Cannabidiol — or CBD for short — has exploded in popularity, with many adults turning to this treatment to help reduce stress, anxiety, chronic pain, and symptoms of certain health conditions. Could CBD provide physical and emotional benefits for your furry companion, too?
Loki the wolfdog, an Instagram-famous husky malamute wolf hybrid, has enjoyed some of the perks of CBD, his owner said. Namely, it’s helped reduce stiffness in the adventuring dog’s knee, especially after physical activity in the backcountry or going on runs.
“Loki is a very calm-natured dog and is often aloof around the house,” his owner said. But, “Out in the woods, he truly comes alive and is on an entire different level of happiness and excitement.”
“Loki loves to go backcountry snowboarding, running free in deep snow,” his owner added.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) points out, CBD is a compound derived from cannabis and hemp, and does not contain the psychoactive ingredient delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) present in marijuana. THC makes users “high.”
While there’s limited research on CBD in general — including in canines — the AKC noted that compound may help relieve seizures and neuropathic pain. These are two of the most common uses of CBD in humans, too, according to experts at Harvard University. The AKC pointed out that CBD may also be used to improve heart health, relieve nausea, boost appetite, lower anxiety, and potentially fight cancer — all thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
Still, many question marks remain when it comes to using CBD, which is usually administered in oil form, in dogs, as per the AKC. More studies on the effects of CBD in canines are underway. Also be aware that potential side effects of CBD use in dogs include dry mouth, drowsiness, and reduced blood pressure.
While it’s worked for Loki, his owner said he wouldn’t pressure other dog owners to use it on their pets.
“Personally, I am not a big advocate for doing things without needing to,” his owner explained. “So unless your dog is experiencing joint issues or anxiety issues, it’s not something I would try to convince anyone that they need to buy it.”
If you’re interested in using CBD on your dog, do your research and ask your pet’s veterinarian for their take. You never know. Relief could be a mere phone call away, helping you and your furry friend get back out there exploring the great outdoors, just like Loki.