Hemp. It’s more than just a trend! Hemp has become a very popular natural supplement for dogs. From anxiety to shedding, hemp oil might be just what you need to boost your dog's health.
Hemp oil for dogs has become a popular homeopathic supplement to help manage various canine problems such as anxiety, stress, chronic pain, skin disorders, mobility problems, and more. Derived from the cannabis plant, hemp oil provides the same therapeutic benefits for your dog as it does for humans.
Hemp oil for dogs in Canada has become more favoured as a viable alternative to costly prescription medications that often have various harmful side effects. Owners are attracted to the product because it’s all-natural and a part of Mother Nature.
What is Hemp Oil for Dogs?
Hemp comes from the Cannabis Sativa plant and is a common ingredient with many health benefits for both pets and people. This is due to unique compounds called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are naturally occurring compounds that have varying therapeutic properties. The cannabinoids in hemp plants are called phytocannabinoids, while the cannabinoids that are naturally produced by your dog’s body are called endocannabinoids.
Due to hemp’s association with marijuana, many pet owners balk at the thought of hemp oil for dogs. They don’t want Fido to get ‘high’ on the ganja. However, properly produced hemp oil contains very little or no tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the cannabinoid that creates an intoxicating effect.
Instead, hemp oils contain phytocannabinoids such as cannabidiol (CBD), a popular cannabinoid for the treatment of anxiety, epilepsy, inflammation, and more. Best of all (unlike THC)- CBD causes no intoxicating response in animals or humans but does promote whole-body health.
In addition, hemp oil often contains other beneficial cannabinoids such as CBG, CBDA, CBN, and terpenes which all work together to support your dog’s health and wellness.
Endocannabinoid System and Hemp Oil
The endocannabinoid system (ECS) is a molecular response system that is found in all mammals. It functions by creating a state of whole-body homeostasis (balance).
Within the dog’s ECS are two receptors: CB1 and CB2 (known as cannabinoid receptors). The receptors are located within the immune system and brain. They work when the body produces endocannabinoids which stimulate them to help balance the body’s functions.
Phytocannabinoids, like CBD, interact with other body receptors to stimulate the natural production of endocannabinoids within your dog, which promote total physical and mental balance.
Hemp Oil for Dogs vs. CBD Oil for Dogs
Many people, manufacturers included, often use the terms hemp oil and CBD oil interchangeably, but this may not always be true. There is a difference between hemp oil and hemp seed oil, and additionally a difference between CBD oil and hemp oil.
While they all have some similar benefits, knowing the difference will help you pick the right supplement for your pet’s needs.
Hemp oil can refer to either hemp seed oil or CBD oil, but it’s often an inaccurate description either way.
Hemp seed oil is derived from the seeds of the hemp plant. It does contain CBD and other cannabinoids but in very low quantities. It is also high in numerous nutrients such as omega fats, essential fatty acids, and proteins.
CBD oil, on the other hand, is derived from hemp plant fibre, like stalks, leaves, and flowers. These parts of the plant contain higher concentrations of cannabinoids, giving it anxiety and pain-relieving properties, among other benefits.
Since the change in regulations around the use of industrial hemp products, it has become much easier to find CBD products for pets and people, but the stigma around cannabis leads many to shy away from CBD products, despite the safety and benefits.
Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs
Hemp seed oil is rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fats, which are both unsaturated fats. This highly nutritious oil contains a variety of essential nutrients to support your dog’s overall health, which is why hemp seed oil is a very popular nutritional aid for dogs.
Here are a few of the most popular benefits of feeding hemp seed oil to dogs:
Dogs often experience skin disorders, like allergies that lead to itching, licking, and biting the afflicted area due to discomfort. Sores often materialize. Unchecked, many common skin problems end up requiring medical treatment.
Omega fatty acids can help to support healthy skin cell cycles, soothing irritated skin, and help heal damaged skin patches. Additionally, they reduce inflammation that can lead to discomfort and itch.
Another benefit of omega fatty acids and many of the vitamins and minerals from hemp seed oil is a reduction in shedding and healthier coat quality. Dogs that are routinely fed essential fatty acids have shinier, healthier coats, which means less grooming and less clean-up.
Dogs that suffer from arthritis or other joint-related mobility issues can benefit from the inflammation-reducing properties of omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. By reducing inflammation it can improve mobility and reduce the pain caused by swelling and grinding in the joints.
Benefits of CBD for Dogs
CBD is generally considered to be a more potent therapeutic remedy than hemp seed oil alone because it can be used for more severe symptoms and works with the endocannabinoid system to help your dog’s body heal itself.
Though it lacks the fatty acids and other nutrients that hemp seeds offer, CDB has unique benefits that can’t be matched by other natural supplements.
Pain can be limiting, immobilizing and mentally grating, so finding a solution for your pet’s pain is essential for restoring a higher quality of life. This science is still being researched but a 2018 study by Cornell University shows that CBD does help eliminate pain and improve mobility.
CBD works indirectly with a receptor, referred to as the “Vanilloid” receptor, that manages pain and pain perception, to reduce chronic pain and promote recovery.
Hemp oil for dogs’ arthritis is promising. In one study, dogs were given CBD oil to treat osteoarthritis. Each of the dogs in the study experienced less pain and increased activity. It is believed that the pain was eased due to the anti-inflammatory properties of CBD, which acted as an antagonist to the body’s CB receptors.
Dogs who suffer from anxiety can manifest into destructive behaviour such as tearing apart furniture, overgrooming, and barking. Though there are many natural anxiety remedies for dogs, none are quite as effective as CBD.
Serotonin is a chemical produced by the body that acts as a mood stabilizer. The serotonin receptors are activated by CBD, causing an increased anti-anxiety effect.
Is Hemp Oil Safe for Dogs?
Yes, most veterinarians and researchers agree that hemp oil is safe for dogs. Always take the time to check the label to ensure that the oil contains less than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol.
Some pet owners have noted side effects of hemp oil for dogs on rare occasions, such as vomiting, lethargy, lack of appetite, or diarrhea. However, such reports are rare and may be due to the dog’s preexisting health condition.
Dogs administered hemp oil to help cope with ongoing pain often sleep more than others, but this could simply be the body going through a healing process.
Choosing the Right Hemp Products for Your Dog
Now that we have examined whether hemp oil is good for your dog, we can discuss how to choose the right products. When shopping for hemp oil, you’ll encounter a variety of products such as oils.
Hemp oil has many benefits for dogs, but the next step is finding the right supplement for your pet’s needs. Here are some of our favourite hemp oil supplements that you can try with your stressed pooch.
Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs
Pure is always best, especially when it comes to managing your pet’s health. Pure and natural hemp oil is easily added to your dog's meals, and when fed daily, it can be a great way to support your pet’s health.
Adored Beast Apothecary Heightened Hemp
Adored Beast Apothecary Heightened Hemp is formulated using cold-pressed Canadian grown hemp seed that is herbicide and pesticide-free. The oil is rich in omega-three, omega six, nine fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Thrive Hemp Oil
Thrive Hemp Seed Oil has been specially formulated to improve the dog’s skin, coat, and immune response. The formula is made from 100% all-natural cold-pressed hemp seed oil that is sourced and manufactured in Canada.
True Leaf Calming Oil
You can have the best of both worlds with True Leaf Calming Oil. The health benefits of hemp seed oil mixed with added calming ingredients like L-theanine and chamomile can help to keep your pet stress-free.
Calming Treats for Dogs
When your dog’s anxiety is growing, you might be able to distract him with a treat that will have a calming effect during stressful times. Treat supplements are also great for picky pets who turn their nose up at plain oil.
True Leaf Calming Support Chews
Using the same healthy and calming ingredients in their oil, True Leaf Calming Support Chews are tasty chews that make it easy to give your pet the anxiety relief they need. These are great for picky pets who tend to turn their nose up at the boring old oil.
CannaBiscuits Calming Chews
Another tasty chew, Canna Biscuit Calming Dog Chews contains L-theanine, passionflower, and Vitamin B12 to help reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, these biscuits are a great source of the omega fatty acid DHA, derived from algae, that helps to support cognitive function and development.
Hero Peanut Butter with Hemp Oil
Suppose your dog doesn’t favour chews, then try Hero Peanut Buddy with Hemp Oil. Place the creamy peanut butter on a favoured treat. You can even add it as a food topper. In addition to helping calm the pet, it also acts as a support aid for the skin, the immune system, and healthy joints during all stages of your dog’s life.
No matter how fussy your dog is, hemp oil can be found in a variety of formats to boost your dog's health. It can be added to food, treats, or fed as is for those dogs who will eat just about anything, though hemp oil is often found to be a palatable taste for dogs and cats.
Hemp oil may not be a complete solution for all your dog's issues, but it's a great start. Like most natural solutions, hemp oil is the perfect compliment to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.
Are you ready to try hemp oil for your dog? Let us know which hemp products helped your dog in the comments below.