Cannabis, specifically CBD, is as good for dogs as it is for humans. As well as humans, dogs, cats and all vertebrate animals have an Endocannabinoid System. This means that the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids can also apply to animals.
Pain, inflammation, arthritis, anxiety, seizures and cancer can all be treated with CBD, both in humans and in dogs. Although there is a lack of scientific evidence, veterinarians and owners across the country share their experiences on how CBD really helped their dog.
Before we take a look at the top 5 benefits of CBD for your pet, let’s take a quick look at how big this pet market is getting in the United States.
How Millennials are encouraging the Cannabis Pet Market
Statistics of Pet Owners in the United States
The American Pet Products Association (APPA) puts this love for fury and fluffy companions into numbers and statistics. On the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, the report stated that 68% of the population in the United States has a pet at home. And, unsurprisingly, dogs and cats are at the top of the list.
Out of that 68% of pet owners, 48% are dog owners, while 38% are cat owners. APPA’s report goes even further and gives a very interesting fact: Millennials represent 35% of pet owners. And they spend more money on their pets than any other generation ever.
During 2017, this generation spent more than 30 billion dollars on their pets. This huge amount of money includes all kinds of products and services like schools, daycare, clothes, toys, food, healthcare… And parties! The APPA report states that 23% of millennial dog owners have birthday parties for their own pets. This is just awesomely cute!
The general conclusion is that dogs, cats and any other animals at home, are not considered pets. They are family. And for family, you pretty much are willing to do everything. And medicinal cannabis is no exception.
CBD products for pets are trending
Pet owners talk a lot to each other. They share experiences, recommend veterinarians as well as food and pet friendly restaurants and hotels. And, as cannabis interest grows everyday in the United States, it turns out that CBD is the next trending topic for pet owners.
Just like it happens with cannabis for humans, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence when it comes to successful treatments for pets. And word travels fast with pet owners. Brian Tasker, director of sales for a company selling CBD products for pets, told Marijuana Business Magazine how they use the pet-lovers network across the United States and Canada to draw attention.
“People might have a high-stress, high-anxiety dog, then they give them CBD and within seven days they’re walking with them. It’s like a different animal. And people tell everyone they know”.
Therefore, CBD is trending on the internet. Pet owners hear someone talk about how great CBD is for their dog and they immediately start surfing the web for more information. During 2018, the search term “CBD for pets” has reached several peaks of popularity according to Google (see chart below). After people search “CBD for pets”, other related searches are “CBD Oil” and “pet store”. When people find out how much CBD really works, they want to find the nearest store.
Top CBD products for dogs in the US market
As you can see, the pet industry is a huge market for cannabis companies. Today, owners and their 4-legged companions have a great variety of products to choose from. Because THC is toxic for dogs, market has expanded CBD products from oils to edibles and creams.
The most popular ones are CBD Oils. Depending on your dog’s weight, you can administer from 1 to 3 droppers a day, depending of course on the product you are buying for your dog. The best way to give CBD Oil to your dog is to administer it directly under his tongue. CBD Oil capsules are a little bit harder to give to your dog, but it is always a good trick to just mix it up with your dog’s food. They will eat right away and won’t even notice it. Dosage in capsules can vary from 1 to 3 per day, depending on your dog’s weight.
Edibles are great because they now come in all different flavors and presentations. And dogs really love crackers. There’s even a CBD peanut-butter flavored edible! Most edibles don’t have more than 2mg of CBD, so dogs can have between 3 and 8 crackers, also depending on the weight. It is very important that you check the dosage and how to administer everytime you buy CBD for your dog.
Because of the increasing interest in cannabis products for pets, we give you the top 5 benefits of CBD for your pet. Enjoy!
Top 5 CBD benefits that can help your dog
Multiple studies have concluded that CBD is a great treatment for anxiety disorders in humans. And for dogs it can be just as good.
Although there is little to no scientific evidence and studies to support how CBD can help anxiety in dogs, testimonies from both owners and veterinarias reinforce the idea. Tim Shu is a veterinarian and founder of VetCBD, a company that produces CBD products for pets. Tim is both owner and doctor. He owns a 16 year old pit bull who suffered from severe anxiety. He explains in this blog how CBD Oil helped Tye calm down.
“It takes away the anxiety without causing any state of disorientation or dizziness. I am able to take her outside while the fireworks are still going on”.
Dogs are prone to suffering from all kinds of anxiety. Fireworks and thunderstorms are not the only triggers. Dogs can also suffer from anxiety when separated from their owners too. Traveling and having new people in the house can also trigger some of the anxiety symptoms. These symptoms can be trembling, aggression, heavy barking, panting and fidgeting. Also chewing of furniture, shoes and other objects may be an indication of anxiety. In the most severe cases, a dog can become aggressive.
For example, dogs that have suffered violence tend to be more susceptible to anxiety. On VetCBD, a testimony of a happy owner told how CBD oil helped a pug named Kane:
“We are a rescue foundation and Kane was one of our dogs that was returned 3 times because adopters could not control his anxiety. My wife and I decided that we would just add him to our home and no longer try to place him. I purchased (a CBD Oil) and it worked like a charm. He actually calmed down and finally started enjoying his life!”
Symptomatic seizures are normally caused by things happening both inside the brain, like encephalitis, or outside the brain, like lead poisoning or a head trauma. Idiopathic epilepsy, however, has no cause and it can be genetic. Some breeds are more prone to suffering from this type of epilepsy, like german shepherds, collies and border dogs. Other breeds like golden retrievers have a higher chance of suffering seizures.
Traditional medication can produce side effects like lethargy, confusion and liver damage. However, CBD, just like in humans, is one of the most powerful anticonvulsant. But just like it happens with anxiety, scientific evidence on pets is hard to find. We have to rely on testimonies from doctors and owners.
Dr. Gary Ritcher is a veterinarian from Oakland, and he tells the story of how CBD helped his dog. Leo got attacked by another dog. Poor Leo ended up with his jaw broken in several places and underwent two surgeries. After a couple of months, Leo started having seizures. Dr. Ritcher tried almost every medication available until he decided to try CBD. The result was amazing:
“Almost immediately, his seizure frequency decreased. He went from having multiple seizures per week to having one or two per month. It was immediate and there was really no doubt about the difference that it made all along. It never affected his quality of life in a negative way”.
On July 2018, researchers from the Colorado State University published preliminary results on a clinical trial to test the use of CBD in dogs with epilepsy. “Overall, what we found seems very promising,” said. Dr. Stephanie McGrath, one of the scientists involved in the study. This will be the first clinical trial that can prove all that anecdotal evidence on how can CBD help seizures in dogs.
Arthritis and Pain
Scientific evidence in sight! The first and only clinical trial made on CBD and dogs was published on July 2018. The study, titled “Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical Efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs”, was lead by Dr. Joseph Dr. Joseph Wakshlag of Cornell University.
Along with a group of scientists, Dr. Wakshlag measured the effects of a CBD based product on pain and arthritis. The study concluded that 2mg/kg of CBD twice a day can “help increase comfort and activity in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis”. More than 80% of the dogs that participated in the study experienced a decrease in pain and also improved their mobility.
This means that, for the first time, the veterinarian community has strong and clinical evidence to support how CBD can help reduce pain and help other symptoms associated with arthritis.
One of the most painful news for dog owners is cancer. According to the Veterinary Cancer Society, the leading cause of death in dogs is cancer. The most common types in dogs are skin cancer, lymphoma, testicular cancer, abdominal cancer and bone cancer.
Cannabis benefits in human patients are reported in several studies. Some preliminary findings suggest that some cannabinoids even have anti-tumor properties for breast cancer. However, there’s still a long way to go. Cannabinoids have been used mainly to treat some of the symptoms cancer produces, like pain and lack of appetite associated with chemotherapy.
In dogs, chemotherapy can produce vomiting, diarrea, loss of appetite, hair loss in some cases, and nerve pain. But, unlike humans, chemotherapy for dogs is far less intrusive, and side effects are not as hard.
Blake Armstrong is the owner of Cannabis Supplements for Pets. He started his blog after his dog Rosie was diagnosed with cancer. And when he saw the results CBD had on his Rosie, he became a believer and defender of cannabis for pets.
After chemotherapy, Rosie lost her appetite, causing her weight to drop, and was in a very sad mood. But after trying CBD, Blake was “astounded by the results”, which he shared on his blog: “CBD helped my Rosie maintain a healthy appetite, and also helped her deal with the pain and inflammation caused by her hip dysplasia”.
There is a lot of testimonial evidence that supports how CBD can be good for your pet. It can help anxiety, pain, arthritis and even cancer related symptoms. But, every dog is different, and they will react differently to CBD. All of the information above sounds very promising, and if you have a dog at home that can be treated with CBD, it is always recommended that you give your veterinarian a call.
Although CBD is harmless for dogs, THC can be very toxic. Choose your products carefully and always double check with your vet.
Also, be very mindful of your State’s cannabis legislation. Not all of the states have legalized medicinal cannabis, and most veterinarians are prohibited to prescribe cannabis based medication. Also, traveling across borders with cannabis products can really get you in trouble. So, if your dog is sick it won’t help at all if you end up in trouble.
If you keep these things in mind, there is no doubt that CBD is definitely going to help your furry friend.