With CBD growing in popularity among humans, it makes sense that pet owners would want their furry companions to join in on the healing properties of this useful plant. Pet Wellbeing doesn't provide CDB products, but we believe in providing pet parents with the all the facts when it comes to pet health!
CBD is believed to be safe for pets, but it’s important to administer it with your vet’s approval. It’s also not a cure-all, so it’s best to use it to support only certain ailments. Here are five of the most promising uses for CBD in pets.
- Arthritis pain: Research about CBD in dogs has mostly centered on its ability to treat arthritis. Just like with humans, arthritis affects dogs by causing inflammation in the joints. CBD products have been shown to reduce swelling in both dogs and humans because it exhibits the same anti-inflammatory properties seen in traditional drugs. Since one in four dogs eventually develop arthritis, CBD is worth looking into for your pup.
- General pain: Given its success with treating arthritis, researchers suspect that CBD might be effective as a general pain killer for other diseases and injuries. However, it’s worth noting that researchers have studied the effects of CBD on only a select few ailments in dogs. There’s no guarantee CBD will minimize pain caused by diseases other than arthritis, but the preliminary research looks promising.
- Seizures: CBD has proven effective in reducing the frequency of seizures in humans, and research is starting to show the same for dogs, as well. Keep in mind that there are many types of seizures, so the effects of CBD on epileptic dogs will vary from one to the next. Additionally, there’s no research backing the use of CBD by itself. Most dogs that have benefitted from CBD took it alongside their traditional anti-seizure medications.
- Cancer support: Similar to seizures, using CBD as a form of cancer treatment is still inconclusive in dogs. There are countless types of cancer, and scientists have yet to discover how CBD interacts with cancerous tumors. However, some studies show that CBD reduced nausea in rats and ferrets exposed to chemotherapy. Dog owners can reasonably assume that giving CBD to pups undergoing cancer treatment might yield similar results. Therefore, CBD might be an effective method of making your pet more comfortable during cancer treatment.
- Anxiety and stress relief: Perhaps one of the most common uses for CBD in pets is reducing anxiety. CBD is believed to interact with pets’ endocannabinoid system to promote feelings of calm. Additionally, CBD may aid in stress relief by easing physical pain, which might indirectly lower a pet’s anxiety.
Administer CBD the safe way
When it comes to giving your pet CBD, proper dosage is everything. Studies have shown that administering two to eight milligrams of CBD twice per day is the recommended amount for treating arthritis and seizures. This can be more difficult than it sounds, especially given the range of dropper types and unverified products available. Consult your veterinarian about products that accurately convey the CBD content inside.
Before giving your dog CBD, review the list of prescribed medications they’re currently taking. While research is inconclusive, it’s possible that CBD could negatively interact with some prescription drugs. Ask your vet if CBD is safe to use with your dog or cat before administering it. Also remember that CBD is new to the world of veterinary medicine, and most vets aren’t allowed to prescribe it just yet. They can only tell you how CBD could interact with medications.
Finally, pet owners should never give cats or dogs CBD products that contain THC. While humans may benefit from these “full-spectrum” products, it can be a negative or dangerous experience for pets. The effects of a pet “high” include not being able to stand or eat, which can last for days. In some cases, complications could land your pup in the hospital.
More research is needed
As you’ve probably noticed, CBD is still being researched for use in cats and dogs. While preliminary research is heading in a positive direction, vets are not authorized to prescribe CBD as a treatment option and may shy away from recommending it. Any CBD products administered are at the pet owner’s discretion.
The big takeaway is that CBD probably won’t hurt your furry friend—but its effectiveness in treating certain ailments has yet to be discovered. In time, more studies will come out with more conclusions on using CBD to treat pet health conditions. Vets will gain more knowledge about how the plant might alleviate symptoms of many different diseases—not just the ones studied so far. Until that happens, be cautious with the type and amount of CBD you give your pet, if you administer it at all, and make sure to watch for any negative side effects.