Home » Vegan Living » How Hemp Oil Could Help Your Dog
Vegan Living

How Hemp Oil Could Help Your Dog

Despite the best of intentions, consuming the ideal amount of healthful foods is easier said than done. Take the produce department: U.S. Department of Agriculture research finds Americans waste 15 to 20 percent of fresh fruits and vegetables they purchase each year. One option is purchasing canned items—especially if you have kids.

Natural medicines and essential oils are very popular these days and, believe it or not, your pets can benefit from some of the same all-natural supplements as humans do.  All-natural Hemp CBD oil for dogs is one of the latest methods pet owners are using to help treat or prevent numerous pet ailments.  

Cannabidiol (CBD) for pets is derived from hemp, a variety of the cannabis plant species that contains less than 1 percent of the psychoactive properties commonly associated with cannabis.  Instead, it contains compounds that interact naturally with your dog’s immune, nerve and endocannabinoid systems.

Why dogs need hemp oil

Unlike fish oil, hemp seed oil contains the perfect ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. These are essential fatty acids, meaning dogs can’t produce them, and need them as a part of their diet. A good balance of these omega oils is critical to your dog’s health because they work together in the body. Hemp seeds are also high in an essential plant-derived omega-6 fatty acid called gamma linolenic acid (GLA).  CBD oil contains cannabinoids (CBD, CBDA, CBN, CBG, and terpenes) that are proven to both treat and prevent several common pet health concerns.

Fighting cancer, shrinking tumors

Researchers at the American Cancer Society say there’s evidence that people with cancer, diabetes and skin allergies don’t produce enough GLA. These issues have proven to be incredibly common in dogs too. While GLA is considered a conditionally essential fatty acid (most dogs can make enough of it, most of the time), there are many circumstances, such as hard exercise or stress, in which dogs can’t produce enough GLA. That makes it extremely important to provide it as a nutritional supplement.  Finally, because GLA is perfectly balanced with omega-3 fatty acids, hemp seed oil will help reduce inflammation in your dog and strengthen his or her immune system.

I’ve even applied CBD oil topically, on a daily basis, to treat a small fatty tumor on my Doberman’s eye. Within a matter of weeks, the tumor had nearly disappeared.  

Reducing joint pain and inflammation

The Journal of Arthritis and Rheumatology has reported that the GLA found in hemp seeds reduced arthritis symptoms by 25 percent, compared to a placebo at 4 percent.  

There are two main cannabinoid receptors in both human and canine nervous systems, known as CB1 and CB2.  The CB1 receptors are more affected by the presence of THC — controlling perception, memory, mood, sleep and appetite — while CB2 receptors affect the immune system.

The compounds in the plant that play a role in inhibiting inflammation are the substances that activate the CB2 receptors, as inflammation is an immune response.  GLA is not the only compound in cannabis that activates the CB2 receptor.  A terpenoid known as beta-caryophyllene is found in hemp extract, and also activates this receptor with no psychoactive effect.  In addition to its anti-inflammatory benefits, CBD Oil has also been shown to have anti-psychotic, anti-convulsant, anti-oxidant and immunomodulatory effects.

Improving skin and coat

Hemp seed has long been used in cosmetic products and soaps because the oil can penetrate the inner layers of the skin and promote healthy cellular growth.  The balanced fatty acids also play an important role in reducing the inflammation associated with common pet skin issues, including yeast infections, hot spots, itching and dermatitis. As an anti-inflammatory, CBD oil can relieve systemic inflammation that causes hives, blisters and whole-body itching.  And it helps fight skin allergies by promoting healthy cell growth.

Relieving anxiety

Does your dog become frantic when you leave or when a thunderstorm is approaching?  CBD oil can also help with depression and anxiety by playing in a role in the serotonin pathways. I give CBD oil to my dogs during every thunderstorm and it calms them down, almost instantly after ingestion.  

Hemp CBD oil has also proven to calm anxiety and reduce obsessive behaviors in dogs, such as chewing and licking.

“Nine out of 10 American children are not eating enough vegetables, and 6 out of 10 kids do not eat enough fruit,” says Rich Tavoletti, Executive Director, Canned Food Alliance. “A recent NHANES study showed that kids who ate canned fruits and vegetables increased their overall consumption of fruits and vegetables, enjoyed a better diet quality overall and increased intakes of certain nutrients. We recommend keeping all forms of fruits, vegetables and beans on hand, whether they are canned, fresh, frozen, dried or 100 percent juice.”

Food for thought

According to the Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences, canned foods often provide needed nutrients at a lower cost. Canned foods also require no refrigeration and little preparation.

“Unfortunately,” Tavoletti explains, “there is a misperception that ‘fresh is always best,’ leaving consumers confused about what they should feed their families.” Canned foods, in some cases, are actually more nutritious, because of the canning process. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, one-half cup of canned tomatoes provides 11.8 milligrams of lycopene, compared with 3.7 milligrams found in one medium fresh, uncooked tomato.

Getting creative

School Nutrition Association President Becky Domokos-Bays says fruits and veggies, overall, are playing a bigger role.

“School cafeterias are using a variety of methods to promote healthier choices to students. Often, the first hurdle is getting students to take that first bite. Through taste tests, free samples and produce-of-the-month promotions, schools are gradually introducing students to unfamiliar produce.”

For breakfast, choosemyplate.gov suggests decorating your child’s cereal bowl with a smiley face using sliced bananas, raisins and an orange slice. Tavoletti adds, “Adding fiber-rich foods, and vegetables like spinach or a can of vitamin A-packed pumpkin, can spice things up and provide essential vitamins kids need to grow.”

Next article