CBD isn’t just for people anymore. In recent years more and more pet owners are seeing the benefits of giving CBD to their canine companions. The same anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties that make cannabinoids so popular with the human set have now made the pet market sit up and take notice.
In this article we’ll examine how CBD can potentially help your dog live its best life, as well as share some tips on how to find the very best CBD dog treats on the market.
What Are the Benefits of CBD for Dogs?
Interestingly enough, the benefits of CBD for dogs mirror those of humans. Just like humans, dogs (in fact, all mammals and even some reptiles) have what’s called an endocannabinoid system. This series of neurotransmitters works in the body to maintain homeostasis. CBD interacts with CB1 and CB2 receptors in the nervous system to keep the body in balance.
What studies have found in both humans and animals is that CBD has the potential to relieve pain and inflammation, reduce seizures and muscle spasticity, relieve anxiety, and is even currently being studied for treatment of cancers.
While there are a lot of potential benefits for CBD use in dogs, there are a few main conditions that are popularly targeted:
What’s more, CBD has a better safety profile than many of the drugs offered for these conditions. It has few side effects and is completely safe for canine use. One caveat, however, is that THC is not safe for dogs so you want a brand that can definitely prove that it has no THC.
How Can I Find a Trustworthy Source of CBD for my Dog?
The one problem with shopping for CBD is that there is no FDA regulation. This means that there is a flooded marketplace that could be selling subpar or even dangerous products. So how can you find a quality product that you can trust? We have a few suggestions.
Start By Talking to Your Vet
Fortunately, many of today’s vets are actually quite open minded toward CBD supplementation. If you are lucky enough to know one of them, they can be an excellent resource in finding a good canine CBD product. They can also help come up with a safe and effective dosing schedule.
If your vet doesn’t have a go-to brand, or doesn’t know too much about CBD you’ll have to do a little digging yourself. When you’ve narrowed your options to two or three reputable brands, approach your vet and see if they have any suggestions.
Find a Reputable Brand of CBD
There are several ways you can start this process. If you subscribe to pet publications, that might be a good place to get some ideas. You can also look online on third party pet care sites, and on “best of” lists…see which brands come up most often. Once you’ve found a few that look interesting, drill down to find out more.
Check out the brand website and look for answers to these questions. Does this company have any certifications or awards that set it apart? Does it belong to any professional organizations? What are the company’s mission and values? Do they use organic ingredients, or are they even USDA certified organic? How pure are their tinctures (do they have a lot of ingredients and additives, or only a few)?
Only Buy From a Company that Offers Third Party Lab Test Results
This step in the process is extremely important. Probably the most important. Look on the company website to see if they share results from product tests done by independent third party laboratories. “Lab tested” is not good enough. An in-house lab can be biased (or be an outright lie).
If you want to know for sure that the CBD product offers the potency and purity it advertises, look for the lab results. They can tell whether there is CBD present, it can discover whether there is THC (a no no for dogs), and it will share whether the product is free from additives, toxins, or contaminants.
One more thing: actually look at the results. These should be easy to find–displayed prominently on the product page or on an easy-to-find testing page. Don’t just take their word that it’s “third party tested”. Find those results.
Check Out the Reviews
When you’ve found some companies that check all the previous boxes, start reading through some of the customer reviews. Of course everyone’s dog has different tastes, but what are people saying about their own pets? If most dogs seem to not mind the tincture or love the edibles, then chances are your pet will feel the same. What results have the customers noticed? Do they use this CBD product more for anxiety or for arthritis pain?
Try it for Yourself
This final part may take a little patience on your part. Start with one company, and order your product. This could be in the form of a tincture (an oil suspension), or a flavored CBD chew. Choose whichever you think your dog will react best to. If you find that this first choice works well, that’s amazing! If your dog doesn’t love it, or it doesn’t give you the results you’d hoped for, try again. Many reputable CBD brands offer a full satisfaction money back guarantee on their products.
Rinse and repeat with another brand or two, and monitor the results. Again, work with your vet. Even if they aren’t a diehard CBD fan, most will be willing to give it a shot – especially if you show them some of the research. They can help you formulate a good dosing plan and help you tweak any issues. More than likely you’ll find “your” brand after a try or two. Just remember the safety tips, and your furry friend will be on the way to better health and wellness.