Although it has gone through some legal troubles since its isolation back in the 1940s, the compound Cannabidiol (CBD) has clinically shown to have beneficial effects on health and well-being. Today, CBD and CBD for pets is legal all across the nation and sold by a multitude of companies such as Pure Ratios CBD, which relates that “CBD has been demonstrated to help reduce stress and anxiety, relieve pain, promote sleep, and encourage a happier and healthier life.”
Following the legalization of hemp and the on-going battle for cannabis legalization in the United States, more and more attention is being turned to the use of CBD for our beloved canine and feline companions. Just as humans do, animals also have CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) receptors in their brains that allow for the effects of these compounds to be activated and transmitted on a neurological scale. In turn, the outstanding benefits of CBD can be harnessed not only by ourselves but by our furry friends as well.
Before we begin on the practical applications of CBD for our pets it would be irresponsible to neglect that, as stated by the American Kennel Club, “there has been no formal study on how CBD affects dogs.” (No formal study for cats can be found either.) With that being mentioned, to ensure proper safety precautions are abided to, and that you are being absolutely safe with your pet or pets, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) offers this helpful advice; “Like with any product, you should consult with your veterinarian to determine if CBD products are right for your pet, and what the proper dosage should be.”
Sources report that between 3% and 5% of dogs suffer from epilepsy, while just about 2% of cats have the disorder. A recent study published in the journal Pet Behavior Science and written by researchers from the Yamazaki University of Animal Health in Japan describes how CBD can be an effective treatment for the reduction in frequency and severity of seizures in dogs. One interesting note from this study was that some of the dogs treated with CBD would bark significantly less and were “less aggressive towards people.”
Leafly has an in-depth article on an eighteen-year-old cat, Maple, and how CBD was an effective treatment for his seizures. The author notes that “Ten days into his course of treatment, Maple was down from two seizures a day to one seizure every two days.” Furthermore, Maple’s appetite and movement increased.
For more information on the use of CBD for the treatment of seizures in dogs, you can check out our other article by following the link below!
Cats of all ages and breeds are susceptible to a common viral infection known as the Feline Herpes Virus (FHV-1) which can result in a number of symptoms including; red eyes, squinting, eye discharge, runny nose and more. PetMD calls this virus the “cat influenza” and states that it is “extremely common in shelters and catteries.“
Cats suffering from this infection will suffer outbreaks, or flare-ups as they are called, which can typically last between 7-21 days according to some sources. Two general treatments are listed online: Lysine Supplementation (which is a dietary supplement that may reduce flare-ups) and stress management. Online, CBD products seemed to be devoid as treatment possibilities, however, they should not be! Rather, CBD products should be seriously considered as viable options to treat your cat’s feline herpes.
I spoke with a pet owner who had used CBD to help her cat overcome the ailments inflicted by “cat influenza.” She relays that a veterinarian had previously prescribed her cat antibiotics but the symptoms still lingered. Her cat became increasingly reluctant to eat and began producing an unsightly discharge around its eyes. As a last resort, the owner then started using CannaPaws CBD extraction drops. She followed the instructions listed on the bottle for dosage, which is determined by the pet’s weight. Adding the drops to wet food to ensure her cat would eat it. After about three to four days of application, she started to see an improvement in the cat and a reduction in its symptoms.
Continuing with the treatment over the course of a month, the cat’s health maintained progress. As a result, the cat has virtually overcome its previous symptoms, and the owner has not had to medicate it for over four months!
Cherry Eye is the common term for the occurrence of a dog’s inner-eyelid protruding over their eye. Besides being very unsightly, this disorder can be painful for the pet and cause obscured vision. It is “most often” seen in younger dogs under the age of two, and is rare in felines, but can still occur. Surgery is listed as the main treatment option online. However, it is costly and requires an intense recovery. Once again, this is where CBD comes to the rescue!
I spoke with the owner of a dog named Henrietta, a popular Corgi on Instagram (@henny_corgi). They told me that they “Give Henny CBD when [Cherry Eye] occurs because it irritates [Henrietta’s] eye and she tries to scratch it.” Henny’s owner said that “Once [they] give Henrietta the CBD her eye heals up within a couple hours.” They also relay that Henny loves the taste of the CBD because the product they use is infused with fish oil, so just a couple drops on the dry dog food does the trick.
Surely the most common use of CBD products for pets is aimed at alleviating anxiety or stress (which is arguably the main reason we all love THC and CBD in the first place!) As mentioned above, dogs that are given CBD products will often be less aggressive towards people, other animals, and it might even minimize their barking. Cats are said to scratch less and even purr more often as a result of CBD use.
This can be very useful during travel, large functions, or even holidays such as the 4th of July. I personally know many dog owners dread, that overwhelming stream of loud sounds assaulting their canine friend while they consistently try to run and hide in a panic. Perhaps try CBD as a remedy to alleviate this. As with almost everything CBD related, this is not a 100% proven method, however, studies have shown that CBD can be effective in treating stress and anxiety – two emotions dogs readily exhibit specifically during the 4th.
Lastly, irritable bowels (or IBS) is a very common, very curable infliction in which CBD can greatly help your pets. Owners of dogs or cats with IBS usually know their pet has irritable bowels due to the irregularly runny or discolored feces. Cresco Labs, one of the “largest multi-state, vertically integrated cannabis companies,” states that “The effectiveness of cannabis and its derivatives for treating IBS and other gastrointestinal disorders has been known for centuries.” Although this article pertains to humans with IBS, two scientific studies conducted by researchers have shown that rats and mice treated with CBD had reduced IBS as a result.
Additionally, it has been stated that “Although there are other methods of treating and managing your pet’s IBS and IBD, the use of CBD stands tall due to the numerous medicinal benefits of the compound.”
Does your pet suffer any ailments? I’d say in conclusion CBD could be a viable, healthy option to treat many common and specific problems suffered by your canine and feline friends. Leave us a comment below to let us know your experience with treating your pets with CBD!