Understanding the world of pet health can feel like traversing a complex labyrinth. There’s an overwhelming amount of information available, and every day, it seems a new supplement hits the market claiming to be the key to your dog’s well-being. One supplement rising in popularity is derived from hemp, a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp-based dog health supplements, particularly those containing cannabidiol (CBD), have garnered significant attention due to their potential health benefits.
Understanding Hemp and CBD
Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant that has been cultivated for centuries for its strong fibers and oil-rich seeds. Unlike marijuana, another variety of Cannabis sativa, hemp contains minimal amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBD, on the other hand, is found in both hemp and marijuana, but hemp-derived CBD is most commonly used in pet supplements due to its low THC content. Whether you’re looking at human supplements for yourself or supplements for your dog, you won’t see the THC level go over 0.3%.
Potential Benefits of Hemp Dog Health Supplements
Hemp dog health supplements hold promising potential for supporting pet owners’ furry friends health and wellness. Potential benefits of hemp dog health supplements include:
Promoting Calm By Adding Hemp Oil To Your Dog’s Diet
One of the most celebrated potential benefits of hemp dog supplements is their potential to help maintain normal emotional balance. Just like humans, dogs can have a difficult time due to a variety of circumstances, like separation, travel, loud noises, or age-related cognitive decline. Anecdotal reports and some preliminary studies suggest that CBD may help maintain contentment during separation, travel, motion sickness, and tension caused by changes in your pet’s daily routine.
Supporting Joint Health
Hemp supplements may also play a role in supporting joint health, particularly in older dogs or those with limited mobility. Research has shown that CBD helps maintain a normal inflammatory response. Additionally, some hemp supplements include other ingredients that maintain a normal inflammatory cytokine cascade, like glucosamine supplements and chondroitin sulfate, enhancing their potential benefits.
Enhancing Coat and Skin Health
Full-spectrum hemp extract is incredibly beneficial for enhancing skin and coat health in dogs. Rich in essential fatty acids like Omega-3 and Omega-6, it works as an overall skin and coat enhancer, promoting a shiny, healthy coat. The oil also aids in reducing unseasonal or excessive shedding.
You may now be thinking, “Why should dog owners choose full spectrum hemp extract over fish oil?” Well, fish oil oxidizes quickly. This means the likelihood of purchasing a rancid product that you’d add to your dog’s food is relatively high. Full spectrum hemp extract is often placed in dark colored bottles to prevent oxidation and has more stability than fish oil.
Supporting Digestive Health
Some studies suggest that CBD may benefit dogs with digestive issues. By interacting with the endocannabinoid system, which plays a crucial role in maintaining gut health, CBD supports normal GI health and function. Furthermore, the fiber-rich hemp seeds can support gut health by promoting regular bowel movements and supporting a healthy gut microbiome. If your dog isn’t a fan of tinctures, you can also consider soft chews.
Improving Cardiovascular Health
The omega fatty acids in hemp oil, particularly omega 3 fatty acids, have been linked to cardiovascular health benefits. They may help support normal blood pressure, maintain blood sugar levels within normal ranges, and promote normal circulation. Although research in this area is primarily focused on humans, veterinarians often extrapolate these benefits to dogs, particularly those with existing cardiovascular issues.
The Vitamins in Hemp Extract
Full spectrum hemp extract, derived from the whole hemp plant, contains a variety of beneficial compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and essential fatty acids. While it’s known for its content of cannabidiol (CBD), it also contains various vitamins and minerals that contribute to its health benefits. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Vitamin E: Full spectrum hemp extract is rich in Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant that may reduce free radical damage. It also supports the immune system and helps maintain and support normal visual function.
- B Vitamins: The extract contains several B vitamins, including B1 (Thiamine), B2 (Riboflavin), and B6 (Pyridoxine). These dog vitamins enhance brain function, help support energy production at a cellular level, and support a healthy red blood cell count.
- Vitamin D: Though less common, some hemp extracts may contain Vitamin D, which helps build strong bones and promotes a healthy immune system.
- Vitamin A: Some hemp extracts contain Vitamin A, a vitamin that’s essential for healthy eye function.
In addition to these vitamins, full spectrum hemp extract contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc. It also has essential fatty acids and protein, which are among the nutrients dogs need. However, the exact nutrient composition can vary depending on the specific hemp plant used and the extraction method.
Always check the product label or ask the manufacturer for detailed information about what’s in their hemp extract. If it doesn’t contain vitamins you’re looking for, you may want to consider getting your dog vitamins in the form of a dog vitamin supplement.
Choosing and Using Hemp Dog Supplements Safely
With the growing popularity of hemp dog health supplements, there are countless products on the market. It can be challenging to know which one to choose. Here are some factors to consider:
- Quality and purity: Look for a supplement made from high-quality, organically grown hemp. The product should be free from pesticides and heavy metals. Only purchase from companies willing to provide a Certificate of Analysis (CoA), verifying the product’s purity and potency.
- Type of hemp extract: Hemp supplements can contain CBD isolate (pure CBD), broad-spectrum hemp (all hemp compounds except THC), or full-spectrum hemp (all hemp compounds, including trace amounts of THC). Without THC, the entourage effect will not occur, resulting in a lack of many of the listed benefits.
- Form of supplement: Hemp supplements come in various forms, including oils, capsules, treats, and topicals. Choose the one that’s most convenient for you and your dog.
- Potency: Check the amount of CBD or hemp oil in the product to ensure it’s appropriate for your dog’s size and health needs.
Start with a Low Dose and Monitor Your Dog’s Health
Start with a lower dose than recommended and gradually increase it if necessary, while closely monitoring your dog’s reaction. The appropriate dosage can vary based on factors like your dog’s size, age, health status, and individual response. The general guideline to remember is “start low and go slow.” Jotting down what your dog’s response in a notebook can help you identify differences before and after administering.
Hemp Dog Supplements at Earth Buddy
At Earth Buddy, hemp is grown in Longmont, Colorado, without the use of pesticides in a natural environment to strive for the best dog supplements possible. Earth Buddy grows small quantities of hemp on 5 acres or less to be dried indoors, preventing mold and mildew from occurring. The oil is extracted using supercritical CO2 and combined with MCT oil for optimal bioavailability.
Hemp products that Earth Buddy offers include:
- Full Spectrum Hemp Extract: Earth Buddy’s Full Spectrum Hemp Extract is available in three strengths, including 250mg, 500mg, and 1000mg. Earth Buddy performed a calming study on pets with their CBD, which can be viewed here.
- Balance Hemp Extract: Balance Hemp Extract contains equal amounts of CBD and CBDa for dogs. It’s recommended for senior dogs to support and maintain proper body functions and overall good quality of life.
- Cellular Support Hemp Extract: Cellular Support Hemp Extract has a 4:1 ratio of CBG and CBD to enhance the body’s immune response and support normal digestive function. CBG and CBD support healthy cellular activity.
- Mobility Hemp Extract: Mobility Hemp Extract has high amounts of CBDa for dogs to help support joint flexibility and mobility.
- Sleep Support Hemp Extract: Sleep Support Hemp Extract provides a combination of high CBN and low CBD to promote relaxation allowing dogs to get to sleep easier.
- Quick Calm: Quick Calm has Rapid Delivery Emulsion Technology to reduce the amount of time it takes for CBD oil to get into the bloodstream. By emulsifying the raw plant extract, Earth Buddy is able to mix in distilled water for faster absorption producing a calming effect faster than traditional oil-based extracts.
- Hemp Hearts: Hemp Hearts come in three varieties: Blueberry, Pumpkin, and Extra Strength. All flavors of Earth Buddy CBD chews are all made with high-quality, natural ingredients without the use of artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Consult Your Veterinarian
Always consult your veterinarian before introducing a new supplement to your dog’s routine, especially if your dog is on any other medication or has a chronic health condition. While hemp supplements are generally considered safe, it’s crucial to make sure they’re right for your dog’s specific needs.
Traditional veterinarians may not know as much about CBD as holistic veterinarians. Searching for a holistic veterinarian or complementary veterinarian that combines holistic and traditional medicine can be beneficial.
Take Advantage of the Benefits of Dog Health Supplements
Whether you’re looking at soft chews or tinctures, hemp dog supplements have the potential to provide numerous benefits for your dog’s health and well-being, from supporting a calm disposition to enhancing joint health. As this market continues to evolve, so will our understanding of these products and their benefits.
Remember, these supplements are not a cure-all and should not replace a balanced diet and regular veterinary care. However, with careful selection, appropriate dosing, and veterinary guidance, they can be a valuable tool in promoting your dog’s health and happiness.
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