Have you ever tried CBD oil or hemp oil for your dog? I’ve been curious about the products for quite some time. I’ve read enough about CBD and hemp to fill a book. I’ve also spoken with veterinarians, product developers, and other pet parents who use it. The verdict? Life-changing!
But, despite continually hearing the many amazing benefits these oils have to offer, I was still hesitant to jump on the bandwagon. That is … until my veterinarian diagnosed my aging Chihuahua, Diego, with the beginning stages of Arthritis. I began seeing changes in his walking patterns and behavior. And while my vet recommended my little 7-pound pooch live on pain meds, I wanted to try the natural route first. So began my experience with iHeartDogs’ Cannanine™, which is an organic hemp oil with CBD.
What’s The Difference Between CBD Oil and Hemp Oil For Dogs?
First of all, it’s important to point out that CBD and Hemp are two different things. While they both come from the hemp plant (known as Cannabis sativa or industrial hemp) they tout different benefits.
Hemp Oil comes from the seeds of the hemp plant. When pressed together, the seeds secrete a nutrient-rich oil. It contains Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants (such as vitamin E and vitamin A), gamma-linolenic acid (which is an essential building block for prostaglandins, a substance that helps to control inflammation and supports various body functions), and a variety of amino acids. Hemp oil can also contain low levels of CBD.
CBD Oil aka (cannabidiol) is derived from the stalks, leaves, and buds of the hemp plant. It’s used for therapeutic purposes, such as helping to manage pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures, and cancer.
The Popular Question: Will hemp oil and CBD oil make my dog “high”?
The short answer: no!
It’s natural to hear about CBD/hemp oil and immediately question if it will make your dog high. But, here’s the thing: There are different types of cannabinoids found in cannabis—CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) are two examples. Mind-altering THC is the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties. Both CBD oil and hemp oil for dogs are non-psychoactive. According to Dogs Naturally:
“Legally in the US, hemp CBD must contain a maximum of 0.3% THC, whereas the THC in marijuana is usually over 5% and some strains contain up to 35%.”
The iHeartDogs’ Cannanine™ oil that I use? Its Certificate of Analysis proves that it’s 100% THC-free.
An answer to another popular question: Yes, hemp-based CBD products for animals (and humans) are legal in all 50 states.
The Benefits of CBD Oil For Dogs
Helps Relieve Joint Pain, Chronic Pain, and Inflammation
Here’s a crazy statistic: 20 percent of dogs over a year of age (or 1 in 5 canines) will develop degenerative joint disease. And, for certain large breeds, the risk is even higher. Studies show one natural way to help relieve joint pain and make it easier for your aging pooch to keep moving is to add CBD oil into their daily routine. That’s partly thanks to CBD oil’s anti-inflammatory properties that target painful joints. I personally saw a huge difference in my Chihuahua’s body movements after just two weeks of use. His back is no longer hunched and he no longer appears tense. Plus, when he walks, he once again prances like he did when he was a puppy!
But joint pain isn’t the only type of pain CBD oil has been shown to ease. According to the Cannanine website:
“With endocannabinoid receptors located throughout the body, the effects of CBD oil target different areas experiencing abnormal inflammation and nerve-related pain. Dogs diagnosed with acute pancreatitis, for example, experience sudden and debilitating abdominal pain usually accompanied with vomiting and lack of appetite. It’s caused by inflammation in the pancreas that leads digestive enzymes to become active too early in the digestive process. CBD oil targets the pancreas to bring much-needed relief. It invokes the immune system to start the appropriate response to bring the body back into balance.”
Plus, many pet parents use CBD oil when their dogs are healing from surgery, injury, or illness.
Does your dog suffer from separation anxiety or get stressed out by certain phobias? Rather than turning to a chemical anti-anxiety drug, studies have shown promising calming effects from CBD oil. Experts recommend giving your dog his proper dose of oil about 20-30 minutes before he’ll be put in a stressful situation (like a trip to the vet’s office, a grooming appointment, or a thunderstorm is about to begin). Prior to writing this article, I asked my Instagram followers if anyone gives their dog CBD oil and to share their experience. The majority of people who responded said they use it for anxiety relief and have noticed a huge difference in their canine companions.
Helps Treat Seizures and Epilepsy
It’s estimated that up to 5% of dogs suffer from seizures. For treatment, dogs are often put on a seizure medicine — such as phenobarbital and potassium bromide — which can potentially harm their organs. Today, many studies are finding amazing results with CBD oil. According to the Cannanine website:
“A group of researchers from Colorado State University are focusing on learning more about CBD oil as a viable treatment for epilepsy in dogs. For 24 weeks, dogs that experience at least two seizures a month will receive either CBD oil treatment or a placebo. Preliminary results released in July of 2018 have shown that a surprising 89% of the dogs studied showed a drop in regular seizures.”
I’ve read various studies that claim CBD and other substances found in hemp and cannabis have anti-cancer and anti-tumor effects. It’s shown to stop cancer cells from growing. Plus, CBD is said to aid conventional cancer treatment.
Other Impressive Benefits:
- Helps ease digestive issues, such as IBD and colitis
- Helps protect the nervous system
- Promotes cardiovascular health
- Benefits cognitive health
- Eases muscle spasms
- Natural sleep aid
- Fights nausea and vomiting
- Increases appetite
- Fights allergies
The Side Effects
With so many amazing health benefits, I know what you’re thinking: What’s the catch? Initial studies show CBD oil is safe for dogs and side effects are minimal. Potential side effects can include:
- Dry mouth
- Low blood sugar
When I first purchased my bottle of Cannanine™ Organic Hemp Oil with CBD, I gave my Chihuahua half the recommended dose for his weight. After a week of no issues, I increased it to 3/4 of the recommended dose. Then, I went to the full dose. While I haven’t seen any negative side effects, I have seen amazing benefits (pain relief and mood booster)!
How To Choose A Good Quality Hemp & CBD Oil
- Only go organic.
- Always take a look at the Certificate of Analysis (COA) — aka, the laboratory testing results of your CBD oil. You want to check the CBD and TCH levels. Plus, make sure there aren’t any additives, pesticides, heavy metals, bacteria, yeast, mold, or residual solvents.
- Choose “full spectrum” instead of “CBD Isolate”.
- This isn’t a time to bargain hunt. Higher quality oils will cost more and lower-priced products are often a red flag for chemical additives, preservatives, or low amounts of CBD.
- To ensure maximum potency and purity — along with having full control over the dose — only buy as an oil vs infused treats.
The Oil I Personally Use & Trust
One of my rules for this blog: I don’t usually endorse ingestible products (unless it’s Bob’s Red Mill flour or an ingredient used to make your own homemade dog treats). My only exception is for supplements that I actually give my dogs and have noticed a clear improvement from.
iHeartDogs’ Cannanine™ Organic Hemp Oil with CBD is one of those products. It’s manufactured in the USA from organically grown Colorado hemp. It’s non-GMO, full spectrum hemp oil that’s been tested and found to be free of bacteria, yeast, mold, heavy metals, and other toxins. Plus, since the product is high quality, Cannanine™ freely shares their Certificate of Analysis right on their website.
How I Incorporate My CBD Hemp Oil Into My Dog’s Diet
Following the recommended dosage instructions on the back of the bottle, I like to drop the oil onto something yummy for my Chihuahua to enjoy. One day it may be a little salmon or some sardines, the next boiled chicken or a mashed egg.
You can also try squeezing it directly onto your dog’s food or into an absorbent treat! Just give it a second to fully soak into the doggy snack before you toss it to your pooch!
When you don’t have anything yummy on hand, just fill the dropper with your dog’s correct dose and squirt it directly into their mouth.