By Amy P. Castro
When a pet is suffering, most pet parents will stop at nothing to relieve the animal’s pain. Increasingly, they’re turning to cannabidiol (CBD) to help improve their pets’ health. Although much of the evidence of CBD’s benefits in pets is anecdotal, it is persuasive and abundant. Pet parents seem to be thrilled with the impact CBD has had on their pets’ quality of life.
On the HonestPaws.com website, for example, Jennifer Ordway wrote, “My dog was suffering from arthritis and you could tell it was hurting him to walk. He would often get up limping and his activity had slowed down. After using Honest Paws for just a few days there was a noticeable difference. My Yorkie sleeps better now, walks so much better, and has actually started playing again. I would highly recommend giving this product a try.”
It’s not just pet owners that are taking notice of CBD. A recent sponsored article on the American Kennel Club Website states, “While there’s no definitive scientific data on using CBD to treat dogs, there’s anecdotal evidence from dog owners suggesting it can treat pain, especially neuropathic pain, as well as helping to control seizures.” The article goes on to state that AKC chief veterinary officer Dr. Jerry Klein said CBD is also used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, cardiac benefits, anti-nausea effects, appetite stimulation and anti-anxiety impact.
“CBD offers a myriad of health benefits,” according to Chelsea Rivera, head of content for HonestPaws.com. “However, there are three primary reasons that our customers rely on Honest Paws. Most commonly, CBD can provide support for healthy bones and joints, promote relaxation and help with seasonal allergies.” Although scientific research into the benefits of CBD for pets has been limited to date, the research that has been conducted has been promising and supports Rivera’s assertions.
Probably the most widely quoted study on CBD and pets is one conducted by Colorado State University Researcher Dr. Stephanie McGrath, a neurologist. McGrath led a study of 16 pet dogs to assess the effect of CBD on seizures in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. In addition to significant reduction of seizures in dogs treated with CBD oil, McGrath found a significant correlation between seizure reduction and the concentration of CBD in the dog’s blood. This finding has led to another study launched in 2018 with a larger number of dogs to investigate the impact of an increased dose of CBD on dogs with epilepsy. The results of another study conducted by Cornell University in 2018 suggested that 2 mg/kg of CBD oil given twice daily to dogs with osteoarthritis can help increase their activity and comfort.
Although research into the benefits of CBD for pets is still in its infancy, what we do know combined with the anecdotal evidence from happy pet parents provides a lot of promise for our pets. As the body of scientific research grows, so will our knowledge of the health benefits of CBD for pets.