CBD for Our Furry Friends: 5 Promising Benefits

August 16th, 2019

This natural substance could even help our pets

CBD for Pets

Pain, stress, depression, illness … these conditions aren’t unique to humans. From separation anxiety to arthritis, our four-legged family members can struggle, too, and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to see these loved ones experience anything other than complete joy.

This raises the question: can CBD oil help pets the same way it help humans?

The short answer? Yes, CBD might help our snuggly companions, including cats, dogs, horses, and more. Just as humans have an endocannabinoid system that CBD can interact with, so too do most animals, including birds and mammals.

1. CBD Might Help Relieve Arthritis Pain

One recent study looked at the effects of CBD oil on dogs with osteoarthritis. In a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, dogs with osteoarthritis were given either two mg/kg of CBD oil or placebo oil twice daily for four weeks, followed by a two-week washout period.

The researchers found that the dogs in the CBD group experienced decreases in pain behavior and related increases in physical activity during CBD treatment. During this time, no side effects were reported by dog owners. These results demonstrate both efficacy and short-term safety in using CBD oil for dogs with osteoarthritis.

2. CBD May Reduce Seizures

CBD’s impact on seizures is the most thoroughly studied benefit in humans, with the FDA approving a CBD-only drug in the treatment of certain childhood seizure disorders just this last year.

In 2018, researchers in Fort Collins found similar anti-seizure benefits in dogs. In a pilot study of 16 epileptic dogs, those in the chicken-flavored CBD oil group experienced a 90 percent reduction in seizure frequency. This was significantly better than the 20 percent reduction seen in the placebo group.

3. CBD Could Lessen Separation Anxiety, Stress, and Phobias

Dogs are well-known for their desire to spend every waking hour with their humans. And when we leave them? Many pups will experience mild-to-severe separation anxiety. Common symptoms of separation anxiety in pets include:

  • Not eating or drinking
  • Lying in one place or sulking around
  • Continuous barking or crying
  • Destructive behavior (ruining furniture, trying to escape from cages)
  • Running away

Research in both humans and rats have found CBD to reduce the symptoms of stress and anxiety. In fact, the research suggests that CBD might help in treating anxiety disorders like post-traumatic stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, and panic disorder.

With dogs, cats, horses, and other pets experiencing similar anxiety disorders, it might help provide symptomatic relief to them as well.

4. CBD Might Help with Nausea and Vomiting

Both cats and dogs commonly experience periods of nausea and vomiting. Sometimes this can be due to the stress of being in a new place or going to the vet, medications, or treatments like chemotherapy that can induce these symptoms, or eating something that they shouldn’t have that doesn’t sit well.

Animals studies have found CBD to exhibit antiemetic benefits. This means that it can help to quell vomiting and nausea.

These benefits were examined in rats and shrews who were given substances that would cause nausea and vomiting, as well as in radiation-induced treatment in shrews.

These studies suggest that CBD might be able to help reduce nausea and vomiting resulting from certain toxins and cancer treatments.

Additionally, because CBD might help to reduce stress and anxiety, it might also be able to help with digestive upset caused by stress.

5. CBD Could Help with Chronic Inflammatory Conditions

Chronic inflammation is involved in the pathogenesis (disease formation and progression) of many conditions, including autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, allergies, diabetes, irritable bowel disease (IBD), and more.

Because CBD has demonstrated an ability to reduce chronic inflammation and the related damage in animal studies, it might be able to help with inflammatory conditions like allergies or IBD in pets.

Using CBD for Pets

CBD oil is an exciting supplement for animals. Although more research needs to be done before definitive treatment conclusions can be drawn, early evidence supports its use for many common conditions.

Before using CBD for your pets, be sure to do your due diligence. The first step is finding a quality CBD oil that doesn’t have any fillers that could be dangerous to cats, dogs, or other pets. Many companies carry CBD oil products designed with your pet in mind.

Additionally, speak with your vet if your pet is on any medications. It might be necessary to adjust your pet’s dosage to prevent adverse interactions.

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