With hemp, CBD, and medical marijuana being legalized across the United States, thousands of people have experimented with hemp oil as an alternative form of treatment. Hemp oil is a dietary supplement extracted directly from hemp seeds. It’s easy to take, has few side effects, and won’t get you in trouble with the law. Hemp oil contains less than 0.3% THC, so you won’t get the “high” that you experience with marijuana.
Hemp oil is so popular with humans that many people have started wondering if they can use hemp for dogs. In response, dozens of manufacturers have offered treats, tinctures, and ointments made specifically with dogs in mind. To make their products more palatable for dogs, some companies even mix their oils with peanut butter. These products claim that they can treat a wide range of ailments including pain, inflammation, and vitamin deficiencies.
Medications and supplements for humans aren’t necessarily bad for dogs. In fact, dogs can take human medications like Benadryl and Pepto Bismol if your veterinarian recommends it. But before you buy a bottle of hemp oil for dogs, you might want to read up on the subject. The hemp oil boom is still in their early stages, and there’s a lot of research left to be done. Here’s what you need to know about hemp oil for dogs.
Can You Give Your Dog Hemp Seed Oil?
In most situations, you can give your dog hemp oil. Most brands of hemp oil have few, if any, side effects. Your dog can’t overdose on the hemp oil, although they might appear lethargic if you give them too much. Various products like tinctures, ointments, tablets, and even peanut butter are all safe for your dog to use. At most, your dog might dislike the taste if you give them unflavored oil. However, there are plenty of flavored options on the market.
Should You Talk to Your Vet First?
Hemp oil is generally safe for dogs but talks to your vet if your dog has any conditions or dietary needs. Hemp oil might not be the best option if your vet thinks it might interfere with their current treatment or trigger an allergic reaction. You might also want to talk to your vet about hemp oil just to get the facts. It never hurts to be informed before you give your dog a new supplement.
Can You Give Your Dog Hemp Oil for Humans?
If you have a bottle of hemp oil in your pantry, you might be tempted to give it to your dog. However, hemp oil for humans isn’t suited to your dog’s unique biology. Giving them your hemp oil probably won’t kill them, but it might not give them the maximum health benefits. Additionally, your dog might not like the taste since it was made with the human palate in mind.
For best results, stick to hemp oil products that are actually made for dogs. These products have the right doses for canines and special flavors that your dog will love. Some products even have veterinarian recommendations so you know you’re getting the right supplement. Most products have information about the ingredients and the ailments that they treat.
Is Hemp Oil the Same as CBD Oil?
Hemp oil is made from the seeds of the hemp plant and nothing else. Conversely, CBD oil is extracted from the entire plant, including the leaves, stalks, and flowers. You can take a look at the best CBD oils for dogs on the market, but it’s not the same product as hemp oil. Some brands use the names interchangeably, so make sure you read the label so you know what you’re getting.
Does Hemp Oil Have THC?
Hemp oil contains less than 0.3% THC, meaning that much like CBD oil it won’t make your dog feel “high” (1). Likewise, you won’t get “high” if you buy a hemp product for yourself. This is one reason why hemp oil is 100% legal throughout the United States.
How Much Hemp Oil Should You Give Your Dog?
Most experts recommend giving your dog one teaspoon of hemp oil for every pound of food. Hemp oil treats are a little harder to measure, so it’s best to start small and see what happens. Your dog probably won’t overdose on the hemp oil, but they might experience negative side effects if you give them too much at once. Note that larger dogs might require a bigger dosage than smaller dogs.
How Long Does it Take for Hemp Oil to Kick in?
Typically, hemp oil takes anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour to kick in. If you give your dog hemp oil treats, soft chews, or add it to their food, you’ll have to wait for it to digest before the hemp enters their system. You could give your dog a little more if it doesn’t seem to be working, but don’t give them a large dose without consulting your vet first.
What About Hemp Oil Allergies?
Hemp allergies are rare but not unheard of. This is another reason why you should start small before you give your dog a larger dose. If your dog is allergic to hemp oil, you might notice signs like sneezing, itching, hives, and swelling. Hemp oil usually doesn’t have side effects, so talk to your vet if your dog appears to have a bad reaction.
Does Hemp Oil Have Any Side Effects?
Typically, hemp oil has no side effects. At most, your dog might appear to be lethargic, especially if you gave them too much. Your dog might also experience vomiting and diarrhea if you gave them more hemp oil than they needed.
What Are the Benefits of Hemp Oil?
Every dog experiences hemp seed oil differently. Some dogs feel calmer after they take hemp oil while others enjoy pain relief. You might use it to help your dog get to sleep, supplement their nutrient intake or stimulate their appetite to help get a picky dog to eat. You might not find all of the following in every product, but here are some of the general benefits of hemp seed oil:
- Relief from separation anxiety (and general anxieties)
- Increased appetite
- Calmer, more positive mood
- Reduced pain and inflammation
- Improved blood circulation
- Better digestion
- Reduced chance of seizures
- Shiner, healthier coat
- Relief from dry and itchy skin
- Improved nutrition
- More energy
- Reduced stress levels
Your dog might not enjoy every benefit on this list, but most dogs react to hemp oil positively. As you start giving your dog hemp oil, you’ll see how it affects them in their daily lives. You might notice that your dog has more energy or seems to be eating more. Plus, some flavored hemp oils are so tasty that your dog might look forward to their dose of hemp.
Does Hemp Oil Contain Vitamins?
Many people consume hemp seed oil because it’s rich in antioxidants, omega 3 fatty acids, and various vitamins and minerals. Your dog needs to eat a balanced diet just as much as you do. If your dog needs to get more nutrients in its diet, add hemp oil to its daily routine. It’s not necessarily a replacement for a healthy diet, but it gives your dog a boost of extra nutrients.
What Are the Different Types of Hemp Oil Products?
Manufacturers are adding new products to the market every day. Here are a few of the basic products that you could buy for your dog:
- Tinctures. These are the most common hemp oil products. A tincture is a glass jar with a dropper that you use to add hemp oil to your dog’s food. You could add oil to their treats, kibble, wet dog food, or “human” foods like raw meat. You only need one or two drops to give your dog a dose of hemp oil.
- Ointments. You can rub these hemp-infused ointments directly on your dog’s skin to relieve pain and inflammation. They’re great for arthritis and achy joints as well as skin conditions that cause itching, redness, and flaky skin.
- Treats. This dog treats already contain hemp oil, so all you have to do is feed them to your dog. They might take longer to kick in because your dog has to digest them first.
What Should You Look for When You Buy Hemp Oil?
Not all hemp oil is created alike. The most expensive hemp oil isn’t necessarily the best, but the cheapest hemp oil might be made from impure ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see what you’re getting. A good bottle of hemp oil contains mostly natural ingredients with no fillers or additives. If you see the name of a chemical that you don’t recognize, search for it online to see if it’s part of the hemp extract.
Most reputable websites have information about their growing, sourcing, and extracting process. If you can’t find any information online, the manufacturer might get their hemp from sketchy suppliers. High-quality manufacturers often control the entire process from growth to extraction. However, some quality manufacturers source their hemp from other farms in the United States.
You should also see if a third-party company has tested and reviewed the hemp oil. Some manufacturers have certifications to prove that a third-party company tested and approved their products for safe usage. Other manufacturers ask veterinarians to review the product and feature the recommendations on their website. A third-party assessment can help you determine the legitimacy of the product.
Finally, make sure that you buy a product specifically made for dogs. A product made for humans might include harmful ingredients like THC. Some manufacturers sell products for both dogs and humans, so make sure you know which one you’re buying.
Unless your vet tells you otherwise, hemp oil is a safe supplement for your dog that has minimal side effects. Every dog reacts differently, but hemp oil might ease their separation anxiety, help them get to sleep, relieve pain or increase their appetite. Hemp oil is also loaded with nutrients like omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids, and as such it can be a good alternative to fish oil for dogs. When you buy hemp oil for your dog, you might want to pick up a bottle for yourself as well. If you’re getting a pure product, it’s one of the most natural supplements on the market. Just make sure you start with a small dose and evaluate your dog’s reaction.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much hemp oil can I give my dog?
Most experts recommend giving your dog one teaspoon of hemp oil per one pound of food. However, your dog’s vet might have different recommendations.
How long does it take for hemp oil to work on dogs?
Oils like hemp and CBD can take about an hour to kick in if you use a tincture. If you give your dog a hemp oil-infused treat, it won’t kick in until they’ve digested the food.
Is hemp oil the same as CBD for dogs?
Hemp oil and CBD are not the same. Hemp oil is extracted from hemp seeds while CBD oil is extracted from the entire hemp plant, including seeds, leaves, and stalks. Hemp oil is also rich in nutrients like omega 3 fatty acids.
Does hemp oil work to calm dogs?
Some owners use hemp oil to calm their dog’s anxiety. Hemp oil also treats physical ailments like inflammation and gives your dog extra nutrients. Note that you’ll have to wait for it to kick in before you see a change in your dog’s mood.
How do you use hemp oil for dogs?
You can buy tinctures, treats, soft chews, and ointments for your dog that contain hemp oil. If you buy your dog hemp oil treats, feed them to your pet just like any other treat. For the ointment, rub it directly onto the affected area. You could give your dog the tincture directly or mix it in with their food.