Our pets are an important part of our families and we want them to be pain free as they get into their senior years. For many dogs, pain from inflammation and arthritis keeps them from enjoying many of the activities that they love. However, both pet owners and vets are starting to praise the healing benefits of CBD in helping dogs live without pain. To get a better idea of why pet owners use CBD oil, I interviewed one dog parent to see how it has helped his fur babies.

Kali’s Story

Kali has been able to live a better life using CBD oil for her back pain.

Scott S. shared Kali’s story with me about how CBD oil for dogs has changed her life. Kali is a 12 year old Weimaraner. She is in her golden years, as the breed typically lives about 12 to 15 years. As she has aged she started having back problems that impeded her mobility. Kali’s vet recommended Rimadyl to help with the inflammation. Rimadyl is a NSAIDS that is generally prescribed to help with swelling and pain as a result of things like osteoporosis. However, after some research and feedback from fellow pet owners, Scott found that the side effect risks were too high to keep Kali on Rimadyl permanently. So he sought out a more natural solution without the side effects of prescription medication.

After starting with glucosamine, they received a recommendation from their vet to try a CBD oil for dogs. The change in Kali has been amazing. Scott says “she’s like her old self again.” Within 1-2 hours of taking the oil Kali’s pain lessens and she is walking normal again. In fact she is back to playing fetch and running with her buddy Lily, their 6 year old Weimaraner. The CBD oil has improved Kali’s life and she has had no noticeable side effects.

Lily also has benefited from the effects of CBD oil. After she received stitches for a cut in her side Scott gave her CBD to help keep her calm. This helped speed up the healing process because, like many animals, she was anxiously trying to disturb the wound. Without the CBD oil Lily would have likely reopened the wound, causing more damage.

What do veterinarians think about CBD?

Veterinarians don’t oppose CBD oil for dogs but right now there is not enough information about its effectiveness. Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinary advisor with petMD, says that the research needed to determine the correct dosage hasn’t been done yet. She also cautions that products currently on the market do not have proper regulations and content testing. The FDA has found many CBD products that do not contain the levels of CBD they claim to contain. The best option available to pet parents at this time is to talk to a veterinarian who has experience with pets being treated with cannabis oil about proper dosage and reputable manufacturers, Coates says.

The rise in owners asking about the efficacy of cannabis for pets is encouraging, though slowly, new research. The AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) with the support of its many donors has funded more than $2 million for epilepsy research. With major organizations like the AKC investing in critical research, we should see more answers to what medicinal benefits CBD oil for dogs has in the near future.

Anecdotally CBD oil has shown to be effective in helping dogs with easing anxiety, relieving pain due to inflammation, decreasing seizures due to epilepsy, improving appetite and alleviating inflammatory bowel disease. It also does not have the same side effects that are associated with prescription medications. Dr. Tim Shu, founder and CEO of a pet cannabis company called VETCBD, says “It doesn’t damage the kidney, liver or GI tract. (Also) the dogs aren’t high or sedated.” In fact, pet CBD products typically are derived from Hemp which does not contain THC that is found in marijuana.

Is CBD oil right for your dog?

As with any medication changes, be sure to consult with your vet before treating your pets. Though very few side effects have been noted it is important to know that CBD products can still have risks. These risks are typically a result of how the CBD oil for dogs is manufactured versus risks associated with the cannabinoid. Poorly manufactured products can lead to severe health issues or hospitalization from heavy metals, molds and bacteria found in products made by companies trying to make a quick dollar off the CBD craze.

However, with the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, the availability of quality CBD products will increase. In February, Martha Stewart announced that she is joining the Canopy Growth Corporation in an advisory role to help develop a new line of hemp CBD products. Stewart said “I’m especially looking forward to our first collaboration together, which will offer sensible products for people’s beloved pets.” She has always been an advocate for pets health and wellness and this new line should be no exception. We are hoping new products created by established manufacturers will help all our furry friends live pain free lives.

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