Health and Fitness

Is CBD Oil Right for Your Dog?

I came across CBD oil last year while grooming at a small feed store.  And the one thing I noticed that they routinely sold out of on a consistent basis was—CBD oil.  I found it insane because I had never heard of Cannabinoid oil being used for dogs…..however, I got to see the effects of it first hand. And I must say……… I was rather impressed.

I’ve wanted to blog about this particular product for quite some time, however, every time I wanted to …..there never seemed to be enough information. Other than what I witnessed with my own eyes, and very poorly written and researched information online. In any case, I still want to talk about it because it seems to be on the rise for use in dogs. And most pet parents I have met that use it for their pups swear by it. 

Now that dogs are living longer and have very unique lives alongside humans, they are actually having issues with anxiety, joint pain, arthritis, tumors, cancers, and seizures.

Reasons can range from: physical abuse, not enough exercise or human interaction, poor diet for many years, obesity, genetics, and breed specific ailments. And many other issues that contribute to deteriorating doggie mental and physical health.

For pet parents truly struggling to keep up with their dog’s health, this may be a great alternative for you.  However, be very certain to consult your veterinarian before attempting to try CBD oil, or any other homeopathic medicine.

If you are wanting to learn more…keep reading!

What is CBD Oil?

CBD oil is short for Cannabinoid oil.  The Cannabinoid Oil this post covers is derived from the Hemp plant.  Not the Marijuana Plant

According to the PetReleaf Company :

CBD hemp oil, typically extracted from the stalks, flowers, and leaves of the hemp plant, is full of cannabinoids(natural compounds) that are only found in the cannabis plant family. lesser-known from hemp plants (and not marijuana hybrids) are extremely high in CBD and extremely low in the most well-known cannabinoid, THC.

For this reason, CBD hemp oil allows you to get all the health benefits of the hemp plant without also having the psychoactive effects of THC. Cannabinoids found in the hemp plant are the only compounds found in the natural world that have the ability to turn on your (and your pet’s) endocannabinoid system (ECS). When your ECS is turned on, it’s the only time your body is able to function at optimal levels of health. 

In other news………

      ProjectCBD.org  also states that the Cannabinoid (CBD) is medicinal, and low in THC’s (tetrahydrocannabinol). Therefore your pet cannot get high off of hemp oil. Which could make them act in a manner that is unlike them and rather dangerous.

There haven’t been enough studies quite yet to say for sure how safe hemp is vs marijuana. Veterinarians are not so keen on allowing dogs to ingest anything marijuana-derived because marijuana has a bit of a different effect on dogs than humans. Therefore, there is still ongoing research regarding the creation of Marijuana based CBD oil and chewable treats.

Benefits of CBD

CBD claims to help with arthritis, seizures, anxiety, cancer, just to name a few. There are many stories from people who claim that CBD oil has had tremendous benefits for their pups. Especially those with anxiety, including separation anxiety. 

Petmd.com states that the reason these benefits occur is that, similar to humans, the Cannabinoid networks with endocannabinoid system. This controls things like arthritis, seizures, anxiety, and cancers.

Of course, CBD is something a Pet Parent has to be patient with. But with continued, persistent use over time, improvements begin to develop.  Additionally, CBD’s considered a natural alternative. It doesn’t have the harsh side effects of traditional pharmaceutical medications. There’s no proof it’s been proven effective either. 

Is CBD Oil Safe?

The most important question when trying out a new product for your pup is whether or not the product is actually safe.  Although CBD oil is a natural alternative, itis still deemed a medicine.  Therefore it does, of course, have its own set of problems, some argue that the side effects may not seem as dangerous as pharmaceutical medicines. 

PetMD.com says overdoses can definitely happen, yet they are“extremely rare”. Dogsnaturallymagazine.com states that because Cannabinoid oil is from the hemp plant it’s impossible for your dog to get high. 

But your dog can have side effects which range from being lethargic, possible loss of appetite, and allergic reactions.

If you’re dog experiences an overdose, please rush your dog to the vet immediately!!

However, there are regulators, like the Federal Drug Administration(FDA) and the Center for Veterinarian Medicine (CVM), whose job is to ensure that the products we give to our dogs is safe and has been backed by extensive research proving the validity of using products deemed safe.

Regulations on CBD Oil

There still isn’t enough scientific evidence to back and support the use of CBD oil in our pets.  Many veterinarians and regulators believe the overwhelming amount of evidence supporting the effects of CBD oil on pets is purely placebo. 

Regulators are beginning to tighten up on the use and distribution of CBD oil. For example, a southern pet feed store, Hollywood Feed, just recently pulled all of their hemp products because of the American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) http://www.aafco.org/  recently published guidelines surrounding this controversial product.

They desire to have more scientific data from the hemp industry regarding whether or not CBD oil is safe to use in dog products like chews, ingestible oils, and even feed.  AAFCO states:

We expected information on hemp seed oil, hemp seed meal, and whole hemp seeds. To date, the industry has not provided any data showing that ingredients derived from the hemp plant are safe and useful in animal food. AAFCO is encouraging the industry to submit their data promptly. Regulatory members continue to ask for the information prior to the distribution of hemp seed products in their state. To allow an entire industry to enter the market without the appropriate safety data is unfair to other ingredient manufacturers that are doing their due diligence.

There are some potential safety concerns related to the presence of certain compounds, including THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), in parts of the hemp plant that must be addressed. One thing has become clear as we have had discussions with the hemp industry, materials, and products that are CBD infused need to be treated as drugs. There is no nutritional intended use for this compound. This means that several parts of the hemp plant will not be appropriate for animal feeding. Quoting from the FDA and Marijuana website: “FDA has therefore concluded that it is a prohibited act to introduce or deliver for introduction into interstate commerce any food (including any animal food or feed) to which cannabidiol has been added.”

Always Consult Your Vet Before Use of CBD

The best way to ensure if CBD is safe for your dog is to consult your actual Veterinarian and get the okay from them before using this product on your dog.

Especially since there isn’t enough scientific information backing the use of CBD oil.  Also be sure to check the credentials of the brand you’re purchasing to further protect your pet from toxicity.  Currently, CBD is not regulated, therefore you could be putting your dog at risk.

Which CBD Oil Brand is the best?

There are many different CBD oil brands out there. I have no idea how many.  However, one brand that seems to be standing out from the other brands is Pet Releaf. They have both CBD oil and dry chewable treats. 

This particular CBD oil is a brand I’ve witnessed used personally on close acquaintance’s pets.  I’ve witnessed CBD Oil used on two extremely hyper and somewhat aggressive dogs when around other pets (almost uncontrollable).  The CBD oil calmed the dogs down. And they seemed to be able to handle their surroundings in a more controlled manner.

Pet Releaf

Husband and wife duo, Alina and Steve Smith started Pet Releaf to help with their arthritic ridden family pet. They were looking for an alternative to Vet prescribed medications that seemed to put their dog in a brain fog. 

CBD Oil Info Website

Contact this website for more information.  You can speak directly with a veterinarian to learn the side effects and potential dangers of this product.

Basically……

In conclusion, the FDA or Veterinarian Associations lack substantial, conclusive information regarding the validity of CBD oil benefits or safety.   The best advice I can give as a pet expert and pet parent, is to recommend speaking with your Veterinarian first before deciding to administer CBD oil. 

However, with pet parents looking for an alternative to the harsh side effects of certain medications, the pet industry—includingveterinarians—are urging the FDA to allow the use of Cannabinoid Oil in pets. Especially for those with serious diseases such as cancers and seizures.

Photo credit

Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash -pic of hemp bottle

Shane Rounce on Unsplash– pic of hemp plant with bud

Photo by Matthew Brodeur on Unsplash deep green hemp plant forest thingy

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