Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs

hemp oil for dogs

It seems that everyone is talking about cannabis-derived products like CBD oil and hemp oil for the health benefits they convey. The benefits of hemp seed oil for humans include things like reducing inflammation and helping with weight loss, but what about your best furry friend?

As it turns out, hemp oil for dogs is becoming more popular as a dietary supplement. Many use it successfully for managing pain, controlling epilepsy, for joint support, and as a supplement to help with coat health and skin conditions as well as mood disorders.

But are there any side effects that loving pet parents need to know about? Should you include hemp seed oil as a supplement in your dog’s diet? Let’s take a look at just what hemp oil is, what the science says about its use, and if any potential drawbacks could affect your pooch’s overall well-being.

What Is Hemp Seed Oil?

Hemp oil for dogs is made by cold-pressing hemp seeds. There are two general types of hemp oil: unrefined and refined.

Refined hemp oil doesn’t have any color or flavor, and it is most often used to manufacture hemp products like lubricants, plastics, or fuel. Unrefined hemp oil, on the other hand, is green in color and has a nutty flavor. This is what is formulated with certain nutritious contents for use as a supplement. It comes with three labels: raw, virgin, or pure.

The difference between the three labels is in the preparation methods used for extraction. Raw hemp seed oil is produced without any heating using high pressure and carbon dioxide. This preserves all nutrients.

Virgin hemp oil is cold-pressed and filtered, and the process also preserves nutrients. Virgin hemp oil is full of antioxidants, omega-3 and omega-6, and other essential fatty acids known to promote healthy skin.

Pure hemp seed oil involves heating, which can result in the loss of certain nutrients. But it does enhance the taste of the hemp seed oil.

Moreover, it’s even possible to make an organic hemp seed oil whereby the growers use organic fertilizer sources as opposed to synthetic fertilizer.

Is Hemp Oil for Dogs the Same as CBD Oil for Dogs?

The answer to this question is no, they are not the same thing. The basic difference between the two is the part of the plant from which each is extracted. Hemp seed oil comes from the seeds of the plant, while CBD oil comes from the flowers and stems.

The flowers and stems of the plant contain the highest concentrations of cannabinoids. Because CBD oil is extracted from these parts, it is rich in cannabinoids, while hemp seed oil only has trace amounts of these chemical agents.

There are also some distinct effects on your dog’s health between these two oils. Hemp oil is rich in certain nutrients, like omega-3, -6, and -9 fatty acids, proteins, and amino acids, all of which can help to improve your dog’s overall well-being.

CBD oil, on the other hand, helps regulate the endocannabinoid system, which is the system that is responsible for sending signals to various parts of the body. That makes CBD oil for dogs useful in helping to alleviate problems like separation anxiety, high blood pressure, joint pain, and seizures.

Both hemp oil and CBD oil are useful for calming your dog and helping to reduce anxiety and stress. Additionally, the nutrients found in hemp can prevent certain gastrointestinal and neurodegenerative diseases as well as cancer.

What is the Difference Between Hemp and Marijuana?

Both hemp and marijuana are subspecies of Cannabis sativa, a cannabis plant. There is a big difference, however, in the psychoactive properties of each. While marijuana contains high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), hemp does not.

Hemp seed oil has low levels of THC and high levels of cannabidiol, which doesn’t cause the ‘high’ effect that THC does.

That’s an important distinction because marijuana can cause some serious neurological symptoms in their best friends. This is because marijuana depresses the central nervous system, resulting in ataxia (incoordination when walking), and can even cause them to be unable to walk.

It can also cause other symptoms like an unusually slow or rapid heart rate, head bobbing, and listlessness. While marijuana can cause these problems, hemp does not.

What are the Health Benefits of Hemp Seed Oil for Dogs?

The nutrients found in hemp oil have several beneficial effects on dogs. Here are a few of the ways it can improve your dog’s well-being.

Healthy Coat and Skin

The combination of essential fatty acids, like the balance of omega-3 fatty acids with omega-6 fatty acids found in hemp oil, is well-known to help rejuvenate the skin and coat of both dogs and cats. That helps to hydrate the surface of the skin, which stimulates hair growth. Some veterinarians will use hemp oil for dogs to address dermatological issues like atopic dermatitis, hair loss, and dandruff. Typically, pet owners see an improvement in their pet’s skin and coat within a month of using hemp seed oil.

Cancer Prevention & reduced tumor size

Dogs suffering from malignant cancer are shown to benefit from supplementation with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). GLA is a type of omega-6 fatty acid that is necessary for helping to strengthen a dog’s immune system. It is the dog’s immune system that can help to fight off both inflammation and tumor growth. Dogs fed a GLA-rich diet have less cancerous tumor growth than those not fed the same diet. Hemp seed oil for dogs is a good GLA supplement since it has high levels of this particular omega-6 fatty acid.

Hemp seed oil is effective in reducing cancer cell proliferation, and thereby tumor size, in dogs. That makes it a promising natural treatment for cancerous lesions.

Anti-inflammatory response

The same GLA that helps restrict the growth of cancerous tumors also has anti-inflammatory properties. That can help alleviate swelling that is the result of certain health conditions. For example, dogs with joint problems can benefit from hemp oil. Its anti-inflammatory properties can help improve their mobility.

Anxiety reduction

Research has shown that a single dose of cannabidiol, the active ingredient in hemp oil, alleviates anxiety in dogs. Specifically, it helps with separation anxiety and car stress, but has the potential to help with other kinds of anxiety-related issues.

Pain relief

Cannabidiol has also been scientifically demonstrated to relieve pain, including neuropathic, osteoarthritis, and cancer pain, in dogs by regulating pain perception. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties can also help relieve pain, particularly that associated with osteoarthritis.

May improve appetite

large breed dog food

Hemp oil is also effective at helping improve appetite in dogs with diseases that tend to suppress the appetite, like cancer, kidney disease, and liver disease. Both its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to reduce nausea assist in this regard.

Improves certain digestive problems

The anti-inflammatory properties of hemp oil can also help to promote healthy digestion. Additionally, some studies have shown that cannabidiol can help promote healthy motility and heal some digestive problems.

Seizure control with epilepsy

Research has shown that hemp oil helps to reduce seizure frequency and the number of seizure days in dogs with idiopathic epilepsy. This is particularly helpful for dogs that don’t respond to traditional treatments.

What are the Possible Side Effects of Hemp Oil for Dogs?

While there are some side effects that are possible with any supplement, hemp oil has relatively few. Here are some of the possible side effects:

Allergic Response

As with any substance, it is possible that your pooch could be allergic to hemp. For this reason, experts recommended that you start with small amounts of hemp oil for dogs. Then, wait to see if your furry friend appears to have any reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction could include any or all of the following:

  • Hives
  • Itching
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting

If your dog does develop any of these symptoms, take him to the veterinarian immediately to get him checked out.

Adverse Drug Interactions

It is possible that hemp oil given to dogs can affect certain liver enzymes that are important for the metabolism of prescription drugs. Consult with your veterinarian before using hemp oil to make sure it isn’t a problem if your dog is on other medications.

Gastrointestinal Upset

Among the most common side effects of using hemp oil for dogs is digestive upset. This is particularly true if your dog ingests a large amount. Here are some signs to look for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of coordination
  • Increased urination
  • Hypersensitivity

Usually, these symptoms don’t last very long, but if you have given your pooch a large amount of hemp oil, it could lead to liver damage from an accidental overdose. Therefore, it’s vital, as it is with any drug, to always give them the correct amount,

Decreased Saliva Production

According to the American Kennel Club, research into CBD oil has shown its potential to cause a dry mouth in humans. While research into its use in dogs has not shown this to be the case, it remains a potential side effect.

Low Blood Pressure

Again, research in humans has shown that high doses of hemp oil can cause a drop in blood pressure. While that hasn’t necessarily been demonstrated in dogs, it remains a possibility with higher doses. This is another reason to make sure you’re giving the correct dose.

A Few Considerations Related to Hemp Oil

hemp oil for dogs

There are a few things to consider when giving hemp oil to your dog. First, you shouldn’t use it as a cooking oil. It can easily make your dog’s food go rancid more quickly than it otherwise would.

Second, you shouldn’t mix hemp oil with any chicken-based food since both are rich in polyunsaturated fats and linoleic acid. That means that if your dog eats them together, they may experience an excessive fat intake.

Another important consideration to bear in mind is that hemp oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Therefore, there are no definitive guidelines on dosing such products. It’s important to always consult with your veterinarian before giving this kind of supplement.

Finally, you should make sure your pet always has access to fresh water. This is especially important when giving a supplement, like hemp oil, that has a high-fat content. You don’t want him to become dehydrated because of that.

What is the Recommended Dose for Hemp Oil for Dogs?

Research indicates that long-term daily feeding of hemp oil is well-tolerated in dogs, but the dosage recommendations vary significantly. To be safe, you should consult with your veterinarian.

It’s also a good idea to start small, perhaps only 1 milligram per every pound of body weight. Stay at that dose for a few weeks to ensure your pooch doesn’t have any reaction to the hemp, and to see if any changes result.

If he doesn’t have any reactions and no change in his condition results, you can gradually increase the dosage until you see positive changes. Just remember to do so only in consultation with your veterinarian.

How Do You Give Hemp Oil to Your Dog?

Hemp oil is most effective if it is absorbed through the mouth of your dog. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use a dropper to place a few drops under his tongue.

If you have issues, mix the hemp oil with your dog’s food or even on his dog treats. Just know that this method can decrease the potency of the oil since it is absorbed in the digestive tract.

It’s also possible to use hemp oil topically to alleviate skin problems. If you’re doing it for this reason, simply apply the oil directly to the affected area.

What Is the Best Hemp Oil for Dogs?

There are a lot of hemp oil products out there. To choose the best one for your dog, consider these facts when making your selection:

  1. The Extraction Method Matters. Choose hemp oil produced using carbon dioxide or via cold press extraction. You don’t want hemp oil produced using butane or petroleum products. Those can be toxic to your dog. Additionally, production that uses natural solvents like olive oil renders the oil ineffective because it destroys the waxes of the hemp plant.
  2. Does it have a Certificate of Analysis? Before you buy hemp oil for your dog, check for a certificate of analysis. This helps ensure the cannabinoid content is correct and that the oil has been tested by a third party for safety.
  3. Choose Organic Hemp Oil if you can. Organic hemp oil reduces the risk of any contamination from toxic pesticides or fungicides.
  4. Check the Amount of THC. While you don’t want a product that doesn’t have any THC, the amount in hemp oil should contain only 0.03%. Too much THC can cause a bad reaction. Too little lacks the cannabinoids and terpenes necessary to produce a positive result. It’s important to note there are CBD products and hemp oil with no THC at all. These are called isolated varieties, but they don’t have the ingredients needed to get a good result. It’s better to choose a full-spectrum hemp oil for dogs since these tend to contain the highest-quality cannabinoids.

Other Healthy Supplements for Dogs

jffd supplements for dogs

It’s important to note that hemp oil is not the only natural supplement available to help your dog live a long, healthy life. JustFoodForDogs has a line of supplements made from ingredients that you can trust to be high in quality. These include supplements with fish oils, probiotics, and more to help your dog get move life, more years, and more love.


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