With the increasing popularity of CBD, marijuana, sativa, hemp, and other natural plant-based products, some pet owners may wonder about using it for their pets. Is it safe? Is it legal? And most importantly, what are the benefits of hemp oil for dogs? The answers to these questions are “yes,” “yes,” and “many.”
What is hemp oil?
First, it’s helpful to understand what hemp oil is and how it differs from other plant-based products on the market. Hemp oil has been used for thousands of years as a natural medicine and supplement for humans and animals. It comes from the seeds of the hemp plant, and contains little to no CBD or THC.
You can buy it over the counter at most drug and health food stores, but it’s best to buy one specifically formulated for dogs.
What isn’t hemp oil?
Hemp oil isn’t CBD, even though they’re derived from the same plant and people often use the terms interchangeably. While hemp oil comes from the seeds, CBD comes from the leaves, buds, and stalks.
CBD can treat a wide range of conditions, including anxiety, pain, and seizures. On the other hand, hemp oil is more commonly used for arthritis, allergies, and aging. So when purchasing hemp products for your dog it’s important to note if the hemp oil you’re buying comes from the seed or the other parts of the hemp plant.
Many brands confuse hemp oil with CBD, so your best bet is to buy products with “seed” in the title, like hempseed oil. CBD and hemp oil are very different products with separate uses.
Is hemp oil safe?
Hemp oil is perfectly safe for your dog and is certainly legal.
It’s not psychoactive, meaning it doesn’t have any mind-altering effects and won’t get your dog high. This is because it doesn’t contain THC, the substance affiliated with marijuana. While marijuana and hemp are both part of the cannabis family, they aren’t the same substance.
Equating hemp with marijuana is like comparing fish and chicken — although they’re both sources of animal protein, they come from completely different places and have their own distinct flavors and uses.
What are the benefits of hemp oil for dogs?
The benefits of hemp oil for dogs are similar to its benefits for humans. Here’s what this means for your pup.
1. Perfect Omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio
Most people give their dog fish oil if they’re looking to add omegas to their diet, but there has been evidence of fish oil causing health problems for dogs due to its instability and how quickly it goes bad. Hemp oil is a much safer way to feed your dog these healthy fats.
Omega-3 and Omega-6 can prevent allergies and arthritis. They help your dog have a healthy blood flow and generally improve organ functioning. They’re also great for making your dog’s coat healthy, luscious and glossy.
2. Rich in Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
Gamma linolenic acid is an omega-6 fatty acid that helps build prostaglandins, which are similar to hormones and support a number of bodily functions. GLA also helps reduce inflammation, and protect against arthritis and skin allergies.
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3. Great source of antioxidants
Your dog can be exposed to free radicals from toxins in chemicals, processed foods, pollution, and medications. The antioxidants in hemp oil boost your dog’s immune system and help them fight off the damaging effects of free radicals.
This helps prevent cancer and is great for the heart, eyes, skin, and brain.
4. High phospholipids content
Phospholipids help form the protective layer around cells. They work to decrease inflammation and so are useful in managing arthritis and inflammation. Phospholipids also improve brain function, reduce the risk of heart disease, and boost the immune system.
When should I give my dog hemp oil?
Your vet may recommend hemp oil for your dog as a dietary supplement, or you may notice some things about your dog and their diet that point to a need for hemp oil.
- If your dog suffers from painful joints, arthritis, or other issues caused by inflammation, giving them hemp oil may help alleviate their symptoms.
- If your dog has dandruff or a lackluster coat, hemp oil can help thicken their fur and heal their skin.
- If you live in an environment where your dog is constantly exposed to toxins (such as in a big city or a farm that uses pesticides), hemp oil can help your dog fight free radicals.
- If your dog is older, hemp oil can help fight damaging signs of aging and keep their mind sharp.
- If your dog’s diet is high in beef, but not in fish (which contains many of the same benefits as hemp oil) or chicken (which can cause an imbalance in your dog’s diet when combined with hemp oil), then he may need hemp oil to get all his nutrients.
How much hemp oil should I give my dog?
Since different products come in different concentrations, it’s best to follow directions according to the packaging on the product. That way, you can be sure to give your dog the correct size dose for their weight.
Always check with your vet before introducing any changes to your dog’s diet, including whether or not you should give your dog hemp oil and how much.
Is there any reason not to give my dog hemp oil?
If your dog’s diet is high in chicken, don’t give them a hemp oil supplement. Both chicken and hemp oil contain a lot of polyunsaturated fats, so combining them can create a dietary imbalance.
In that case, try supplementing their diet with flaxseed oil or cooked fish instead. Also, don’t use hemp oil to cook for your dog because heat can make the oil rancid and therefore toxic.
If you notice signs of illness in your dog after feeding them hemp oil, such as acting lethargic or refusing to eat, discontinue use and talk to your vet.
Hemp oil offers a range of possible health benefits that can improve the quality of your pet’s life. This natural product may provide relief from a range of ailments, including allergies, inflammation, and joint pain. Hemp oil may also help to improve skin and coat condition, boost immunity and fight free radicals.
The numerous advantages of hemp oil make it an ideal choice for pet owners who want the best for their furry family members. But as with any new supplement, always consult your veterinarian first