Several weeks ago I was contacted by HempMy Pet about their hemp pet treats and CBD oil for dogs. Now, I’ve heard about hemp oil for dogs, and the Internet has a wide variety of hemp products and organic pet treats available. Since a veterinarian endorsed the products on the website, I wanted to learn more.
UPDATE APRIL 9, 2020: The pilot study on CBD oil for canine osteoarthritis pain relief has been published, and here’s the link.
Update June 27, 2021: My colleague Ingrid King published an excellent article covering Cannabis for Cats at this link.
WHO IS HempMy PET?
Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Longmont, CO, HempMy Pet is the first vertically integrated hemp oil production company and only uses strictly organic farming methods, creating only the highest-quality human grade formulations for pets. With over 30 years of experience in cannabis cultivation and dietary supplement manufacturing, HempMy Pet cultivates it’s own hemp in Colorado from seed to manufacture to sale.
HempMy Pet makes strain-specific full-spectrum hemp oil supplements for pets. The company sent me some of their hemp-infused products to try with Bravo, including tictures, oils and bisuits. I’m impressed by the third-party testing for purity, potency and safety.
PETS, PREVENTION & POSSIBILITIES
As a reader, you know about my heartbreaking loss of Magical-Dawg to degenerative myelopathy, which some CBD oil products claim to help. But as a responsible pet parent and former vet tech, I’m careful about product recommendations.
It’s taken me some time to research the pros, cons, true facts and sticky challenges about CBD oil for dogs. I contacted two veterinary experts, Dr. Rob Silver from http://nurseyourpet.com/ and pain medicine veterinary specialist Dr. Robin Downing from https://downingcenter.com/ to get their expertise about hemp products for pets.
WHAT IS CBD OIL & CAN MY DOG GET “HIGH?”
Cannabadiol (CBD) oil is derived from cannabis plants, which include marijuana and hemp. Marijuana is a schedule 1 drug under federal law, treated the same as LSD, ecstasy, and heroin. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of marijuana.
Industrial hemp used for making rope, fabric and other products, is legal, and although not all states allow cultivation of industrial hemp, in can still be imported after it’s grown. In order to be classified as “hemp,” the plant must contain no more than 0.3% of THC. In other words, your dog won’t get “high” from CBD oil products derived from hemp.
CBD oil is one of more than 80 different cannabinoids found in the plant’s flower. CBD oil is the medical component that is most often used in pet supplement products for its health benefits. Also, CBD oil obtained from hemp is equally effective–and usually safer–than marijuana-derived products because hemp does not contain significant amounts of THC.
MARIJUANA TOXICITY IN DOGS!
Dogs are very sensitive to THC and toxic levels can be a real danger for them. The number one animal ER issue in states in which medical and/or recreational marijuana is legal is marijuana intoxication, says Dr. Downing.
Dr. Silver describes the adverse reaction as static ataxia—the dog stands stiffly with widespread paws, and can’t move other than to rock back and forth. At higher doses the dog may fall and eliminate on himself.
NEVER give your dog human CBD or medical marijuana products, and only offer those formulated specifically for pets. Some dogs have died from eating marijuana-laced chocolate treats.
Cats have reactions, too. Here’s a surprising reaction.
HOW CAN CBD OIL HELP MY DOG?
Both dogs and cats have cannabinoid receptors throughout their body, including in the central nervous system. That makes experts believe that CBD oil and other cannabinoids may offer a number of benefits by attaching to these receptors. The medical uses that are cited for cannabis in pets include:
- Analgesia (pain relief) (such as arthritis)
- Decreasing inflammation (some suggest CBD oil helps with IBD)
- Seizure control
- Neuroprotection (such as for DM)
- Anxiety relief (noise phobias, for instance)
- Managing nausea
- Stimulating appetite
- Cancer patient support
VETERINARY RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CBD OIL?
Ordinarily I would send you to your veterinarian for a recommendation. Legal issues are currently the biggest roadblock to widespread research, development, and implementation of cannabis and CBD-containing products for pets.
In fact, no state has specific legal language opening the door for veterinarians to recommend or prescribe cannabis products for their patients. “The only medical professionals prohibited (legally) from discussing and recommending cannabis in animals are veterinarians,” says Dr. Downing.
Dr. Silver says, “The Farm Bill of 2018 looks to change this and make hemp legal. It may become legislation by September of this year.”
HOW TO CHOOSE A CBD OIL PRODUCT
If your veterinarian can’t tell you, how does a pet parent choose a safe CBD oil product for a dog? Just because it’s “natural” doesn’t mean it’s safe, and not all products are the same. Effectiveness varies based on whether the product contains dried plant, liquid preparations and elixers, edible components and sources of the ingredients and ways produced.
“Because these are presented as supplements or treats they are not subjected to the scrutiny of the FDA, and that means they are out there in the ‘wild west’ of the supplement world,” says Dr. Downing.
Dr. Silver warns consumers to watch for specific red flags, such as misspelled words on the label or no phone number to call to ask questions. A number of products touting the benefits of CBD oil, when tested, showed little to no amount of this ingredient.
Also, Dr. Downing says at least one study demonstrated very poor oral absorption of CBD when it was used as an isolated, stand-alone compound (CBD Isolate). She believes future studies need to examine “whole plant” extracts versus single agent extracts. In other words, combinations of cannabinoids may prove more effective than single agents.
“Reliable companies are interested in acquiring and repeating independent analyses that allow them to display a Certificate of Analysis,” says Dr. Downing. This is a way for a producer to affirm and assure the public that what they produce is consistent, not contaminated, and has a specific concentration of active ingredients.
I’m pleased that HempMy Pet products include a Certificate of Analysis on their products.
BRAVO & HempMy Pet Products
Based on these cautions, I offered Bravo the HempMy Pet products with confidence. The company uses a full-spectrum hemp extract, creating an entourage effect with all active compounds present including CBD oil.
HempMy Pet products contain a combination of CBD, CBG, CBC, CBD-V and other beneficial cannabinoids, along with broad spectrum of terpenoids.
PUMPKIN HARVEST ORGANIC TREATS
We received the large dog formula (5 mg hemp extract/cookie) of the Pumpkin Harvest treat. The resealable bag contains 15 organic dog biscuits with one recommended per 50 lbs. I gave Bravo one, but he begged for more! He’s a treat hound, of course, and at a current 70 pounds, he claimed he deserved another half a cookie.
CBD OIL TINCTURE & COCONUT OIL
We also received Hemp Extracts Tincture 1000 mg, and for his size, Bravo’s recommended dosage is 1/2 to 3/4 ml, either added to food or to a specific area of the body. This would be handy for any known area of the body with a problem for topical administration, with an added bonus of no danger if the dog licked it off.
Finally, we received a jar of Hemp Infused Coconut Oil, and one serving (1 tsp) contains 15-20 mg of Hemp actives. Bravo’s weight means his dose is 3/4 to 1 tsp, added to food or topically to areas in need. Bravo licked it right off the spoon. Karma was interested, but didn’t try any–but it would easily mix into canned food. No, these are not labeled for cats, but Karma needs to stick his nose in everything.
HOW MUCH CBD OIL SHOULD I GIVE MY DOG?
The proper dose may pose a challenge with some products. Dr. Silver says that people who use medical marijuana or CBD-containing products adjust dosages up and down to find the effect they need. But veterinary medicine has little information about how CBD oil works in pets.
Dogs can’t tell us when “enough” is enough for pain relief, for example. That said, based on human experience using similar products, Dr. Downing says you should see a positive effect pretty quickly. Products formulated for pets should have dosing recommendations on the product as a guideline. Tinctures (liquids) may be the most helpful in adjusting doses incrementally.
ALWAYS READ GUIDELINES!
The guidelines on HempMy Pet products offer very specific dosing recommendations, with the caveat to consult with your veterinarian. These products are NOT designed to diagnose, treat or cure any specific disease, but offer overall health benefits to dogs. Different pets may show individual improvements in different ways, such as feeling more calm in the face of a thunderstorm. While these products are not inexpensive, they are high quality and “you get what you pay for.”
Whether your pet suffers from a health challenge, or you simply want to treat your healthy pet, be sure to inform your veterinarian about any supplements your dog receives. While CBD oil supplements are considered to be safe, veterinary medicine has no studies about drug interactions. I look forward to more definitive studies into the benefits of CBD oil for pets. And until then, Bravo will enjoy his treats–and your dogs can, too. Get your HempMy Pet treats here!
Find out more and follow HempMy Pet on Facebook, and on Instagram.
What about you? Have you offered your pets CBD oil supplement products? For what purpose? And did it help? DO tell!
I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!
Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!
How do I order the CBD oil?
The ink is in the post, here it is again: https://www.hempmypet.com
Very informative. I’ve wondered about CBD products for Truffle when we have thunderstorms and fireworks.
Excellent post, Amy! I have recently become an affiliate for a CBD company after researching and talking with folks for both myself (Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid & Osteo Arthritis) and my dogs (pain, loss of appetite, anxiety, and adult onset of seizures)….the difference I see in my senior Huskies is incredible. I wish this was more available when my Epi Gibson was alive, as I always tried to incorporate as much natural treatments as possible. I am so happy to see so many more options opening up for our pets.
I’ve heard great things about CBD oil for humans and pets. I’m glad your pets received this product well. Glad you pointed out the importance of consulting your vet AND that people need to be sure to have pet grade not human grade products for consumption. It’s nice to see more natural holistic options for pets nowadays.
I’m all for CBD products since they have worked well for Chipper with his fireworks / thunderstorm anxiety. Buffy hasn’t needed it too much – at least yet. My vet is more hesitant since she worries about stomach upset with other medications. But I haven’t seen any stomach problems.
Very interesting. I never considered using CBD products for pets. Seems to have some good benefits though!
We used CBD products when my daughters dog was in pain while fighting cancer. It really helped to take some of the edge off but obviously he needed pharmacuticals too. There is a lot of false info out there, your post is excellent.
I’ve been looking for some CBD products to use and then, if I’m happy with them, share on my blog. Thanks for the hot tip of products & companies to research!
CBD oil is absolutely on my list of go-to options to consider. Our PT started using it for her dog and works so well that the day she ran out, she was horrified how much pain her dog was in without it.
Thanks for explaining all of this, I admit I’ve been confused by CBD oil and all the different formulas. I tried a different brand of treats with CBD oil with Sophie, my anxious dog. They didn’t seem to help her at all, but maybe I’ll give brand a try.
I want to try it for Mr. N’s separation anxiety. I’ve tried treats before but he wouldn’t eat them so I think oil is the way to go.
I want to try the coconut oil with one of my cats. He’s older and showing his age more than I want to see. He loves coconut oil, I think he’d take to it fine. I do use another brand full spectrum CBD oil for my anxious angry show cat. She made every final in her last show with no hissing. I think the CBD (and some training and really good treats) helped.
The more I learn about hemp derived products for pets the more impressed I am. I’ve used hemp derived calming treats for one of my dogs and it has worked well. This sounds like a really good product line. Thanks for sharing.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
It’s so important to read the labels when it comes to all products, especially something health related such as CBD oil. I always like to check the label and read more about the manufacturer before buying a new product but I know many people don’t and that’s sad, because many products are not good quality. This company definitely sounds reliable, I’ll look into it more – maybe they have products for cats 🙂
I’ve not used CBD Oil for my dogs and, thankfully, I currently have no need to. I do hope the law catches up to the science soon, though.
https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm484109.htm This website shows companies that had warning letters to companies that have labels and the testing showed the ingredients did not match labels. I got this info in another blog.
I love the name Hemp My Pet! Also, the pumpkin treats look especially tasty. We have not tried CBD oil or treats with Ruby. I keep intending to, but just haven’t. She’s a bit anxious so definitely want to try. These look like a good place to start!
I know, the name brand says it all! The pumpkin cookies take a bit of chewing, so at first Bravo wasn’t sure what to do with it. That’s good, though, they last longer for more enjoyment!
This is the new thing and my Vet recommended it for my dog – treats she was selling. In Canada, you can only get CBD products through the vet and she pointed out you need to know the source (not from over seas) and amount in the product to know if it’s effective. Some pet products actual have low levels of THC in them and the companies claim low levels are safe – I don’t believe that. I wouldn’t risk any amount.
I don’t think we can get this here although there are many discussions currently in progress which is very positive. I need to investigate further.
Hi Marjorie. I think it’s well worth investigating. I didn’t find very much out about cats but the experts said felines also have the same “receptors” so in theory, cannabis products should have a positive effect.
I swear by CBD oil and use it on Layla – the treats she would not eat but putting a drop in her mouth when needed has been a life saver
That’s great to know, Ruth!
CBD seems to be all the rage right now! I actually have been giving it to my two dogs for a few years – my older boy for his arthritis and my younger one for his anxiety. It’s been a life changer for my older dog. It works so well for him that we’ve been able to wean him off of prescription pain meds. Sadly it doesn’t have too much of an effect on my younger dog for his anxiety. Apparently it works better for some dogs/issues than others. Still, I say worth a try in many situations!
Yep, each animal is different and such things would certainly cause a different effect in them. So glad it worked well for your older boy!
Excellent and informative post. I have learned that not all CBD oils are created equal and it’s good to know of a company that is properly vetted. And by the way, The Tribe of Five says that it was a wise marketing decision to have Karma as your spokespurrson, great photo!
MOL! Yes, Karma-Kat has to have a “paw” in everything! He’s been taking Bravo to school lately, too, inviting games of tag and then scaring the poor dog (and Bravo outweighs him by 55 pounds or so!).
We are reading so much about CBD for pets, but as you say it is hard to know whether it works (owners I have spoken to thinks it does) and chosing the right quality, dosage and product for our pets. There is still lots to learn regarding CBD for humans and pets.
If it works, and it’s safe, I have no problem with folks using supplements. The concern of course is about safety. I look forward to the time that our best pet advocates, the veterinarians, have the information they need and ability to discuss options.
This is a fantastic post and I’m going to share it on my senior dog FB page. I’m constantly hearing about CBD oil for dementia, pain and the like but I also know all products aren’t created equal. I appreciate you took the time to really research these products, and I do like this company is involved from start to finish, no middlemen and others involved in the manufacturing process, making it tough to know what you’re getting. Thanks again I learned a lot.
Great, thanks Hindy! Hope it helps some pets and pet parents out there.
This is my kind of post, and I will be sharing it and referencing it in the future. As a former Vet employee, I have also been a little skeptical to recommend CBD-based products. Most of the vets I have worked with are as well, simply because there are so few studies out there to reference. But owners are using these products, so we need to keep up with the trend and learn as much about them as we can. Thank you for this great post!
Thanks so much! Yes, I’m very careful about doing research. And always grateful to the veterinarians who share their expertise.