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When Rebecca White and her husband Larry dropped their two dogs off to be boarded at the beginning of July 2018, she told the dogs’ keepers that the upcoming Fourth of July fireworks might be a problem. Sultan and Duchess, both older dachshunds, suffered from anxiety. Fireworks spooked them.
The boarder responded that CBD might help the dogs and asked if CBD could be administered to the couple’s pets while they were gone. After consulting with her veterinarian, Rebecca agreed. While they were gone, the keeper gave both dogs CBD. There were no adverse reactions, and when the fireworks went off during the patriotic holiday, both dogs remained calm.
“When our boarders told me Duchess and Sultan did not shake and hide during the fireworks, I was amazed,” Rebecca said.
Symptoms of anxiety in dogs can vary and may include pacing, panting, whimpering, trembling, aggression, loss of bowel or bladder control in well-trained dogs, licking of the lips, and loss of appetite. For Rebecca and Larry, both Sultan and Duchess shake and hide when they hear loud noises. Since the family lives in the Florida Keys, thunderstorms are a year-round occurrence. Sudden thunderclaps boom on a regular basis and usually send both dogs into a panic.
The Whites tried medicating their dogs with prescriptions their veterinarian recommended, but the medicines did not seem to alleviate the dogs’ anxiety. Duchess, especially, continued to suffer. The Whites kept trying traditional methods, but neither drugs nor behavioral training worked for the dachshunds. Rebecca decided to try using CBD on a regular basis. She checked with her vet, who indicated it would be fine for the dogs.
After researching, Rebecca purchased a bottle of CBD tincture for dogs. It came with an eye dropper, which she uses to squeeze the drops of oil between the lip and teeth of her dogs. She says this prompts the dogs to lick it off and get it on their tongue, thereby absorbing it directly into the bloodstream Any other oral method of giving the dog CBD causes the dog to swallow. The CBD then passes through the stomach, which may not be as effective.
“CBD is more effective than the medications we were using,” Rebecca shared. “But it has not done everything we hoped. We may try increasing the dosage, as I have been told that could help.”
The Whites try to give CBD to Duchess and Sultan before a storm starts. While you should always consult your veterinarian regarding the CBD product you choose to get recommendations on proper dosages, some studies have tried to gauge the right dosage for dogs according to the dog’s weight.
Remember, hemp products for dogs do not have federal guidelines in place at this time, so there’s not always specific recommendations for the optimal dosage for each product sold. The Whites give their pets a second dose after 30 minutes and up to 3 doses over a one-hour period, if needed, to help the dogs stay calm.
When Rebecca began learning about CBD, she also discovered it can be helpful for joint pain and inflammation in dogs. Sultan is an older dog who exhibits signs of arthritis, so she tried it when he had trouble moving and needed to be carried downstairs. After a few days of receiving drops once a day, Rebecca rejoiced to see Sultan became much more spry. CBD proved to be more effective and less costly than the ultraviolet treatment the veterinarian had been giving Sultan every few months. When Duchess had a back problem and whined, then began pushing into Rebecca’s legs, begging to be carried around, she gave her ten pound dog one dose of CBD. It helped immediately.
“It’s fun to watch how CBD has helped Sultan,” Rebecca said. “Now he eagerly runs to the door when someone asks if he wants to go for a walk.”
If the dog’s joints start to ache, he whimpers and doesn’t run to the door, signaling he needs the CBD again. Rebecca researched clinical trials and studies done on dogs, reviews of the CBD products, and continues to observe her dogs carefully for any adverse effects when she treats them with CBD.
Various studies support using CBD in dogs. CBD oil supports a dog’s immune system to help control cellular degeneration. For dogs, CBD comes in a variety of forms, including chewable treats, supplements, and tinctures (bottles of oil). The chew treats have not been as effective for Sultan, Rebecca said, possibly because the CBD is more likely to go to the stomach instead of the bloodstream. It’s best for pet owners to research the companies they are considering and always buy from those that use an independent lab for testing.
CBD may also be helpful for dogs who experience seizures. One double-blind, placebo controlled study at Colorado State University in the summer of 2018 showed a drop of 89% in the number of seizures dogs in the study experienced after using CBD. An earlier study at the same university demonstrated that CBD is measurable in the blood and that it’s safe for the animals.
Cornell University researchers studied the benefits of CBD on dogs with osteoarthritis. Released in August 2018, the randomized placebo-controlled trial suggests that two milligrams of CBD twice daily relieves pain symptoms. A Liberty Leaf study overseen by their partner ESEV Research development in Israel confirms the use of CBD to relieve joint pain in dogs. The results published August 20, 2018, found that a dose of .3 milligrams per kilo of the dog’s weight for four weeks relieved pain and increased functional performance. Plus, hemp-derived oils for medicinal use are non-euphoric because they contain only trace amounts of .3% or less THC. CBD for pets won’t get people or dogs high.
Like anything you give your dogs orally, you should always closely observe their reactions. The following side effects could occur: increased water intake (dry mouth); tremors, dizziness, mild digestive problems, and drowsiness. The most common side effect is drowsiness. Since the industry is not regulated, tainted and unsafe products abound in the market. Be sure to do your homework, read reviews, discuss any health routine changes with your veterinarian, and buy from a reputable company that can show you their independent, third-party lab results on every batch of their CBD.
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