In May of this year an article was posted on Health.com and then again on Time.com regarding pets and cannabis use, now that 23 states have legalized medical marijuana.
For years now, many people have been thinking that feeding your dog or cat cannabis, canna-infused products or that blowing smoke in their face/ears is somehow doing them some benefit when in fact it’s doing the opposite. There is no denying that cannabis has benefits for our pets, but not in the form of THC… it’s the CBD (Cannabidiol) that provides the pain relief that our furry loved ones so desperately need.
CBD has been shown to provide relief for sick and aging pets, those that suffer from arthritis and anxiety, or those with chronic pain associated with injuries or cancer. Studies have shown that CBD can be used to prevent seizures not only in people, but in pets as well.
THC, on the other hand, can result in a negative reaction for your pet. Administering THC to a pet is not medicinal and can potentially be harmful or dangerous to your furry friend. People have mistakenly believed that blowing smoke in their pet’s face or ears has a positive effect, when in reality it’s decreasing their oxygen levels for a brief period and leaving them confused and disoriented. Some folks may disagree— some dogs or cats do in fact come running when you open up a jar of stinky flower. This may be because they do experience some euphoric feeling from the cannabis, but this does not override any potential harm from THC.
CBD has no psychoactive effect whereas THC is entirely psychoactive and can cause excessive panting, anxiety, unpredictable behavior, lethargy, confusion, vomiting, tremor and extreme paranoia.
Sadly, I have experienced this effect first-hand when one of my Boston Terriers ate a little nugget he found on the floor. Our mistake and carelessness led to a very long and scary night for my husband, my fur-babies and I. Sancho had 2 seizures that night on top of all the other aforementioned symptoms that in turn resulted in a very expensive and stressful trip to Dove Lewis. This is not an experience we would ever care to live through again.
Oregonians are animal lovers. Our pets are our family and we want to care for them in the best ways possible. But it’s important to be cautious with how we choose to go about caring for them. Do your research and talk to your vet. CBD can be very beneficial to both your pet and to you, you just have to educate yourself before giving it a try.
Determining the right dose for your pet can be very confusing. Some vets may recommend anywhere from 10-20mg a day depending on the size or weight of your pet, while others might suggest more. It’s mainly trial and error when it comes to finding the right dosage.
Truthfully, you can’t over-medicate your pet with CBD, but you can count on more lethargy and calmness with increased dosage. It will also alleviate a multitude of other symptoms, which will provide much needed relief from pain.
I am learning about all of this right along with you, as I now have two aging dogs, a very senior cat, and for some miraculous reason, a 12yr old uromastyx lizard! CBD will very soon become a part of our daily regime. I plan to try 10mg each mixed in with their food, once a day with breakfast. I’m hoping to see some relief for Sancho and his arthritis and for little Lola with her developing glaucoma, cataracts, and pain from arthritis.
I don’t want to be one of those fur parents that pumps their kid full of toxic pain meds to keep them alive….I will treat my kids as naturally as possible so that their lives can thrive and continue on. As tumors and surgeries continue to play a part in their lives I will continue to research and experiment with cannabis and CBD, as well as for my own health and the health of my family.
Let’s learn together! Take care of those fur-kids and animal best friends –let’s love them the way they love us.