Health benefits of CBD for your pet

Cannabidiol (CBD) is the health supplement and alternative medication that has been captivating the world recently. From being unknown just a few years ago, companies are springing up all over the place, touting CBD-infused products that may help with various illnesses, without causing side effects. If you’re a pet owner, you may also have seen the emergence of CBD products for pets.

Rest assured, these are not a mere fad and are perfectly safe for both dogs and cats, providing you use precautions. In this article, we’ll highlight how CBD could enhance the health and wellbeing of your pet, and how to safely administer these products.

CBD for epileptic seizures in dogs

CBD’s initial breakthrough in the media came as a treatment for epilepsy. Medical cannabis has been researched as a treatment for rare types of the condition in children for several years. And the arrival of a non-intoxicating cannabinoid option has been most welcome. And a study released by Colorado State University recently showed that CBD treatment could reduce seizure frequency in dogs, too.

The small clinical trial involved just nine dogs, but eight of them enjoyed marked improvement from CBD treatment, translating to a success rate of 89 percent. Since the initial study, scientists have been carefully adjusting the dosage and are now aiming to conduct an investigation with an increased number of dogs, to see if the results are repeated. Study leader, Stephanie McGrath, commented that reduction in seizures was correlated to the strength of the CBD dose given.

CBD for anxiety in cats

Cats can become anxious in unfamiliar environments. Sometimes, this just has short-term effects – maybe your cat hides away when you have noisy visitors or if the neighbors are letting fireworks off. However, symptoms can be more prevalent and long-lasting after a more serious event, such as relocating or losing an owner. Cat anxiety may show itself in the form of aggression, excessive whining, mood changes and bad behavior (not using the litter tray).

Humans with anxiety can benefit from taking CBD, and cats may be able to enjoy these therapeutic effects, too. There isn’t a glut of scientific evidence showing this, yet, but anecdotal reports from users are promising, and encouraging cat owners to give CBD a try.

CBD for pain and inflammation in pets

Pain and inflammation can be devastating for a pet, and their owners, too. It can affect their overall quality of life, especially in those who are typically very agile. Prescription painkillers for humans and pets often work, but come with considerable drawbacks – their safety, as we have seen with the opioid epidemic in humans, is questionable, and they can induce fatigue, too.

It’s no surprise, then, that some are experimenting with CBD products on their pets. These are thought to alleviate pain by acting on the endocannabinoid system (ECS). CBD has anti-inflammatory effects, too, that may help to manage arthritis in pets, as well as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Pets with IBS have sensitive stomachs and can be prone to suffering from leaky bowels. It’s possible that CBD can have lasting benefits for the condition.

Stick with pet products

Those already taking CBD products for a dodgy knee or to manage depression may be tempted to drop some of their own oil into their pet’s food – it’s CBD, right? But this is a real no-no. While wholesale CBD products for humans are perfectly safe, that’s because they have been made for humans. CBD for humans, even though it’s non-intoxicating, could still have a very small quantity of THC – this particularly applies with products labelled ‘full-spectrum’.

The 0.3% THC limit is set so that humans don’t get ‘high’. The effects of even this tiny amount of THC on a cat or dog are unknown, but may be harmful for their mental health. Then again, it may not be, but is it really worth taking the risks to save a few dollars by not getting a veterinarian-formulated product? Of course not.

Giving CBD to your pet

Getting your pet to take CBD may be easier than you think. Those who have struggled – or found it impossible! – to give medication to their pets directly have lots of options with CBD. You can try to do this with a CBD oil or spray, but you may have more luck simply adding it to their food – especially wet food. These flavored CBD concoctions are meant to be enjoyable for your pet, unlike regular medicine. The same applies to delicious CBD-infused pet edibles.

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