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A Guide to Using CBD for Pets

It’s no secret that there are many pet parents who prefer a more natural approach for improving symptoms within their pets. Here, we will discuss how CBD works with the systems of the body and the ways it supports healthy functioning. We will also take a look at proper dosing and how or when to know when it is time to increase the doses. But as with any changes, consider consulting your veterinarian before starting your pet on CBD.

What types of CBD Oil are there?

Before we discuss the types of CBD oils, let’s first take a look at what CBD is. CBD (Cannabidiol) it located within cannabis plants and hemp. CBD is non-intoxicating. This means it does not cause a “high” like THC does.

There are three types of CBD oils. These are broad spectrum,  full spectrum and CBD isolate. CBD is first extracted from a hemp plant where it contains all the natural components of the plant itself. From there, the oil undergoes many distillation and refinement processes. This is where the three types of CBD oils are created.

What should I ask my Vet about CBD?

Depending on where you live, there are variations on what a vet can and cannot discuss when it comes to CBD. In California specifically, veterinarians can discuss CBD with a pet owner, but they cannot prescribe or administer CBD oil. If you know your vet is open to discussing CBD, there are a variety of questions you can ask. Consider these: What are the best types of CBD products to use for pets? How would I give it to my pet? How often should my pet have CBD oil? Will it alter or effect any of their other medications?

What is the Pet Endocannabinoid System and how does it work?

Just like all mammals, our pets of an endocannabinoid system. By working with the peripheral and central nervous system, the endocannabinoid system helps a pet’s body to maintain homeostasis (aka: balance.) When the body is not in balance, improper responses can occur. Our bodies will automatically make changes to bring the functioning back to normal. However, if there is a cannabinoid deficiency occurring, the body’s auto-response may not correct the issue.

There are several functions that are affected by the endocannabinoid system. These include: coordination, inflammatory and immune response, memory, metabolism, appetite, movement, mood, sleep and pleasure. Ensuring that your pet’s endocannabinoid system is properly working will help to maximize their overall health, wellness and quality of life.

By working with the cannabinoid receptors (CB1 and CB2), the endocannabinoid system helps to relay the proper messages that maintain homeostasis. CB1 receptors are located within the spinal cord and brain, whereas CB2 receptors are in the major organs and immune system.  The endocannabinoid system works with cannabinoid receptors. CB1 receptors are found in the central nervous system which includes the spinal cord and brain. CB2 receptors are located in the immune system and major organs.

Selecting the best CBD product for your pet

These days, there are a variety of CBD products available for pets. The most popular CBD product is tinctures. Tinctures are convenient because they are easy to use and versatile. They can be used orally or in food- which makes it a go to for pet’s who are inclined to reject medication. There is also the option for capsules. Capsules vary in milligrams, so be sure to double check the package for proper dosing. There are even some foods and/or treats that contain CBD as well. As with capsules though, make sure to check the amounts and take that into consideration for proper serving.

The best way to select the correct pet CBD product is to do your research. Double check the manufacturer’s website. Confirm that it provides the complete product descriptions along with the entire list of ingredients. Make sure the ingredients are all-natural and confirm the source of the CBD oil.

If the CBD product is coming from a high-quality manufacturer, than they are most likely going to provide their CBD lab test as well. This will guarantee the potency, purity and quality of their products. Also, always double check the storage tips. Most CBD products should be stored away from heat and light.

Keep in mind that a higher price tag doesn’t guarantee a better product. Researching the company and its products is a sure way to guarantee you are getting the proper solution for your pet.

Starting your pet on CBD

Because your pet has an endocannabinoid system, CBD is safe to give to your pet. When you decide it is time to start your pet on CBD, there are a few options for dosing.

Small Dose: A small dose consists of 0.05 mg per pound. For example, a 5 lb dog or cat would be given 0.25 mg.

Medium Dose: The medium dose is 0.125 mg per pound. Therefore, a 5 lb pet would receive 0.625 mg.

Large Dose: This dose consists of 0.25 mg per pound. Meaning, a 5 lb pet would be given 1.25 mg of CBD.

It is recommended that you begin with the small dose twice a day for a week. If you notice that the behavior or symptoms have improved, you can continue with this dosing.

If you notice that the symptoms or behavior have not improved after the initial week, switch to the medium dose. As with the first dosing, try this for a week. If you notice no changes after the second week, increase to the larger dose for a week’s time. It may take some time to determine the best dosing frequency and amount.

Just like humans, our pets vary in their needs.You can always talk with your vet about increasing the amount of dosing at any time. Once you discover what works best for your pet, you will be well on your way to helping your furry friend find peace, comfort and quality of life through the use of pet CBD products.

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