CBD Oil for Dogs and Other Pets: How CBD Oil Can Improve Their Lives
My chiweenie Daisy is almost 9 years old. The gray around her muzzle and the trouble she experiences when she tries to jump on the couch help prove her age. Frankly, she’s no puppy anymore and it breaks my heart to see her struggle! So when I started using a certain CBD oil for dogs that I was recommended, my life changed.
As a personal user of cannabidiol products (CBD oil) to combat stress (physical and mental), I noticed the available options for pets and figured why not give it a shot. So when it comes to CBD oil for your dog or other pets, it is unbelievable the difference a simple dropper can make!
Of course, with this I ask you to take my word – and, of course, those of others – because studies into the effects of cannabinoids on canines are woefully lacking. As of 2017, the AKC Canine Health Foundation sponsors a research study into the effects of cannabidiol – CBD Oil on dogs with drug-resistant epilepsy. The hope is to “put the science behind the stories and the claims,” according to Dr. Stephanie McGrath, Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences and study lead.
What do the stories say?
We all know what CBD oil fans say, at least the bipedal variety: “It helps with my stress levels,” “I can sleep so much better with just a few drops,” “My knees hurt less and it killed my cancer!”
The jury remains out on cancer, though lab studies show some promise in rats and mice against certain types of tumors. And aches and pains? Enough word-of-mouth reports and study results show relief from arthritis, neuropathy, nerve-related pains, and general inflammation traditionally eased with ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Doctors wonder whether they might even need to create a new classification to house CBD as a chronic pain reliever!
Despite lacking the THC commonly associated with marijuana, CBD oil reportedly impacts the body similarly: It helps boost the user’s appetite (munchies, anyone?) and might even calm a tummy rumbled by nausea associated with medications.
Best of all, though: Unlike most medicines prescribed through pharmaceutical means, CBD products show little to no negative impact on users and seem perfectly safe for consumption.
How does CBD oil work for a dog’s and other animal’s systems?
Much like it does in the human body, CBD reacts with the endocannabinoid system, or the “reverse nervous system.” Whereas the nervous system transmits messages from the brain to waiting neurons to continue the relay until the final destination is reached, the endocannabinoid system acts as a filter for these neurons. Once activated, cannabinoids effectively limit the number of messages the affected neuron can send.
Think of it this way: A wire sends out sporadic bursts of electricity due to an electrical storm. You plugged your television, your game system, your computer, etc. into a surge protector to prevent damage caused by these sudden discharges. Instead, only the necessary amount of power gets drawn by your appliance for its operation.
That, on a very basic level, is the way the endocannabinoid system functions when it encounters cannabinoids: Only so many neurons, so many messages, go through. Your mind does not get blown with an overload of sensory input.
Well, we humans aren’t the only species with such a system: Dogs, cats, horses: All vertebrates are known to possess similar nervous structures that function in the same way. It’s primary types of receptors – CB1, located on the brain and along the central nervous system, and CB2, typically on organ cells and throughout the immune system – accept phytocannabinoids as an external source of an internally-created compound. The reactions, however, is considerably stronger.
That reaction combined with the presence of THC explains the increased response of the body to the use of cannabis. Products like CBD tinctures, balms, meal powders, and gel caps can be introduced to your furbaby’s diet and offer the same benefits noted in you or me without the psychoactive high produced by THC.
Now, let’s say your “furbaby” comes furless – perhaps feathered, or scaled? Remember: An endocannabinoid system exists in every known vertebrate, birds and snakes included. However, as little finalized research as there is for some of our four-legged friends, even less exists for the flight endowed or the legless. The vet is the first place you need to go for any avian or reptilian concerns.
What’s the right dose for your dog or other pet? How often?
Daisy, as a hybrid small dog, might weigh about seven pounds; a tiny thing, really, until you try to pry her from your lap. Then she transforms into the canine equivalent of the proverbial immovable rock.
When I first chose to try CBD oil for my dog in a route to help ease her aches and nerves, I suffered from a momentary case of neural flatulence: I thought how I dosed myself, not how to dose something significantly smaller than me. Thankfully, the risk of an overdose by cannabinoids are so insignificant they are considered scientifically impossible.
True, she slept a bit more than usual that day, and her food bowl emptied as soon as she walked into the kitchen, but no harmful effects to report!
My brain kicked in not long after and I found a general consensus: For a regular dose of CBD oil for dogs, you give approximately 0.25 mg/lb, or 0.25 milligrams per pound of the animal’s bodyweight. A strong dose would run 0.5 mg/lb.
So, your 11-year-old Rottweiler needs a little help with minor joint issues and weighs 100 pounds. A regular dose would serve you both well, so:
- CBD x body weight = dose
- 25 mg x 100 lbs = 25 mg
Naturally, you would most likely seek out a higher concentration of CBD oil: a 600 mg bottle would mean 25 drops to help your dog’s achy knees. You can dose your dog as needed for the aches, or every eight hours if relief lasts.
What about a 4-year-old Maine Coon kitty with epilepsy? She weighs around 12 pounds, and her condition would call for a stronger dose, so:
- 5 mg x 12 lbs = 6 mg
A lower concentration, such as 150 mg, could work just fine, or perhaps 300 mg just to bolster your stock. At 150 mg, your kitten would need six drops of oil; at 300 mg, only 3 drops. Start off with two daily doses, especially given the stronger amount, but this should help your kitten enjoy a full, happy life with you.
You want to share as much of your life with your pets as you can with as high a quality of life as possible. If your cat, dog, horse, pig, what-have-you, already takes regular medications, talk with your veterinarian before you decide to go the CBD oil route. While harmless itself, CBD can affect the metabolism of some prescriptions. Check for potential conflicts so you don’t have to learn the hard way.
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