When your dog or cat is experiencing medical problems, like seizures, nausea, or osteoarthritis, you may feel helpless and desperate to care for him/her, but there is hope. CBD is one of 113 cannabinoids that make up the hemp plant. Anecdotal evidence and a growing body of research indicate that this compound may improve your pet’s health and happiness. Keep reading to discover important details about CBD oil and pets.
Endocannabinoid System in Dogs and Cats
CBD primarily engages the endocannabinoid system or ECS. This system is present in every mammal, from humans to our beloved dogs and cats. The ECS comprises a network of cannabinoid receptors, known as CB-1 and CB-2 receptors. These receptors prompt particular reactions when they interact with CBD and other phytocannabinoids. In dogs and cats, CB-1 receptors can be found in the vascular system, reproductive system, muscles, brain, and gastrointestinal tract.
CB-2 receptors are found exclusively in the spleen, bones, skin, and glial cells. CB-1 and CB-2 receptors are both present in the liver, lungs, pancreas, bone marrow, gall bladder, and brain stem. While humans and pets both have an ECS, the ECS of canines and felines show a far more significant presence of CB-1 receptors in the rear brain structure. This part of the brain is a guide for everything from vision and hearing to touch, taste, and pain.
How CBD Affects Your Pet’s Endocannabinoid System
CBD has the potential to affect your pet’s endocannabinoid system in many ways. Research shows that the endocannabinoid system may be responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Homeostasis is the balanced, natural condition that supports life optimally. When you add CBD into the equation, proper balancing functions are reinforced further within the body and its major systems. These systems include the excretory, nervous, endocrine, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, skeletal, and immune systems.
Because CBD interacts with the CB-1 receptors in the pain center of your pet’s brain, it is primarily used for neuropathic pain relief. CBD also has anti-inflammatory properties, meaning it has the potential to alleviate joint pain in older pets. This is important because osteoarthritis is both common and painful for your pets, and NSAIDs can severely damage their liver while providing inadequate pain relief. Moreover, your dog or cat could potentially benefit from relief from muscle pain due to the CB-1 receptors found throughout their muscles.
Canine epilepsy is a featured cause of recurrent seizures in dogs. However, current epilepsy treatment medications can cause severe side effects in certain canines. A majority of anecdotal evidence suggests that CBD is a safe, effective anticonvulsant for dogs. Luckily, major clinical trials are finally being conducted to study CBD as plant-based treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy in canines.
Nausea is an incredibly common problem in dogs and cats. While the most obvious symptom is vomiting, your pet may also be nauseous if he or she is:
- Acting anxious
- Refusing to eat
- Licking their lips
If your pet experiences these symptoms often, they may have motion sickness, an infection, IBD, or another serious illness. Extensive research has shown that CBD plays a powerfully effective role in suppressing and preventing nausea, including nausea that your pet feels in response to a conditioned event.
How To Administer CBD Oil To Pets
1. Put It Directly in Your Pet’s Mouth
The simplest way to administer cannabidiol oil to your four-legged loved one is to administer the appropriate number of drops into his or her mouth. Simply draw up the appropriate dose into the dropper, put it near the back of your pet’s mouth, and squeeze the dropper. To ensure it gets swallowed, give them their favorite treat immediately afterward. This also ensures they don’t start to dread the sight of the bottle.
2. Put It On Their Favorite Treat
If your pet loves a particular porous treat, you can apply the proper dose to the treat. Having a porous treat is important as it ensures the oil is absorbed. Just give the treatment time to absorb the oil, so it doesn’t slide off the treat. This method works best for smaller pets who need smaller doses.
3. Mask the Flavor
If you have a larger dog, it can become messy to apply the appropriate dose to a treat. Therefore, you may want to mix the CBD oil for dogs with a tasty treat, like peanut butter. Whether you put it in a toy or feed it to your dog in a spoon, simply mix the right dose with the tasty snack thoroughly and offer it to your dog just as you normally would.
4. Combine It With Their Food
If you don’t share your food with your dog, you can add CBD oil to your dog’s wet food. You may have to start off adding only a little as he acclimates to the taste. It is as simple as adding the oil straight into their food, mixing it thoroughly, and soaking it for a few minutes. Then, you can feed your dog as usual.
5. Make Your Own Treats
Many dog owners love baking their own treats for their dogs. However, this can be tricky to do with CBD oil. Make sure you bake your treats at a lower temperature for a longer duration or make no-bake treats to ensure the CBD oil does not evaporate. One of the easiest ways to make your own CBD treats is to replace some or part of the oil in the recipe with cannabidiol oil.
The Bottom Line
Watching your pets suffer is tough, but there are options and ways to help them. Research is showing that CBD oil for cats and dogs is safe and may improve their quality of life. While endocannabinoid systems vary throughout different mammals, research shows that CBD’s effects on the system, among all mammals, are positive overall.
CBD for pets may be able to help prevent nausea, maintain homeostasis, alleviate pain, and reduce the frequency and severity of seizures. To give your pet CBD, you can mix it with their wet food or a special snack like peanut butter, let it soak into a store-bought treat or homemade treat, or administer it directly into your pet’s mouth.