CBD Use Gaining Popularity Among Dog Owners

by Cassie Nixon

Why are we hearing so much about CBD oil now? With the legalization of marijuana in many places, it has triggered interest in potential health benefits of marijuana-related products. Dr. Klein of AKC.org says “We are likely to see continued interest in CBD and an increase in research about its uses and efficacy in the coming years.”

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a compound found in cannabis and hemp. Most CBD products are derived from hemp, and NOT from marijuana. It does not contain delta-9-tetrahydrocannibinol (THC). THC is the compound that gives marijuana its psychoactive properties.

Why are pet owners turning to CBD oil?

Many dog owners have chosen to supplement with CBD for pain in their pets, especially neuropathic pain. They also turn to CBD to help control seizures. According to Dr. Klein, CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation, anti-anxiety impact, and for possible anti-cancer benefits, although there is no conclusive data on this use.

Dog owner, Ron Wilkie, of Medical Lake uses CBD on his dog, a Boxer named Echo, to help him with separation anxiety and joint inflammation. Wilkie knows other pet owners who use CBD for treating spasticity, anxiety, pain, and appetite management. “Based on the weight and size of Echo, I find 100mg works well for him and it lasts him around 6 hours or more. I work 9 or 10 hour shifts sometimes, and he really hates it when I am gone. This dose keeps him calm right up until I get home, and then I can see that it was worn off.” Wilkie once made a 5-hour road trip with Echo and giving him a 100mg dose kept him much calmer for the entire ride.

Ron and his dog Echo

Wilkie trusts the benefits of CBD for Echo, because “the benefits are continuing to be studied by various universities and organizations. The more that is studied, the more benefits are being discovered.” He points to a study done in a collaborative effort by the Departments of Clinical Sciences, Molecular Medicine, Population Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States; Proteomic and Metabolic Facility, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, United States; and Metzger Animal Hospital, State College, PA, United States entitled ‘Pharmacokinetics, Safety, and Clinical efficacy of Cannabidiol Treatment in Osteoarthritic Dogs’ This pharmacokinetic and clinical study suggests that just 2mg of CBD twice daily can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with OA.

Another dog owner, Troy Crawford of Harrington, turned to CBD as a supplement to the Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs that the veterinarian prescribed for his Husky dog, Phoenix after a routine spay surgery turned into a months-long infection. “After giving her the medicine, and having to take her in again twice, once to get an antibacterial spray, and another to get an oral antibiotic, and still seeing her suffering made me look at alternatives.” Crawford saw some pre-made treats being sold at Northwest Seed and Pet and bought two varieties. “It really helped calm her down. She wasn’t on edge anymore from being uncomfortable all the time, and it even helped her anxiety when I was away at work.”

According to AKC.org, “While there is no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, the AKC Canine Health Foundation is sponsoring a study through the Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences that will evaluate the use of CBD in treatment-resistant epileptic dogs. The CHF hopes that this will be the first study to gain scientific date on the use of CBD in dogs with this condition.” AKC.org also recommends that when giving your pet something new, to start out with small amounts and closely monitor for any effects.