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For people who have experienced the benefits of CBD products for themselves, many wonder whether they can use CBD to enhance the quality of life for their pets. CBD pet care is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the industry. While the body of research into CBD pet care is small, studies of the effects of CBD on our furry friends is promising. If you are interested in giving CBD to your pets, here are a few things you need to know:
How Does CBD Work in Pets?
Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid system, or ECS. They appear to experience the same effects of CBD as humans. This discovery leads researchers to suggest that CBD interacts with a pet’s body in the same way that it does in a human body.
To understand how CBD can be beneficial for your pets, it is important to learn how the compound may interact with the body.
What is CBD?
CBD, or cannabidiol, is one of many compounds found in hemp that may interact with the endocannabinoid system in the body to regulate functions such as sleep, mood, and appetite. Unlike another more well-known compound found in cannabis called tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, CBD does not have any psychoactive properties so it will not produce a “high.”
What is the Endocannabinoid System?
The endocannabinoid system consists of multiple receptors, but the two believed to interact with CBD are the CB1 and CB2 receptors. These receptors are designed to react with endocannabinoids which naturally occur in the brain. However, they may also be receptive to botanical cannabinoids such as CBD producing a range of beneficial properties.
Potential Benefits of CBD for Pets
While most research into CBD is showing potential for significant benefits for humans, new research shows there are a range of potential benefits from CBD for pets.
Inflammation is a natural biological response to harmful stimuli which promotes the body’s immune system to begin healing. However, chronic inflammation can lead to a host of painful health problems for your pet including gut and joint problems.
Studies indicate that CBD has a number of anti-inflammatory properties, including high levels of antioxidants and the ability to interact with pain receptors to dull soreness. This suggests that CBD products may have the potential to help manage activity-induced soreness and inflammation in your pets.
Soothe Skin Conditions
When a dog constantly scratches or licks its skin, it may not necessarily be fleas. Atopic dermatitis is a common dermatological issue for dogs and can cause them to scratch excessively and cause severe skin damage. Dogs can also be sensitive to environmental allergens which can cause itching and inflammation.
Corticosteroids are typically used to treat skin conditions in dogs; however, these can cause serious and lasting health effects including weight gain, worsening of the skin condition, and increased susceptibility to infections. It is possible that topical CBD products may help manage excessive itching in dogs.
Studies have shown that CBD can reduce redness and itching in dry skin as well as promote healing and new skin growth.
Help Pets Feel Calm
Just like humans, pets can experience stress which can have long-term negative health effects. The most common causes of stress in pets is separation, trauma, fear, sudden noises, and old age. This can manifest as aggression, frequent urination, destructive behaviors, depression, lethargy, and compulsive behaviors. While some pets may only experience stress briefly in specific situations, some dogs and cats that are prone to being stressed can develop long-term behavioral and emotional problems.
Medications are available to treat the symptoms of stress; however, many of these pharmaceuticals have undesirable side effects such as seizures, difficulty walking, and confusion. On the other hand, naturally hemp-derived CBD products exhibit little-to-no side effects when used correctly and under medical supervision.
Studies into CBD and stress have shown promising results for helping your pet relax. For many people who are wary of the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs, CBD might be a better alternative for their pet’s health.
Nausea and vomiting are common in pets, especially if they have a sensitive digestive system. However, persistent or extreme vomiting can lead to severe health problems including dehydration, loss of appetite, weight loss, and malnutrition.
While there are some drugs on the market currently used to treat nausea and vomiting in pets, these medications can often have serious negative side effects including lethargy, hypotension, and diarrhea.
CBD has shown positive results for treating nausea and vomiting in pets without affecting appetite. CBD may interact with a specific receptor in the brain that is responsible for suppressing the vomiting reflex.
Convulsions are the number one neurological disorder reported for pets. The anticonvulsant properties of CBD have been recognized and approved by the FDA in 2018 in a seizure medication called Epidiolex.
Seizures are purportedly caused by the rapid and uncontrolled firing of neurons which can be due to trauma, illness, chemical exposure, or genetics. Evidence suggests that CBD can control neurotransmitters and regulate the firing rate of neurons.
Is CBD Safe for Pets?
According to the World Health Organization , or WHO, pure CBD is safe for animals with little to no side effects, unlike many other pet pharmaceuticals. However, during one study it was noted that during treatment with CBD, test subjects showed increased levels of alkaline phosphatase, an enzyme found in the liver. This potentially means that pets with known liver problems, or pets who are currently taking other medications that are metabolized in the liver, are unsuitable candidates for CBD treatment.
Another safety issue is the purity of the CBD given to your pets. CBD products marketed to humans can legally contain up to 0.3% THC. This can have significant benefits for humans due to the Entourage Effect between CBD and other cannabinoids. However, THC is known to be toxic to dogs, and though 0.3% is a minuscule amount, it is best to source pure CBD to give to pets.
At Kats Botanicals, we offer a range of pure CBD products including CBD isolate which comes in an easily dissolvable crystalline form that can be added to your pet’s food or water and allows you to carefully control the dosage.
How to Administer CBD to Pets
CBD products come in many forms from edibles to oil to creams, with each form releasing the active compound into the body differently for various health benefits.
Initial research into the effects of CBD on animals examined the pharmacokinetics of CBD, or how the compound moves through the body. Evidence suggests that the most effective method of administering CBD to your pet is with CBD oil. The oil enters the bloodstream faster and remained there longer than edible or topical applications. However, depending on the nature of your pet’s health problems and their temperament, other CBD products may be more suitable.
If your pet suffers from sore joints, gentle massage with a topical CBD product can directly target the source of the pain and may offer some relief. For anxious pets that have difficulties taking medications, gummies and chews can be a great way to administer CBD in a stress-free way. Make sure that any CBD gummies you give to your pets does not contain xylitol, as this is highly toxic to dogs.
Tips for Giving Your Pet CBD
For people who are new to CBD and CBD for animals, there are a few important things to keep in mind as you administer CBD to your pet.
Monitor Treatment Carefully
When giving your pet any new substance, it is always a good idea to keep a journal and write down times and dosages so you can observe whether the treatment is effective. A video log of your pets behaviors during treatment can also be a great resource to show your vet if you have any concerns.
Look for Warning Signs
Whenever you give your pet anything new, whether a new toy, food or medication, you should always be on the lookout for reactions. Some reactions can include reduced salivation (dry mouth), tremors, dizziness, lethargy, or changes in sleeping patterns.
Talk to an Expert in CBD Products
An expert of reputable, high-quality CBD products can help you navigate introducing CBD to your pet. If your pet refuses to take medications, you might need to get creative when administering CBD. A CBD expert can offer suggestions and products to make sure your pet can benefit from CBD.
A Kats Botanicals, our knowledgeable staff can help you find the best way to administer CBD to your pet.
Although CBD shows the potential for benefits for humans, studies into the effects of CBD on pets are limited. While pure CBD oil is widely considered safe for pets to consume, finding the right dosage is essential to preserve the health and vitality of your pet. Before administering CBD products to your pets, it is important to consult with a veterinarian to carefully monitor your pet’s health.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Disclosure