CBD Usage for Dogs Rose Sharply During the Pandemic

During the pandemic, amid a surge of CBD supplements arriving on the health and wellness market, sales of pet supplements also saw a rapid uptick. In particular, dog owners from all walks of life are rapidly ramping up their interest in these non-psychotropic hemp products for their canine companions, both old and new. 

Among the many things that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed since early 2020, from the global economy’s disintegration to the stiffening of health and safety protocols, the worldwide health crisis has triggered a meteoric rise in pet ownership. 

In fact, an APPA survey suggested that approximately 11.4 million households invited a permanent four-legged companion into their homes during the coronavirus lockdowns. Consequently, usage of CBD for dogs has soared, particularly for older and “rescue” animals. Those who already had furry companions ended up spending more time at home with them during lockdowns, and were seeing first-hand more the ailments that came with older dogs or those with other health concerns. New furry family members having difficulty adjusting to their new surroundings often benefited from the calming effects of CBD as well.

According to a report on the CBD Pet Market by Grandview Research, approximately 24% of U.S. pet owners use CBD-containing products either for themselves or for their furry friends. Clearly, CBD has proven very effective to reach that level of uptake, since dogs (unlike humans), are more likely to respond to what actually works, instead of any placebo effect that may influence a person’s judgment on CBD’s effects. For pets, the difference is often immediate and obvious in their health.

What is the Appeal of CBD for Dogs?

A number of significant benefits spring to mind when the question, “what is the appeal of CBD for dogs?” is asked. 

With pet products alone constituting an estimated $1.16 billion industry in the U.S. this year and the worldwide CBD sector nearly tripling in the last two years alone, the sheer volume of new CBD products tailored to four-legged friends has certainly helped awareness. Most of the general public has at least heard of what CBD can do for pets, particularly aging ones.

 New demand for such products is largely stimulated by rising consumer awareness of the hemp plant’s therapeutic benefits, rather than just the intoxicating effects of its cannabis cousin. Recommendations from trusted veterinarians and other pet owners have solidified interest in CBD as an important component in an aging pet’s health. The obvious effects of usage contributes to repeat usage, with most pet users sticking to just one CBD brand for their animals. With pets (and dogs specifically) CBD isolate and ultra-low THC full spectrum products have represented the biggest increase in usage, with creams and topical rubs growing at a slower rate.

Let’s explore some major perks of CBD for dogs specifically:

  • Save Money – Perhaps the most unpleasant part about a trip to the local veterinarian (after receiving a diagnosis, of course, which can be a nail-biting process!) is finding out the cost of a professional’s services. Fortunately, since CBD is such a versatile supplement, it is available for an affordable price and, if you buy from a company like CBDPet, it comes with a 90 day money-back guarantee. 
  • All-Natural Option – Products offered by companies like CBDPet are grown organically in the United States, making them an all-natural, “human-grade” choice for pets who could benefit from the cannabinoid. 
  • Safe and Tested – CBD industry participants must abide by important rules so as to ensure they operate in accordance with both federal and state law. As a relatively new market, it is crucial that CBD producers test their products using an independent third party lab, so try to only buy from companies that provide third-party lab tests on their products, your pet’s health is worth it.
  • Product Versatility – Don’t be worried that your dog needs to learn how to partake in recreational cannabis in order to reap the cannabinoid’s rewards, because CBD can be administered in a few simple ways. For example, direct oral administration by placing drops under your dog’s tongue offers faster absorption into the bloodstream. Alternatively, CBD oil can be mixed with your pet’s food with ease, and its taste is not unpleasant to most animals, so there is less risk of them refusing to eat or spitting out their “medicine” like with other pet health products. Some pet owners prefer topically applied creams and oils to problem areas on their dog.

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What are the Risks of Using CBD for Dogs?

While the research on most hemp and cannabinoid products is incomplete, most animal health specialists agree that CBD poses little risk and almost no toxicity at normal dose sizes to pets. As with anything, you want to be sure to choose reliable providers of CBD products, but many of the favorite known brands of pet supplies and foods do not make CBD products yet. For this reason, pet lovers typically need to find an independent source of CBD for their dog. CBD for pets is a relatively new niche, and these products can be more difficult to find in retail pet stores, though they are increasingly sold in veterinary clinics. For the majority of shoppers, CBD pet products are ordered online. If you are buying online, be sure to select a seller with clear contact information and lab tests verifying that their CBD is safe for pets specifically.

Keep in mind that, just like us humans, each dog’s biochemistry differs and therefore it’s important to start with a low dosage of CBD to lower the risk of any adverse side effects. Dogs have less cannabinoid receptors than humans do, but obviously have less body mass, so start slow with CBD dosage for your canine. If your pet seems more lethargic or sleepy right after you give them CBD, lower the dosage and see how they respond. For most smaller breeds, a therapeutic dose can be as low as 1-2 milligrams a day.

Moreover, it’s crucial that you steer clear of marijuana-derived products or products that don’t provide lab tests of their THC content, since these types of CBD products could potentially contain more than just trace amounts of the psychoactive compound that is not healthy for pets if they consume too much. 

How Does CBD Usage Benefit Dogs?

Animal and human studies both into the effects of CBD are severely starved. This is mainly due to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) delaying the process of reviewing cannabis research applications, so approvals for animal testing have been difficult to get until recent years.

Nonetheless, there is sufficient evidence to suggest that CBD usage may benefit dogs in the following ways:

  • Anti-inflammatory – Dogs that struggle with common anti-inflammatory conditions, such as hypersensitivity and dermatitis, could benefit from using a topically-applied CBD, as well as ingested oils. Why? Because CBD is a natural anti-inflammatory. When Baylor College of Medicine conducted a 4-week randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, the researchers discovered that varying CBD doses and formulations may help to relieve the inflammatory symptoms of osteoarthritis in dogs, especially larger breeds.
  • Reduction in Pain and SeizuresAlthough there’s no surefire scientific proof of CBD’s pain-relieving qualities in dogs, the American Kennel Club notes on its website anecdotal evidence indicating the cannabinoid’s ability to reduce neuropathic pain and some seizures in dogs.
  • Immune System Support – Since CBD is a natural immunosuppressant, the hemp-derived compound has been used when an overactive immune system in dogs is causing them problems, such as sensitivity to some allergens. Dogs that constantly chew on or lick their paws often see a reduction in this behavior when given CBD.
  • Cardiovascular System Support – Previous studies have shown that CBD may possess the power to balance irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias), reduce inflammation, and lower blood pressure, making the plant-derived compound a recommended option for boosting a canine’s cardiovascular system. Much more study is still needed in this field however, and cardiovascular issues can be a sign of more serious illness in your pet that should be diagnosed by a veterinarian.
  • Anxiety Relief – As a natural anxiolytic, CBD oil can offer some level of relief for dogs that endure separation anxiety or nervousness. In experiments, the non-psychotropic cannabis compound may help fight anxiety. Even when administered to dogs at higher doses, CBD has not been shown to aggravate anxiety symptoms in smaller breeds or older animals.
  • Gastrointestinal Support CBD  – CBD has the power to reduce pain and inflammation in the intestine, which means that CBD oils may come in handy for relieving dogs of their digestive issues, enhancing gastrointestinal health, and preventing episodes of upset stomach, including diarrhea, vomiting, and constipation.

Conclusion

 Ask any group of pet owners, and you are likely to come across some true fans of the power of CBD to add quality to their pet’s years. Approximately 74% of CBD buyers have pets, while 24% of pet owners are  believed to use hemp-derived CBD for their pets, themselves, or for both. Clearly, the benefits of CBD are being discovered by two-legged and four-legged fans alike! Be sure to check back frequently as more products come to the market, and the science behind pets and cannabinoids continues to grow and expand.

LA Weekly