Hemp oil is a supplement that has gained popularity due to its reported health benefits, including supporting heart health and reducing inflammation. Some people also give it to their dogs in the hopes of experiencing similar benefits. However, the research around hemp oil’s usage and effects in dogs is very limited, and there are some potential disadvantages to consider.
What is Hemp Oil?
Hemp oil is extracted from the seeds of Cannabis sativa varieties, which do not contain any tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive component found in cannabis plants. While other parts of the plant may have gotten mixed with the seeds during harvesting and extracting, the THC levels in hemp oil are significantly low and do not cause any psychoactive effects.
Difference Between Hemp Oil and CBD Oil
The main difference between hemp oil and CBD oil is the part of the plant used to make the oil. Hemp oil is made with seeds, while CBD oil is made with other parts of cannabis plants. CBD oil cannot consist of more than 0.3% THC and is marketed as a natural remedy for various ailments. You can find versions of these oils specifically made for dogs, but it is essential to use hemp oil made for dogs to ensure the safe dosages.
Advantages of Hemp Oil for Dogs
Hemp oil is high in polyunsaturated fats, including omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, which are necessary in the diet because the body cannot synthesize them. In humans, hemp oil can help manage inflammation due to containing gamma-linoleic acid (GLA), an omega-6 fatty acid. GLA can alleviate certain inflammatory conditions in people, including irritable bowel syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Although, there is little evidence or validated clinical trials in dogs, the possibility that dogs experience similar benefits is being studied.
Hemp oil may also improve brain health by reducing the risk of inflammation in the brain, similar to the possible effects observed in humans. It may also support heart health in people by helping to lower high blood pressure and cholesterol. However, research on these potential benefits in dogs is still in its early stages, and more research is needed to decipher if it’s effective or not.
Disadvantages of Hemp Oil for Dogs
While hemp oil may help some dogs experience health benefits anecdotally, it does not guarantee that every dog will feel any positive changes or improvements. Claims about the effectiveness of hemp oil for dogs are mostly based on anecdotal claims, and more research is needed to confirm its benefits and claims.
Since hemp oil is high in fat, adding too much to your dog’s diet can result in overloading on certain nutrients. This may lead to health issues such as an upset stomach, diarrhea, vomiting, or worse, pancreatitis. Therefore, it’s essential to make changes to your dog’s diet or feed it smaller, unnoticeable amounts in their food to avoid digestive issues.
How to Give Hemp Oil to Your Dog Safely
Hemp oil for dogs comes in various forms, including drops or supplement chews. To ensure safe dosages and high-quality hemp oil products with clean ingredient lists, it is essential to purchase hemp oil products from reputable pet companies.
It’s better to start in smaller doses and gradually increasing them to prevent upset stomachs, especially if your dog has underlying health conditions or is on any medication. Speak to your vet before starting to make sure there are no contraindications and avoid giving a higher dose than your dog needs.
Hemp oil is a natural supplement with potential health benefits such as managing inflammation and skin conditions. However, more research is needed to confirm these benefits and claims, particularly in dogs. When feeding your dog hemp oil, speak to your vet before starting and feed the appropriate dose to avoid causing digestive issues.