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We’re fast-approaching 2020 and the CBD market seems to be on its steepest upward curve since various CBD-infused products started hitting the shelves a couple of years back.

More recently, we’ve noticed an uptick in CBD products aimed to help dogs, as well as other pets. Now, Kind Kart CBD products are manufactured with exclusively people in mind (because dogs can hardly vape, right?) but we still wanted to explore this topic to provide you with an insight into why pet owners are administering CBD to their pets.

If you want to learn whether or not (and why) you should give your aging dog CBD tincture or pills, make sure to read this entire post. In a nutshell, all the veterinarians we reached out to think CBD for dogs is permissible (to a degree) as it seems to help with some of the symptoms that come with age, and has minor or no side-effects.

Let’s dig in!

CBD Oil for Dogs - What is It Good For?

We’ve talked a lot about why people use CBD oil as medication - from anxiety to epilepsy, there are hardly any health symptoms out there that CBD can’t help with, to some degree or another.

Although studies are still underway (we listed some of them here), it’s becoming more and more obvious (and backed by science) that CBD can help with the following conditions:

  • Nausea
  • Epilepsy
  • Inflammation
  • Anxiety
  • Ischemic strokes
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Pain symptoms
  • Psoriasis

...and many others.

It doesn’t require too much of a leap to conclude that it helps with the same conditions in dogs. According to this Reddit thread on CBD and dogs, most pet owners use it to help aging dogs deal with their anxious behaviors (licking, scratching, tail-chasing) and with pain related to arthritis.

As dogs (and other pets) get older, they tend to start suffering from many of the age-related ailments as we do. The only difference is that they can’t express their pain or discomfort. However, you will notice it in their behavior. When in pain, pets tend to not move or play as much; they may also seem depressed, irritable, and without much energy.

Most common symptoms in dogs - with which CBD can help - are:

How Does Cannabis Affect Dogs?

Dogs, much like humans and most other animals, have a developed and functional endocannabinoid system. This system regulates many physiological functions, including the immune system, various glands, central and peripheral nervous systems, and more. It also plays a significant role in keeping bodily functions in homeostasis.

Anecdotal evidence supports the claim that dogs benefit from being given CBD treatment (when warranted). Pet owners usually notice a dramatic reduction of various symptoms, such as pain levels, and increased movement and better general mood. This is not surprising since humans react the same way to CBD treatment.

However, it’s important to note that veterinary science has yet to comprehensively explore CBD as a real treatment option. There are studies underway (which we will get to in a minute) but we don’t have any conclusive evidence that CBD can help dogs and other pets bear the symptoms of their diseases more easily. Always consult your vet if you’re thinking about giving CBD to your pets. It’s essential to first evaluate any contraindications, existing conditions, and other factors that may affect CBD’s efficacy or viability.

According to Mark Verdino, senior vice president and chief of veterinary staff at North Shore Animal League America: “Does it actually help with pain, or does it just make them not care? We don’t know, but they seem to be less reactive to low level pain stimuli, for example arthritis and things like that, when they take the product. So we have the symptoms and CBD seems to help with those. At this point, that’s pretty much all we can say without further research.”

That further research into CBD treatment for dogs is currently underway. While no official results have been published so far, researchers do say that preliminary results look promising.

The Science Behind CBD for Dogs

Of course, we still don’t have many studies covering the effect of CBD on humans so it would be unreasonable to expect too many related to specific animals. That said, several veterinary colleges in the US are researching this right now.

One interesting research into dogs and CBD is being done at the Colorado  State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences.

There, researchers are conducting a study to evaluate the efficacy of CBD in epileptic dogs with encouraging findings. A total of sixteen dogs were enrolled in the study, with nine receiving CBD. Early findings indicate that 89% of dogs treated with CBD experienced a decrease in seizures.

Dr. Stephanie McGrath, the lead researcher, is one of the world’s authorities on CBD and canines. "Around 2013 or 2014, I started looking into what research was already out there and I realized that there was essentially no real, good scientific literature in the human world, let alone the veterinary research world," said Dr. McGrath. So, she decided to conduct a few studies with her team, and has already published one in which they concluded that CBD products can help reduce the number of seizures in epileptic dogs.

When it comes to CBD treatments for dogs, McGrath is optimistic. According to her, veterinarians don't have a wide variety of drugs available to treat these conditions and some of the ones that do exist often come with debilitating side effects, such as weight gain and lethargy.

"If CBD works, then I think it would hit the mark of being both effective and not carrying a lot of side effects. So that's kind of what we're hoping for."

Another interesting study on CBD and dogs found that dogs with osteoarthritis can benefit from CBD treatment. According to the study, the majority of dogs that were administered CBD treatment showed a significant decrease in pain and an increase in activity during CBD oil treatment, with no side effects reported by owners.

What About CBD, Dogs & Fireworks?

Even if it’s not the holiday season right now when you’re reading this, it is going to be soon enough.

For people, it’s a season to eat, drink, be merry, and celebrate. And, of course, to tinker with some fireworks!

Watching pretty lights in the sky amuses and delights us.

Unfortunately, it terrifies most pets, especially dogs.

Dogs are extra sensitive to noisy stimuli, and they get really scared when fireworks illuminate the sky. They also react badly to other loud noises, such as firecrackers, sirens, and car horns. But, it’s the fireworks that are especially daunting for them.

Some pet owners have taken to dosing their dogs with CBD during the holiday season. The evidence that this works is purely anecdotal - owners notice lower levels of anxiety and claim that their pets don’t spook as easily while fireworks are going off.

There are no studies (as of yet) to prove this calming effect of CBD on dogs but you might want to try it next time if your dog throws a tantrum and you don’t want to medicate them. If you decide to do it, consult with your vet and make sure to find CBD that’s been specifically blended for animals (since that stuff usually does not contain additives that might be toxic to them).

Which CBD Products Should You Consider for Your Pets?

Not every type of CBD blend is appropriate for dogs and other pets.

Before you start the treatment, make sure you do your research, and find dispensaries/brands that have CBD that was specifically formulated for this purpose.

CBD dog feed and treat brands tend to provide a recommended dosage based on the type of animal and their body weight, although there is no official standard here. You can also try sublingual CBD - most studies that have been done on dogs have used it, and it seems that this type of treatment metabolizes the fastest and produces the best results.

As always, it’s best to start low and go slow, observing how your dog gets along with it. Keeping a daily journal and/or recording your dog on video over a series of weeks may help you to better figure out their progress. As you go along, you can move from a small dose to a regular dose of CBD if need be, but don’t exceed the recommended daily dosage.

When it comes to the side-effects, there are really just two things that you need to keep in mind - whether your pet’s liver is healthy and do they take any other medication. According to Dr. McGrath: “"I would definitely be a little concerned about giving CBD to a dog that has known liver issues," says McGrath. Similarly, she says she’d also be wary about giving CBD to a dog who already takes a medication that's metabolized by the liver. "We don't really know these things interact right now,"

CBD for Dogs - It Might Just Work Out

The truth is that we don’t have enough data to conclude whether or not CBD and dogs - or other pets, for that matter - should mix. As with humans, we still lack the research that would provide us with clear insights that allow for fact-based conclusions.

However, according to pet owners and veterinarians alike, there seems to be no harm in smaller doses of CBD, especially if your dog is suffering from osteoarthritis, inflammation, or pain.

"We haven't found anything that's super alarming about CBD," says McGrath. "But on the flip side, we still know very little about it and it's really important for owners to know that and use it with caution until we have more information."

So if you’re going to use CBD to treat your dogs, make sure to consult with your vet, and make sure that you’re using the right, pet-tested CBD formulation. And, when it comes to your own CBD treatment, feel free to get in touch with us here at The Kind Kart. Our CBD disposable vape pods are thoroughly tested, safe for use, and made from hemp grown locally!

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