How can CBD help my pet?
All mammals have an endocananbinoid system. Because of this, there are a variety of ways that CBD can potentially help your pet. As mentioned above, CBD can relieve common problematic conditions in pets such as anxiety and pain, and it can also help to alleviate chronic diseases like arthritis and seizures.
Dr. Rob Silver a veterinarian from Boulder, Colorado (http://nurseyourpet.com/how-to-dose-cannabis-for-your-pets-for-better-effect-and-less-side-effects/) has established a range of doses for pets for hemp-based cannabinoids such as CBD. This range starts at 0.05 milligrams/pound twice daily. The high end is 5 times that — or 0.25 milligrams/pound twice daily. This would be for more serious conditions.
It is recommended by Dr. Silva to start patients on the low end of the dose, and to give it for a week to look for beneficial effects. He says that often a dose that low will work well. If it does work well, it is recommended to stay at that dose. If you don’t see the benefits you desire, increase the dosage in small increments and gradually until you see the desired effects.
Dog CBD supplements come in a couple forms:
- CBD Oils and Extracts: CBD oils are usually formulated with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils include: coconut oil, MCT coconut oil, olive oil, and of course, hemp seed oil,. Some specialty formulas may contain ingredients like krill oil or wild Alaskan salmon oil. Both of those carrier oils are ideal for pets with joint or inflammatory issues.
- CBD Pet Treats: Treats are a tasty way to give your pet the perks of CBD. Good quality CBD treats are grain-free, just like good quality pet food. Many CBD pet treats are also made with organic ingredients. They may include superfoods that help with common ailments. For example, turmeric helps with inflammation and is a common ingredient found in CBD dog treats.
EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE: THC can be extremely harmful to pets. Never give a pet a product with more than trace amounts (0.3%) of THC.
Just as in humans and in dogs, cats have an endocannabinoid system that regulates important physiological functions such as immunity, sleep, pain, and mood. As in all mammals, cannabinoid receptors are found all throughout the body, including the brain, nervous system, and immune system.
There are few in vivo studies of CBD on cats; however, there is a wealth of anecdotal and preliminary reports that support its therapeutic action.
Pet owners report that following issues can be addressed with CBD supplements:
- Loss of appetite
- Lack of energy
There are also more serious health conditions where cat owners have reported seeing good results when using CBD oils. These ailments include common feline diseases such as arthritis, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and asthma. These are all conditions where inflammation is often the root cause.
There is also evidence that CBD is effective for reducing seizures in cats.
Cats are obviously much smaller than humans, which means they will normally require significantly lower doses of CBD.
According to some veterinarians, 0.05 to 0.25 milligrams of CBD per pound of your cat is recommended. Doses may vary depending on what condition your cat is suffering from. Remember, more isn’t always better. It is wise to start with low doses and evaluate how your cat responds.
Some vets make the following recommendations when deciding on a dosage for your cat:
- Arthritis: 0.25 milligrams/pound twice daily
- Inflammatory bowel disease: 0.1 milligrams/pound twice daily
- Seizures: 0.25 milligrams/pound twice daily and then increase gradually — maximum dosage for treating seizures can be up to 1.5 milligrams of CBD per pound weight of your cat
- Pancreatitis: 0.05 milligrams/pound twice daily, gradually increasing to 0.25 milligrams/pound twice daily
- Asthma: 0.25 milligrams/pound twice daily
It is important to realize that CBD doesn’t typically work instantaneously. It may take several weeks for you to notice its effects on your pet. Therefore, when you administer CBD, be patient and consistent. Always carefully monitor your cat so you can find the optimal therapeutic dosage.
As a general rule, wait a week or two before increasing the dosage. Repeat this process as needed until you see the benefits you seek.
Horses and Other Pets
CBD oil is able to treat a wide number of health issues in horses. While most of the research on Cannabidiol has been done on people, cats, and dogs, there are an increasing number of studies looking into the benefits it can have for horses and other animals.
Just like it can help treat pain, inflammation, stress, mood, digestion, and more in humans, dogs, and cats, so can it help these problems in horses. It is important to realize that it can only treat the symptoms of these conditions, not cure them. You should not seek a cure for serious health issues by using CBD.
Due to horses’ large size, they can be prone to chronic pain issues such as arthritis. Arthritis can eventually lead to lameness. This is especially true for competitive horses since their bodies undergo high levels of stress.
Prescription painkillers for chronic joint pain and arthritis often have significantly negative side effects. These side effects may leave your horse feeling sedated and sluggish. Cannabidiol, on the other hand, is able to treat these conditions without that side effect.
CBD for horses can reduce the swelling around your animal’s joints. This relieves some of the pain and pressure off their joints. CBD also targets pain receptors and blocks them from activating. When these receptors are blocked and not activated, the neurons no longer send pain signals throughout your horse’s body. These two effects combined allow your horse to run and play again.
Also giving your horse CBD post-surgery can help reduce swelling. Just make sure that you discuss it with your vet beforehand.
Horses are some of the most emotional and intelligent animals that we keep as pets. It’s essential to make sure their emotional health is in good shape. Perhaps the most well-known health benefit of CBD is its ability to help users with depression and chronic anxiety.
CBD can also be used for pre-competition jitters. Competing in a closed space can give your horse “arena anxiety.” This could have a negative effect on their performance — and their health. Luckily, CBD can help with both of these issues in a safe and natural way.
Because horses generally live off of a grain-only diet, they are highly susceptible gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, ulcers, nausea, indigestion, and decreased appetite. CBD counteracts this irritation. It can prevent your horse from developing these issues, and it can repair the damage if the symptoms have already developed.
You should never give your horse CBD oil with more than trace amounts of THC in it. THC is toxic to most animals, as we’ve discussed. Never give your horse marijuana directly.
Potential Side Effects … Can my pet overdose?
Since CBD is a non-toxic supplement, it is highly unlikely your pet could consume any amount that would create an overdose. However, as with any supplement, there are still potential side effects that CBD can produce in pets, just as it can in humans.
According to a survey conducted by the Scientific American, pet owners have reported seeing the following side effects in their pets:
- Slight drowsiness
- Dry mouth
- Excessive eating
Many of these symptoms are uncommon. As shown in the study, more than 80% reported no symptoms or notable differences.
Side effects can be more likely to occur if you give your pet too high of a dosage. Before starting your pet on any CBD supplements, make sure to follow the correct dosage guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Just as you would do with yourself, start with small doses and increase slowly.