What You Need to Know About CBD for Pets

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The pet industry is alive and booming. With many people treating their fur friends more like family than a pet, it makes sense that we are always on the lookout for ways to keep our pets happy and healthy. CBD oil is no exception.  The unfortunate side of having a pet is watching them age.

Researchers at Cornell University recently concluded a study on the effects of CBD oil on dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. Over the course of six weeks in the double-blind study, dogs were given either CBD oil or a placebo by mouth twice daily. Dogs who took the CBD oil showed clear improvement – veterinarians saw a decrease in pain and an increase in activity. Best of all, owners reported no side effects in the pups who took the CBD.

With so many studies showing the health benefits of CBD, the most encouraging result is that CBD appears to be safe. It can decrease the activity of liver enzymes used to metabolize many prescription drugs, so if your pet is on medication, you might want to check with your holistic vet before using CBD.

Most CBD oil for pets comes from hemp, so it contains no or very small traces of THC. Because of this, hemp-based CBD products for humans and animals are legal in all 50 states.

The bottom line is, CBD oil could be a beneficial supplement for your pet. More and more pet parents and holistic vets are drawn to its many health benefits and they feel good knowing the side effects are mild and animals don’t appear to build up a tolerance.

Choosing A Good CBD Oil for Your Fur-baby

Not all CBD oils are the same. Here are a few things to look for when considering CBD:

  • Make sure the product is organic: If it isn’t organic, your CBD oil contains pesticides, fungicides or solvents.
  • Don’t cheap out: The higher the quality and purity, the higher the cost. Make sure your CBD oil is free of additives and has a good amount of CBD.
  • Get the analysis: Ask for a lab analysis of the amount of CBD in the product. Many CBD oils contain only small amounts of CBD. The manufacturer should provide a certificate of analysis. You’ll also want to make sure there is little or no THC in the product.
  • Buy CBD as a tincture: You can buy CBD in treats, but the best form is in a tincture. This way, you can adjust your dog’s dose drop by drop to make sure he gets the most benefit.

Dr. Cornelia Wagner, owner of Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic in Portland, OR, is one of the veterinarians opening her mind and her doctor’s office to the idea of cannabis as a safe, effective medicine when properly dosed. She’s the first to acknowledge that there are no clear medical guidelines for doing so, and thus strictly recommends beginning any pet’s treatment with the lowest amount possible–about 1 mg/ml a day.

The upper dose limit for CBD products recommended is around 1 mg/kg/day orally, but one should start with a much smaller fraction of this dose such as 0.05 mg/kg/day,” states Dr. Wagner on the Hawthorne Clinic’s website.

One of the reasons the THC dosage should be administered with an even lighter hand is because dogs have a more complex endocannabinoid system as humans, with many more receptors. They feel the effects of THC much stronger than we do. Although infused dog treats are available at most dispensaries, pet-owners who keep cannabis tincture around can use that as well, just in smaller amounts. To achieve these small doses, you can use a water syringe to separate the proper sized dose and then some water, so it can be squirted quickly and directly into your pet’s mouth.

As with any supplement or medication, the key is moderation. Start your pet off slowly and keep an eye out for side effects such as extreme lethargy or vomiting. Don’t let the naysayers tell you CBD isn’t a good option for your dog — the research is being done and the results are promising.

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