As more states legalize cannabis, it is becoming increasingly common to find products that contain CBD or THC for use with your pet. While there are some studies showing possible benefits of using marijuana as a medicine for dogs and cats, many experts agree that additional research is needed before recommending it to your dog or cat.
Many veterinarians are also not very familiar with the effects of cannabis on animals. Some may even recommend against its use because they have never seen an adverse effect occur while it was being administered.
That said, there are several reasons why you should consider giving your furry friend some weed! Here are some potential benefits, along with warnings about misuse.
Why Is It Important To Know About Marijuana For Dogs And Cats?
It can be difficult to know what will work best for your animal partner. Veterinarian’s typically start with a drug trial in order to determine whether medication changes help reduce symptoms and improve quality of life.
In other words, does this product make my dog feel better and do things he/she normally would? This is important so your vet can identify one that works for your beloved canine companion.
A lot of times, however, doctors cannot get enough information from people outside of healthcare to evaluate the effectiveness of a new therapy. This is where doing your own research comes into play.
You can visit local clinics to see if anyone has ever tried prescribing cannabis for their patients and how successful they were.
- 1 Cannabis for pets: The risks
- 2 Can your pet use cannabis?
- 3 Medical conditions your pet may have
- 4 Identify your pets unique cannabis strain
- 5 Monitor your pet during use
- 6 Be aware of drug interactions
- 7 Are your pets cannabis effects similar to alcohol?
- 8 Does cannabis make your pet more anxious or aggressive?
Cannabis for pets: The risks
While cannabis is becoming more popular as an alternative medicine option, using it to treat your dog or cat can be risky. Certain forms of marijuana are not appropriate for use in animals.
Some studies report that THC (the compound in cannabis that people feel when they smoke weed) may have negative effects on dogs’ respiratory systems or cause liver damage.
A few reports suggest that smoking cannabis can actually make cats vomit, which could lead to choking. If you find yourself struggling to motivate your pet to take their medication after a trip to the park, consider trying a different brand or type of pill. Or perhaps only administer the CBD instead of the whole plant?
CBD does not produce the same effect on dogs or cats as it does humans, so it can still help with symptoms but without any psychoactive properties.
Can your pet use cannabis?
Many people enjoy smoking or vaping CBD products, which are virtually free of psychoactive compounds that create feelings of euphoria. For this reason, many consider CBD to be non-psycho active.
Some owners choose to ingest their dog’s medicine themselves, but more often than not, pets find the tincture or pill they are given by their owner.
When putting drops in their mouth, some dogs may taste them and decide he doesn’t want any more. Others will simply spit it out. Some dogs don’t like the way it tastes so they never take it.
Whatever method is chosen, just make sure your pet is able to access the medicine! If you put it in the mouth, check to see if they can reach it with their tongue.
If one of these practices isn’t working, try giving him the medication via injection instead. This also allows you to control how much gets into his system, as well as being less likely to cause vomiting or diarrhea. Check here for tips on administering injections properly.
Medical conditions your pet may have
Certain medical conditions can be helped by using cannabis as a treatment option. Unfortunately, you cannot use marijuana directly to treat your dog or cat. Instead, tinctures or oils are used so your body does not absorb high levels of THC, the compound in weed that makes people feel “high.”
Some oil forms contain CBD, which does not cause intoxication but has shown potential health benefits. Because there is no alcohol in these products, they do not create an intoxicating effect like regular drugs.
Cannabis-based treatments are still considered experimental because too many dogs and cats get sick due to improper dosing. More studies need to be done to determine if it is effective and safe.
Many veterinarians are skeptical about the effectiveness of cannabis since most research is observational instead of controlled clinical trials.
Identify your pets unique cannabis strain
Medical marijuana is increasingly accessible for use in humans, but using it to treat dogs or cats can be tricky as there are no regulations set up for veterinarians to prescribe necessary products for medicinal uses.
Some vets will recommend specific strains of medical cannabis oil that have been shown to work for certain conditions, but these oils come at a very expensive price due to the high cost of the product itself.
There are some ways to help reduce the costs of veterinary medical cannabis by making your own medicine! If you are passionate about helping your pet feel better, this article has tips for you to do just that.
You can make an appropriate amount of medicine yourself so that you get the same benefits as paying much more for Vet-MVCH (medical veterinarian certified) quality CBDs or other cannabinoids such as THC.
Monitor your pet during use
While cannabis has myriad uses for humans, it is not advised to use it directly on dogs or cats. If you choose to give your dog or cat marijuana, there are some things you should be aware of.
First, make sure they can breathe while using the product. Most dogs have around 20 to 30% more surface area than human beings do, which means they need to breath much faster. This could prove to be a problem if you gave your animal too much at once.
Second, ensure that their paws are warm before putting them in water or outside! Dogs will ingest liquid when they are hot so having to take them out or into cold water may cause heat loss which could put stress on their bodies.
Third, check for symptoms such as dry mouth, vomiting, diarrhea, weight gain, lethargy, seizures, and unconsciousness. Any of these signs indicate an issue with digestion, metabolism, or respiratory function and thus warrant veterinary attention.
Lastly, make sure to hold off giving your pet any type of drug until the effects are known! Dog breed differences and individual pets mean each one’s reactions vary, so we cannot say whether or not this particular dose was safe for yours.
Be aware of drug interactions
As mentioned earlier, marijuana can have some amazing benefits when used properly. One of these is helping reduce symptoms in dogs with epilepsy.
A small amount of cannabis can help decrease seizures in animals that have been diagnosed with epilepsy!
However, it is important to note that like any medicine, THC (the active compound in cannabis) can interact with other medications. This may increase or reduce the effectiveness of each one.
It is also important to remember that although many people enjoy smoking marijuana, doing so comes with certain risks. These include worsening anxiety, depression, or psychotic episodes in someone who already has those conditions.
For this reason, we do not recommend starting most people on medical cannabis unless they are under doctor’s supervision. However, due to its potential health benefits, we feel it is worth mentioning as an option for possible treatments for your dog.
Are your pets cannabis effects similar to alcohol?
Medical marijuana is becoming more common in the United States, especially for humans. But what about those seeking treatment for their dogs or cats? Is it safe to give your pet weed?
While there are not many studies done on using cannabis as medicine for animals, what research does exist suggests that some strains may help reduce seizures and pain in certain conditions!
But just like with human patients, there can be benefits and risks involved depending on the condition your dog or cat has.
So before you begin treating your furry friend, make sure to do your research and discuss this option with a veterinarian.
Does cannabis make your pet more anxious or aggressive?
There are some reports of dogs who use marijuana to feel relaxed, but this is not the case for all breeds. Some studies have even reported instances of dogs being physically harmed by their pot-using owners.
Dogs that ingest THC (the main compound in cannabis) may show symptoms such as restlessness, pacing, salivation, vomiting, diarrhea and increased aggression. If you notice any changes in behavior, talk with your vet about whether cannabis could be causing these effects.
Some research suggests that CBD can help reduce anxiety and stress in animals, so adding some CBD oil to your dog’s diet might be worth a try. However, there has been no proof that CBD prevents mental health issues in pets.