Getting good advice on how to help treat your pet is tricky when it comes to cannabis. Currently, there are no official studies on the potential benefits of canine CBD. Historically, the primary focus of studies was the toxicological effects from accidental ingestion, as opposed to positive side effects. However, according to the American Kennel Club, anecdotally CBD has been helpful for treating canine pain. It can also be helpful in the reduction of seizures. Asking for this information from a certified veterinarian, however, may put your vet in a bit of a bind.
Wary Vets and Advice Legality
The hesitation of your vet to potentially prescribe CBD for anxiety or pain for your dog is warranted. The vet has little to no data to back themselves up. In some states, it is illegal for a vet to discuss cannabis-based treatments with pet owners. It is punishable by disciplinary or financial penalty, but some states are looking to remediate that.
Utah, for example, is working on Senate Bill 209, which would protect vets against potential punishment. California, too, is looking to clarify the legal murk around vets offering cannabis advice with Bill No. 1885. It seems agreed upon in the canine world that there is definitely potential, there just needs to be research done to back these claims with evidence.
Dogs THC Sensitivity
It is highly important when picking a CBD product for your dog to start low and slow. It’s also an understatement to say that finding a quality product is crucial. Products not well regulated may contain higher than legal quantities of THC. You might also want to avoid any synthetic products. Dogs are much, much more sensitive to THC than humans. Canines possess far more CB1 cannabinoid receptors than humans, and CB1 attaches to THC specifically.
Just a tiny amount of THC will have your dog experiencing “static ataxia”. This is a unique neurological reaction in dogs, and causes them to lose their balance, stumble or wobble. Losing control of their limbs could be very frightening, as dogs don’t seeks “highs” the way humans do to our knowledge. If anxiety is what your trying to treat, then frightening your pup is probably not a good approach!
It is fortunate that legal protections are on their way for veterinarians to safely discuss cannabis-based treatment plans with pet owners. Now it’s time to get the research in the books. Do you have any anecdotal stories of CBD helping your pet? Comment and share below!