Dogs are a beloved furry household companion for many of us. Whether it’s to keep us active, have some company or just because we love them, dogs are a very popular pet worldwide. As research into the benefits of CBD is just beginning to take off properly, people are starting to turn their attention to our canine friends and look into how CBD could potentially benefit them too. This article will consider whether CBD (or cannabidiol) could actually be a viable option for dogs now and in the future.
Dogs are an extremely popular pet around the world. In the United Kingdom, this is no exception. According to a 2020/21 survey, dogs are the most commonly owned pet in UK households. In fact, the share of households reporting dog ownership stood at an impressive 33%! Many people see our pet dogs as not just a pet, but family too.
Over recent years, whether it is full-spectrum CBD oil or CBD isolate, cannabidiol has become increasingly popular and the centre of numerous research into its potential effects and benefits. As momentum gains in the CBD universe, some people are starting to ask if it could also be advantageous to dogs in the same ways that it may benefit us. But first things first, what is CBD?
What Is CBD?
CBD (commonly known as cannabidiol) is a natural remedy that is used for many common maladies and is one of more than 100 chemical compounds (known as cannabinoids) that are found in the cannabis plant. Do not confuse this with another infamous cannabinoid called THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the primary psychoactive compound found in cannabis, which makes us feel ‘high’. CBD, however, is not psychoactive.
This makes CBD oil appealing to those who are searching for pain relief or other symptoms without the mind-altering effects usually associated with cannabis. In recent years, this supplement has also started to gain momentum in the wellness industry. Some scientific studies have already confirmed that it may ease symptoms of ailments in humans, such as anxiety and chronic pain. Here are six potential benefits to using CBD:
- May relieve pain;
- Could reduce anxiety and depression;
- May reduce acne;
- Could alleviate cancer-related symptoms;
- May help those with neurological disorders;
- Could be beneficial to heart health.
Now that we have understood exactly what CBD is and how it could benefit us, we can see why people may be curious about its effects on our furry friends. Let’s consider the research that has been uncovered thus far.
Current Research Into CBD and Dogs
Research is still somewhat limited at the moment in all aspects of CBD investigations. However, increased interest has been generated over recent years as the potential benefits of CBD have started to come to light. And this interest has transferred to our dogs as well. In fact, a recent survey of 2,131 participants found that 63% of veterinarians reported that they were asked about CBD oil for pets at least once a month. Clearly, CBD is generating significant interest. So what current research is there in favour of CBD use for dogs?
There have only been a couple of reliable studies done on the effects of CBD in dogs, but the research completed up until now does appear to be promising. Let’s have a look at a couple:
- CBD in dogs with osteoarthritis: Osteoarthritis is inflammation in one or more joints. Canine osteoarthritis is an inflammatory condition that is marked by pain, stiffness and mobility loss. And it can leave dogs irritable, lethargic, and reluctant to play, run or jump. One study that gave dogs varying levels of CBD or a placebo found that after a month, the dogs who were given higher doses of CBD saw significant improvement in their quality of life and their movement. Even more promisingly, two weeks after the dogs stopped taking the CBD, those in the higher dose groups were showing improvement still. This shows us that the CBD addressed the underlying inflammatory issues and did more than just mask the pain.
Another study in 2018 sought to assess the safety, anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties of CBD oil in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis. The result of this study was encouraging. 80% of the dogs showed improvement in pain and mobility.
- CBD in dogs with epilepsy: A study published in 2019 found that dogs with epilepsy that were given CBD in addition to their seizure medication had significantly fewer seizures than those that received the seizure medication with a placebo instead.
Important note: Before you decide to use CBD on a pet, please ensure you consult with your vet as well as check that it is legal to use CBD in your country. Research, whilst promising, is still in its early stages, and extra caution should be taken.
Research into CBD is really taking off at the moment, and as its benefits start to be understood, it comes to as little surprise that people are now considering how it could optimise the lives of our furry friends too. Research is still in its preliminary stages, especially when it comes to canines, but evidence collected thus far indicates it could benefit symptoms of dog epilepsy and osteoarthritis.
However, it is essential to note that no CBD products have been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for use in canines as of yet. It may well still be years before CBD products are readily available for dogs or other pets, for that matter. Therefore, it is imperative that you always consult with a vet before trying out new products on your pets and check that it is legal in your country to do so. But for those looking for more natural and organic supplements for their canine friends, evidence into CBD and dogs looks encouraging, both for now and the future.