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  • John Whittaker

Your Dog & CBD (why consider using it)

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Understanding Your Dog and CBD

Our approach to training can almost always change behaviors. Even the most extreme behaviors. What's even more exciting to us is that in changing a dog's behavior it can often change how a dog thinks and experiences life. Why is that important? Glad you asked. Let's say you have a Miniature Schnauzer named Fred. Fred gets aggressive every time he sees another dog. Through our training we can teach Fred not to ever show aggression towards another dog. When Fred is then in the presence of another dog, but not allowed to show aggression, his experience of other dogs can turn from seeing the other dog as a threat (it's what causes most aggression) to being intrigued or even curious about other dogs. Fred's interest can then lead to relating to other dogs who now are seen as a source of pleasure.

The problem is that Fred's inner experience may have changed, but the longer he goes without training being maintained by mom and dad, the more likely that a strong trigger could bring back those same feelings of being threatened. Of course as a training center known for our innovation in training and owner instruction we hope this never happens. If you understand your dog's experience of stress and anxiety, you should have a long-term multifaceted approach to support your dog. That’s where cannabinoids (CBD) comes in. CBD can help to change Fred's inner experience.

How and Why Does CBD Work?

Your dog has an endocannabinoid system which controls or influences nearly every other system in his or her body. This system, and others, have receptors that require CBD to function properly. Their body produces natural CBD such as anadamide that interact with these receptors. Unfortunately, commercial diets and our modern lifestyle has decreased the amount of these naturally occurring CBD. A lack of these naturally occurring CBD can influence your dog's experience of pain, stress, anxiety and even physiological functions such as inflammation.

Natural plant based CBD from hemp can help replace your dog's natural cannabinoids.

The Wellbeing Factor

In order to understand what we refer to as "the wellbeing factor" think of what it is like, or would be like, for you to be laying in the sun a thousand miles away. That's a thousand miles away from any problems. There are no demands. No schedules. Not a care in the world. We are hoping this would inspire a feeling of wellbeing (it would for us!). You also brought your dog who is laying in the shade under a palm tree enjoying a breeze and also feeling that deep sense of wellbeing.

Now imagine that suddenly you open your eyes to see a mountain lion staring at both of you while licking his or her lips. Naturally you both run just as fast as you can to safety. That entire experience for both you and your dog probably involves your endocannabinoid system.

We know that a lot of factors determine the experience of wellbeing, both for dogs and people. Recent research indicates that when we have enough cannabinoids most people, and dogs, feel a degree of wellbeing. Then when danger happens the body releases two enzymes (fatty acid amide hydrolase and monoacylglycerol acid lipase) which destroys our natural occurring CBD in order to create an immediate feeling of unease.

A dog's life was never intended to be lived with alarm clocks, constant noise (ie TV, radio, people coming and going), life lived primarily indoors and ongoing change. These are just a few influences in our dog's modern lives. These natural stressors have the same effect on their bodies as waking up to a mountain lion licking his or her lips. In turn, your dog's body produces enzymes to destroy CBD to ensure he or she is on-edge. For many dogs that is an everyday occurrence. Then we have the problem with some dogs inherently having compromised nervous systems. For these dogs so much of everyday life causes stress. Their bodies are continually producing CBD destroying enzymes to insure they are on-edge in a heightened state of unease.

Nature is Brilliant!

There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in hemp. We usually just lump all of them together and refer to the group of them as CBD. Most of these cannabinoids or CBD's have distinct differences. What most have in common is attaching to receptors which in turn provides the benefits CBD is know for such as reducing stress, anxiety, pain and inflammation.

We still have the enemy of CBD lurking around the body: those natural enzymes that destroys CBD in order to create the feeling of unease. Again, important enzymes for when we are in crisis (mountain lion about to attack). Most dogs are not in this situation yet live in crisis mode. Well nature decided an inplant within hemp a "covert" cannabinoid called cannabidiol. This cannabinoid or CBD operates completely different than the other CBDs. Cannabidiol is sought of like CBD Special Forces. Instead of attaching to receptors cannabidiol moves throughout the body destroying the two enzymes known for destroying CBD!

This means the dog whose body produces a lot of these two CBD destroying enzymes doesn't need to feel so much unease. We can help their bodies deal with the excessive stress enzymes being produced. As trainers, and as owners, we can truly influence and improve our dog's inner experience of life. For us that's a beautiful thing.

What Can You Expect?

Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine recently conducted a large clinical study on the effect of CBD on dogs. Their study showed an 83% decrease in dogs experiencing stress and anxiety. The university used changes in behavior observed by owners and behaviorists as well as bloodwork to determine these numbers. Also inspiring was an 80% decrease in pain. This reduction in pain also coincided with an increase in activity, even in dogs with degenerative diseases.

As a dog owner the question is what can you expect CBD to do for your dog? The simple answer is when it comes to your dog we don't know what you can expect. Every dog is different. What we do know is based on our experience and clinical studies there is reason to be hopeful. It also depends on the brand and "finding your dog's number" (how much CBD is needed).

Our Recommendation

CBD does not replace the need for dog training. At the same time neither does dog training replace the benefits of CBD.

When it comes to CBD which strain of hemp is used, how it is grown, harvested, extracted and turned into products makes all the difference. Therefore the only brands worth purchasing are the premium ones. Unfortunately that leaves out the brands targeting the pet industry and veterinary field. The two premium brands which stand out are Charlotte's Web and CBD American Shaman. The two companies use outstanding methods for growing, harvesting, extracting and producing the highest quality full and broad spectrum hemp oil (CBD).

We believe CBD American Shaman has the competitive edge through it's long-term investment in research and development. Their research is literally the science of CBD absorption. It's the difference between 7 to 10% absorption (traditional CBD/ hemp oil) and 100% absorption (CBD American Shaman). Then there is the CBD American Shaman delivery system which enables absorption to begin within seconds. Results can often be seen in as little as 10 minutes to an hour.

Purchasing CBD for Your Dog

For local clients we recommend purchasing CBD from CBD American Shaman in Salem located at 236 N Broadway in the same plaza as McKinnons.

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