One of the medicinal herbs that gain a lot of popularity these days for dogs is cannabis. Dog owners use cannabis to help their best friends deal with various different ailments, ranging from cancer and arthritis to anxiety.
One misconception associated with cannabis for dogs is that they just get regular marijuana, the one that is debated so much for humans. This is not actually the case. Cannabis treats for dogs actually use hemp.
In the US hemp has been illegal for a long time but hempseed products are now available even at grocery stores. You see it in lotions and soaps but there are also hempseed drinks and protein powders available. However, what has good therapeutic benefits for dogs is not what is bought in the supermarket. Whole herb cannabis is actually used in most cannabis dog treats.
Hemp Versus Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana both have their roots in Cannabis sativa. Cannabis plants have around 60 chemicals that are called cannabinoids. The 2 main ones are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC for short) and cannabidiol (CBD for short). The CBD options have therapeutic uses and THC is why you end up high when smoking marijuana.
Regular marijuana has a THC content of around 10% to 15%. Hemp has THC content of under 0.3%. Because of this, there is no intoxicating effect that appears for dogs or people. Hemp practically has more CBD so therapeutic effects are stronger.
Cannabinoids have strong anti-inflammatory effects. They can help with seizures, skin conditions, muscle spasms, tumors, pain, aggression, neurological disorders, anxiety and appetite stimulation.
Why CBD Cannabis Dog Treats?
Cannabis treats for dogs based on hemp help with acute and chronic diseases. When thinking about the chronic conditions hemp helps with, the most common ones to mention are a compromised immune system, arthritis, aggression, digestive issues and stress responses. Studies proved that CBD even has some effects on cancer, organ diseases and Type 1 diabetes.
Veterinarians discovered that CBD hemp dog treats are also pretty useful when trying to treat some acute ailments like strains, sprains, bone breaks and torn ligaments. It was also used during the post-operative care process in order to reduce pain, stiffness and swelling.
When dogs take drugs to help with the conditions mentioned, cannabis treats can help lower drug dosage. The result is getting therapeutic effects with lower side effects associated with the conventional medications.
The only problem with cannabis for dogs is that we are talking about herbal medicine. This means that immediate effects will not be noticed. Patience is necessary. The dog can end up feeling pain relief after some hours but with some of the more serious symptoms, like inflammation, relief can take days to appear.
Safety With Cannabis For Dogs
Many dog owners think that cannabis dog treats are dangerous but we are talking about products that are specifically designed for pets, with really low THC content. The dog will not end up high. CBD’s common side effect is becoming a little drowsy. However, this is only at a level that is similar to what would happen if the dog takes Benadryl.
The rare side effects that are a little more serious are mild vomiting and excessive itchiness. These sensitivities are rare. When the dog has such reactions to cannabis dog treats, all you have to do is stop giving the treat and the problem disappears.
When the dog shows really serious side effects like lethargy, drooling, dilated pupils, muscle twitching, unconsciousness or involuntary urination, it is because he consumed marijuana, with THC content. This often happens simply because dogs get into the stashes of owners. With CBD products this will never happen but if the mentioned serious side effects appear, you need to take the dog to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Palliative support is needed.
How Many Cannabis Dog Treats To Give Your Pet?
As all dog owners know already, dosage varies from one dog to the next. It is always a good idea to start with lower CBD doses and then move up to the level that is recommended by the doctor, based on the pet’s individual needs. Cannabis treats for dogs have varying CBD content. You want to see how much is included in order to give what is appropriate.
With cannabis dog treats you need to follow manufacturer recommendations. Start with a lower dosage (like a quarter of a CBD cannabis cookie for dogs) and then see how the dog reacts. Use that for a week and then move up, eventually getting to the recommended dosage.
The starting dose for CBD oil is 1 drop per 10 lbs. This dose should be used for a week and then move up to offering 1 drop per 10 lbs 2 times daily.
If you want to use CBD under capsule form, start with 1 quarter of recommended dose. Gradually increase until benefits are noticed while being careful with side effects. When no side effect appears, the dose can be increased every 5 days. When side effects appear, stop giving the dog CBD capsules and wait for the side effects to disappear. Restart the process with a lower dose.
Basically, what you want to do is what you already do (hopefully): watch how the dog reacts and acts. You need to find the dose or the number of cannabis treats for dogs where side effects are not present but benefits are. As you keep using cannabis for dogs, increasing dosage over time might be necessary to achieve the same therapeutic results.