Benefits of CBD for Dogs
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
By: Joy Hughes
As pet owners, our furry friends depend on us for their daily needs –– Food, water, exercise, and overall health. And like humans, dogs surprisingly battle similar disorders and illnesses.
Today, we are seeing more and more CBD products becoming available. The scientific and medical communities are publishing studies that show the benefits of CBD for people. Now, researchers, doctors, and scientists are also seeing the benefits of CBD for dogs. While some pet owners are still skeptical, others have already began administering CBD to their pets.
Let’s explore some of the potential health benefits of CBD for dogs:
Anxiety can be very scary and debilitating for dogs, just as it is for humans. However, for a dog, their inability to verbalize their problem can make it all the more scary. Even behavioral issues, such as destruction or mischief, can be a result of anxiety in dogs.
Here are the most common forms of anxiety in dogs:
- Astrapophobia - the fear of lighting and thunder.
- Social anxiety - lack of socialization with other dogs at a young age, or little to no human contact.
- Separation anxiety - when the owner leaves for any amount of time, long or short.
Dogs can develop anxiety at any age. Some dogs are born with anxiety, while others develop it later in life.
Some triggers may include:
- Traveling - plane, car, etc.
- Moving to a new place.
- Taking a new job that requires more hours.
- Introducing a new member to the family.
In one particular study, researchers induced mice with stress and anxiety. However, once they received CBD treatment, their stress and anxiety were alleviated. According to this same study, the mice also showed an improvement in their emotional response (alleviating depression) with CBD treatment (1).
Pain may be a little easier to detect in our pets: hearing them cry, seeing them limp, or noticing a change in their overall behavior. These are signs that something is wrong.
Some of the most common reasons for pain in dogs are:
- Arthritis - pain in the joints.
- Cancer - this usually causes chronic pain.
- Constipation - the inability to have a bowel movement.
- Inflammation - the body's response to infection or illness.
When we notice our pets are in pain, we want to help as quickly and thoroughly as we can. This can be tricky, because when we see our fur babies suffering, the medications we are given may bring on side effects that start a new ailment. Unfortunately, there is no cure-all drug out there, but CBD has been shown to help with pain management.
A recent study showed a compelling reduction in pain for dogs suffering from osteoarthritis after taking CBD. After two and four weeks, both veterinarians and dog owners filled out questionnaires, tests, and exams. Researchers concluded there was an increase of activity and a reduction of pain because of CBD treatment (2).
Seizures are changes in the brain’s cell and electrical activity. When a dog has a seizure, it can be terrifying. Medical tests and exams can help figure out why our fur babies may suffer from seizures. However, in some cases, the causes may never be determined.
Some of the common types of seizures are:
- Generalized seizure - the loss of consciousness, which leads to convulsions.
- Focal seizure - in one part of the brain, abnormal activity takes place.
- Psychomotor seizure - abnormal behaviors that last a few minutes.
Over the last couple of decades, a number of studies have been done on the use of CBD in treating seizures and epilepsy. Researchers want to conduct more tests. To date, they’ve found CBD to be effective in potentially reducing seizure activity in animals (3).
- David Moche, co-founder and CEO of Applied Basic Science Corporation (ABSC), began funding cannabis studies on dogs. Two double-blind, placebo controlled trials were started in 2016, on client-owned dogs with epilepsy. In the study, which is still being conducted, each participant goes through a 12-week course of the placebo, or a daily dose of 5 mg/kg CBD. As these trials near completion, researchers hope for final results by the end of this year (2018). However, according to Moche, upon completing the 12-week course, some pet owners have already planned to purchase CBD for their dog. Moche said, “We have people weeping with happiness over the reduction of seizures. One owner has taken her dog off the classical drugs and is only giving him our tincture (4).”
Though more studies need to be done, researchers are already seeing the positive role CBD plays in treating animals who suffer from seizures and epilepsy.
CBD shows great promise in helping dogs with pain, anxiety, and seizures. As more studies are done, more benefits will likely come to light.
For now, it’s important to observe the signs your pet is showing when they feel sick, down, nervous, etc., and to consider administering CBD as a therapeutic agent when appropriate.