How to Use CBD for Your Pets
One thing that has been going on in the world of CBD is the increasing number of pet owners giving CBD to their furry companions to cure a variety of ailments. Studies have shown that CBD can indeed benefit animals in various ways, similarly to humans. However, pets can only consume CBD in specific ways for it to be effective.
Giving CBD to a pet may seem easy and straightforward enough, but experienced pet owners know differently. There are pets who are more willful and resistant, making administering CBD incredibly difficult. Also, there’s a lot of myths and half-truths mixed in all the online information on CBD. We want the best for our pets, so we need reliable information.
Let’s take a look at the increasingly important topic of CBD for pets, learning about what it’s actually good for and how it can be given to our pets.
How Does CBD Affect Pets?
As of now, there are no formal studies on how CBD affects most pets other than rats, especially cats and dogs. What is known is how cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid receptors in the nervous system, which regulate the balance in the body.
How much of that endocannabinoid system resides in cats and dogs has yet to be truly understood, but it does look like it’s in them. Many pet owners have reported positive results in giving their pets CBD, from helping them overcome pain and digestive problems to letting them be able to actually move around in the first place.
What Health Problems Can CBD Treat?
While there’s no definitive scientific evidence on how CBD treats cats and dogs yet, there’s now plenty of anecdotal evidence on how it can treat seizures and pain, especially neuropathic pain. This is due to its anti-inflammatory properties that lend it benefits to cardiovascular health, as well as stimulate appetite and relieve nausea and anxiety.
The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) is sponsoring a study through the Colorado University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to assess how CBD can treat dogs with treatment-resistant epilepsy. The CHF is hoping to get a breakthrough with using CBD to treat this condition, and findings so far are quite promising.
Possible Side Effects of CBD in Pets
We do know that CBD can yield potential side effects in humans, so it’s not that far-fetched to think that it can have side effects in animals as well. To minimize the potential for side effects, you should administer proper dosage.
CBD can cause dry mouth due to decreased production of saliva, which can then make your pets thirstier. You may want to have water more accessible to your pets while giving them CBD for their ailments.
In higher doses, it may cause a temporary drop in blood pressure. While it’s just a small drop and nowhere near going into shock, it can still cause some lightheadedness in your pets.
While it can help make your pets calmer and more relaxed by relieving their anxiety, it can also cause some drowsiness. This is especially true in higher doses, so you may want to dial it back if you notice your pets getting sluggish in the middle of the day, especially at times of the day when they’re usually active.
Risks of Using CBD for Pets
There isn’t that much definitive information yet on how safe CBD truly is, but it has been found to be fairly low risk as long as it’s given in proper dosages. With that said, it’s not fully known yet what the threshold is for how much CBD would be considered toxic.
As with any drug or supplement, there’s always a risk of some reaction or interaction with another drug. Therefore, if your pet is just starting to take CBD, give it to them in small doses first to see how their bodies react to it, then slowly increase until you hit the sweet spot.
Of course, consult with your veterinarian on how you can incorporate CBD into their treatment and/or supplemental regime.
CBD Products for Pets
There has been hemp oil for pets for years now, so you can start there. From broad spectrum oil to pure CBD, you can find some that are designed specifically for pets. Not all CBD oils and CBD tinctures are the same, so you may have to shop around to find a brand that works best for your pets.
One of the most important criteria is to look for organic, which guarantees that the hemp from which the CBD was extracted had not been treated with pesticides, fungicides, or solvents that can still be retained in the oil to be consumed by your pets. Even in trace amounts, those chemicals can still wreak havoc in an animal’s system.
Don’t shop with only price as your basis. What’s more important is the purity and quality of the CBD. While higher quality CBD oil tends to be pricier, that doesn’t mean expensive CBD is necessarily better. However, it does tend to be true that the cheaper ones may have additives, chemicals, and heavy metals in it.
Responsible manufacturers would have information on their products that’s easily referenced. That may include a certificate that contains detailed analysis of the source hemp and guarantees the absence of toxic substances like pesticides, herbicides, solvents, and heavy metals in the CBD oil.
You should buy your primary CBD as a liquid. While there are pet treats that contain CBD, you should rely mostly on CBD oil or tincture as your main so that you can control the dosage drop by drop. You can either directly administer the CBD into your pet’s mouth with a dropper or mix it into their food.
There’s so much going on right now with CBD, from its widening legalization to its broadening application. Not only is it good for humans, but for pets as well. As we learn more about it, we can get even more evidence on how effective CBD is in improving the health and well-being of your entire family, including that of your furry companions.