Can CBD Help My Dog Or Cat?
Let’s be honest, most of us are pretty obsessed with our pets. We love them and they love us. Truthfully, no one knows us better than our pets. That deep connection with our pets makes them highly sensitive to our moods and emotions. They share our ups and try to pull us out of our downs. While all pets may have the potential to tune into the moods of their owners on some level, dogs are especially adept at sensing and responding when something is off. Dogs really want us to feel better.
Your dog’s ability to sense your mood can create physical and behavioral responses. Your pet relies on you for companionship, physical interaction and food. Disturbances in mood or activity can create a really stressful living environment for a pet. We try to keep ourselves as healthy as possible for them and we want to take care of them, so they aren’t themselves stressed.
Human Connection With Mans Best Friend
We know that our pets can sense our moods. But did you know that dogs are also masters at reading cues like posture, facial expressions and vocal tone when responding to humans. A study conducted using 40 Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers may prove what many of us already know intuitively about the ways dogs can sense human emotion. Heart monitors were used on the dogs in the study to measure physical responses to sweat scents that were either “happy” or “fearful.” What researchers found was that dogs that were exposed to “fearful” smells actually exhibited outward signs of stress. Notably, dogs that were exposed to those fearful smells had heart rates that were considerably higher than dogs that were exposed to “happy” or “neutral” smells. Another interesting finding was that dogs appeared to seek reassurance by initiating contact with their owners when responding to stress.
Of course, our cats know us too. Sometimes they aren’t as quick to come to our emotional rescue, but they certainly can feel our moods. We have to imagine that if our pets come to us to try to soothe us, they would also come to us to be soothed.
Similarities Between Us and Our Pets
One of the ways we can soothe our pets is with the use of CBD. Fortunately, most of the limited research around CBD and pets is focused on dogs and cats. Like humans, dogs and cats have an endocannabinoid systems which means they have cannabinoid receptors. Those receptors are what CBD interacts with. While dogs and cats likely process CBD differently than humans, they have the necessary mechanisms to benefit from the use of CBD. The cannabidiol systems helps with the regulation of pain, inflammation, and anxiety. This is true in both humans and animals.
While keeping ourselves healthy, we want to keep our pets healthy. We check in with their veterinarians and do as much research as possible to ensure that our pets health is in top form. Even with all of our care, research, and connectedness we can’t protect our pets from aging, arthritis, inflammation, or even anxiety.
Research and Documented Benefits Of CBD And Pets
Research shows that common inflammation, arthritis, and anxiety can be positively impacted by the use of CBD. However, due to the limited research, studies recommend speaking to your pets’ doctor and also starting doses are the smaller side and working your way up. Additionally, there are no CBD products approved by the FDA for use in animals as either a drug or a food. With that being said, the research that has been done, shows positive results. CBD has been shown to help cats and dogs better manage osteoarthritis, seizures, and anxiety.
Dogs Can Experience Anxiety Too
Dogs can and do experience anxiety. Since they can’t tell us what is going on with words, we usually perceive it in their behaviors or rather their change in behaviors. It might look like excessive pacing, shedding, or displacement behavior. CBD is a calming product that helps decrease anxiety and the behaviors that go with it. Studies have also looked at how CBD has helped dogs with osteoarthritis and with seizures in recent publications. One clinical study suggests that 2 mg/kg of CBD twice a day can help increase comfort and activity in dogs with osteoarthritis. Specifically, they showed a significant decrease in pain and activity. Another study showed a significant reduction in the seizure frequency for dogs ingesting CBD.
Just like dogs and humans, cats can also suffer from osteoarthritis and joint pain. The potential to be in constant pain, have decreased mobility, and be lethargic is increased when suffering from joint pain and osteoarthritis. CBD has been shown to offer cats relief due to its anti-inflammatory properties. In one study, cats were given CBD and positive responses where reported. They had increased mobility and were more active. Of course, cats can also suffer from anxiety. In cats it could look like pacing, decreased appetite, excessive grooming, vocalization, etc. Big tells of anxiety are hiding behavior, excessive vocalization, destruction, and increased movement. CBD has been shown to be soothing to anxiety and to help decrease anxiety related behaviors.
Things to remember when helping our pets with anxiety, joint pain, seizures, and other inflammation: keep our moods and our pets’ environments as stress free as you can, start with small doses of CBD and work your way up based on your pet’s response, always use CBD products with zero THC, and check in with your veterinarian if you notice in negative changes in your cat or dog. during endurance training & racing is a given but there’s often a different kind of pain and discomfort that shows up to tell you to slow down or event STOP.