What is CBD oil and how can it help your dog with seizures and other medical issues?
Man’s best friend deserves nothing but the best. There are a lot of theories, research and information floating around the internet about CBD oil for dogs. Of course, any dog owner has the right to research and feel well-informed on the matter before giving it to their pup.
We’re here to give you all the detailed research that is known, so far, with regard to CBD oil for dogs.
For starters, what is CBD oil?
Cannabidiol, also known as CBD, is a compound that is found in cannabis and hemp. Researchers claim that it is essential to note that, in most cases, CBD oil does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. Most CBD products on the market are derived from hemp and not from cannabis. However, CBD has several of the same medical advantages as THC which means that your dog can benefit from the therapeutic advantages without feeling ‘high’.
CBD and Seizures in Dogs
While there is no definitive data on the use of CBD to treat dog health problems, there is some evidence from dog owners using CBD to treat their dog’s pain, most specifically neuropathic pain such as controlling seizures.
Seizures are traumatic for dogs and dog owners alike and they are caused by the start-up of neurons in the brain of your pet. You might not always realise that your dog has had a seizure since it can either be subtle or severe. A minor seizure might look like a dazed look on your dog’s face, twitching, rapid eye movement and/or whining. On the other hand, severe seizures are more visible, and these will include tremors, loss of consciousness and/or uncontrolled fits.
How Can CBD Help Your Dog?
Just like humans, all dogs have an endocannabinoid system. This means that on-demand when your body needs it, endocannabinoids are triggered to maintain a stable internal environment within your body. For example, this is triggered whenever a body experiences a physical condition such as a seizure.
A dog has two types of endocannabinoid receptors known as the CB2 and the CB1 receptors. The former is located in its immune system while the latter is found in the brain and nervous system. When your dog experiences a seizure, it is the CB1 receptors that are affected the most. When this unfortunate event happens to your pet CBD, through a process named external modulation, can aid in reducing or even, at times, halting the seizure. This is because the function of CBD in the dog’s system can affect the receptors that calm neurons during the attack.
How Does CBD Improve Your Dog’s Seizure?
If your dog is prone to seizures, it is best to give CBD oil to your dog on a regular basis. The amount of dosage will vary depending on the situation. Research suggests starting with a minor dose and monitoring your dog, while you can increase slightly if you do not see any effects. However, keep in mind to be cautious when giving CBD to your dog so as not to overdo the dosage. Dosage also depends on the size of your dog. Smaller dogs might require a low dosage while bigger dogs might need a bit more for a successful result. If your dog’s seizures are severe, going to your professional vet should always be on your list.
CBD for dogs can be found as oil drops that you can give directly into your pet’s mouth, dropped inside their ear, or else mixed with their food or treats. Apart from CBD oil, you can also find edible CBD biscuits, CBD hemp capsules, ointments and honey mixed with CBD. Make sure that your chosen product has been tried and tested before giving it to your dog. All these products will have their appropriate dosage on them which should guide you into giving the proper amount to your pet.
Other Benefits of Using CBD for Dogs
Apart from seizures, CBD oil can help with a number of medical conditions for your dog. These include:
- Cardiac benefits
- Anti-nausea effects such as when taking car rides.
- Lack of energy.
- Appetite stimulation
- Anti-anxiety control including separation anxiety and excessive barking.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Muscle spasms
- Recovery from surgery or illness
- Possible anti-cancer and arthritis benefits.
However, more research on the matter is still being investigated.
What Should You Look Out for When Purchasing CBD for Dogs?
You will find many CBD oils on the market, increasingly so with more and more countries legalising cannabis for medical and recreational use. However, it is important to choose the right product for your dog. Make sure that:
- The CBD oil is extracted from water and food-grade ethanol and does not contain any harsh solvents.
- The product has been tried and tested in a lab to analyse its performance for potency.
- CBD oil should offer improved bioavailability and absorption.
Although research is not as extensive as we like, there is anecdotal evidence and studies on the benefits of using CBD oil for dogs, especially when it comes to treating seizures amongst other conditions in pets.
If you intend to try out CBD oil for dogs, we highly suggest that you talk to your vet first and start with a small dose to monitor its effects on your dog.
Read our other blog to learn more about the legalisation of cannabis in Malta.