There’s a major boom in pet products right now, and it’s happening where you’d least expect it: CBD derived from hemp.
The CBD industry has seen unprecedented growth in popularity following its deregulation in 2015. A 2019 study cited in the Market Research Future Report (MRFR) says that the CBD market is poised to reach a value of at least $162 million by 2026.
CBD is like a magic pill that just works as long as you have an endocannabinoid system (ECS), which all mammals, including dogs and cats, seem to have. There are no complex dosage requirements, no complicated side effects, and best of all – it doesn’t cause a euphoric high. This is why it is perfectly legal for consumption.
And while it’s true that not many “randomised double-blind placebo control studies” have been performed on the effect of CBD on pets, there is enough anecdotal evidence to go around.
As a general rule, if CBD can fix a problem in humans, there’s no reason why it should on pets – so long as they’ve got an endocannabinoid system. In this blog, we’ll try to enumerate some of the main therapeutic effects and uses of CBD for pets.
i) Pain Relief
If you notice your pet isn’t quite himself lately, it could be because he’s in pain. He may have an infection or disease. Chronic pain doesn’t just hurt your pet’s body, it hurts their emotions too. This could impact their mood which will only make the pain worse, and in turn, cause depression.
In general, you could use pain medications to help your pet, but these also come with some serious side effects. These include long term liver damage, a minor chance of a lethal overdose and chemical dependence. One study published in Pain explored the interaction of CBD with serotonin receptors, which are believed to play a positive role in pain management.
One of the most commonly reported health concerns among pets is chronic inflammation. It usually happens when something goes wrong with the immune system, when instead of defeating harmful bacteria and toxins, it reacts to the body’s own cells or something in the diet. This wreaks havoc on their bodies and causes untold suffering.
CBD has been proven to regulate inflammation levels by interacting with neurotransmitters and the ECS.
iii) Pet Mobility
As our pets age, they start exhibiting a decreased interest in physical activity. They won’t be fond of walking in the dog park or swimming in the pond. It is heartbreaking and undoubtedly, most pets would want to fix this when they can. This is another area where CBD can prove to be helpful since it treats both pain and inflammation.
iv) Seizures in Pets
Perhaps the best well known medical use of CBD has the ability to reduce seizures, spasms, and tremors. In a recent clinical study conducted on 16 dogs found that 89% of the pets showed reduced seizure activity. This is a pretty big deal because a large number of dogs and cats undergo seizures and epilepsy.
v) CBD Reduces Anxiety and Stress
A growing body of research suggests that CBD can treat anxiety. If anxiety is giving your dog a hard time, try giving them CBD as a drug-free solution to calm them down. This is actually backed up by research and one such study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found that CBD reduced stress in animals such as rats.
vi) Improves Appetite
CBD may have a beneficial effect on your pet’s appetite. The National Cancer Institute found that CBD increased hunger. If your dog or cat is refusing to eat their food, try using CBD oil for pets.
CBD for Pets is Legal and Safe
There is a growing body of research and anecdotal evidence from pet owners around the world shows the health benefits of CBD. More importantly, CBD is extremely safe even if you or your pet takes it in high doses over a long period of time.
It is worth noting that CBD is known to decrease the activity of liver enzymes which could interfere with certain drugs such as steroids, so if your dog is on medication, make sure to check in with your vet before using it.
Choose a Good CBD Oil for Your Dog
The FDA does not regulate CBD products, which means you should always be on your guard when choosing a product. The first thing you should do is ask for a lab report on the composition of the CBD product. But not just any lab report is going to cut, it should be certified by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO), at the very least.
CBD for your pet should not contain any concentrations of heavy metal compounds and microbial contaminants. The product should receive positive remarks such as ‘pass’ indicating that it has acceptable limits of contaminants.
The Right Way to Give CBD Oil to Your Pet
The easiest way to administer CBD oil is to draw up an apriority amount into a dropper. Insert the dropper as close to the back of their mouth as possible without coking them, and then squeeze the dropper. Make sure to follow this up by tossing in their favourite treat for good measure. The last thing you want is for them to make a run for it every time you reach for the bottle.
Mix it with a Treat
CBD oil can be mixed in with porous treats that can soak it in. Be careful here because non-porous treats may slip right off non-porous treats before your pet can swallow it. Give the oil enough time to soak in before you give it to your pet. This method may not work for larger dogs since it’s tough to put larger doses on their treats.
Mix it with Regular Food
CBD for your pet works best when used alongside real food. It is a good idea to start with a small dose before increasing it so that your pet has enough time to get used to the new diet. Simply add the oil to the food and let it soak in for a few minutes, before it is mealtime.