There is one universal among pet owners: we want the very best for our beloved animals. Pet owners do things every day to help their dogs live long, healthy lives—from grooming appointments to long walks to tireless pet food research. And recently, more pet owners have started using CBD to support their pet’s healthy lifestyle.
A compound found in industrial hemp, CBD has been thrust to the forefront of public conversation as a result of the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the growth, production, and manufacturing of hemp. While hemp and marijuana are both harvested from the cannabis plant, they are very different substances, and CBD doesn’t have any of the psychoactive effects of marijuana. This is part of what makes it a useful supplement for pets.
The On-Going Study of CBD in Dogs
CBD is a relatively new substance that is currently undergoing a myriad of studies. Early research shows some positive outcomes, but it’s important to do your research and consult your veterinarian about using CBD for your pet.
One scientific fact that can inform your decision is this: one of the main bodily systems used by humans to process CBD is the endocannabinoid system (ECS). We know that the ECS functions similarly in all mammals—including dogs. So, the benefits CBD provides for humans are likely similar to the ones it can provide for your dog.
3 Ways CBD Can Support Your Pet’s Health
When used to support a healthy lifestyle and encourage wellness, CBD has plentiful benefits for pets. Here are some of the ways many pet owners use CBD for their dogs:
1. CBD can encourage better sleep
When Fido tosses and turns, barking at the slightest creak of the floorboards, your sleep is compromised, too. Lack of restful sleep for your pet can also contribute to behavior issues during the day and other health problems. CBD has been known to possess calming effects that can promote better sleep. You can also find CBD products that have other sleep-inducing ingredients, like melatonin and chamomile.
2. CBD has been shown to reduce signs of stress
A dog’s stress level can be one of the most troublesome issues for a pet owner. Many pet parents have had to replace a couch (or two) because of a dog’s separation anxiety. Dogs also demonstrate stress responses to other stimuli, such as loud noises, other pets, leashes, and people. CBD has been useful in the management of stress signs for both humans and pets, contributing to a happier home all around.
3. CBD can make your pet comfortable
Even though they can’t tell us in words, dogs have plenty of ways of showing us they’re in pain: limping, lethargy, whimpering. Whether it’s old-age arthritis or a temporary injury, it’s hard to watch your pet suffer. CBD has been shown to be a useful tool for creating a more comfortable, easy life for your pet.
How to Make CBD a Part of Your Pet’s Daily Diet
Any wellness regimen has to be consistent in order to be effective. It will be very difficult to know how CBD is impacting your dog unless you administer the supplement consistently for a period of time.
The serving size of CBD for your dog will be determined mainly by its weight. Your veterinarian will be able to help you identify what serving size to start with. It’s also important that the brand of CBD you purchase offers some instruction, too—this speaks to the brand’s professionalism and reliability.
It’s usually recommended to start with the smallest possible serving and watch your pet carefully for a minimum of one month before changing anything. If you see no benefits after a month, try a slightly larger serving for another 30 days. With the right serving size and consistency, you’ll start to see the impressive benefits of CBD before long.
Choosing the Right Type of CBD for Your Dog
One of the best things about CBD is that it’s easy to administer to your pet. While some dogs will inhale a head of broccoli before they even taste it (looking at you, Golden Retrievers), other dogs are known to be a bit pickier.
Your dog’s preferences and needs will determine what type of CBD product you choose for your pet. This might mean CBD oil, CBD chewable, a topical CBD balm, or CBD-infused peanut butter!
Be Smart About CBD for Your Dog
Working with your veterinarian, you can find ways to tweak your pet’s intake for the best results. It’s also very important that your pet only gets CBD on your schedule. Be sure to put CBD in a safe place where your dog can’t get to it.
And of course, CBD should be used as a supplement to an otherwise wholesome wellness pet-care regimen—lots of exercises, a size-appropriate diet, and plenty of pats, belly rubs, and snuggles!