Cannabidiol, better known as CBD, is a hemp plant extract that’s increased in popularity since Congress updated the 2018 Farm Bill. Consumers are using phytocannabinoid-rich products to improve the wellness of their pets. In fact, many pet parents use CBD for dogs to give a natural boost to their overall wellbeing. Possible benefits include fit joints, stress and anxiety reduction, and support positive brain health.
The Endocannabinoid System and CBD for Pets
CBD isn’t like other plant chemicals. The phytocannabinoid mimics the reactions of compounds produced by all mammals. In the early 1990s, researchers discovered the endocannabinoid system, which is a complex cell-signaling system. Also referred to as the ECS, it helps maintain symmetry or balance across all systems in the body. The ECS consists of endocannabinoids, cannabinoid receptors, and enzymes.
Research shows that the ECS helps regulate many of the body’s primary functions, including mood, memory, and bone and joint health. The endocannabinoids or internal cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB 2), which are found everywhere in your dog’s body, from their central nervous system to their epidermis, or the outermost layer of skin. After the endocannabinoid or CBD completes its task, the enzymes break it down.
Joint Health and CBD for Dogs
When people think about CBD, they commonly only consider its potential benefits for humans. However, as mentioned, the ECS is found in the body of all mammals, which includes your furry family members. All people and pets experience a decline in joint health as they age.
But for dogs, this is a problem that is widespread and reduces their quality of life. Specifically, these lovable, loyal pups are at high-risk for hip dysplasia and arthritis. Dog breeds susceptible to these conditions include, Great Dane, Labrador Retriever, German Shepperd, and the Saint Bernard. As these diseases progress, the pain cause makes tasks that they used to do without a problem much harder, and even impossible, such as jumping up on the couch, climbing stairs, and also playing.
While you can’t stop these conditions from occurring, there are ways to promote joint wellness. One option that’s growing in popularity is using CBD for dogs. Along with using CBD products, make sure to help your dog maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure on their joints.
Anxiety and CBD for Dogs
Most animals and people experience situational anxiety. For example, your dog might start barking every time someone comes to the door or react negatively to loud noises, such as fireworks. Additionally, it’s not uncommon for dogs to bark in general at strangers and other animals. While you won’t be able to stop all these behaviors, you can reduce them with calming products.
Researchers understand that the ECS interacts with the areas of the brain that regulate stress responses. When your dog barks uncontrollably at loud noises, it’s a stress reaction. By using CBD for dogs, you may be able to reduce and even change their negative response.
CBD and Senior Dog’s Brain Wellness
Another area of the body that declines as people and pets age is brain activity. When looking at hemp-derived products for your pup, consider using CBD for your senior dog. Researchers believe it can promote positive brain health through the plant’s natural neuroprotectant properties. These characteristics are evident in studies related to CBD and seizures, where the compound is believed to help protect the neurons. Medical professionals for humans and animals already know the potential for CBD to reduce and even stop seizures, which makes the neuroprotection a natural bonus that could prove vital to future medical treatment.
How to Give Your Senior Dog CBD?
That’s a great question. This part may be tricky if you have a picky pup. CBD for dogs is available in oils and infused treats and joint and muscle creams. If your dog will eat them, go with treats that come in appeal flavors, such as bacon and peanut butter. For CBD oil, add each serving size to wet food and mix it thoroughly. To use a topical application, massage a dime-size amount into the areas that are bothering them.
Follow the dosage instructions on the bottle to find the right amount to give your dog and how often each dose should be taken. Most senior dogs can safely use CBD every four to six hours as needed for joint health, stress and anxiety, and brain health.
For the first dose, you may want to start with a smaller amount to see if they have any side effects, which can include an upset stomach and excessive sleepiness in large servings. Adverse reactions from CBD are mild in humans and their furry family members. There are no reports of severe reactions or death from CBD in mammals. Side effects should diminish in four to six hours, depending on the dose.
Pets that take medications or that are under a veterinarian’s care for other medical conditions should be seen by their primary veterinary specialist before starting any new treatments.
Choosing the Right CBD for your Senior Dog
CBD is a legal product that undergoes an independent quality and safety testing by each brand. Without federal oversight, you need to be vigilant when choosing a brand to entrust your pet’s health and wellness. Only purchase hemp-infused oils, creams, and dog treats from reputable sellers that source their plants from the U.S. Make sure to verify the product’s third-party testing reports or the certificate of analysis which identifies the testing facility and the levels of CBD and any contaminants, such as residual solvents, minerals, and pesticides. For the best results, consider only purchasing GMO-free, organic hemp oils.
If you’re looking to buy CBD for dogs, you’re not alone. The hemp-derived compound is a popular wellness product for pets. CBD is available as infused oils and treats to help with natural muscle and joint wellness, anxiety, and stress relief, and to boost overall brain health.