a variety of conditions such as allergies, anxiety, nausea, joint pain, inflammation, skin conditions, sleep-related problems, regulation of appetite, and much more. Let’s look at some of these in detail.
Health Benefits of CBD For Dogs
- Pain and Inflammation
- Seizures and Epilepsy
- Digestive Issues and Nausea
- Skin Conditions
- Overactive or underactive
Treating Depression and Anxiety
Dogs, and indeed all pets, can suffer from anxiety and depression just as humans do. Pet’s can become anxious for a number of reasons. Being alone disturbs some pets — a condition known as separation anxiety. Also, loud noises, changes in environment, and even chemical imbalances in the brain can result in feelings of anxiety and depression. In fact, treating anxiety and depression is actually one of the most common reasons that pet owners give for buying CBD for their dogs.
There have been numerous scientific studies which strongly suggest that CBD has the ability to reduce anxiety by helping to regulate the flow of information in the brain and, specifically, to reduce the flow of signals into the sections of the brain which are involved in feelings of anxiety.
Lab studies have shown that CBD can help to increase levels of a hormone known as serotonin. Certain moods and emotions seem to correlate to levels of serotonin in the brain. Low serotonin levels are often associated with feelings of depression and anxiety. Therefore, raising serotonin levels sometimes reduces these conditions.
Treating Pain and Inflammation
Another very common reason dog owners give for treating their dogs with CBD is to reduce pain, inflammation, and stiffness, as well as to aid in recovery from injuries or surgery.
In many cases pain and inflammation are related. Inflammation can cause damage to joints or swelling, which in turn can cause pain, which in turn can result in lack of movement in order to avoid the pain, which in turn can result in stiffness. Swelling and damage to joins can also directly result in stiffness.
One of the most impressive benefits of CBD for dogs is the ability to reduce inflammation. This effect has been shown over and over again in lab studies. Reversing the process above, reducing inflammation reduces damage to joints and pain, which increases movement and decreases stiffness.
But there’s another way that CBD might help to help ease your dog’s pain. CBD has been shown to help regulate the flow of pain signals to the brain. It’s not perfectly clear yet what mechanisms account for this effect, but it is believed that CBD helps to regulate the flow of neurotransmitters which, in turn, regulate pain signals.
Nausea, Vomiting, Digestion, and Appetite Issues
A variety of digestive issues can result in pain, irregularity, changes in appetite, and even bad moods. In addition to reducing pain via the mechanisms mentioned above, CBD for dogs might help to reduce the severity and symptoms of digestive issues in a number of ways.
First, the digestive system has an abundance of cannabinoid receptors. Some researchers have theorized that some serious digestive conditions might be the result of an endocannabinoid deficiency and that supplementing the diet with CBD for dogs might help control issues such as spasms, irregularity, and pain.
Second, the highest abundance of cannabinoid receptors is found in cells produced by the immune system. Conditions such as irritable bowel are believed to be the result of what’s known as autoimmune response. This means that the immune system mistakes healthy tissue for invaders and attacks the digestive system resulting in severe inflammation and pain. And CBD is believed by many researchers to help to regulate autoimmune response.
Also, the connection between mammals’ digestive systems and their brains is profound. This relationship is known as the the gut–brain axis. Anxiety, depression, and lethargy may well be the result of a malfunctioning digestive system. Fixing the malfunction might improve your dog’s moods.
Seizures, Spasms, Tics
CBD’s potential to treat seizure disorders is now pretty well known, as the FDA recently approved a CBD-based drug for the treatment of some rare, intractable forms of childhood epilepsy.
Once again, researchers suspect that CBD has the ability to regulate neurotransmitters, hence the flow of signals in the brain might be responsible for this effect.
Skin and Coat Conditions
A number of skin conditions that affect dogs have been shown to respond positively to treatment with CBD oil for dogs. As mentioned in some of the conditions above, CBD for dogs might help to reduce these conditions in a few ways — by reducing inflammation, by helping to regulate immune response, and by helping to regulate pain and itch signals to the brain.
How To Use CBD for Dogs
Now, this is all great news for dog lovers, but the experts at MediPets CBD warn not to rush in and start feeding your dog CBD products made for humans. The concentrations of CBD are far different in CBD products made for humans tan in CBD for dogs. The same even goes for products made for small dogs, medium-size dogs, and larger dogs. So, step number one is to find the right product for your dog.
There are a few types of CBD products for dogs offered by MediPets CBD. There are oils, there are sprays, and there are dog treats. Using CBD dog treats is pretty straightforward. Dogs almost never turn down a treat. Oils can be added to food or water or dripped into your dog’s mouth. And sprays are spritzed into the dog’s mouth.
How To Use CBD Dog Treats
CBD dog treats are perfect for treating digestive issues, particularly intestinal issues. Because the CBD is mixed into stuff like complex carbs and fiber, which help the CBD work its way down into your dog’s intestines. They are also great for general day-to-day dietary supplementation for wellness.
How To Use CBD Pet Sprays
CBD oil sprays for dogs have a faster onset time than treats as the CBD is absorbed into the bloodstream more directly thus avoiding the digestive system. Because of this, sprays are preferred for treating sudden onset conditions such as separation anxiety and other types of anxiety.
How To Use CBD Oil For Dogs
CBD oil for dogs is great for day-to-day dietary supplementation. They can also be used like sprays to treat conditions as they arise. Oils are also ideal for treating conditions such as pain, depression, lethargy, seizures, and other conditions related to the brain. Oils can also be used topically — or directly on the skin — to treat skin conditions. Here’s a handy chart for determine CBD oil dosage for dogs.
Every Dog Is Different!
Another thing to consider, according to MediPets CBD, is that every dog’s endocannabinoid system is different. One dog might have more receptors than average while others might produce more cannabinoids. For this reason CBD works different depending on the individual dog.
Because every dog will respond differently to CBD you should start any dog off with the lowest dose of CBD — one treat, one spritz, a couple drops of oil — and then wait to see if there is any change in your dog’s state. If there seem to be no negative effects the dose can be increased. Negative effects sometimes manifest as your dog becoming less active (lethargic or sleepy) or overactive.
It’s also important to not give your dog too much CBD. Too much CBD, aside from potentially being a waste of money, could alter the balance of your dog’s endocannabinoid system or result in unwanted effects. While small doses of CBD are not generally associated with reduced activity, large doses might make your dog lazy.
And finally, experts suggest finding a daily dosage that works for your pet and sticking to it. Over the long term CBD might go a long way toward keeping your dog happy and healthy for years to come.
Although it’s most likely safe to start a dog on a low-dose, daily dietary supplement regimen to maintain wellness, when treating an actual disease, it’s important that you talk with your veterinarian first. The condition could be due to some factor which might require additional medical attention.