Category Archives: Tip on Dog Health

Is CBD Oil Good for Your Dogs?

Although CBD oil is currently sold in Ohio, its use with both humans and dogs can be controversial. It’s hard to keep track of the numbers – currently 8 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes (California, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Vermont, and Washington) and 29 states for medicinal purposes. 50 states have approved the sale of CBD oil.

You may have heard many stories on the news about marijuana and CBD oil being used to curb anxiety, cancer and more. However, it is important to note the difference between marijuana and cannabis (CBD) versus hemp for the purposes of this discussion.

Like many other products that started out being consumed by humans, it quickly spread to the pet industry. The sale of pet-related hemp products have risen dramatically with more than 1,000,000 websites now selling hemp online (including Amazon).

This begs the question: are dogs going to pot?

The Difference Between Human Marijuana and Pet Related CBD

For many years, hemp was illegal across the United States because it was lumped in with all forms of cannabis. Where recreational marijuana is legal, you can find all forms of cannabis from all dispensaries. It comes in all formats – seeds, powders, oils, brownies, etc.

Know there is a big difference between the herb cannabis versus marijuana.

Both hemp and cannabis come from the plant Cannabis sativa. The cannabis plant contains more than 80 chemicals called cannabinoids. The two main types of cannabinoids are cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Products containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, have a psychoactive component that creates the “high” many people talk about. Veterinary products generally do not contain THC but are compromised of the pain-relieving substance cannabidiol, or CBD.

Marijuana has a THC content of 10 – 15%, while hemp has a THC content of 0.3% or less. The hemp that has therapeutic effects on dogs contains CBD. Therefore, hemp should not get your dog high.

The Facts

  • According to the ASPCA’s animal poison directory, marijuana — the Cannabis Sativa L.plant — is toxic to dogs, cats and horses.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana or CBD for use in animals.
  • It is illegal for vets to prescribe cannabis to pets in all 50 states because of federal and state laws. There is a thin line between educating pet owners about cannabis versus prescribing a Schedule 1 drug.
  • There has been no long-term research to determine the effects of either hemp or marijuana on dogs.
  • Hemp products are available legally in all 50 states.

However, many veterinarians such as Dr. Greg Richter, a veterinarian in California, and Dr. Rob Silver, a holistic vet and pet herbalist in Colorado, have diligently been trying to educate pet owners and legislators on the benefits of treating pets with cannabis (not just CBD). Silver has even published a book, Medical Marijuana & Your Pet: The Definitive Guide, which draws on his research and experience to help people determine whether cannabinoid treatment is right for their animal.

The Benefits of CBD and Dogs
A few studies have shown that CBD can relieve ailments in dogs caused by:

  • Anxiety and Stress
  • Arthritis
  • Back pain
  • Cancer
  • Gastrointestinal issues
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Seizures

What are the risks? Dosage is key. As with any medication, pet parents should consult their veterinarian first before treating their dog with cannabis oil. Unfortunately, there has been no research to determine the exact dosage for CBD oil in dogs.

How should it be administered? The most common method is through a tincture or oil sold in a small bottle that comes with a dropper, and is recommended for use by the drop or milliliter and spread on a dog’s tongue.

Proceed with Caution
At Greg Knows Dogs, we are dog trainers not veterinarians, so understand we are not dispensing medical advice. Instead, with all the conflicting research, it’s important to educate yourself. Whatever you decide to do, start very slowly with CBD oil to not endanger your dog. And marijuana itself? We’ll cover that in the next blog.

 

Dog Proofing Your Back Yard For the Spring

dreamstimedogallergiesHere in Columbus, we look forward to Old Man Winter packing up his bags and the promises of warmer weather that Spring brings. As you are thinking about your Spring cleaning, don’t forget about your back yard. With the snow melted, it’s time to pick up all the poop in the yard. No matter what you try and tell yourself, it is not a good fertilizer!

It’s also National Pet Poison Prevention Month and your yard and garage can contain many hidden dangers for your dog. Here’s a few backyard items that may be toxic to your dog:

  • Pesticides and Fertilizers. We love pesticides to get rid of bugs and fertilizers that get rid of weeds. However, many fertilizers that contain bone meal, feather meal, iron and blood meal can cause vomiting, diarrhea and pancreatitis in dogs. When storing fertilizer in your yard, keep it out of reach of your dogs. If you are having a professional come spray your yard, keep your dog inside for at least 24 hours until the fertilizer dries. As far as pesticides, some may contain an organophosphate which can be life threatening when consumed in large quantities.
  • Did you know that sago palm trees or sago seeds can be fatal to a dog? Or that Lily of the Valley, oleanders, yews, and begonias can be dangerous. For a more extensive list of poisonous plants, click here.
  • Compost piles. Although composting is a good thing, it is important that your compost pile not contain dairy or meat products. These piles of decomposing and decaying organic matter and molding food products have the potential to contain tremorgenic mycotoxins, which are toxic to both pets and wildlife.Symptoms of poisoning are agitation, hyperthermia, hyper-responsiveness, panting, drooling, and vomiting.
  • Rat poison or snail bait. No one likes rats in their garage, but the poison used to kill them is highly deadly for dogs because it contains long-acting anticoagulants (LAACs), Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3), Bromethalin, or phosphides. What’s worse is that your dog will be attracted to the smell. You also do not want your dog to eat the rats that have been poisoned, or they could get secondary poisoning. Make sure to keep all rat poisons high on a shelf or where your dog can’t reach them.
  • Mulch. Brown cacao bean mulch is made from chocolate which is toxic to dogs.
  • Outdoor predators. In some areas of the country, possums and raccoons have been known to attack and can carry rabies or flea-borne diseases.
  • Garbage. As the weather warms up, your garbage can be a major attraction for bugs, critters and mice. Tightly seal trash cans and place a cinder block on them to keep sealed.

It is best to do a walk around of your yard to make sure your fence has no holes (or anyplace to dig under) and all your cable and electrical lines are still securely buried. We want our backyard to be a sanctuary for our dogs, but we also need to make sure it is safe and free of pet poisons.

The Heat Is On

?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????No this isn’t a tribute to Glenn Frey or “Beverly Hills Cop.”  After these storms roll through Columbus, it’s going to be hot.  So, here are some tips to help your dog in the heat.

Water, water everywhere.  Make sure you have FRESH water accessible to your dog.  You might even have two bowls outside on hot days, in case one gets knocked over.

No hot rods.  We all know that cars get furnace like in the summer – even with the windows open.  Even the shortest amount of time can cause your dog to overheat.  Call law enforcement if you see a dog suffering in a hot car.

Cool shade.  Provide shade if you’re leaving your dog out for a while.  A cover can also protect if there is a sudden thunderstorm.

No baking.  Maksim loves laying on the hot blacktop on sunny days.  But I roust him when I see him panting heavily.

Speaking of blacktop.  Keep your dog’s walks to a minimum; being closer to the blacktop can cause him to overheat more quickly.  Better yet – walk him in the early morning.

Trim, not buzz.  You might be tempted to shave your long haired dog.  Trim the long hair but remember that his coat is insulation.  It can help keep him cool —  and will prevent sunburn.

Know the warning signs.  Flat faced dogs are most susceptible to heat stroke but any dog can overheat.  Signs of overheating are excessive panting, drooling, pale gums, weakness and confusion.  Seizure, vomiting and diarrhea are danger signs.

Know what to do.  If you suspect he is overheated, place cool, wet towels on his neck, groin, and head.  Do not use ice water.  Also, wet his tongue if he won’t drink, but don’t force water in him.  Get him to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

 

Play it cool this summer and keep your dog safe in the heat.

Preventing Pet Poisoning

It’s hard to believe the winter chill will soon be behind us.  March brings us Spring and Poison Prevention Awareness Month.  After our winter hibernation, you gardeners will soon be taking advantage of being outdoors weeding, planting, and digging.

Did we say digging? You might want to dig while your dog is not around or he may mimic you!  We don’t want to teach him to dig in the garden.
petpoisonBesides fresh breezes, blooming plants and allergies, Spring also brings the danger of dog poisonings. Unfortunately, thousands of dogs and cats suffer fatal poisonings each year due to accidental ingestion of household or outdoor products.

Regrettably, the chemicals you use to make your lawn and plants grow, may be toxic to your pet.  And your plants may be dangerous.  You know those gorgeous tulips you planted in the fall? The bulbs contain toxins that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions and cardiac abnormalities.  Will you get an Amaryllis for Easter? These contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hyper-salivation, anorexia and tremors. For a complete list of plants that are poisonous, click here.

There are other products you may use in your yard that can also be harmful to dogs. These include:

  • Insecticides or Pesticides (such as Ortho Rose Pride). Many areas of the country that are susceptible to flea and tick infestations use insecticides to eradicate them (organophosphates and carbamates are particularly toxic). These can cause respiratory arrest, nausea, vomiting, and seizures in your dog. If you are using insecticides in your lawn, keep your dog inside for at least 24 hours.
  • Herbicides such as 2,4-D, glyphosate, Roundup, dicamba, and paraquat can cause vomiting if eaten. Make sure your dog, his bowl, chew toys, and virtually anything he mouths are inside while you are treating your lawn.
  • Slug, snail bait and rat poison. Tasty to dogs, these products often contain metaldehyde and can cause tremors, seizures and even death. Products containing ferric phosphate are a less toxic version.
  • Fertilizers. Eating grass that has been recently fertilized rarely leads to serious poisoning. Fertilizers are at their most harmful when they are eaten directly out of the bag. To avoid any risks to your dog however, put him inside until the product has been absorbed into the lawn.

To be safe, every responsible dog owner should create a pet poison first aid kit. The Pet Poison Helpline, which is available 24/7 (for a $49 fee) has the most comprehensive list of what you will need.

Greg Knows Dogs hopes these tips help you and your dogs enjoy a great and healthy start to Spring!